A healthy winter diet should include more nutrients and vitamins, which you can easily get from a few seasonal fruits and vegetables. Whether you’re looking for more nourishing vegetables or the most antioxidant-packed fruits, check out a few winter goodies, the healthiest winter fruits and vegetables, that are often unjustly overlooked.
When you’re picking out seasonal produce, remember that color is the way to go. Rich in colors, vitamins and nutrients, the healthiest winter fruits and vegetables can have a good impact on your immunity to flu and on your digestion.
From pumpkin to acorn squash and butternut, winter squash pack a powerful punch when it comes to vitamins, fiber, and plenty of other important nutrients. Whether they’re steamed of baked, winter squash retains important nutrients like folic acid, carotenes and potassium. Besides tasting good, winter squash can also help your body protect itself against diabetes and even heart disease.
The healthiest winter fruits and vegetables are usually rich in vitamin C, which helps your immune system fight any respiratory infections. You can eat oranges and tangerines all year long, but choose blood oranges during the winter for their festive color, and you’ll also get a healthy dose of fiber.
They might look scary, but artichokes have plenty of flavor and are packed with antioxidants. Rich in folate, along with vitamin K, artichokes are easier to prepare than you might think. Eat artichoke hearts with dips, add them to salads or pasta or enjoy them in a creamy soup. One thing to remember when you cook them on the stove is that the best way to tenderize artichokes is by keeping the pot at a high simmer.
More than a delicious ingredients for sauces and desserts, cranberries are one of the healthiest winter fruits and vegetables, so you should eat them fresh as long as they’re available. Besides the high content of vitamin C, cranberries can also help with HDL cholesterol, raising the levels of the “good” cholesterol.
Sticking to the rule of eating the most colorful vegetables you can find during the cold months, kale is an excellent choice for salads, but is also delicious when sauteed, steamed or prepared as kale chips. With high levels of calcium, beta carotene, along with a healthy dose of vitamin C, kale helps your body fight infections, and also includes powerful antioxidants.
Considered one of the healthiest winter fruits and vegetables, persimmons aren’t nearly as popular as they should be. With more fiber and phenolic compounds than apples, the orange fruit of the persimmon tree is recommended for its high mineral content and for its powerful cocktail of antioxidants. If you don’t like them raw, puree them for a variety of desserts.
Rich in minerals and useful vitamins, cabbage has a powerful anti-inflammatory effect on the body and can be used in a variety of stews, soups and salads during winter. Red cabbage has even more minerals, and it can add a touch of color to your holiday meals, whether it’s raw in a salad or substituted for regular cabbage in any recipe.
The smallest citrus fruits are also among the healthiest winter fruits and vegetables. Rich in vitamin A and potassium, kumquats also pack plenty of vitamin C and fiber that you need when the weather gets cold. They can add a sweet touch to salads, and make the perfect substitute in any recipe that includes orange juice.
With plenty of calcium, iron and vitamin K, arugula is a good choice if you’re tired of broccoli or cabbage. You can add it raw to salads, but the best way to include it in your winter diet is to saute it in a little olive oil, because the fats can help your digestive system absorb all the proper nutrients from this leafy green.
Packing more vitamin C than most citrus fruits, kiwis are also rich in potassium, and one of the healthiest winter fruits and vegetables. Besides helping your immune system fight off any infections, kiwis also contribute to balanced blood pressure.