SUPERMARKETS and delicatessens have reported a sharp rise in thefts of legs of ham in the run-up to the Christmas period. The festive season in Spain does not normally involve a set type of meal in the same way as Anglo...
What fruits and vegetables are in season in December?
By thinkSPAIN Team Mon, Dec 2, 2019
It has been shown that eating fruits and vegetables when they are in season is better all round - for our health, our pockets and for the environment. One of the biggest advantages of eating produce which is in season locally is that production is much more ecological: transport costs are lower, local businesses and the local workforce benefit, boosting the local economy, and because the produce is at its optimum ripeness, it is tastier too.
In December, the first month of the winter season, there are not a lot of fruits in season, but the choice of vegetables is plentiful.
Avocados, kakis (persimmon), kiwis and grapefruits are some of the fruits that are at their best this month.
Avocados are full of heart-healthy, unsaturated fat and numerous beneficial nutrients like vitamins E, C and A and minerals like calcium and potassium. Kakis are rich and sweet and full of beta-carotene and vitamin C, two powerful natural antioxidants that prevent premature ageing. Kiwis are well known for their natural laxative properties and are also rich in vitamin C and omega 3, one of the most beneficial oils for our bodies.Like other citric fruits, grapefruits are rich in vitamin C, but also contain other beneficial nutrients like folic acid and vitamin A.
Lemons are also in abundance at this time of year and are one of the most useful fruits thanks to the large number of phytochemical compounds they contain. They can be used as an antioxidant, an astringent, an antacid... Mandarins are also widely available in December. Despite being part of the citrus family, they contain less vitamin C than other citric fruits, but compensate by having not insignificant levels of calcium, folic acid, betacarotene and a sweet flavour that kids love.
On the vegetable front, there are plenty to choose from and many supermarkets now actively promote locally-sourced produce.
Chard is a relatively flavourless vegetable, but one which has incredible nutritonal value, being rich in folic acid and vitamins C, A, E and B. By stark contrast, strong-flavoured garlic not only adds a delicious touch to many dishes, it also has valuable infection-fighting properties. Artichokes are rich in fibre, minerals and B vitamins and have purefying properties which are particularly beneficial to the liver. Celery is an excellent diuretic and can also help eliminate fat. Sweet potatoes have the same number of calories as regular potatoes, but are infinitely richer in nutrients, especially vitamins A (which is good for the skin), C, B6, B5, B1 and B2.
Broccoli has many benefits, from protecting the digestive tract to preventing certain bacterial infections. It is a good source of B vitamins, minerals, and vitamins A and C, which makes it an excellent antioxidant. Brussels sprouts are the classic winter vegetable, rich in vitamin C, fibre, iron, calcium and iodine, which keeps the thyroid gland functioning properly. Cauliflower is a magnificent source of vitamin C and fibre, and can also help with constipation. Spinach has one of the highest levels of folic acid of all vegetables, indispensable during pregnancy. It also contains high levels of iron, and vitamins A & C. Leeks are purifying, rich in vitamins, potassium and folates, and help strengthen the immune system.
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