Eating With the Seasons: Fruits to Eat in Winter
by Cheryl S. Grant
There's nothing like a delicious piece of fruit to add some color (and nutrients) to your plate! But during the winter months, it can be a little tricky to find locally grown, fresh produce.
Whether you live in a region with a cold climate or warm weather year-round, it is important to eat at least two servings of fruit daily. Thankfully, when it comes to finding fruits to eat in winter, a little creativity and planning can go a long way.
Here are several types of fruit you can eat when the temperatures drop!
'Tis the Season for Citrus
Believe it or not, the peak season for citrus fruits is between late October and March. This makes winter the perfect time to load up on lemons, oranges, limes, grapefruits, tangerines, and clementines. They are all jam-packed with vitamin C and flavonoids, which have been linked to a lowered risk of cancer, heart disease, and certain disorders when consumed regularly.
This season, try skipping the salad dressing and instead adding peeled (and sliced) clementines, grapefruits, and oranges to your salads for a citrusy touch. Or, you can enjoy these nutritious fruits in liquid form by squeezing the juice of a lemon, lime, and tangerine into a glass and adding seltzer, ice, and a sprig of mint!
Poms Are the Bomb
Pomegranates are considered a super fruit — and for good reason. The seeds get their ruby red appearance from antioxidants that protect cells from damage and reduce inflammation. Studies suggest that drinking pomegranate juice may also help to lower cholesterol.
The best part? This sturdy fruit can last up to two months in the refrigerator! Enjoy pomegranates when they are in season — from October through January — by adding the seeds to a bowl of sliced kiwis and crumbled feta cheese.
An Apple a Day...
An apple a day might just keep the doctor away, after all! While they are known to be a popular fall fruit, you can find fresh apples in the grocery stores year-round.
Apples are packed with immunity-boosting vitamin C, B-complex vitamins that keep your nervous system humming, dietary fiber that helps rid the body of cholesterol, and nutrients that protect against free radicals. If you're looking to include more fruit in your diet this winter, try spreading your favorite nut butter on an apple for a crunchy snack.
A Passion for Passion Fruit
Finding some uncommon fruits — such as persimmons and passion fruit — may seem more complicated than buying a bunch of grapes at your grocery store, but it's not! These fruits are gaining more popularity and have been showing up in more supermarkets. And rightfully so.
Persimmons contain antioxidants that promote healthy vision. Meanwhile, passion fruit provides 25 percent of an individual's daily dose of potassium, an important mineral that can help lower blood pressure. Try using these fruits in your pre-gym smoothies to add a sweet touch.
Coconuts and bananas are — fortunately — also available year-round! Coconut water is often said to be hydrating, and the fruit's flesh is high in a mineral that helps your body make use of fat and protein and promotes balanced sugar levels. Bananas also contain potassium, which can help with muscle recovery after a workout.
For a tropical delight during the depths of winter, peel and chop a ripened banana and freeze the slices for at least two hours. Then, pulse the frozen pieces in a food processor until the mixture starts to smooth out. Afterward, store the banana puree in an airtight container and freeze until it looks like ice cream. You can enjoy the mixture straight, or add it to some yogurt for a tasty treat!