Dropping temperatures and shortened days can deplete energy levels and mood. Combat the winter blues by incorporating these produce picks that are in season during winter.
Citrus fruits: From lemons, limes, and clementines, to oranges, tangerines, and grapefruit, with delicious citrus, the possibilities are endless! Citrus fruits are packed with vitamin C and fiber to support a healthy immune system. They also contain calcium, magnesium, phosphorous and potassium to promote strong bones and muscle function. Squeeze some lemon or lime juice atop your favorite flakey fish or pop a clementine into your lunch box for a refreshing addition to your meal or snack.
Roots: Root vegetables like potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips, beets, and radishes, are great sources of fiber, plus, some contain vitamin A and potassium. The starch in these vegetables provide complex carbohydrates that fuel body processes including brain function! Root veggies can be baked, roasted, sautéed, or pureed and added to baked goods, soups, and stews or even your favorite comforting casserole.
Cruciferous veggies: Produce in the cruciferous veggie family, such as Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and broccoli, have beneficial phytochemicals that may play a role in preventing disease and inflammation. They also contain B-vitamins to support a healthy metabolism. A healthy body and metabolism give you energy to do your best and feel your best. You guessed it – cruciferous vegetables can also be roasted in the oven, eaten raw, or “riced” and added to recipes like pizza crust or mashed potatoes.
Hearty greens: Dark leafy greens like romaine lettuce, kale, and collard greens, are rich in vitamins C and K as well as antioxidants including beta carotene, the precursor for vitamin A. These nutrients help remove free radicals from the body and protect against chronic disease. Darker colors mean more nutrients, so get creative by choosing a variety of greens for different colors and textures. Try adding romaine to your sandwich, collards to a soup, or kale to the top of a homemade pizza.
Remember that you can enjoy any fruit or vegetable all year round by choosing frozen, canned, dried, or 100% choose – all forms count!