The cookouts, corn on the cob and fresh fruits of summertime may be history for another year, but fresh-food fans need not fret.
The fall harvest season brings a whole new assortment of delicious and heart-healthy fresh fruits and vegetables. Apples, pears, broccoli and Brussels sprouts are fresh in the market … or in your garden.
These fresh foods are not only tasty, but can help you feel better, get healthier, and may protect against heart disease and stroke.
Colors of fall
Fall brings its own color wheel of seasonal fruits and vegetables. Deep colors like oranges, reds, and purples are especially prominent in the cooler months. However, it’s important to strive for variety with your fall favorites.
Fruits and vegetables with color contain vitamins, minerals, fiber, and phytochemicals that have different disease-fighting elements. These compounds may be important in reducing the risk of many conditions, including cardiovascular disease. The American Heart Association recommends at least four to five servings per day for fruits and for vegetables based on a 2,000-calorie diet as part of a healthy lifestyle that can lower your risk for these diseases.
Other fresh-food benefits
Grocery stores carry an assortment of fruits and vegetables throughout the year, but buying seasonal produce can take some of the strain off your wallet. When foods are in season locally, they are usually more abundant and affordable.
Buying seasonal produce may also add zest and flavor to your meals. Fruits and vegetables that are in season are typically fresher and more flavorful.
However, some canned or frozen fruits and vegetables can be just as healthy and satisfying. Some people think frozen or canned vegetables lack nutritional value, but they are usually processed at the peak of harvest and can provide nutritional value similar to fresh produce. I’d recommend rinsing canned vegetables to remove excess sodium, though.
What are your favorite fall fruits and vegetables? Let us know!