The way to eat freshest ingredients is to buy seasonal produce. Some fruits and vegetables are available year round in commercial grocery stores, but certain produce items taste better during the winter. If you go to a farmer’s market, you are guaranteed to see the best seasonal produce varieties.
To get an idea of what fruits and vegetables you should be buying this winter, check out the list below. These produce items can do some amazing things for your health!
Sweet potatoes are the staple spud for the holiday season. They are incredibly versatile and are rich in fiber, vitamins, and beta-carotene. Since they are relatively low on the glycemic index, they help you feel full without actually making you sluggish.
Blood oranges are rare in some parts, but they are more than worth it if they grace the shelves at your local grocery store or farmer’s market. They are popular from December until March and have a dark red and orange flesh. It’s like looking at a tie-dye shirt inside a fruit. They are rich in anthocyanins, which are red flavonoid pigments that have powerful antioxidant properties. According to nutritionists, anthocyanins also have anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce bacterial infections and heart disease.
The list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning winter squash. Since there are so many colors and varieties to choose from, where do you start? You can’t go wrong with butternut or spaghetti squash, and kabocha and golden squash are loaded with carotenoids, vitamin A, and potassium. We like these roasted, but you can incorporate them into many recipes.
While kiwis are more prevalent certain times throughout the year, many grocery stores carry them year round. When you eat one kiwi, you get 7% of the magnesium, 9% of the potassium, and 2% of the calcium you need every day. One kiwi also contains more vitamin C than an orange!
Bananas are notorious for having potassium and magnesium. These are great nutrients for lowering cortisol levels, i.e. stress hormones. Additionally, bananas are great for naturally getting rid of bloating, gas, or water weight. If your bananas are browning, you can freeze them and save them for smoothies instead of throwing them away.
Pineapples contain this awesome enzyme called thiamine, which helps the body break down carbohydrates. You know that afternoon coffee or soda you think you need every day? Pineapple water puts an end to that, helping you feel full and keeping your blood sugar in check.
We can’t say enough good things about beets, and they have a pretty distinct flavor profile. Perfect for winter soups, smoothies, or roasting with rainbow carrots, beets are rich in betalains, which are antioxidants that can help protect against degenerative diseases. The are also rich in vitamins A, B, & C, potassium, and folate, so there’s no reason not to enjoy them this winter.
Rich in dietary fiber and beneficial sterols, which can help reduce cholesterol levels, persimmons have been referred to as divine fruits. They help to improve digestion and can reduce plaque build-up.
Kumquats have a lengthy season, from October to June, but they are most plentiful from December to April. They are roughly the same size as grapes and their powerful, sweet-tart citrus flavor wakes up your taste buds. They go great in salads and are perfect for snacking; you can even eat the peel. In many Asian countries, kumquats have been used to improve respiratory and immune health, often remedying coughs, colds, and other inflammatory respiratory conditions. Lastly, about 5 kumquats will satisfy 73% of your recommended daily intake of vitamin C, so eat up!
Last but not least, let us introduce you to the ugly winter produce item known as celeriac, also known as celery root. Ugly produce needs love too, and the antioxidants that protect healthy cells from free radical damage is just one reason to eat this winter veggie. Because celeriac is rich in vitamin K (64 micrograms per cup), it may be beneficial for bone health, considering that higher vitamin K intake is linked with reduced risk of bone fractures. You can chop it up and saute it, cut it into strips and bake it like fries, or steam it and puree it into a soup. We hope you like it!
Other Popular Winter Fruits & Vegetables:
- Brussels Sprouts