As influenza cases rise, it’s important to do what you can to build and protect your immunity. Eating fresh produce rich in vitamins and antioxidants from your local fruit and veg shop gives your body better protection against viruses.

Our pick of the week is Strawberries from the Sunshine Coast towns of Caboolture, Elimbah and Wamuran. The Queensland season is just beginning, so you can expect to find this delicious fruit in great supply. When buying Strawberries, look out for full coloured punnets, which have a more intense flavour.

If you’re a fan of exotic citrus fruits, don’t miss out on Cumquats from Gayndah. Nearly at the end of their season, they can be eaten fresh with the peel on or added to salads. On the other hand, Tangelos from Mundubbera are just beginning their season. A cross between a Mandarin and Grapefruit, this fruit is high in vitamin C and a good source of dietary fibre. Look for Tangelos that are firm skinned and heavy for their size on your next grocery shop.

Red Delicious Apples from Stanthorpe are in great supply. Having one a day may in fact keep the doctor away, as Apples have many health benefits. They’re proven to improve neurological health, lower levels of bad cholesterol and reduce the risk of diabetes. For a delicious morning tea treat, give these Apple Muffins a go!

You’ll find a great range of medium and large sized Pineapples from Harvey Bay in stock this week. They’re a great immunity booster because of their high vitamin levels. Plus, Pineapples are rich in bromelain to help prevent arthritis and ease inflammation. If you’re after a recipe that packs a serious health punch, try our Pineapple Green Smoothie.

Raspberries out of Crows Nest are in good supply at your local fruit and veg shop. When selecting yours, look for Raspberries that are firm, brightly coloured and plump. They perish quickly, so they’re best purchased a day or two before consuming. Rhubarb from Toowoomba is also a great choice. Look out for Rhubarbs with firm and crisp stalks, and shiny skin. If you need a weeknight pick-me-up, our recipe for Raspberry and Rhubarb Fool is for you!

Brisbane-grown Lebanese Eggplant is in good supply right now. A small and slender variety of Eggplant, they’re low in kilojoules and a great source of dietary fibre. As the name suggests, this variety of Eggplant is commonly used in Mediterranean cuisine and tastes great fried or roasted.

Ginger from the Sunshine Coast is in great supply year-round. At this time of year, it’s a great ingredient to have in your kitchen to use in herbal remedies for colds. Its medicinal properties are known to ease a sore throat and reduce inflammation. Learn more about the benefits of Ginger.

Taro out of Tully is another vegetable you’ll find in moderate supply throughout the year. A staple in the South Pacific, it’s an excellent source of vitamins A, C and complex carbohydrates. It can be prepared in the same way as potato – roasted, baked, boiled or fried.

Tasmanian-grown Broccoli is substituting locally grown supply of this versatile vegie due to the recent rain. It has the shortest life of any vegetable, so make sure to keep it refrigerated at 4 °C or below. Other produce sourced inter-state this week includes Victoria-grown Carrots, Artichoke and Celery.

Head to your local fruit and veg shop for fresh produce to suit your lifestyle and budget. Plus, you’ll be supporting businesses in your community – it’s A better choice!

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