The leaves, the trees, the light, the sky…the food. It’s that time of year when the leaves glisten with a beautiful golden hue, we wrap up in our favourite woollies and wellies, and most of all autumn produces a delicious array of seasonal produce that highlights the wonders of this season.
The summer has gone but this isn’t something to dwell over, instead feel enriched by the wonderful food we can now enjoy. It would be wise to take advantage of the seasonal produce as it is delicious and healthy. Buying foods in-season means they are healthier as the nutrients are abundant. They also have a richer flavour and are generally more cost-effective. Food is easier to grow in its proper season which makes it more abundant and has time to fully ripen before being carted off to the supermarket.
At the same time, the changes in the weather increases the chances of getting a cold. To avoid catching a cold during the colder months, focus on eating fruits and vegetables in abundance to allow your body to feel amazing throughout the season. Here are some of the benefits to eating a variety of fruits and vegetables during autumn.
Benefits of Fruit and Veg During Autumn
- Immunity – Fruits and vegetables contain vitamins A and C. Vitamin C is widely known as an antioxidant for protection against free radical damage which helps to keep the body feeling fit and healthy. Vitamin A plays a key role in supporting the immunity and reducing inflammation within the body. By incorporating more foods with vitamin A and C into your daily diet you will help the body to protect against potential illnesses during the season.
- Energy and Oxygen – Vitamin C helps your body to absorb iron more easily. Iron enhances oxygen transport and supports energy production in the body which will help us to feel more alert and energised during the colder months.
- Digestion – Fruits and vegetables contain a great dose of fibre, which is best known for its role in digestive health. Fibre helps support digestion and elimination. Both processes are essential for keeping the body healthy as it enables the body to use the nutrients properly and then flush away any waste. Avoid feeling heavy and sluggish just because you want to eat more comforting meals. You can still eat delicious cosy meals during the colder months but favour warming roasted vegetables, hearty veggie soups and comforting veg stews to keep the gut healthy and your body happy.
Here are some of the best in-season fruits and vegetables available during autumn.
6 Top Autumn Fruits and Veggies
- Apples – Apples are the trademark fruit of this season. If you pick a locally grown or at least in-season apple then you know it will be full of flavour. There are many varieties to choose from including the crisp royal gala, the distinctive russet, the sweet braeburn and the superb cox apple. Apples are packed with vitamin C and fibre, and are a great choice for a snack making them an easy asset to add to your daily eating.
- Pears – A seasonal pear is absolute sweet, juicy perfection. You will know when you pick a good one! Allow the pears to ripen at home, when they are ready to eat the flesh will be slightly soft to the touch. Pears contain fibre, vitamin C, copper and vitamin K, all of which make them a fantastic fruit for keeping the body healthy. Enjoy as a snack or sliced up into a salad with a mix of fresh greens.
- Carrots – Crunchy carrots are an autumn delight as they have a subtle sweet flavour when at their best. Try to pick local, best in-season carrots for more flavour to create utterly delicious salads, a raw crudité in a homemade dip such as hummus, a fun ingredient added to smoothies and soups. They are also excellent when stir fried or roasted. There are so many ways to enjoy the highly nutritious orange veggie and they are packed with a host of nutrients such as vitamins A, C and K, fibre, biotin, folate and the B vitamins. Raw or cooked, eat them up!
- Brussels Sprouts – These mini cabbages are fantastic and should be enjoyed throughout the whole season. Brussels sprouts are loaded with vitamins C and K, folate, manganese and fibre. Vitamin K helps to regulate inflammatory responses, and we need optimal intake of this vitamin in order to avoid chronic, excessive inflammation. Enjoy Brussels sprouts raw grated into a salad or coleslaw, lightly steam and serve with lemon juice or roast with garlic.
- Squash – Squash is in abundance during autumn and its creamy, rich, nutritious flavours should definitely be enjoyed whilst they last. Depending on where you are in the world there are many to choose from such as butternut, onion squash, harlequin, spaghetti, acorn, kabocha and the famous pumpkin. They contain a great mix of nutrients such as vitamin A and C, fibre and folate. They are perfect for roasting, mashing, and adding to soups, stews and curries.
- Beetroot – Beetroot (beets) are a deliciously versatile vegetable you can enjoy roasted, pureed, or eaten raw. They come in a rainbow of colours from the known red to pink to white to golden to the Chioggia (aka candy stripe). Beetroot is packed with folate, manganese, potassium, fibre, iron and vitamin C making them a super veggie for a healthy autumnal body. Add raw slices to salads, roast to bring out the super sweet flavour and use the beets fresh green leaves in smoothies, salads and stir fries.
There is so much to offer this season that your body will thank you for the delicious nutritious goodness. Dig in and feel vibrant!