What a glorious time of year with its kaleidoscope of colors! The fruits and vegetables of this season are also ripe with color from the bright reds of pomegranates and heirloom tomatoes, the rich oranges of pumpkins and squashes to the deep greens of leafy vegetables. Sooo…perhaps one of the nutrition changes you would like to make is to include more fruits and veggies in your diet on a daily basis.
Let’s take some time to highlight the nutrient-rich properties of the produce readily available this time of year. Brussels sprouts, for example, are cruciferous vegetables, chock full of glucosinolates which the body converts into compounds that help the body fight cancer at the cellular level. Brussels sprouts are also a significant source of vitamins A and C and potassium. Butternut squash with its beautiful shape and hue is also a major source of vitamin A and potassium, yet is relatively low in calories depending upon the toppings you choose. Mustard greens are another nutritious fall vegetable. When included in the diet they provide dietary fiber, potassium, calcium and vitamins A and C. Including these seasonal veggies daily, boosts the amount of anti-oxidants, fiber, vitamins and minerals in your diet – a positive change that can be made NOW!
Let’s not ignore the bounty of fruits currently available at the farmer’s market, supermarket and your own backyard. Figs are one of the best fruit sources of polyphenols or antioxidants that may help prevent LDL-cholesterol, commonly known as the “bad” cholesterol, from clogging arteries. Figs are also a perfect snack when you are hiking, walking or traveling for a quick burst of energy. You can’t walk by a fruit stand without seeing a variety of pears in an array of colors. Naturally sweet with dietary fiber to boot, pears are also a significant source of potassium. The pomegranate, with its unmistakable shape and color, also comes into season this time of year. Providing significant amounts of fiber, potassium and phosphorus, the pomegranate can also enhance the beauty of your holiday table. Take advantage of the fall’s bounty of produce to enrich not only your Thanksgiving table, but all your meals in between.
Please note this article is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health condition. Please check with your doctor before changing your diet, taking supplements or beginning a new exercise/fitness routine.
Consider embracing a new tradition this holiday season and serve a new-to-you fall fruit or vegetable to family and guests. What a fabulous, achievable and measurable change that you can make TODAY! Happy Thanksgiving and Good Health to You!