I previously posted all about how wonderful summer fruits and veggies are. They are amazing because you get some great hydrating produce in the summer. I love the abundance of various fruits – berries, peaches, watermelon, plums, apricots and they are at great prices too, so it doesn’t break the budget buying the stuff I love. Now we are moving into fall and the variety of produce changes. There are some great, nutritious options starting to pop up in the grocery stores and at farmer’s markets. Here are my best picks:
- Apples – This fruit can be sweet, tangy, crunchy and they are packed with nutrients and antioxidants, which can help prevent chronic illness and slow aging. There are numerous varieties of apples; so try them all and pick your favorites for snacking and baking. Also, with apples, opt for organic since apples are on the “dirty dozen” list.
- Cranberries – Cranberries are freshest October through November. Only a small percent of cranberries make it to the fresh produce section, whereas the majority are dried, canned, or made into juice. Cranberries are shown to help prevent urinary tract infections, oral diseases, and slow the growth of cancer.
- Pears – These fiber rich fruits offer a few varieties, but Bosc and Bartlett are the most common in the U.S.The high soluble fiber in pears helps lower LDL “bad”cholesterol. Like apples, you can snack on the fruit whole or incorporate into recipes. Pears are also on the “dirty dozen” list, so go for organic here too.
- Pumpkins – These guys are technically a squash, but since they are so prevalent by themselves during the fall, I thought they deserve a special mention. Pumpkin is one of the best sources of alpha- and beta-carotene, which can be converted into retinol to promote healthy vision and cell growth. Pumpkin seeds are also a good source of alpha-linolenic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid that may help those with heart disease, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol. Easy to toast and add to salads and veggies for an added flavorful crunch.
- Squash – Squash is clearly abundant in the fall as often depicted in holiday pictures from Halloween to Thanksgiving and Christmas. The varieties are plenty including acorn, butternut, delicata, and my favorite, spaghetti squash, which can be an easy substitute in a pasta dish.
- Sweet Potatoes – The fall is the peak season for these orange beauties. Sweet potatoes are rich in beta-carotene, a nutrient that helps prevent vitamin A deficiencies, promote healthy eyesight, and generate retinol production. Sweet potatoes are also a good source of vitamin C, and when eaten with the skin on, a medium potato has about four grams of fiber.
Although nowadays produce can be grown year-round somewhere around the world, the best produce is often the local, seasonal bounty. There are actually a lot of different options every season, so if you open yourself up to trying new things and enjoying the abundance of options, your body will thank you for it. Variety in what your eat offers your body all the nutrients naturally. It can be fun to try new things and it may end up being a new eating habit you really enjoy. Enjoy the local, fall produce now and reap all the healthy benefits you can! #newhabits #healthy habits
We can’t forget about how much Coco loves fall; with the cooler weather she gets to spend more time outside. She loves Halloween. Can’t you tell how much she likes to dress up? Oh, the joy of wearing a costume. Just a squirrel trying to get a nut…