Seasonal fruits ward off seasonal flu

Temperatures across the state dropped by 10 degrees over the last one week, increasing the chances of seasonal flu. The best way to boost your immunity is by eating seasonal produce. With an easy access to imported freights, we can now find winter fruits throughout the year. Several studies have, however, confirmed that eating fruits that are in season is more beneficial than indulging in imported fruits during off-season. Seasonal fruits are fresh, rich in taste, cost effective, available in plenty and packed with nutrients.

“Seasonal fruits never go out of demand. When they are in such abundance in India, why should somebody prefer imported ones?” asks Seetaram Reddy, Selection Grade secretary, Gaddiannaram Fruit Market. While India stands second in world fruit production after China, the major fruit-producing states are Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra. The chief seasonal fruits available this winter are apples, oranges, pomegranates,and to a small extent, strawberries. “These winter fruits are great sources of Vitamin C and help you ward off common cold and flu apart from keeping skin smooth and heal cuts and wounds. They help in prevention of micronutrient malnutrition and are beneficial even in case of cardiovascular diseases, cataract, diabetes and cancer. Their high mineral and fibre contents also aid in curing constipation during winter,” says M. Sowmya, nutritionist at National Institute of Nutrition (NIN). She advocates consuming fresh, locally available produce.

Oranges that come to the city from Nagpur, are cultivated in the Vidharbha region of Maharashtra. Local markets also offer oranges grown in sub tropical regions of AP. Oranges, being excellent sources of vitamin C, keep skin problems, common cold and flu at bay. These round and juicy citrus fruits are vital for hale and hearty bones and teeth. They also help in healthy functioning of mind and heart.

Pomegranates are supplied to the city from parts of Andhra and Maharashtra, in particular Solapur. Also called as ‘miracle fruit', they help fight cardiovascular diseases and anaemia. Apart from purification of blood, it is found to be beneficial in treatment of cough, piles, diarrhoea and constipation. It acts as an effective agent against certain cancers. It also prevents ageing of the skin.

Grapefruits also come to the city from subtropical regions of Maharashtra. They serve as blood purifiers and cure diseases related to skin, heart and obesity. These tangy tarts are also suggested to patients of hypertension. However, people under medication should consult their physician prior to its intake as they may have a negative reaction against few drugs.