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Healthy Winter Foods

Experts give advice on buying and preparing winter foods that are good for your health.

Winter Squash

"Winter squashes are in abundance now," says Magee. "Acorn and butternut squash are loaded with vitamins and nutrients, and while you can buy them year round, we think about them in the fall and winter when people are more likely to prepare dishes that include them."

A cup of baked acorn squash cubes is packed with vitamins and minerals.

"A cup is only 115 calories, and contains 9 grams of fiber, 30% of your daily value of vitamin B-1, 25% daily value of B-6, 21% daily value of folic acid, 37% daily value of vitamin C, and 31% of your daily requirement of magnesium," says Magee.

Butternut squash is just as vitamin-laden.

"A cup of baked butternut cubes has 82 calories, 5.7 grams of fiber, a whopping 179% of your daily value of vitamin A, 22% folic acid, and 52% vitamin C," says Magee.

The trick, however, is to not spoil the nutritional value of power-packed foods like winter squash.

"It's never good to douse these veggies with cubes of butter," Magee tells WebMD. "These are wonderful foods bursting with nutritional value, and we smother them with high-calorie condiments like butter and syrup."

Instead of smothering, try just a teaspoon of low-fat margarine in the cavity of the squash while you bake it, or just a sprinkle of brown sugar -- without overwhelming its natural flavor and taste. Even healthier, try a little applesauce instead of syrup.

Citrus Fruits

"Winter is the season for fresh citrus, and oranges are loaded with vitamin C," says Susan Mitchell, a registered dietitian in Winter Park, Fla., and author of Fat is Not Your Fate.

One orange alone offers up more than 100% of your daily requirement of power-packed vitamin C, as well as other disease fighting nutrients.

"Plus, oranges have folate, a B vitamin that may help to keep your heart healthy, as well as fiber and potassium," says Mitchell.

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