Fresh Thoughts: Fruit Ninja- nutrition style

By Sara Scheler

January 15, 2014

Fruit can be hard to find in the winter but there are plenty of tasty options that contain beneficial nutrients. Here are a few of my favorites:

Pomegranates are a delicious, winter fruit that provides numerous health benefits. They contain antioxidants, which protect cells from dangerous oxidation. Antioxidants are beneficial to your heart because they prevent arteries from clogging with cholesterol. Pomegranates also contain folate, potassium and vitamin K. Pomegranates are a little difficult to eat—you have to cut them in half, pick out the seeds and float them in a bowl of water to strain off the bitter, white shell—but they are well worth the effort. Try munching some pomegranate seeds as a snack or sprinkle them on top of a salad. If you don’t feel like going through all the work, try pomegranate juice, which can be purchased at any major grocery store.

Grapefruit is an under-appreciated fruit. It contains a load of vitamin C, a bunch of vitamin A, fiber and potassium. British scientists found links between citrus fruit consumption and decreased risk of stroke. Grapefruits are low in calories and a great breakfast or snack item. Try pink grapefruit, which tends to be sweeter than white.

Coconut can be eaten in many forms. Coconut is high in calories but contains a variety of beneficial minerals, such as iron, magnesium, manganese and potassium. Iron helps transport oxygen in our cells; magnesium keeps our nerves, bones and teeth healthy; manganese helps build bones; potassium maintains our body fluids and causes our muscles and nerves to work. Try coconut oil as a substitute for butter or oil in baked and sautéed items, or add coconut milk to smoothies, puddings and sauces (or just drink it plain.)

Tomatoes (yes, they’re a fruit!) can be a great addition to your diet. They are high in vitamins C, A,K and also contain potassium and manganese. The red color of tomatoes comes from lycopene, a substance that has been shown to protect our cells from damage. Though good tomatoes are hard to find in the winter, tomato-based sauces are a great substitute.

I hope you will play along and add some of these fabulous fruits into your diet.