The holiday season is right around the corner! December tends to be a month of food related celebrations with co-workers, family and friends. Celebrations that revolve around food traditions such as, baking family favorite cookies, candies and breads can also mean a lack of nutritious food consumed. While celebrating the holidays through traditional baking, it is also important to keep nutritious foods as part of our diet this time of year. December tends to be a chilly and windy month, so a great way to add some warmth into your day is to consume tropical fruits. December celebrates National Tropical Fruits Month, which is a great way to get our minds off of the brutal Winters in the Midwest!
One of the more abundant tropical fruits you see in grocery stores are pomegranates. The best way to pick out the perfect pomegranate is to look at the color. The darker the color is on the outside, the sweeter the seeds will be on the inside. You can eat these fruits raw by cutting them in half, tapping the shell with a wooden spoon to get all of the seeds out. An approximate serving size is about a half cup of the raw seeds. The seeds provide fiber, which promote a healthy digestive system. Pomegranates also have many antioxidants and Vitamin C. This will help with staying healthy, especially with the cold weather and flu season in full gear. Pomegranates are a great source of sugar because it is a complex carbohydrates, slowly releasing the sugar into the bloodstream. You can add some of these to your winter salad to add some extra texture and sweetness. Pomegranates may provide a lot of nutritional value, yet there are still many more options to add tropical fruit into your diet!
There are many other tropical fruits that grow in abundance in warm climates, including acai, mango, passion fruit, papaya, kiwi and guava. Many of these grow in Latin America and the Caribbean, but you can still find them in your local grocery store because they are commonly
exported to America. All of these fruits contain fiber and Vitamin C, which help keep immunity in the body. One of my favorites are the acai berries. They are mostly known for their rich purple color because they contain anthocyanins. They are considered a superfood due to their abundance of antioxidants and fatty acids. These fatty acids promote heart health, increased energy, and a high functioning nervous system. Many grocery stores have them blended and in the frozen section, so they are ready to add to your favorite smoothie blend. You can even use these berries and some of the other tropical fruits for your next holiday dish by chopping up your favorites for a fruit salad! Be sure to try something new the next time you go to the grocery store and maybe you will discover your new favorite nutritious fruit.