It’s late February, and if you’re like most Americans, you need some fruits and veggies. Our winter diets are chuck full of holiday treats and comfort food, but far too slim on fresh produce. Your local grocery store has plenty of options, of course, but many people don’t realize that the best produce to grab during the winter of year isn’t our typical favorites. Here are some tips on picking the healthiest, most affordable winter produce.
Turnips. Many root veggies are in season in the winter, including parsnips and turnips. Turnips are a cruciferous vegetable, known for their high concentrations of vitamins, minerals and health-promoting carotenoids.
Brussels sprouts. You can find these veggies year-round, but their peak season is fall to mid-winter, which means they’ll cost less in these colder months. They’re an especially good source of vitamin C, fiber and antioxidants, which are known to have many health benefits.
Citrus fruits. Most citrus fruits are in season in the winter, and some varieties are actually better in the winter, because this is the time when they’re at their peak ripeness. Navel oranges, mandarin oranges and grapefruit are some of the most flavorful options during winter months.
Frozen produce. You don’t need to entirely avoid produce that isn’t technically in season. Dietician Sara Haas recommends shopping for those summer favorites—berries, corn, green beans and peppers in particular—in the frozen section. They’ll be less expensive than the fresh varieties and will possibly pack in more health benefits because, she told Health.com, “they’re typically harvested at their peak and frozen immediately to retain nutrients.”
For more reading on winter produce choices, see Health.com’s The Cheapest Winter Produce to Buy Now.