Who doesn’t like Autumn? This is the season that offers a bounty for the senses. A walk through the woods is a feast for the eyes, with foliage in bold shades of red, yellow, brown, and orange. The aromas of autumn are equally delicious, from the earthy smells of newly fallen leaves to hints of smoke from fireplaces crackling with the season’s first flames. But perhaps no sense is spoiled more richly than the sense of taste, as the autumn harvest brings a variety of luscious and nutritious offerings.
Consider the benefits of some of the season’s most abundant fruits and vegetables.
Apples: A great source of fiber, phytochemicals, and vitamin C, apples offer flavonoids that provide antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. They may also help prevent against constipation and certain chronic diseases. Eating a fresh, whole apple offers the most nutrients, as the skin contains much of the fiber and flavonoids.
Winter Squash: With a wide variety of shapes, colors, textures, and flavors, nearly everyone can find a winter squash to satisfy their taste buds. A common ingredient in cool-weather soups, stews, and casseroles – or even baked and scooped straight out of the shell — winter squash is a great source of carotenoids, protein, vitamins C and B6, fiber, magnesium, and potassium. Spaghetti squash even makes a nutritious, low-calorie substitute for the traditional pasta of the same name.
Brussel Sprouts: These mini-me cabbages have scored high on the “hip” meter in recent years. They can be found on many restaurant menus this time of year, usually dressed up with not-so-healthy additions such as bacon, blue cheese, and sugary glazes. However, brussel sprouts are delicious on their own, simply roasted crisp with a little olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. These cruciferous vegetables are rich in vitamins C and K, folate, carotenoids, and fiber.
Kale: Another cruciferous family member, kale comes in many shapes and colors, from bright green to purple. It’s often used in soups, stews, and salads. Sprinkled with a touch of salt and baked in the oven, it can be transformed into a crispy chip alternative. Kale is a great source of vitamins K, C, A, and B6, carotenoids, folate, fiber, and manganese.
This is just a small sampling of the colorful, nutritious offerings you’ll find at your local farmers’ market this time of year.
If you need help coming up with creative ways to prepare your fall feast, be sure to connect with one of SimplaFYI’s vetted Health|Nutrition Coaches.
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Source for all nutrition information: Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Written by: Carol Swanson, Health & Wellbeing writer at firstname.lastname@example.org