There is not much of a choice of fruit and vegetables that are in season in winter than in summer but winter boasts some surprising health superstars. Here are 5 of the healthiest winter foods you should be eating.
You’ve probably already tasted pomegranates in their newly popular juice form. And from a heart-health perspective, that is a good thing. Pomegranate juice is rich in antioxidants and just a cup daily can help to keep free radicals from oxidizing “bad” LDL cholesterol. Oxidized LDL contributes to plaque buildup in the arteries, and clogged arteries means bad circulation. A study showed that drinking pomegranate juice might improve blood flow to the heart in people with myocardial ischemia, a serious condition in which the heart’s oxygen supply is compromised because the arteries leading to it are blocked.
2. Dark Leafy Greens
Dark leafy greens, such as kale, chard and collards, a ricjh in vitamins A, C and K. They can thrive in the chill of winter when the rest of the produce section jis weak. In fact, a frost can take away the bitterness of kale. Collards, mustard greens and escarole are also excellent sources of folate, important for women of childbearing age.
Citrus fruits, like lemons, limes, oranges and grapefruit, are at their juiciest in the wintertime and can add sunshine to the dreary winter. Ther is a plenty of vitamin C in only one piece. For example, one medium orange delivers more than 100 percent of your daily dose. Citrus fruits are also rich sources of flavonoids which are very important for absorption and proper function of vitamin C.
Potatoes sometimes get a bad rap for being a white starch, thrown into the same category as white rice or white bread. But unlike those other starches, which have indeed been stripped of healthful nutrients, potatoes are a whole food that contain several beneficial nutrients. They are an excellent source of two immunity boosters—vitamins C and B6, delivering 25% and 29% of your daily needs per medium potato, respectively. They are also a good source of folate, which is especially important for women of childbearing age, and they deliver fiber. If you can find purple potatoes, you’ll get an added health boon—they are rich in anthocyanins—antioxidants that are linked to a host of health benefits, from lowering cancer and heart disease risk to quelling inflammation.
5. Winter Squash
There are many varieties of winter squash—including butternut, acorn, delicata and spaghetti squash—and they are all excellent choices in the winter. One cup of cooked winter squash has few calories (around 80) but is high in both vitamin A (214 percent of the recommended daily value) and vitamin C (33 percent), as well as being a good source of vitamins B6 and K, potassium and folate.