Autumn is here and so are juicy apples, bright squash and sweet potatoes.
When you buy foods that are in-season, they’re incredibly healthier, as they’re higher in quality, have a richer flavor, and you don’t bust your wallet.
Here are 10 incredibly nutritious fall vegetables and fruits to feast on, among many others:
Apples are a fall favourite. They are high in soluble fiber (4g of dietary fiber per serving) and vitamin C and are packed with antioxidants; which may help prevent chronic illness and slow aging. The skin especially, contains healthy flavonoids; so if you don’t already, make sure to eat the skin as well.
Pears are high in soluble fiber, which helps lower LDL cholesterol. Like apples, they have similar fiber content and are a good source of vitamin C and copper. Pears also contain a complex carbohydrate called pectin, which acts as a detoxifier, helps with digestion, lowering cholesterol, and is known to regulate the body’s absorption of sugar.
3. Sweet Potatoes and Potatoes
Sweet potatoes: Sweet and rich in flavour, sweet potatoes are loaded with vitamin E, potassium, iron and copper. They’re also rich in beta-carotene, which can prevent vitamin A deficiencies and promote healthy eyesight. Sweet potatoes are also a good source of vitamin C.
Potatoes- Rich in carbohydrates, potatoes boast healthy doses of vitamin C, potassium and some fiber, especially when eaten with the skin on.
Another fall favourite, squash is full of dietary fiber that keeps you fuller for longer periods of time. It's also low in fat and packed with carotenoids, which helps prevent heart disease, and contains nearly half of your daily dose of vitamin C per one-cup serving. Low in fat, one cup of cooked winter squash is high in vitamin A, as well as a good source of vitamins B6 and K, potassium and folate.
5. Turnips, Parsnips
Turnips - These root vegetables may help reduce the risk of prostate and lung cancers. Moreso, turnip greens are a source of calcium. Parsnips - These nutty flavoured roots are rich in potassium and are a good source of fiber.
Beets offer a wide variety of vitamins and minerals including potassium, magnesium, fiber, phosphorus, iron, vitamins A, B, and C, beta-carotene, and folic acid. According toresearchfrom the University of Exeter, naturally-occurring nitrates in beets can widen blood vessels, reduce the amount of oxygen your muscles need to perform, hence, lowering your blood pressure, and increasing stamina.
Cauliflower is high in fiber and water. Both are important for preventing constipation, maintaining a healthy digestive tract, and lowering the risk of colon cancer. It also contains compounds that may help to prevent cancer and has phytonutrients that may lower cholesterol. Cauliflower also has Vitamin K, which can improve bone health, improving calcium absorption, and preventing excretion of calcium in the urine.
Like most of its Brassica family foods, cabbage is also packed with nutrition. Rich in vitamin C, A and fiber, it also supplies isothiocyanates—chemicals that amp up the body’s natural detoxification systems. Studies suggest that cabbage may help fight breast, lung, colon and other types of cancer.
Not just a halloween necessity, pumpkins are one of the best sources of alpha- and beta-carotene, which promotes healthy vision and cell growth. Pumpkin seeds are also a good source of omega-3 fatty acid that may help those with heart disease, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol. They are also rich in potassium and are a good source of vitamin B.
Pomegranate has potent anti-inflammatory properties, which are largely mediated by the antioxidant properties of the punicalagins. A UCLA studyshowed pomegranate juice has higher antioxidant levels than red wine. This red, juicy fruit is also a good source of vitamin C and folate. Studies have shown that it can reduce inflammatory activity in the digestive tract, as well as in breast cancer and colon cancer cells.
Have a healthy, nutritious and happy Fall!