The Healthiest Picks for Winter Produce

Buying your vegetables and fruits in season – and locally – guarantee you’ll enjoy the freshest, most nutritious meals and snacks this winter . You’ll also be supporting your local economy, and potentially reducing your carbon footprint.

Leafy greens are a smart choice year-round, but particularly in winter. Curly endive, kale, escarole, chicories and radicchio are all in season, and actually sweeter right now. All are rich in minerals like iron, calcium, potassium, and magnesium, and vitamins, including vitamins K, C, E, and many of the B vitamins.

Cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts – the entire cruciferous family – is readily available, and packed with essential vitamins and antioxidants that slow aging and may help fight cancer. Why not slice up a healthy amount to ferment? The veggies will not only taste delightfully tangy and delicious – the fermentation will aid digestion and help create and maintain an alkaline balance in the body.

As their name implies, winter squash are abundant, and provide a generous supply of healthy alpha- and beta-carotene, which promote good eyesight. Try acorn, butternut, and delicata squash, and spaghetti squash, whose long strands make a delicious and healthy pasta substitute.

You have a rainbow of colors to choose from when you’re buying fresh beets. Besides traditional dark red beets, experiment with white, golden, and multicolored firm, smooth bulbs, ideally with the crisp greens still attached. Shred the greens and beets together in a colorful salad. You’ll be nourishing your body with antioxidants, which can help prevent heart and liver disease, and nitrate, which can potentially reduce risk of dementia by increasing blood flow to the brain.

This is definitely the season for other root vegetables in addition to beets. Turnips, parsnips, rutabagas, sweet potatoes, carrots, celery root – all are packed with healthy nutrients and fiber, and readily available through the winter months.

While many vegetables are winter staples, quite a few fruits also shine during the colder months. Choose from fresh citrus, including oranges, mandarins, tangerines, clementines, grapefruits and lemons for a daily blast of color, a burst of flavor, and a big dose of vitamin C, minerals, and fiber.

Pears, pomegranates and persimmons also crop up in produce departments in the winter. Relatively recent research suggests pomegranates might help prevent breast and colon cancers, while persimmons are credited with anti-inflammatory properties. The yellow to orange to red fruit is also linked to protecting against age-related macular disease.

Savor the best of winter’s fresh, live, raw organic produce during a stay at the Optimum Health Institute healing missions in San Diego and Austin, Texas.

Our caring team can help you achieve your mental, physical, emotional and spiritual goals for optimal health in a beautifully landscaped safe space, perfect for reflection, transformation and healing. Visit our website at , and call us at (800) 993-4325 to make your reservation.