Immunity boosters: Amazing winter fruits you must add to your diet | Health

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Eating fruits in winter is a wonderful way to hydrate yourself and consume micronutrients to give your immunity a much-needed boost. Delicious, juicy and full of antioxidants, winter fruits are much-awaited and do not taste the same in off-season. Oranges, guavas, grapefruits, apples, pomegranate are all abundant in India during this time. According to studies, a diet rich in fruit and vegetables provides protection against cardiovascular disease, several cancers and other chronic diseases. Micronutrients such as carotenoids, flavonoids, and Vitamin C, have also been shown to improve immune function. (Also read: 7 winter superfoods for people with diabetes)

“Though winter season can make you feel dull and dreary, the sight of colourful winter fruits will definitely refresh your spirit. During this season, the immunity of an individual’s body decreases and becomes more susceptible to cold and other viral infections. Adding seasonally available fruits in your diet can improve overall health and boost your immunity against diseases,” says Manpreet Kaur Paul, Executive Nutritionist, Cloudnine Group of Hospitals, Faridabad.

Here is a list of some winter fruits suggested by Manpreet Kaur Paul that you definitely shouldn’t miss out on during these winters.

1. Oranges

Oranges(Pixabay)
Oranges(Pixabay)

The benefits of including oranges in our diet are numerous, due to its high nutritional value, high levels of fibre, vitamins and water. As an excellent source of the antioxidant Vitamin C, oranges may help prevent the formation of free radicals that may cause cancer. Oranges are a reliable source of fibre and potassium, both of which are responsible for supporting heart health.

Oranges are one of the most accessible sources of flavonoid antioxidants. These antioxidants have a number of benefits for people with diabetes, including insulin resistance, increasing insulin sensitivity, combatting inflammation and oxidative stress. Orange, being a rich source of Vitamin C, assists in collagen production, which supports the skin, promotes wound healing and improves skin strength.

2. Persimmon

Persimmon (Japani Phal): This is a sweet fruit found in Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Uttarakhand and Nilgiri Hills. This orange-coloured fruit is loaded with nutrients. It contains beneficial plant compounds that have antioxidant qualities. Studies say that Persimmon can lower the risk of heart disease, lung cancer, colorectal cancer and metabolic disease.(Unsplash)
Persimmon (Japani Phal): This is a sweet fruit found in Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Uttarakhand and Nilgiri Hills. This orange-coloured fruit is loaded with nutrients. It contains beneficial plant compounds that have antioxidant qualities. Studies say that Persimmon can lower the risk of heart disease, lung cancer, colorectal cancer and metabolic disease.(Unsplash)

Persimmon is a winter fruit and it actually doesn’t become ripe till there is a drop in temperature. This fruit offers a bright orange colour, with a juicy and a smooth flesh. Persimmons can be eaten fresh, dried or cooked and are commonly used in the form of jellies, drinks, pies, curries as well as puddings.

Persimmons being a very good source of calcium and phosphorus, can help promote good growth and development of the foetus. Also, the iron content in persimmon helps eliminate the risk of anaemia during pregnancy. The pulp of persimmon fruit is high in fibre, which can not only promote digestive health but also helps in keeping the body in shape. This fruit is also a good option for pregnant women as it helps to relieve constipation and make the bowel movement soft. The high fibre content of this fruit also helps to lower the risk of diabetes and heart disease.

Due to the anti-inflammatory properties of persimmon, it helps to prevent skin inflammation and the antioxidants help slow down ageing and early wrinkles. The antioxidants also help prevent cellular damage caused by free radicals. Persimmon has potent anti-cancer qualities as well. They can reduce the growth and spread of many types of cancer. The bioactive compounds in this fruit could kill the cancer cells and help them from spreading.

3. Apple

Apple(Pixabay)
Apple(Pixabay)

Offering a wide range of varieties, apples are among the most popular fruits available in the market. They are nutritious, aromatic and delicious. The phytonutrients in this fruit may help reduce the chances of developing cancer, diabetes or hypertension. It is good for the eyesight and gives a bright glow to the skin as well. Apple fruit thrives the best at higher altitudes with a cool climate.

Because of its richness in antioxidants, Vitamin C and fibre, apple is considered as the best fruit to be taken during the gestation period. All fruits should always be washed thoroughly before consuming. Try to have apples with the skin itself as it contains Vitamin A, C and K alongside essential minerals like calcium and phosphorus. The polyphenols in apple skin increase vascular flexibility for maintaining a healthy heart

Apples have a good amount of fibre content in them which helps in making the bowel movement good. Fibre also helps to lower down the blood cholesterol levels and keeps the sugar levels in check. Apples are also known to secure the brain cells from damage. These fruits have particularly

high levels of quercetin, which blocks the free radicals. These free radicals when found in excess can damage the brain cells and other cell types

4. Pomegranate

Pomegranate(Unsplash)
Pomegranate(Unsplash)

Pomegranates, also known as anar, is sweet, red-coloured fruit with a thick skin. Though the skin of this fruit is not edible but it contains hundreds of juicy seeds inside which you can eat or sprinkle on salads, oatmeal, etc. Being a good source of fibre, pomegranate can aid weight loss, ease constipation and lower down the cholesterol levels.

Pomegranates being rich in polyphenolic compounds, are among the top-rated list of heart friendly fruits which are effective in lowering the systolic blood pressure. Pomegranates contain certain compounds that help fight off harmful fungi, bacteria and yeast particularly in the mouth and also some of the germs that can cause bad breath and tooth decay. Certain compounds present in this fruit may protect the brain health, including Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and even recovery from a brain injury. Pomegranate may help reduce the occurrence of kidney stones possibly as a result of the antioxidant properties they possess.

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