Best Fruits For Winter Season

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A list of best fruits for winter season. This winter, give your body the treat it deserves. It’s important to always remember that moderation is important when consuming fruit in large quantities, Winter season is the time for fruits that add style to your dinner table or whether you are walking to the store. Here are varieties of the best fruits for the winter season.

The 8 Best Winter Fruits to Help Keep You Healthy

You might not find yourself instinctively reaching for fruit this time of year, but doing so could bolster your immune system and support a healthy weight.

woman in blue dress holding pineapple

You may be surprised to learn that pineapple is a seasonal fruit in the winter in North America.

When winter hits, you might find yourself gravitating toward winter squash and other hearty vegetables. But don’t forget about fruit. “We still in the winter have a tremendous variety of fruit available to us,” says Marie Ruggles, RD, a registered dietitian-nutritionist and author of Optimize Your Immune System: Create Health & Resilience with a Kitchen Pharmacy, who is based in Floral Park, New York. Most notably, winter is prime time for citrus fruits in North America, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

And it’s important to make room for them in your diet because the nutrients in these fruits support the immune system and your overall health, Ruggles says, not to mention a healthy weight. According to MedlinePlus, As far as immunity goes, vitamin C is an all-star nutrient for fighting winter colds and illnesses — and citrus fruits are replete with it. “Vitamin C is an evidence-based, well-documented, very well-researched, and strong antiviral,” Ruggles says. To reap the most benefits, past research suggests choosing whole foods with vitamin C over vitamin C (ascorbic acid) supplements. Also, be sure to spread your vitamin C foods throughout the day because this vitamin is water-soluble, meaning your body will flush out any excess of the nutrient, according to Medline Plus.

Which Foods Are Highest in Vitamin C?

According to Harvard Health Publishing, vitamin C helps the body produce white blood cells, which Ruggles describes as “warrior cells in the immune system.” “Those cells attack foreign invaders like viruses and bacteria,” she says. And while vitamin C may not keep you from getting a cold, it could reduce the length and severity of your illness, according to MedlinePlus. “Vitamin C prevents escalation,” Ruggles says. So, it could keep your straightforward sniffles from advancing to something more serious, like bronchitis or pneumonia, she explains. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), whether vitamin C can help prevent or treat COVID-19 is still being investigated, but an article published in December 2020 in Nutrients noted it may help reduce the mortality rate and speed up recovery in people infected with the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

While vitamin C-rich citrus fruits may be a highlight in the winter, they’re not the only nutritious fruits the season has to offer in North America. Here, explore eight of the best fruits to eat during the winter.

8 Best Winter Fruits To Help You Keep Healthy

1

Pears for Their Ample Fiber Content

pears in a bowl

According to the USDA, one pear provides 5.58 grams (g) of fiber, making it a good source of the nutrient. Ruggles says fiber is important for the immune system because it encourages good bacteria to flourish. “The more fiber you take in, you’re going to increase the population of immune cells,” she says. What’s more, fibrous foods, including pears, can independently help support a healthy weight, as a randomized controlled trial published in October 2019 in the Journal of Nutrition found. Fiber promotes satiety, which can prevent overeating, notes the Cleveland Clinic. For a winter spin on pears, Ruggles suggests cooking up a warm recipe with spices like cinnamon.

2

Pineapple for Its Disease-Fighting Properties

pineapple melon ball holes

Pineapple, like citrus fruits, is an excellent source of vitamin C with 78.9 milligrams (mg) in 1 cup, according to the USDA. The tropical fruit has other health perks, too, including disease-fighting anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activity and benefits to the nervous and digestive systems, according to a review published in September 2020 in Food Research International.

3

Cranberries for Their Power to Protect the Heart

cranberries in silver pot

The holiday dinner staple isn’t just festive; it’s nutritious, too. A review published in Advances in Nutrition found cranberries can help lower cholesterol levels as well as the risk of developing coronary artery disease. And they’re a good source of vitamin C, with 14 mg in 1 cup of whole, raw cranberries, according to the USDA. A sprinkle of cranberries is a great way to jazz up your salads, Ruggles says.

4

Persimmon for Its Immune-Bolstering Vitamin A

persimmons on a table cloth

This Asian fruit is a good source of vitamin A, with 138 micrograms (mcg) in one fruit, according to the USDA. Vitamin A can enhance immune function and help protect the body against infectious diseases, according to a review published in September 2018 in the Journal of Clinical Medicine. “It’s important for our barrier immunity, which is our mucus membrane in the throat and the lungs,” Ruggles says.

5

Oranges for Their High Dose of Vitamin C

oranges in crate

According to the USDA, one orange contains nearly 82 mg of vitamin C, making it an excellent source of the vitamin. But steer clear of subbing fruit juice in for the real thing. Ruggles says eating the whole fruit is preferred since juice generally contains added sugar and strips out some key nutrients like fiber. An orange is a good source of fiber, with 3.6 g, so you won’t want to miss out in it

6

Grapefruit for Its Possible Cancer-Fighting Abilities

best-winter-fruits-04-1440x810

Grapefruit is another excellent source of vitamin C — half of a raw Florida grapefruit contains 43.7 mg, according to the USDA. Grapefruit also contains lycopene, which has antioxidant properties and may play a role in helping to reduce the risk of certain types of cancer, most notably prostate cancer, according to research published in Oncology.

7

Pomegranates for Their Bone-Strengthening Vitamin K

pomegranate

One cup of this festive red fruit is an excellent source of fiber (7 g) and is a good source of vitamin C (17.8 mg), according to the USDA. Plus, pomegranate is rich in vitamin K, with 28.7 mcg in one cup. Vitamin K contributes to blood clotting and promotes healthy bones in the body, according to the NIH. 

8

Kiwi for a Surprising Source of Vitamin C

sliced kiwi

According to the USDA, one kiwi fruit contains 56 mg of vitamin C, which makes it an excellent source of the vitamin. Ruggles recommends enjoying a kiwi with breakfast. “It’s a great way to jumpstart your vitamin C and start fueling your immunity right from the start of the day,” she says. Kiwi is also an excellent source of vitamin K, with 30.2 mcg in one fruit. Fun fact: You can enjoy this fruit with the skin-on, contrary to popular belief. You may want to in order to up the health perks even more: The skin boosts its fiber content by a whopping 50 percent.

The best winter fruits you should eat to stay healthy this season

There’s a range of fruits available for the picking this winter season. Here’s a rundown of some of the best ones and how they can help keep you healthy.

Some fruits aren’t as plentiful during the winter months as the summertime, but here are some delicious citrus and other fruits that are very much in season and packed with vital nutrients we need to stay healthy and strong during the colder times of the year.

Grapefruit

Topping the list of fruits is the sweet and juicy grapefruit. This seasonal fruit ripens in January and is jam-packed with beneficial and protective nutrients and plant compounds which have antioxidant properties,, including lycopene. This means they may help protect cells from the potential damage caused by unstable molecules called free radicals.

All fruits are rich in antioxidants and several decades of dietary research findings suggest that consuming greater amounts of antioxidant-rich foods might help to protect against diseases, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Grapefruit is also a good source of vitamin C, which helps bulk up your immune system, fortify your bones, and heal your injuries faster, as well as beta-carotene, which is converted in the body to vitamin A to support immune system function, skin and vision health, among other things, according to the National Library of Medicine. 

Also, its dietary fiber, called pectin, promotes better digestion, and grapefruit overall is supposed to rev up the metabolism.

Another benefit? Grapefruit contains salicylic acid, which helps break down inorganic calcium in the body and reduce symptoms of arthritis.

Some people may shy away from grapefruit because of its tart and bitterness taste. But there are many inventive ways to prepare and enjoy this nutrient-heavy winter fruit. Recipe ideas abound to take in its nutritious value: citrus rounds of grapefruit and oranges with mint, grapefruit spritzers, or mix it with avocado for a watercress salad, are just some ideas offered by Prevention.

It can also simply be topped with sugar to make it taste a little less acidic. Cottage cheese is also a great topping.  

Pears

A medium pear is a good source of vitamin C. This fruit also packs in some potassium, vitamin K, copper, magnesium and B vitamins, according to the USDA nutrient database. They are an excellent source of fiber, too, which helps keep your gastrointestinal system regular.

Pears, especially those with colorful skins, provide phytonutrients, or natural plant chemicals, like flavonoids. These compounds are known to help keep inflammation low by neutralizing free radicals, which can cause cell damage that in turn can lead to chronic disease such as heart disease and cancer.

And even though pears have some natural sugar, their high fiber content ensures your blood sugar won’t go soaring after eating one, which makes them a perfect on-the-go snack for people with diabetes. Plus, their low-glycemic index means you won’t be hungry minutes after snacking on one. 

Pomegranates

A goddess among fruit, the pomegranate is not only known for its legendary origins, but its number of health benefits that range from tons of antioxidants to aiding in the prevention of certain cancers. Add pomegranates to your winter diet and enjoy the health benefits and the sweet-sour taste of every scrumptious seed. You can even down a glass of pomegranate juice if you’re on the go this winter.

Pomegranate seeds get their vibrant red hue from polyphenols, which are powerful antioxidants. Pomegranate juice contains higher levels of antioxidants than most other fruit juices. It also has three times more antioxidants than red wine and green tea. The antioxidants in pomegranate juice may help remove free radicals, protect cells from damage, and reduce inflammation, according to the NIH.

The juice can help with digestion by reducing inflammation in the gut and improve overall gastrointestinal health. For that reason, it may be beneficial for people with Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and other inflammatory bowel diseases. It can help reduce inflammation throughout the body and prevent oxidative stress and damage, health experts say.

Flavonols in pomegranate juice may even help block the inflammation that contributes to osteoarthritis and cartilage damage.

Also, the juice of a single pomegranate has more than 40 percent of your daily requirement of vitamin C. Vitamin C can be broken down when pasteurized, so opt for homemade or fresh pomegranate juice to get the most of the nutrient. In addition, pomegranate juice is a good source of folate, potassium, and vitamins K and E.

Look for fruit that is firm and has a shiny golden‐red skin. Avoid fruit that looks shriveled or emits a grayish smoke when gently squeezed. 

Oranges

This wouldn’t be a robust list of winter fruits without the orange. You are going to want to make oranges, and any other citrus produce for that matter, your go-to snack food. Oranges, while not necessarily winter crops, are always available and always a good option since they’re a vitamin C powerhouse. Vitamin C is a water-soluble antioxidant that prevents cell damage.

Also, certain orange juices are fortified with Vitamin D in addition to the other nutrients you get from straight citrus: Fiber, folic acid, potassium and calcium.

Also good are oranges‘ cousins mandarin oranges, tangerines, tangelos and clementines – as snacks or in between meals on a regular basis.

Bananas

Extremely cheap and seemingly always in season, bananas are a great source of potassium, a vital mineral and electrolyte in the body that carries small electrical charges that cause nerve cells to send out signals for the heart to beat regularly and muscles to contract.

Potassium is also needed to maintain a healthy balance of water in cells, and offsets the effects of excess dietary sodium, according to Harvard University’s School of Public Health. 

Bananas also boast levels of vitamin B-6, which helps fortify and build cells, magnesium, fiber and manganese.

One serving, or one medium ripe banana, provides about 110 calories.

Not fond of bananas? You still reap their health benefits by making a delicious banana smoothie by blending one, any size, with yogurt, some berries, a tablespoon of walnuts or almonds and a splash of orange juice. You can even slice it and pair it with other winter fruits on this list to make a yummy fruit cup.

Cranberries

High in antioxidants and nutrients, cranberries are a rather small food that packs a lot of punch.

You can use the cranberries served during Thanksgiving as a springboard into adding this winter fruit to your diet at least once a week.

Being high in antioxidants, cranberries may assist in the prevention of certain cancers, heart diseases, and inflammation, according to medical experts. In fact, a study found that out of 20 common fruits, cranberries have the highest level of phenols, a type of antioxidant. Other antioxidants contained in cranberries include quercetin, myricetin, peonidin, and ursolic acid.

Like other citrus fruits, they too contain vitamin C, K, and potassium.

Also, cranberries have a rich amount of anthocyanins, compounds that give cranberries their dark red color. Studies have shown that they may have anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory effects. 

Pineapple

Next time you go to the supermarket, try a pineapple, a large tropical fruit with a spiky, tough skin and sweet insides. Pineapple is chock full of vitamin C and manganese, a nutrient that helps in the formation of bones and regulation of blood sugar.

Pineapple is also packed with vitamins, A, B6, E and K, calcium, folate, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium and zinc. In some cultures, pineapple is a medicinal plant. That’s because it has a substance called bromelain that may lower inflammation.

At the store, look for a pineapple that’s heavy for its size. It should be free of soft spots and dark eyes. A ripe pineapple will smell sweet on its end.

Persimmons

The persimmon is a fruit that might not be on your radar no matter the season, but you’ll want to quickly get acquainted with this superfood fast. This small, tomato-esque fruit is known to aid in maintaining a healthy heart, keep your digestive system working smoothly, and strengthen your eyesight. Not to mention, they are yummy and go well with a lot of recipes.

There are several variations of persimmons that differ in size, flavor, and, of course, color. In the United States, the two you’ll most commonly find in supermarkets are the Asian varieties known asfuyu and hachiya.

When they are ready to eat, their thin skin is a translucent orange and their flesh is runny and gelatinous. Astringent varieties are often used in baking or preserving and can be dried to make the Japanese treat, hoshigaki.

Persimmons are high in important vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A, C and B, potassium and manganese. They also contain beneficial plant compounds like tannins and flavonoids. Persimmons are also a good source of thiamin (B1), riboflavin (B2), folate, magnesium and phosphorus. The colorful fruits are also low in calories and loaded with fiber. Just one persimmon contains over half the recommended intake of vitamin A.

Kiwis

This Chinese gooseberry is a brown, fuzzy, egg-sized fruit with bright green flesh. Kiwis are flavorful, healthy, and unique.

You may know oranges for their vitamin C and bananas for their potassium content, but the kiwi has them beat in both categories as well as providing vitamin E and K on top of it all.

Throw a few of these fuzzy little fruits into your cart to fight off that winter cold. One kiwi provides about 80% of an adult’s daily vitamin C requirement, according to Harvard’s School of Public Health. It’s also a good source of fiber, potassium, and vitamin K.

Although the skin of a kiwi is edible, you may prefer to remove it, or simply cut the fruit in half and scoop out the flesh inside.

You can throw kiwis and any other winter fruit on this list into a blender for a healthy smoothie: Harvard experts also suggest trying a “green” smoothie made with a blend of kiwi, spinach, apple, and pear.

Apples

The old adage “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” is not too far off from the truth. Apples are likened to superfoods as they are filled with so many nutrients it seems impossible that one little fruit could help so much, but it does. It’s no wonder there are thousands of varieties available throughout the world, from gala and granny smith to McIntosh and cosmic crisp to golden delicious.

From vitamin B, which maintains red blood cell count, to antioxidants, which help ward off diseases, the apple might just keep you out of the doctor’s office this winter.

Apples are rich in quercetin and pectin, both of which are credited for boosting apples’ many health benefits. Quercetin is a flavonoid, a type of naturally occurring plant chemical that has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties,, while pectin is a type of soluble fiber that may help prevent constipation, according to Harvard’s School of Public Health.

Eating whole apples is preferred since discarding the skin removes much of the fiber and the majority of flavonoids.

The key, as with anything you eat, is to be well-balanced. Make sure that you are meeting your daily values, starting with this list of fruits, to keep your body strong this winter. Adding any or all winter fruits on this list to your daily diet can have so many health benefits. Before long, your immune system will be fighting off colds like a champ and you’ll feel more fit.

The 10 Best Fruits That Are In Season During The Frigid Winter Months

preview for A Boozy Brunch Must: Grapefruit Ginmosas!
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Winter may seem like a time for cozying up with soups, stews, and hearty winter veggies like squash, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower—but don’t forget about fruit! Summer berries and stone fruits might not make an appearance, but there are plenty of seasonal varieties best enjoyed with snow on the ground. On this list, you’ll find fruits that are probably available at your grocery store anytime of the year, but are in their prime—and will definitely taste best—during the winter months. Spoiler: Citrus is king. Lemons, oranges, and grapefruits are all in season during this time. Maybe this year for the holidays you make a bright and zesty citrus salad to go alongside that roast?!

Clementine

clementine

These are the perfect little transportable citrus snack. And thanks to the heat of the South, they’re available starting in December.

Grapefruit

fresh grapefruit on chopping board

Okay, serious question: Do you peel your grapefruit or cut it open and eat it with a spoon? I find it a bit too tart and slightly bitter to eat on its own without a sprinkle of sugar to balance it out. Either way, you’ll have plenty of the softball-sized citrus starting in January all the way through early summer.

Kiwi

sliced kiwi fruit

Here’s a hack: Instead of peeling these, slice them open and scoop out each bite with a spoon. Typically, they are available starting in the winter through the spring, at least the ones grown in California. They are sweet with tiny, edible, crunchy black seeds. Though it isn’t the most pleasant, you can totally eat the fuzzy skin.

Kumquat

kumquats in bowl on red wooden table

You’ve never had a kumquat? Well, the cold weather is now an excuse to try one. It looks like an oval-shaped orange and is sweet and a little tart in flavor. You can even eat their peel! They come into season December through April.

Lemon

overhead view of lemons in a bowl on a wooden table

What a perfect time to make a refreshing glass of lemonade, in the middle of winter? Well, it might not be associated with cold weather, but both lemons and Meyer lemons—which are larger and much more sour in flavor—are in season during the winter months, November through April.

Orange

oranges

If you couldn’t tell by the earlier listings on this list, winter is all about citrus! It’s the best time to enjoy those sweet, juicy, and sour little fruits, oranges included. Look out for these November through May. Blood Oranges, the prettier cousin of regular oranges, is also in season. These are subtly sweet with hints of raspberry and cherry. Quite the complex fruit, if you ask me.

Persimmon

delicious fresh persimmon fruits on table

It may look like a tomato, but it definitely doesn’t taste like one. You’ll probably compare a persimmon more to an apricot, flavor-wise, with the skin of an apple, and you’ll best enjoy them October through January. Eat them fresh, simmer them into a jam, or blend them into your smoothie.

Pomelo

pummelo grapefruit

Like a grapefruit, only bigger, sweeter, juicier, and, some may say, better. You can find pomelos year round, but they are at their peak December through February. They are native to Southeast Asia, but they grow in Florida and California too.

Tangerine

tangerines

All the citrus on this list may be making you dizzy, but just think of tangerines as a slightly sweeter, more honey-tasting version of an orange (sign us up). You’ll get the best ones November through April.

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