People from different regions of the world each have a specific set of properties and abilities they acquired, as a result of living in that part of the world. For example, people who live in cold countries tend to be a bit larger and produce more body heat. They are hence also able to digest different kinds of meats better than those people living in warmer regions of the world.
However, global exposure has lead to human beings trying things that come from halfway across the globe! While this is great as an experience, the body often suffers – it cannot break a habit that it has carefully learnt and picked up over the course of past 30,000 years! In modern day and age, this is the cause of a lot of disease and distress to many people.
One of the easiest ways to safeguard yourself from such problems is to eat local and seasonal!
9 Indian Seasonal Fruits To Include in Your Winter Diet
Seasonal fruits help us not just survive but thrive in any given season. They are packed with natural remedies for seasonal health problems. However, it is important to pick seasonal fruits that are available locally – not exotic season fruits.
Here’s a list of 9 seasonal fruits that should be a part of every Indian’s winter diet.
Agreed, oranges are available to us twice a year, but the ones that come in winter are especially sweet! Two of the biggest reasons to eat oranges include their high vitamin C and high fibre content.
Strawberry harvesting is a popular winter activity that people love to indulge in – and for good reason! Not only do the farms look pretty, but the fruit can also stave off most winter ailments. Eat strawberries for younger-looking skin (thanks to antioxidants) and to give your immunity a boost.
3. Custard Apples
A lot of people don’t like custard apples because they have too many seeds. But once you hear the benefits, you won’t ever make that mistake again! Custard apples keep bowels working smoothly, help achieve healthy weight gain (making them a great snack for children), and are rich in vitamin B6.
While dried figs are available around the year, you should give the fresh ones a try if they are available at your local fruit-seller. Figs are great for sexual health and well-being (especially for men), and are packed with essential vitamins and minerals. The calcium content makes them great for our bones. Finally, the high fibre content helps to lose weight and cure constipation.
For those of you who don’t like oranges, pineapples are a good substitute, considering they too are stuffed with vitamin C. They also have very strong anti-inflammatory properties, helping keep allergic rhinitis and other seasonal inflammatory diseases in check.
6. Sapota / Sapodilla / Chikoo
Vitamin A is a key ingredient in our diet that helps maintain the health of our eyes. One of the best sources of this nutrient is chikoo. This humble-looking fruit also makes a great snack for untimely hunger – giving you a great energy boost. Also, if you have any pregnant friends, encourage them to eat this food to keep dehydration away.
7. Sweet Lime
Also called mousambi, here’s a third alternative to getting your daily dose of vitamin C. Sweet limes are typically sweeter than oranges, and pack slightly more fibre. However, did you know mousambi also has anti-congestive properties? Take a bite and breathe easy!
If you are trying to get your cholesterol levels under control, star fruit is your star! This fruit prevents the formation of fat cells in the body. Yes! It is also a fruit that goes great with salads, because of its characteristic sweet-and-sour taste. What’s more, its interesting shape makes it an instant hit with children!
Papaya is the ideal fruit for winter, because it increases body heat, giving you a natural and nutritious way to tackle the cold temperature. Ladies, there’s good news for all of you – papaya can also help ease menstrual cramps! It also is great to restore the skin.
Along with the above seasonal fruits, it would be a good idea to include the following all-season fruits in your winter diet too.
1. Dates are small fruits that pack large quantities of essential minerals, particularly potassium, copper, manganese and magnesium. They also have a good amount of vitamin B6. They even pack all the important antioxidants we keep hearing about all the time – carotenoids, flavonoids, and phenolic acid. Use powder of dried dates in milk, tea or even desserts as a natural sweetener (instead of sugar). You can even eat dates as a high-energy snack.
2. Apples are high in fibre and water content, keeping the body hydrated and the tummy calm and clean! However, a fact about apples that often gets overlooked is their high vitamin C content! That’s right – apples provide close to 14% of our body’s daily vitamin C requirement. No wonder an apple a day keep the doctor away!
3. Bananas are a comfort food for a lot of people. Something about this sweet and soft fruit feels just right in your tummy! They are a great source of potassium and iron both. However, of all the fruits mentioned in this list, bananas supply the body with the highest amount of vitamin B6 in a single serving – more than 30%! Stock up to stay fit!
4. Guavas are another reason why people love winters. Guavas too have multiple health-benefits: some are well-known, like their power to cure constipation and their immunity-boosting ability. However,guavas are a great source of folic acid too – thus recommended to pregnant women. They also calm down nerves and help muscles relax, working as a stress-buster.
It is best to eat the above fruits raw and whole. You may slice, pulp, or juice them once in a while, but as far as possible avoid adding sugar when you do so. Bon appétit!