Fruits are packed with nutrients like fibre, vitamins and minerals. Some fruits like banana, apple and papaya are available throughout the year. However, other fruits like litchi, watermelon and jamuns are available only during a particular season.
In the summer we enjoy eating mangoes; during the monsoon we relish custard apples and cherries and in the winter it’s time to eat strawberries, grapes and oranges. The French enjoy longevity because they only eat seasonal produce. A fruit that is ‘in season’ has nutritional properties that overcome the imbalances that a change of weather brings along. Henry David Thoreau said
“Live each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influences of each.”
Summer is the best time to consume super-nutrients present aplenty in delicious summer fruits
Mangoes are rich in carotene, which provide nourishment to the eyes and prevent suntan. The fibre content provides the necessary roughage to the digestive system, which is overworked with dehydration and heat exhaustion.
Vitamin C, fibre and potassium enriched watermelons contain 92% water, which helps quench thirst and avoid dehydration.
Oligonol, a polyphenol found in litchi is a powerful anti-oxidant
and improves blood circulation and protects skin from harmful UV rays. Litchi also maintains electrolyte balance in the body as it contains sodium and potassium.
It is better to stick to seasonal fruits like plums, jamuns, cherries and custard apples during monsoon as this is the season when non-seasonal fruits get infested easily.
Jamoline, a phytonutrient found in jamun controls blood sugar levels in diabetics. This phytonutrient also boosts haemoglobin levels and cures constipation and indigestion.
Flavonoids present in plums improve memory and protect against age-related cognitive impairment. Plums increase iron absorption, which boosts immunity. Cherries
are a natural source of melatonin, which functions as a powerful antioxidant. It also has a soothing effect on the brain and reduces headaches and insomnia.Custard apples
are a good source of iron and copper, which aid in production of haemoglobin. They also contain significant amounts of magnesium, which acts as a muscle relaxant. Vitamin B6 content in custard apple reduces Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) symptoms and risk of heart diseases by lowering homocysteine levels.
Winter fruits contain Vitamin C, which perk up immunity and assist in collagen production that keeps the skin soft and supple.
Oranges are an excellent source of folate, which maintain normal functioning of the nervous system and production of new red blood cells (RBCs).
B-complex vitamins, calcium and iron rich dried dates combat hair problems like split ends, dull hair and damaged hair that are rampant in the winters.
Strawberries contain vitamin C
, antioxidant compounds and also significant amounts of potassium, which decrease blood pressure.
Grapes are a dietary source of resveratrol, which is beneficial to brain and heart health. They also make our immune system strong during the winters.
The antibacterial and antiviral properties of pomegranates reduce the incidences of dental plaque. They inhibit enzymes responsible for breaking down connective tissues within the body, thereby reducing the risk of osteoarthritis. Drinking pomegranate juice on a regular basis helps maintain youthful skin due to the presence of anti-oxidants that reduce wrinkles and fine lines.
Thus, seasonal fruits provide wholesome nutrition and keep illnesses in check. Therefore, we must ensure that fruits are eaten in the right season because fruits are nutritionally-richest when eaten in season. Thus, a mango eaten in winter or orange eaten in summer will be stripped of its stockpile of nutrients. And since they are fresh, they also taste more delicious.