Eating fresh produce in winter is easy

Jan. 2, 2012 at 9:23 PM

SANTA MONICA, Calif., Jan. 2 (UPI) -- Part of the "eating local" movement is to eat produce in season, and in winter some fresh fruit and vegetables are nutritional stars, a U.S. food expert says.

Phil Lempert, a food industry analyst, trend watcher and creator of the Web site supermarketguru.com, said some vitamin C-rich winter fruit and vegetables include blood oranges, bok choy, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, celery root (celeriac), kale, passion fruit, persimmons, rutabagas, sweet potatoes, turnips and winter squash.

Vitamin C-rich helps protect cells from free radical damage, help with vitamin E regeneration, improve iron absorption and some believe vitamin C may shorten the duration or help prevent colds, Lempert said.

These same winter fruit and vegetables also provide vitamin A, which helps preserve and improve eyesight as well as help fight viral infections. Some of the best foods for vitamin A are bok choy, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, collard greens, kale, passion fruit, rutabagas, sweet potatoes and winter squash.

"Try roasting root vegetables like, parsnips, sweet potatoes, beets, turnips, celeriac and rutabaga with a sprinkle of salt, pepper and a drizzle of olive oil," Lempert said in a statement. "Forty-five minutes later you will have a hearty, delicious and nutritious side dish or even main course."

Fruit available in the winter include apples, blood oranges, Clementines, grapefruit, passion fruit, pears, persimmons and red currants, Lempert added.

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