Winter Fruits and Vegetables: Knowing What & Why to Buy

Kara Bauer Health Guide
  • For those who have enjoyed an abundant array of fruits and vegetables all summer long, you may be at a loss as to what to buy now that winter has arrived. Of course, most supermarkets will stock an array of produce from all around the world, making it confusing to know which ones to buy. However, with a little guidance, you’ll be better equipped to not only save money and stay healthy, but also support your local farmers and make a positive impact on the environment.

    Winter is a time of hibernation, a period of the year when things are ending to make room for new beginnings come spring. This is a time when being comfortable, warm and relaxed are of utmost importance. Nature’s intelligence has always shown us the way by what it provides for us. The fruits and vegetables available during the winter are the ones that our bodies need to endure the long cold months ahead. They are also the freshest and most nutrient-rich foods we can choose at this time.

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    Beyond sustaining us health wise, buying seasonal fruits and vegetables is less expensive. This is because it’s less costly to transport food from local farmers then those from those far away. They also take less work to grow and harvest which further contributes to lower costs.  This can be a key indicator when browsing the produce isles as to which items are truly in season.

    From a global perspective, buying locally decreases the overall carbon footprint associated with pollution, fuel usage and overall environmental damage caused by food transportation.  It also allows you to know where your food is coming from as opposed to far away workers who are most likely working under poor conditions to pick and produce them. Always remember that your purchases are an opportunity to “vote” for what’s best for you, your family and the planet and go a long way in impacting the future.

    Below is a list of some of the seasonal fruits and vegetables found at this time of year. For an accurate list from your area, visit your local farmer’s market, CSA, natural foods market or health co-op.

    Winter Vegetables:
    Beets
    Broccoli
    Brussel Sprouts
    Cabbage
    Celery Root
    Chicory
    Endive
    Escarole
    Fennel
    Horseradish
    Kale
    Leeks
    Parsnips
    Radish/Daikon
    Rutabagas
    Sweet Potatoes
    Turnips
    Winter Squash

    Winter Fruits:
    Avocado
    Cranberries
    Grapefruit
    Kiwi
    Lemon
    Mandarins
    Pear
    Tangerines

    Year Round Vegetables:
    Collard Greens
    Lettuce
    Mint
    Oregano
    Parsley
    Rosemary
    Sage
    Spinach
    Thyme

Published On: December 29, 2010