For most of us, winters include a warm cup of coffee, thick blankets and a packet of crispy, roasted peanuts. However, winters are not all fun and games; they bring with them symptoms of a cold, stuffy noses and sleepless long nights. Then starts a series of antibiotics, antipyretics and anti allergy pills and there goes your vacation plan.
To keep your immune system boosted and influenza at bay, opting for seasonal fruits is the best choice. Seasonal fruits are packed in vitamins and minerals that keep your innate defense system strong and active. Here is a list of winter fruits easily available at your local fruit vendor throughout winters.
This beautiful red fruit is said to be the fruit of paradise. And that is not just because it is irresistible to eat; it has a myriad of health benefits and is packed with the most powerful plant compounds. Pomegranate beats green tea in its antioxidant properties by three fold. It has medicinal properties that can help fight prostate and breast cancer, arthritis and lowers the risk of heart disease. Rich in vitamin C, K, folate and potassium, pomegranate keeps your immune system strong by its tough anti inflammatory effects.
While picking pomegranates, pick up the plump and roughly round piece that is heavier than it looks. They can be stored for up to 1 month in a cool dry place or can be refrigerated and used before two months.
This tangy naturally sweet round fruit is known for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. It has the highest content of vitamin C, more than 170 different phytochemicals and 60 flavanoids – all of which make nutritionists recommend orange a day just like apples. The antioxidant effects of orange have proven to have inverse relationship with prostate cancer. Rich in choline, oranges help with memory and learning, sleeping better, muscle movement and has structural benefits for the nervous system.
While picking oranges, select the pieces with firm and smooth skin which are heavy for their size. They can be stored for up to two weeks.
The main reason dates have significant cultural value in Muslim society is because of its nutritional value. Its dietary data is equal to that of a nutritionist-recommended balanced diet plate. It has all carbohydrates (including lots of fiber), minerals, proteins, vitamins and a bit of fat. Its fiber content is great for intestinal disorders including constipation, diarrhea and colorectal cancer. It is an instant energy fruit, a hangover remedy and helps reduce muscle weight due to different disease. It is also beneficial for your heart, brain and reproductive organs.
When you go out to buy your pack of dates make sure they are shiny, mostly uniformly colored and not broken. They have a long shelf life and do not need refrigeration.
Rounded at the bottom and narrowing towards the stalk, this mildly sweet, very juicy yellow-green fruit is known for its high fiber and vitamin C content. Rich in carbohydrates, it serves as instant energy. It helps in obesity, diabetes and hypertension. High fiber content helps maintain bowel movements and cure constipation.
Pears can be bought unripened. Chose firm pears, which can be stored in a paper bag at room temperature. They are ripened when the neck region of the fruits yields under mild pressure of your thumb. Ripened fruit should be refrigerated.
KIWIFRUIT / CHINESE GOOSEBERRY
Kiwi has thin brown hairy skin and green flesh and black seeds inside. It is a nutrient-dense fruit which means it has more nutrients per calorie. Kiwi can reduce the risk of obesity, heart disease and diabetes. Its high potassium content protects from nephrolithiasis (kidney stones) and maintains low blood pressure.
The best kiwis picked are slightly firm. Unripened fruit can be stored for up to six weeks packed in a refrigerator.
One beneficial effect found commonly amongst all these fruit is for your skin. Rich is vitamins, these fruits help collagen and pheomelanin production. Collagen has anti-aging effects while pheomelanin makes your complexion clear and smooth. Anti-oxidants in these fruits help prevent acne and skin inflammation.
So this winter, do not skip your daily fruit dose – be it by means of a fruit salad, as a side dish with your dinner or cocktail of juices. Make your winters fun, enjoy these fruits and keep away from weather associated illnesses.