Five Healthy Ways to Eat Deliciously This Winter

Maintaining a healthy diet alone is a challenging task. Some people choose to track calories or stick to highly specific IMG_6066[1]food groups, which works well for different lifestyles. However, after being diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome I decided why not eat healthy and deliciously? As a college student finding the time to go out and buy groceries, let alone making a home cooked meal, is proving to be a difficult mission to overcome. Luckily with a few tricks, and an apartment with a kitchen, I’m discovering new techniques to eat deliciously while adding a few healthy ingredients! The key to my diet is simplicity! Instead of looking for complicated recipes simply try adding different produce into your meals! Though with winter winds soon coming out to play, produce in stores are becoming limited. So here are six different fruits and vegetables available this winter season with health benefits capable for an everyday life.

Fruits of Winter

Cranberries

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This tart little fruit is a winter holiday favorite with many forms such as: cranberry juice, cranberry sauce and cranberry salad. However, let’s get back to simplicity! Cranberries begin harvest in October and extends till December. Fresh cranberries are usually packaged in an 8 oz. bag, so look for cranberries that are deep red in color and are firm to the touch. Pack a punch in your diet by adding cranberries to a salad, sauté with chicken for flavor or give chocolate cookies a healthy twist.

  • Health Benefits
    • Antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds
    • Protects the brain from age related memory or coordination loss
    • Heart health
    • Diet aid

Grapefruit

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Found at the peak of freshness during the Christmas season, Grapefruits are juicy, tart and tangy. When looking to put this brightly colored fruit in your shopping cart you want to check for firmness. Discoloration or scratches to the skin does not harm the fruit inside, however watch out for overly soft spots or heavily wrinkled skin. Also, storing grapefruits in the refrigerator will keep freshness for an extra week. Serve grapefruits with a little brown sugar and honey as a quick healthy snack.

  • Health Benefits
    • Source of Vitamin C
    • Reduces severity of inflammatory conditions, which adds support to the immune system
    • Cardiovascular health

Pomegranates

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Giving fruits a new appearance, pomegranates contain tiny ruby arils or seeds that burst with flavors both sweet and tart. Pomegranates are in season from October through February. When selecting a pomegranate look for a medium red to dark red color with a firm and heavy feel to the fruit. Be aware of any overly soft spots, but any scratches or skin abrasions are usually okay because the quality of the fruit inside won’t be affected. This fruit can easily add a splash of color and flavor to any meal, or even a quick snack!

  • Healthy Benefits
    • High in antioxidant, full of vitamin and potassium
    • Provides relief in stomach disorders
    • Protects against heart ailments
    • Lowers risk of dental plaque

Eat More Veggies

Kale

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Kale can vary with shape and taste, but is known as a dark green leaf. Easy to grow, Kale is ready to pick from July to December. However, a little trick to note is Kale has a sweeter taste after a frost so, if home grown, try waiting until October! Avoid brown or yellow leaves when purchasing kale. It should be bagged and placed in the refrigerator, which will keep freshness for up to five days. Just like lettuce, kale makes one fantastic salad!

  • Health Benefits
    • Packed with vitamins and minerals such as: Vitamins A,C and K
    • Omega-3: regulate blood clotting, protect against heart disease and stroke
    • Protects against some cancers
    • Beneficial to stomach, liver and immune system
  • Recipe to Impress

Sweet Potatoes

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In my house, sweet potatoes mixed with yams and peaches are a favorite holiday dish. They are in season between October through March and shouldn’t have marks or blemishes on the skin when purchasing from a store. Also sweet potatoes should be stored at room temperature. When stored in a refrigerated environment the taste tends to badly alter. With a sweeter taste these potatoes are a perfect alternative to other potatoes. For a healthy side prepare sweet potatoes by peeling, slicing then leave to boil.

  • Health Benefits
    • Antioxidant nutrients
    • Biotin, fiber, potassium and Vitamins A C and B6
    • Improve blood sugar regulation
  • Recipe to Impress

 

“Vegetables are a must on a diet. I suggest carrot cake, zucchini bread and pumpkin pie.” – Jim Davis

 

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