Top 3 fruits of the season and their health benefits

When it comes to eating healthy, look no further than the ample availability of locally sourced fruits, probably being sold right now, down the lane from your residence. Natural powerhouses of all the nutrients which our bodies need, fruits come in bouts, seasonally. Let’s look at the fruits which are seasonally available from January through March, and the wonderful benefits they provide, pretty much in a hassle-free manner.

Strawberries
The tiny fruit resembling a heart is an incredible fruit — it is rich in vitamin c, fiber, antioxidants, manganese and potassium.  In fact, it is among the top 20 fruits rich in antioxidants.This sweet member of the rose family is a lovely aphrodisiac, is that why it is the most popular berry in the world? We wonder. It is also sodium-free, fat-free but it contains good cholesterol. All of its properties make it a healthy food option for it lowers blood pressure, and can even increase our body’s protection against cancer. Fun fact: A single serving of 8 strawberries provide more vitamin C than an orange. How to buy: Pick medium-sized, firm and plump berries, deep red in color; once reaped, they don’t ripen further.

Oranges
Oranges are known for providing vitamin C. The peel and the juice are used to make medicine. The fruit of orange is used to prevent the formation of kidney stones. Oranges are also rich in potassium and citrate. Oranges are a go-to for purposes of controlling high cholesterol and sugar levels, and high blood pressure. They have also been known to control heart attacks and reduce the effects of asthma. Commonly, they are used to prevent skin damage. They generally improve the immune system and eye health, and are known to prevent constipation as their alkaline content aids digestion. Oranges are also good for lowering the risk of lung cancer. Fun fact: The fruit arrived before the ‘color orange’ was identified. How to buy: Pick thin-skinned, firm oranges, evenly colored and heavy for its size. If the color is not rich, that does not mean it is of bad quality.

Pineapples
Pineapples are generally good for growth and development. They are rich with a variety of vitamins and minerals — one cup of pineapple can supplement 76% manganese, 9% vitamin B6, 9% copper, 3% iron, 7% folate, 9% thiamine and 131% vitamin c of our daily recommended dietary intake. Being rich in antioxidants (flavonoids and phenolic acids), pineapples reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers. Since many of the antioxidants are bound, their good effects tend to last longer. Pineapples contain bromelain which is a group of digestive enzymes which break down proteins, aiding digestion — this is especially beneficial for those who suffer from pancreatic insufficiency. Pineapples have strong anti-inflammatory properties which boost the immune system, and are advised to those who are recovering from surgeries, or are suffering from arthritis. Fun fact: Pineapple was named after its resemblance to a pinecone. How to buy: Look for the distinctive smell of pineapples from the bottom of the fruit. When squeezed gently, the fruit should have a small amount of “give”.

-Kanchan
Pic Credit: Pixabay