Friday, January 21 2022 - 2:29 AM
oranges
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Winter Fruits and Veggies

During the winter months, a variety of our favorite fruits and vegetables may not be available. Instead of looking for watermelon or peaches during the winter, try adding winter produce to food choices. This helps to give a steady supply of the nutrients we need for good health. Here are some of the favorite winter choices and why they will enhance your diet with nutrients.

Oranges

Citrus fruits are in abundance during the winter months. The most common kinds are Kara Kara Oranges, Blood Oranges, and the tiny, easy-to-peel Cuties. Whether or not we consume the orange sections, the pith or the white part, or the skin or zest, we will consume vitamin C. Some report the center has more vitamin C than the orange sections. In addition to vitamin C, the whole orange contains a small amount of vitamin A, B vitamins, and calcium.

Squashes

Various squashes with exotic names like Kabocha, Calabaza, and Delicata are available to us in the winter. These botanical fruits are a great source of beta carotene, which the body uses to make vitamin A. They also contain two vitamin A-related phytochemicals, lutein and zeaxanthin, and they help boost the immune system. Squash can be added to soups, stir-fry, and casserole dishes, but it can also be consumed alone. One of my favorite ways to prepare Delicata squash is to cut it lengthwise, add a little olive oil, Italian seasonings, and mozzarella cheese. Then bake it in the oven. Simply delicious.

Greens

Kale, Collard, Beet Greens, and Turnip Greens can be harvested in the winter. The nutrients vary, but vitamin A and vitamin C are plentiful in these foods. Other nutrients include fiber, calcium, vitamin B-6, and magnesium, and super low in calories. They can be added to soups, stir-fry dishes, casserole dishes, and can be eaten alone. Young kale greens can be added to salads and smoothies. The flavors are rich when a mixture of these greens are boiled together with a little water and other ingredients such as onions, garlic, olive oil, and a little salt.

Other produce harvested in the winter include pomegranates, pears, kiwifruit, red bananas, persimmons, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, leeks, sweet potatoes, and so much more. Most of the vegetables take only a short amount of time to prepare. With a little planning, adding fresh produce to your diet helps strengthen your immune system, gives you energy and the nutrients needed to stay in the best of health.

If you like this, you might also like Health Benefits of Vegetarian Diets | Bring Vegetable Dishes Back

Pamela Williams writes from Southern California. 

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About Pamela A. Williams, MPH, RD

Pamela A. Williams, MPH, RD

is a dietitian, photographer, and writer in Southern California.

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