Winter fruits are equally as numerous and nutritious as their warmer weather counterparts. The wide range of flavors, colors, and nutrients is like a promise from mother nature to take care of your health during the roughest months of the year.
9 Best Winter Fruits
1. Grapefruits, Oranges, Mandarins (Oh My!)
One thing I was surprised to see when looking at the nutrients of these fruits was that they are very low on the glycemic scale. While they do tend to be a bit higher than some others in actual fructose content a whole navel orange is only ranked as 5 on the glycemic scale (out of 250).1 I know the first thing that pops into everyone’s heads when hearing about citruses is, of course, lots of vitamin C.
Vitamin C is needed for many functions in the body, not just for fighting off colds.
- Vitamin C is needed for the biosynthesis of collagen. Collagen is essential for
- Vitamin C is needed for protein synthesis.
- It also plays a vital role in iron absorption.
- It’s not hard to see why these fruits are so very important.
Kiwis, otherwise know as Chinese gooseberries, are a powerful little fruit. Just one fruit ranks a glycemic scale of 4 and contains 11% of daily fiber, 50% of vitamin K and 141% of vitamin C!!3
Dates are also known as nature’s candy. Date paste is a wonderful addition to your baked treats. For this reason, they are great to have around. Dates are a bit high on the glycemic scale. One of these little fruits ranks 9 on the glycemic scale, so it’s probably best not to consume too many in a sitting.4
They also don’t contain much in the way of vitamins and minerals. But as mentioned above, they are like candy just without the processed sugar, so if you’re trying to kick that sugar habit, they can help with those cravings.
Persimmons are considered to be a berry – a large berry. There are quite a few different varieties but the nutrients are similar no matter what variety you try. They, like most fruits, are a good source of vitamin C. Their orange color promises a healthy dose of vitamin A, which is good for eye health. They also have good amounts of vitamin E, K, B6, and Folate.5
Plus, just one of these berries gives you 25% of your daily fiber intake!
This popular superfruit is known primarily for its high antioxidant levels. What you probably didn’t know is that the seeds are a good source of omega 6 fatty acids.6
The body cannot make omega oils so it is essential to get them from food. Omega 6 plays a big role in brain development and function. A half cup serving of pomegranate ranks a 5 on the glycemic scale.
Most notably, cranberries are known for helping with urinary tract infections. It is said that drinking cranberry juice will get rid of an infection, however, most cranberry juice contains a lot of sugar, as the berry itself is fairly bitter. The berry is where the real power is at. The berry contains enzymes that keep bacteria from sticking to the walls of the bladder.7
Cranberries have a deep red color which promises significant antioxidant protection. They also aid in liver detoxification and stomach health. These powerful berries have a glycemic load of only 2 per cup of raw berries, so feel free to load up on them!8
Both red and green grapes are good sources of vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, vitamin K, copper, and potassium. One cup of grapes is on a 9 on the glycemic scale (average) and contains about 5% of your recommended daily fiber.9
Did you know that eating a pear a day may reduce the risk of having a stroke by 52%? That’s pretty significant! The inner fruit is, of course, important, but in the case of a pear, the skin is actually the real star of this fruit. It contains about half of the fiber content and many enzymes that are considered anti-inflammatory and anti-cancerous.10
There are many varieties of pears out there. Eaten raw, one medium-sized pear contains quite a bit of fiber; about 22%. It ranks about a 6 on the glycemic scale.
Bananas may be my favorite of this list, not for the flavor, but for what they can do. They are an excellent natural source of electrolytes magnesium and potassium, which are very important for water absorption in the muscles (which will prevent muscle fatigue and cramps).
Electrolytes also aid in relieving diarrhea, also by maintaining water levels in the colon.One banana also has about 30% of the daily manganese needed. Manganese helps the body form connective tissue and bones and plays a big role in calcium absorption. It is needed for brain and nerve function, and blood sugar regulation.
Bananas are high on the glycemic scale, ranking an 18 for one whole banana. As you can see, winter fruits pack a strong punch in the nutrient department! No wonder it’s so important to eat at least 2-3 servings of fruit every day.11
NOTE: For all the fruits, I have included the glycemic scale ranking. Please note that to maintain healthy sugar levels, experts recommend collectively consuming a total scale of 100 or less per day.
References [ + ]
|1.||↑||Oranges, raw, navels Nutrition facts and calories, SELFNutritionData.|
|2.||↑||Vitamin C, National Institutes of Health.|
|3.||↑||Kiwi fruit, (Chinese gooseberries), fresh, raw Nutrition Facts & Calories, SELFNutritionData.|
|4.||↑||Dates, medjool Nutrition Facts & Calories, SELFNutritionData.|
|5.||↑||Persimmons, japanese, raw Nutrition Facts & Calories, SELFNutritionData.|
|6.||↑||Omega-6 fatty acids, University of Maryland MEDICAL CENTER.|
|7.||↑||Cranberries for UTI Prevention, WebMD.|
|8.||↑||Cranberries, raw Nutrition Facts & Calories, SELFNutritionData.|
|9.||↑||Grapes, red or green (European type, such as Thompson seedless), raw Nutrition Facts & Calories, SELFNutritionData.|
|10.||↑||Pears, raw [Includes USDA commodity food A435] Nutrition Facts & Calories, SELFNutritionData.|
|11.||↑||Manganese, University of Maryland MEDICAL CENTER.|