Some hot chocolate, a blazing fire and cozy blankets… mmm… Winter certainly has its own set of charms, but fresh fruits and vegetables are usually not known to be one of the highlights of the winter season. It can become very challenging to find fresh produce during the winter months, particularly in the colder climates. But, luckily for you, you don’t need to survive on just onions or potatoes throughout winter. All you need to know is what to buy and you should be able to enjoy a regular supply of fresh fruits and vegetables throughout the winter season. This Resveralife Eat Well Guide from Vine Vera helps you understand the best fruits and vegetables to eat this winter.
The Best Fruits and Vegetables for Colder Climates
Potatoes usually get a lot of negative publicity, but there is a reason they are a staple food in many cuisines around the world. Potatoes are very inexpensive, highly filling and they offer your body with Vitamin C, proteins, potassium, folic acid and magnesium. The best part? They are available throughout the year.
Cabbages are extremely healthy as well as budget friendly. They are full of Vitamin C, Folate and Vitamin K and they also offer you with a rich dose of antioxidants, Glucosinolates and fiber. Certain studies also indicate that cabbages can help to reduce the risk of diabetes and cancer. Although cabbages can be found from the month of July, there are a number of cold weather varieties that harvest throughout the winter season. This vegetable is best eaten raw as a part of your salad.
Brussels Sprouts, otherwise known as mini cabbages, are known to be as healthy as their elder cousins. They can protect your DNA from oxidative damage and they also offer you with antioxidants that fight cancer. And since Brussels Sprouts are mainly harvested between the months of September – February, you have a steady stream of fresh ingredients throughout the winter.
Onions are an ideal way of flavoring almost all of your food items – right from those pastas and soups to those grain salads. Onions offer your body with a rich dose of fiber and Vitamin C and they can also help you to reduce your bad cholesterol levels and increase the good cholesterol levels. Like potatoes, onions are available throughout the year.
Beets are deep red in color and they have an earthy flavor to them. Beets are extremely unique vegetables that contain an antioxidant known as Betalains. This antioxidant can protect you from a number of degenerative diseases and they also fight cancer. Furthermore, beets are very rich in Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Folate, Potassium and Vitamin B. Unfortunately, fresh beets are only available from the spring season till the fall season.
Your parents might have been wrong in making you gulp down all that milk because of its “so called” benefits, but it turns out that they were spot on when it came to those carrots. Carrots are rich in an antioxidant known as beta-carotene. Beta-carotene gets converted into Vitamin A and helps to strengthen the immune system and gives you healthier eyes and skin. Although carrots are mostly available through the fall season, a number of varieties are actually harvested during the winter months.
Parsnips might look a lot like carrots and have a similar rich and earthy flavor, but they offer you with loads of goodies like fiber, Vitamin C, folate and potassium. They go well with most winter soups and are usually at their best during the late fall and early spring seasons.
Sweet Potatoes are full of Vitamin C, Vitamin A, antioxidants, fiber and beta-carotene. They are also known to be low on the glycemic index, thereby making them an ideal option for weight conscious people. Moreover, sweet potatoes can be found throughout the year.
The Best Fruits and Vegetables for Warmer Climates
Citrus fruits are more than enough to help you last the winter seasons. They might not be the best options for your teeth, but they are very beneficial for your skin and your body. They are loaded with Flavanoids and Vitamin C and they can also help in reducing the risks of Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, cataracts and cholera. Some of the best citrus fruits to look at include lemons, blood oranges, grapefruits and oranges. Moreover, citrus fruits only become ripe for picking between the months of October – March.
Pomegranates are one of the oldest fruits in the world. They date all the way back to the Greco-Roman era. Pomegranates are also known to be one of the most nutritious fruits because of the presence of anti-inflammatory ingredients and antioxidants. This fruit can help you with issues like high blood pressure, high cholesterol and heart attacks.
Dark and Leafy Greens
Greens like kale and collards are an ideal option for your winter diets. They are rich in Vitamin E, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, iron, manganese, calcium, Vitamin K, potassium and antioxidants. They are also known to be extremely low in calories and can fit almost any dish.
Fennel has a taste that resembles that of licorice and it is definitely one of the most delicious vegetables on the planet. It is sweet and crunchy and it is also known to be very healthy. Fennel is rich in a compound known as Anethole as well as ingredients like Vitamin C, copper, magnesium and potassium. Fennel is usually available from the fall season till the spring season.