Enjoying healthy foods during the cold winter months may be easier than you can image. Cool weather crops provide great taste and are packed with an array of natural health benefits for specific health benefits. The best places to find winter fruits and vegetables are at year-round farmers markets and the produce department of your local grocery store.

Cold Weather Vegetables

Sweet Potato
The tasty sweet potato is an excellent source of vitamin A. Just one cup delivers 377 percent of your daily recommended value for Vitamin A. It also is high in fiber (8 grams per cup) and potassium (133 grams per cup) and adds variety as a side dish or ingredient for the main course. However, due to the high sugar content, a 1 cup serving does translate into 114 calories.
Sweet potato nutrition information per cup: fiber 8 g, potassium 133 mg, sugar 6 g

Did you know that beets are the second largest source of sugar, after sugar cane? This midsize vegetable has zero saturated fat and trans fat and contain folic acid. Folic acid is vital for the production and maintenance of new cells. Thus, beet consumption would be an important dietary consideration for pregnant women or those undergoing physical healing.
Beet nutrition information per cup: calories 59, fiber 3.8 g, potassium 442 mg, sugar 9 g

Brussels Sprout
This amazing green bud, that looks like a mini cabbage are a good source of protein, iron and potassium. Just ½ -cup serving of these little orbs delivers about 50 percent of the daily recommended value of vitamin C. This well-known vitamin helps to boost your immune system and helps to maintain health skin, gums and teeth.  In addition, it is also a good source of folic acid, a B Vitamin, that may assist with lowering the risk of heart disease and stroke.
Brussels Sprout nutrition information per cup: calories 38, fiber 3.3 g, potassium 342 mg, sugar 1.9 g

This leafy vegetable offers a number of beneficial health benefits including helping to trim your waistline and it is a rich source of vitamin C and vitamin K. Cabbage is very low in cholesterol and saturated fat. In addition, the presence of the vitamin C in this leafy cabbage helps the body resist infectious agents and fight free radicals. Free radicals are one of the fundamental causes of premature aging. Vitamin K helps to maintain bone health for an enjoyable lifestyle.
Select cabbage nutrition information per cup: calories 6, fiber .6 g, potassium 39 mg, sugar .3 g

Cold Weather Fruits

Grapefruit is an excellent appetite suppressant. It offers the combined benefit of being a good source of fiber per serving and it is said the aroma of this fruit helps to reduce the hunger feeling. This is why many weight loss programs suggest the consumption of grapefruit. Grapefruit also helps to improve digestive juices to help keep your excretory system regulated. It also helps to combat the feeling of fatigue since it also contains Nootkatone. This naturally occurring compound helps to give your body a boost in energy.
Select grapefruit nutrition information per 1 fruit (3 3/4” dia): calories 52, fiber 2 g, potassium 166 mg, sugar 8 g

The health benefits of Kiwis help promotes the absorption of iron, skin health and helps supports health sleep patterns. The presence of phytochemicals including lutein helps with iron levels in the body. IN regards to skin care, kiwis contain a generous amount Vitamin E that helps in reducing fine lines and the overall appearance of wrinkles. This fruit is also a source of sleep assisting serotonin.
Select KIWIS nutrition information per 1 fruit (2” dia): calories 42, fiber 2.1 g, potassium 215 mg, sugar 2 g

Did you know historical records track the orange to originating over 4,500 years ago somewhere in Southeast Asia? No matter where it came from this tasty fruit and the juice produced from it offers some amazing health benefits including being an excellent source of Vitamin C and A. A single serving of orange juice delivers over 200% of the daily recommended value. Vitamin C is a powerful agent to fight harmful free-radicals. The presence of Vitamin A helps the body with detoxifying benefits, too.
Select orange nutrition information 1 fruit (2 3/8” dia): calories 45, fiber 2.3 g, potassium 174 mg, sugar 9 g

Reference: USDA Percent daily values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

 About the author: Andy LaPointe is a Managing Partner with Traverse Bay Farms. His company is the #1 award winning company in Northern Michigan and is the winner of 24 national food awards as some of the largest and most prestige foods competitions in America.  They offer a complete line of award winning fruit and gourmet salsas, cherry juice concentrate, dried cherries and more. They have retail stores in Bellaire and Elk Rapids. http://www.traversebayfarms.com/ 1-877-746-7477