How to Eat Seasonally in Winter: 10 Delicious and Nutrient-Rich Winter Produce Options
Eating seasonally in winter can seem intimidating, especially in the Northeastern region of the U.S. However, there’s an abundance of options with a myriad of benefits, which we’ll dive into in this post!
Eating seasonally can provide many health benefits. When fruits and vegetables are in season, they are at their nutritional peak of freshness and flavor. This can be a bit harder in the winter, when selection seems more sparse, especially in the Northeastern regions of the U.S. However, there’s an abundance of options with a myriad of benefits, which we’ll dive into in this post!
Benefits of Eating Seasonally in Winter
One of the key benefits of eating seasonally in the winter is the high levels of vitamins and minerals that these fruits and vegetables contain. For example, winter produce like kale and Brussels sprouts are high in Vitamin K, which is essential for preventing blood clotting and maintaining strong bones. Sweet potatoes are high in beta-carotene and Vitamin A, which support eye health and overall immune function. Citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, and grapefruits are rich in Vitamin C and other antioxidants that help to boost the immune system and support skin health and overall well-being.
Another benefit of eating seasonally in the winter is that it can help to promote weight loss and improve digestion. Many winter fruits and vegetables are high in fiber, which can help you feel full for longer and can also help to regulate your digestion. Eating a diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables can also help to reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer.
Eating seasonally in the winter can also be beneficial for mental health. It can provide a sense of routine and connectedness to the natural environment and the local community. Preparing and sharing a meal made with seasonal ingredients with family or friends can provide a sense of community, tradition, and connectedness.
Top 10 Winter Produce Options
Despite not always being recognized for its variety of seasonal options, winter is a great time to enjoy an array of delicious and nutrient-rich produce options. Here are the top 10 winter produce options that you should consider adding to your diet:
- Kale: Kale is a leafy green that is packed with vitamins and minerals. It is a great source of vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin A, and calcium. Kale can be eaten raw or cooked and is a great addition to salads, soups, and smoothies.
- Brussels Sprouts: These small, round heads of cabbage are a great source of vitamin K, vitamin C, and fiber. They can be roasted, sautéed, or steamed and are a delicious addition to any winter meal.
- Sweet Potatoes: Sweet potatoes are a great source of beta-carotene, vitamin A, and potassium. They can be baked, mashed, or roasted and are a tasty addition to soups, stews, and casseroles.
- Squash: Squash is a great source of vitamin A, vitamin C, and potassium. There are many varieties of squash, including acorn, butternut, and delicata. Squash can be baked, roasted, or steamed and is a great addition to soups, stews, and casseroles.
- Cabbage: Cabbage is a great source of vitamin K, vitamin C, and fiber. It can be eaten raw or cooked and is a great addition to salads, slaws, and soups.
- Carrots: Carrots are a great source of beta-carotene, vitamin A, and potassium. They can be eaten raw or cooked and are a great addition to salads, soups, and stews.
- Turnips: Turnips are a great source of vitamin C, vitamin K, and fiber. They can be roasted, mashed or sautéed and are a tasty addition to soups and stews.
- Beets: Beets are a great source of folate, manganese, and potassium. They can be roasted, boiled or pickled and are a great addition to salads and sandwiches.
- Pears: Pears are a good source of vitamin C and fiber. They are delicious eaten raw or cooked, and are a great addition to salads, sandwiches, and desserts.
- Citrus: Oranges, lemons, limes, and grapefruits are all citrus fruits that are in season during the winter and are a great source of vitamin C and other antioxidants. These are perfect ingredients for dressings, marinades, jams, and beverages.
Incorporating these winter produce options into your diet is a great way to stay healthy and warm during the colder months. There are many delicious ways to prepare these fruits and vegetables, so get creative and enjoy!
In summary, eating seasonally in the winter can be an incredibly beneficial practice for your health. These fruits and vegetables are packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that can boost your immune system, support your digestion and promote weight loss, while also supporting your mental well-being. By incorporating them into your diet, you can make a small but significant step towards a healthier and more balanced lifestyle.
If you’re having trouble eating seasonally, or even balancing your plate in general for your health goals, reach out to our care team now! During a free Health Coaching session, we’re happy to help you understand what changes you can make to your nutrition in order to ensure its aligned with your needs.