The bounty of summer produce may be coming to an end, but the fall season has a lot to offer in the way of healthful fruits and vegetables. Here are five of our favorites:
Apples: In addition to beneficial vitamins and antioxidants, apples are chock full of soluble fiber—which is not only important for digestive health and regularity but also promotes heart health and healthy cholesterol levels. Because of their high fiber content and fewer digestible sugars, Granny Smith apples are a great choice.
Pumpkin: This fall staple is loaded with nutrients like vitamin A for healthy vision (a cup of cooked pumpkin contains more than 200% of your RDA), vitamin C to support immune health, the antioxidant beta-carotene, potassium, iron and of course plenty of fiber. And did we mention the seeds? In addition to magnesium and zinc, pumpkin seeds contain the amino acid tryptophan, which is linked to serotonin production and a positive mood.
Arugula: Dark leafy green are important for healthy detox, gut health and overall wellness—and arugula stands out in particular. Its peppery leaves are high in fiber, antioxidants and health-promoting plant compounds called glucosinolates, as well as vitamin K (needed for calcium absorption), essential B vitamins and beneficial compounds that support a healthy inflammatory response in the body.
Cranberries: Cranberries are low in sugar and loaded with vitamin C and fiber—not to mention they have more immune-supporting antioxidants (including vitamin E) than nearly any other fruit or vegetable. In studies, cranberries have been shown to support immune function as well as promote healthy blood pressure levels, and research shows they also promote urinary tract health. (Just remember to avoid high-sugar juices and sauces.)
Brussels Sprouts: Belonging to the same family as broccoli and kale, non-starchy Brussels sprouts are loaded with good things like fiber, vitamin C, folate, iron, potassium and B vitamins—along with antioxidants and other plant compounds shown to support immune function and overall health. Brussels sprouts are really simple to prepare: just cut off the ends, mix them with a little olive oil, salt and pepper and roast them in the oven for about 35–40 minutes.
When shopping for fall fruits and veggies, opt for organic if possible and check out your local farmers market first. You should be able to find locally grown, in-season produce that’s fresh and affordable—in addition to being a healthful and delicious addition to your table!