To find the freshest winter vegetables and fruits, visit your local farmer's market.
When the frosty days of winter set in, fresh produce can seem like a distant memory. However, winter vegetables and fruits are tasty, nutrition-packed alternatives to your summer favorites. Here are seven delicious picks for healthy, seasonal winter produce.
Cabbage might be one of the most overlooked winter vegetables around. A cousin of broccoli, this cruciferous vegetable is bursting with glucosinolates, a substance that may protect against cancer by detoxifying carcinogens.
You don't have to toil over a hot stove to enjoy fresh winter produce. Simply toss a bag of pre-shredded coleslaw with a little lime juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper for a quick no-cook side dish.
Sweet potatoes are one of nature's top sources of vitamin A, and that's only the beginning. These tubers also provide a cocktail of nutrients including potassium, magnesium, and calcium that are believed to help maintain blood vessel health and may lower blood pressure.
Trade your usual baked potato for a baked sweet potato and gain 25 percent more vitamin C, 33 percent more fiber, and 157,000 percent more vitamin A!
You probably have an onion sitting in your kitchen right now, but did you know that it's a nutrition powerhouse? Onions are a great source of quercetin, an antioxidant which may play a role in promoting heart health, alleviating allergies and asthma, and fighting breast, colon, lung, and ovarian cancers.
Sauté a couple of onions for a flavorful topping on sandwiches, burgers, or omelets.
Like cabbage, turnips are cruciferous vegetables. They're rich in soluble fiber, a special kind of fiber that helps remove cholesterol from your body, making them a particularly heart-healthy choice.
For a low-carb alternative to roast potatoes, slice peeled turnips into wedges, toss with canola oil, salt, and pepper, and roast in a 450°F oven for thirty minutes.
When cold and flu season hits, reach for these citrus fruits. Just two juicy clementines deliver more than your entire day's worth of immune-boosting vitamin C. For easy snacking, keep a big bowl of them on your kitchen counter.
Toss clementine sections into a spinach or kale salad for a burst of flavor and a sweet vitamin C boost.
If you're trying to avoid winter weight gain, pears can help. Pears are packed with a combination of water and fiber that helps you feel full. They're so powerful that one study found that women who ate three pears a day consumed fewer calories and shed more pounds than women who rarely ate pears.
Pack a pear as a snack or try tucking pear slices into a grilled cheese or turkey sandwich.
Munching on pomegranate seeds is a tasty way to keep your brain healthy. Pomegranates are rich in substances that tame inflammation within the brain which may help to prevent conditions such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease.
Stir a handful of pomegranate seeds into your morning oatmeal for natural sweetness and crunch.
Next time you visit the supermarket, be sure to put these winter vegetables and fruits on your shopping list for a delicious, satisfying health fix!
By Karen Ansel, RDN
Linus Pauling Institute Micronutrient Research Center, Cruciferous Vegetables
Cleveland Clinic, White Potatoes vs. Sweet Potatoes: Which Are Healthier?
University of Maryland Medical Center, Vitamin C: Ascorbic Acid
Berkeley Wellness, Turnips and Rutabagas: Rich in Complex Carbohydrates
University of Maryland Medical Center, Quercetin
Harvard Medical School, Key Minerals to Help Control Blood Pressure
These articles are not a substitute for medical advice, and are not intended to treat or cure any disease. Advances in medicine may cause this information to become outdated, invalid, or subject to debate. Professional opinions and interpretations of scientific literature may vary. Consult your healthcare professional before making changes to your diet, exercise, or medication regime.