As the seasons change and summer turns to winter, so do the fruits that are predominantly available. Winter brings with it a chill in the air and the spirit of Joy, happiness, laughter and celebration. Along with this, it also brings in a whole bunch of fresh fruits and vegetables that are widely available in the local markets.
Seasonal fruits have their own properties like watermelon are widely available during the summer and filled with high water content; it helps us to keep our body hydrated and cool in the warmer summer months. During winter, there is a chill in the air, which brings with challenges like colds, coughs, and the general flu-like symptoms; in order to combat this and protect ourselves, fresh fruits and vegetables (especially the vitamin C rich variety), will benefit us a lot. Vitamin C fruits like orange, sweet-lime (Mousambi), guava, kiwi, etc. help to boost the immunity and helps to fight against different viruses, bacteria and other micro-organisms.
One of the best and easiest ways to safeguard ourselves is choosing locally and seasonally available fruits. Listed below are the fruits that are best for women to have in winters if they are pregnant, explains Shivani A. Bavalekar, Senior Executive Nutritionist, Cloudnine Group of Hospitals, Pune (Kalyani Nagar)
Here are some winter fruits and their benefits:
These are beautiful succulent tasty, and delicious fruits, which are well known for its nutritional benefits. Oranges are very rich in vitamin C, hence its consumption on a regular basis will help in boosting our immune system. It prevents skin damage and also it helps in iron absorption which is one of the most important nutrients in pregnancy. It contains Folate/folic acid which helps in preventing neural tube birth defects. Oranges can be consumed by adding it to a salad, fresh juice (either alone, or along with other fruits.
This fruit is full of crystal shaped beads/seeds. Pomegranates are rich in iron which helps to prevent iron-deficiency. During Pregnancy it is very helpful in increasing hemoglobin levels. It is rich in fiber, it keeps the digestive system healthy and prevent from constipation. The best way to consume it is in the form of pomegranate-beetroot juice, you can also add pomegranate to Poha as it will increase the nutritional value and help in iron absorption. Pomegranate health benefits are in plenty.
3# Custard Apple
It is also known as ‘Sitaphal’ a fruit that is found only in winter and is loaded with essential vitamins like vitamin A, and C. During pregnancy, Vitamin A helps in building eye sight of the growing baby and mother, and vitamin C will help in boosting the immune system of both mother and baby. The best form to have Sitaphal is eating it as a whole fruit or along with the milk in the form of Sitaphal rabadi/Kheer which will help to boost your calcium level.
4# Apple: Apples, whether red or green, are a very popular fruit. It is one of the delicious fruits loaded with nutrients like vitamin C, A, potassium and pectin. Pectin is a pre-biotic which helps feed the good gut bacteria. They help in aiding in digestion as they are rich in insoluble fiber. It helps to reduce heartburn also. You can consume apple in form of apple Kheer, apple pie, apple juice or you can have apple cider vinegar in water to avoid heartburn.
This is sour and sweet fruit, filled with good amounts of folate, and vitamin C. It helps to keep the skin healthy as the nutrients available in it are vital for the body. Consuming it in pregnancy will help to improve the cognitive development in babies. It can be had as kiwi lemonade, smoothie or infused kiwi and mint in water.
6# Indian gooseberry (Amla)
It is also known as Amla, it is one of the richest sources of vitamin C, and also have other vitamins and minerals like E, A, iron, calcium and fibre. In pregnancy it helps to reduce morning sickness, it maintains blood hemoglobin levels, and it may reduce the risk of developing gestational diabetes. Amla can be added to mint chutney or to a glass of vegetable juice to fortify it further with vitamin C, also you can dry the amla and make Amla candy. It can also consume as dessert by adding honey to the Amla. Indian gooseberry or amla is beneficial for hair too.
7# Berries (strawberries, mulberries etc.)
Berries are Tiny, juicy, delicious fruit available in different colour with lot of benefits. They are high in vitamin C, antioxidants, fiber, potassium and folate. In pregnancy it could help in maintaining amniotic fluid as it has good amount of water content. Also as it is rich in antioxidant protect against the cell damage that free radicals cause. It can be consumed in the form of berry smoothie, can be added in yoghurt, or oatmeal, etc.
“Fruits are something which can be consumed in any form, but for maximum benefit, it is advised to have whole fruit as it is.
With inputs from Shivani A. Bavalekar, Senior Executive Nutritionist, Cloudnine Group of Hospitals, Pune (Kalyani Nagar)
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