Health Benefits of Fall Fruits and Vegetables
The scents and flavors of fall are greatly anticipated as days grow shorter and the air becomes crisper. Besides smelling and tasting delicious, the autumn harvest brings a variety of nutrient dense foods that have numerous health benefits. Here are some of the health benefits of our favorite fall fruits and vegetables.
The old saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” may be right! They are full of antioxidants and a good source of vitamin C. Apples have also been shown to help stabilize blood sugar, reduce cholesterol, lower cancer risks, decrease the risk of asthma, and play a role in preventing the onset of age-related diseases such as macular degeneration and neurodegenerative problems such as Alzheimer’s disease.
Beets have a sweet, earthy flavor favored by many. Eating these nutrient dense root vegetables can help lower blood pressure, boost your stamina, fight inflammation, reduce risk of cancer, and detox the blood and liver. They are high in vitamin C, fiber, potassium, manganese, and vitamin B folate.
This popular spice can used on many favorite fall fruits and vegetables. In addition to providing high amounts of calcium and fiber, one teaspoon of cinnamon provides 22% of the daily recommended value of manganese which has been linked to the prevention of diabetes, arthritis, and epilepsy. Cinnamon also helps boost brain activity to improve memory, visual recognition, and motor speeds.
Cranberries are one of the healthiest fall fruits and vegetables. They are most known for their effectiveness in treating urinary tract infections but they are also high in antioxidants and phytonutrients that protect against stroke and cardiovascular disease. They also protect against breast cancer.
Pumpkins are a nutrient dense, low calorie option that is packed with fiber, vitamins A, C, E, B6, riboflavin, potassium, copper, manganese, thiamin, niacin, folate, iron, magnesium, and phosphorus. These and other nutrients help destroy free radicals in the body.
And, don’t forget the seeds! Pumpkin Seeds are often overlooked in favor of sunflower seeds, but don’t dismiss them so quickly. They are an excellent source of minerals and vitamins, contain 30 grams of protein, 110% of the daily value of iron and NO cholesterol. Pumpkin seeds are heart healthy, provide immune support, improve prostate, heart, and liver health, improve sleep, and are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids.
One of the most classic fall fruits and vegetables are a holiday favorite, but should be consumed year-round because of their clinically proven antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and disease-fighting components. Sweet potatoes are rich in the antioxidant beta-carotene which helps ward off free radicals that attack the body speeding up aging and increasing vulnerability to chronic diseases. They are beneficial in improving the health of your skin by reducing acne-causing bacteria, and contribute to optimal vision.