Eating fresh fruit is a natural, easy way to boost wellness during winter, says 5+ A Day.
Maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly will help to ward off sniffles and sneezes during the coldest months.
Seasonal fruit, such as mandarins, oranges and lemons, taste great as well as being good sources of vitamins and minerals to help the immune system do its job well.
Here are some quick tips on how seasonal produce can aid in boosting immunity, while adding a burst of colour to winter meals.
Two mandarins provide you with 180 per cent of your daily vitamin C requirements.
Easy recipe ideas: For a healthy workday lunch, gently toss together mandarin segments, salad greens, chopped spring onion, sliced capsicum and shredded chicken. Finish with a homemade dressing. Salsa is another great way to add a sweet, tangy flavour burst to winter meals. Peel and dice mandarin segments and mix with finely chopped red onion, a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, olive oil and chopped coriander. For extra heat, add chilli. Mix gently and serve with grilled chicken breast or with tacos.
A good source of vitamin C, this tangy fruit has many uses in the kitchen. From baking to perking up salads and marinades, the zesty taste of lemon quickly brightens up winter dishes.
Easy recipe ideas: For a fresh winter slaw, toss finely sliced fennel and chopped walnuts. As a dressing, squeeze over fresh lemon juice, red wine vinegar and olive oil. When roasting root vegetables, squeeze over the juice of one to two lemons and tuck the halves in around the vegetables. Once the vegetables are cooked, squeeze over the juice of another half a lemon and sprinkle with plenty of chopped flat-leafed parsley. Or prepare an Italian gremolata – finely grated lemon zest mixed with finely chopped parsley and garlic – and sprinkle over savoury dishes before serving.
Kiwifruit is a nutrient-rich fruit, thanks to its high-fibre content, vitamins, antioxidants and minerals. As well as being a good source of vitamin C, green kiwifruit contains an enzyme which aids digestive comfort; and gold kiwifruit helps the body to absorb iron from food.
Easy recipe ideas: At breakfast, dice or slice a kiwifruit and add it to your porridge or cereal. For a nutritious mid-morning snack, mix chunks of peeled kiwifruit with low-fat yoghurt. Or mash or blend a peeled kiwifruit into your favourite vinaigrette or salad dressing for a fruity twist.
Originally from South America, tamarillos arrived in New Zealand in the 1890s. Low in fat and calories, they are a good source of vitamin C which is essential for the growth and repair of our skin, teeth and blood vessels.
Easy recipe ideas: Peel tamarillos before using them in your meals, as the skin can make them taste bitter. Use a sharp knife to peel the tamarillos, or cover them with boiling water for about two minutes, then plunge them into ice water and pierce the skin and it will slip off. For breakfast or a quick dessert, chop some peeled tamarillos and mix them with stewed apples to add flavour and goodness to porridge or low-fat yoghurt. Winter casseroles and stews can be given a flavour boost by adding whole peeled tamarillos or slices.
Juicy, thirst-quenching oranges are a winter favourite in many households. They have many health benefits including being a great source of vitamin C. The juice, zest and fruit can be used in sweet and savoury dishes.
Easy recipe ideas: For a Moroccan-inspired lunch, combine cooked couscous with cooked shredded chicken, fresh mint, chopped pistachios, and one peeled, chopped orange. Or gently combine peeled and thinly sliced oranges to sliced red onion, feta cheese and olives for a colourful salad. Sprinkle over finely chopped fresh mint or coriander and finish with a homemade vinaigrette before serving. If you fancy a sweet, zesty beverage, mix freshly squeezed orange juice with your favourite herbal tea.