Unsurprisingly, pumpkins reign in autumn, but there is a bounty of other produce at their best in these cooler months. Today’s post is all about offering the respect these colorful, delicious, and nutrient-packed fruits and vegetables deserve.

Here are 8 of our favorites:

  • Apples eaten with the skin are low-calorie, high-fiber fruits that promote digestive health and satiety (those feelings of fullness after eating), and may help lower cholesterol and risk of type 2 diabetes. The antioxidant flavonoids found in apples have been linked to a reduced risk of some cancers and heart disease. There are approximately 2,500 types in North American alone, and each is worth sampling!
  • Beets are root vegetables rich in cancer-fighting, inflammation-lowering compounds called betalains – the pigments responsible for their vibrant hue. Beets are also a good source of fiber, iron, manganese, and antioxidant vitamin C. For the ladies planning for pregnancy or who are expecting, beets contain high amounts of folate, which is important for prevention of birth defects and lower birth weights. 
  • Brussels sprouts are low-calorie (28 in 1/2 cup cooked), and contain less than 10 grams of carbohydrate per serving, yet deliver roughly 80% of your daily vitamin C plus more than 100% of your vitamin K. Like other cruciferous veg (e.g., cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, bok choy, dark leafy greens), Brussels sprouts provide a variety of phytochemicals and compounds linked to decreased risk of infection, inflammation, and certain cancers.
  • Cranberries are an excellent source of antioxidant vitamin C, and a 1/2-cup serving is only 23 calories but offers nearly 20% of your daily fiber needs. Vitamins E and K, manganese, and potassium are also present, and studies show that compounds called proanthocyanidins, found in rich supply in cranberries, promote dental and urinary tract health, and may lower cholesterol and reduce risk of atherosclerosis – the dangerous buildup of plaque in your arteries that can obstruct blood flow and lead to heart attack or stroke.
  • Pears are an excellent source of dietary fiber (keep that skin on!) that promotes decreased risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes, and can help lower cholesterol levels. Another fiber benefit is increased satiety that can aid in weight loss and weight maintenance efforts. Pears also contain carotenoids that benefit your eyes, antioxidant flavonoids, and potentially anti-cancer phytonutrients called cinnamic acids.
  • Pomegranates, beautiful, tart jewels of the fruit world, are a good source of vitamins C and K, and may be richer in antioxidants than red wine, green tea, and most other varieties of fruit. Per 1/2-cup serving of pomegranate arils you take in only about 70 calories, a small amount of folate, potassium, and copper, as well as more than 3 grams of fiber. Recent research links small amounts of pomegranate juice to increased production of nitric oxide in the body, which aids in proper circulation, and may speed the growth and recovery time of exercised muscles.

image1

Photo credit: Heather A. Goesch, MPH, RDN, LDN

  • Sweet potatoes may just be nature’s best food source of beta-carotene – the red-orange pigment that on its own helps fight free radicals, and then is converted by our bodies into vitamin A that promotes immune and bone health. In addition, one 1/2 cup of cooked sweet potato with the skin on provides roughly 15% of your daily fiber, nearly 30% that of the trace mineral manganese, more than one-third of your vitamin C, and a small amount of several B vitamins.
  • Winter squashes, such as butternut, acorn, delicata, spaghetti and, yes, pumpkins, are, like sweet potatoes, rich in beta-carotene and antioxidant vitamin C to promote good vision and healthy skin. Squashes in general are also good sources of fiber and potassium, several of the B vitamins, and magnesium – a trace mineral many Americans do not regularly consume enough of. Stretch your dollar by saving and toasting the nutritious seeds!

Tell us: Which autumn fruits or veg are your favorites? How do you prepare them healthfully?

|

Looking to implement a corporate wellness nutrition program?

Corporate Wellness Nutrition by Family Food is the longest-standing, most awarded program in your region with published outcome data.

CLIENT TESTIMONIALS

JEANETTE

I had a great 1st visit with the nutritionist. I went to get tips on changing by diet, but got much more. I was able to set a physical activity and nutrition goal. The nutritionist was knowledgeable and helpful.

I am so grateful for the stellar support and advice provided by Meghan, the dietitian I'm working with. She is both knowledgeable and kind, and it's a deeply productive journey. Thank you."

MICHELLE

Consulting with a Family Food nutritionist is turning out to be helpful in my effort to live healthy. The consultations are a way of having a sense of accountability and I get helpful feedback on my dietary decisions.

STAN

Great nutrition experts who inspire you! I am happy with the nutrition specialists at Family Food. They make me excited about nutrition, answer all my questions, and provide excellent recommendations! Thank you!!

AS

Very professional experience. I felt she listened to my needs and adjusted to personalize my nutrition needs.

L

My initial appointment was helpful - helped me consider new ways of addressing some problem areas for me and helped set attainable, concrete goals.

CHARLOTTE

Insightful and Informative. She was very attentive and helpful. She gave excellent tips on what to do and eat to meet my goal weight.

TRACEY-ANN

I feel confident about the changes we made to my goals and look forward to implementing them into my everyday routine. The health adviser was very helpful and didn't make me feel shameful for not meeting all my previous goals.

ERICA

I highly recommend Family Food. The nutritionist, Erika is helpful and provides great information and positive feedback.

KELSHA

I had an excellent experience with the representative from Family Food. She really read into what I was telling her and offered excellent advice that I am already able to implement after one visit. She also helped to make the best use of the hour long session. Very good time management!

AB

I met with a dietician for the first time and I had an idea of what to expect but I find this to be an invaluable resource because I have already received great ideas of things to use for meal planning and I also received more information of how to read nutrition labels. I am looking forward to my next appointment.

SHANA

I really enjoyed my first session with Christine. She provided me with a lot of solid information on issues I was not aware of and positive reinforcement for behaviors I have already engaged in. I outlined specific goals I would like to work on with her guidance and she gave me some initial steps to start. I found what she had to say respectful of the space I am in and cognizant of obstacles to making lifestyle and lifelong changes.

LYNN

I walked in without any specific questions/concerns, and my counseling was well-guided and ended up helping me see specific small changes that I can make to keep me on-track with my nutrition goals. Solutions fit my lifestyle and were not cookie-cutter, which is fantastic. I was able to start making improvements immediately. Thank you!

KAYLEY

I am finding the sessions helpful and a good way to talk through improving habits and making better food choices.

ANDREA

I am very happy this program exists. It has been very helpful and informative. My deitition is very nice and intelligent I am happy to have her help and support.

ATTANYA

The Family Food blog

The most reliable evidence-based nutrition information on child and adult nutrition.

5 Unexpected Nutrients to Optimize Your Immune System

5 unexpected nutrients to optimize your immune system by Carlie Saint-Laurent Beaucejour, MS, RD, LDN The immune system protects us from disease by fighting infections. Our immune system function is lowered during stress. It is important to note that no food can...

read more

Eat Right Bite by Bite

March is National Nutrition Month! .This years theme is “Eat Right Bite by Bite”. This means that we should be trying to eat healthier in small steps. Making improvements and changes to your nutrition and lifestyle in small bites can really add up over time. Think...

read more

3 hacks to eating guilt-free holiday desserts

3 hacks to eating guilt-free holiday desserts  by Carlie Saint-Laurent Beaucejour, MS, RD, LDN Who says you can’t make cookies, cakes, and desserts nutritious?  The holiday season includes more time with family, food, and yes - even holiday treats. Here are 3 hacks to...

read more

Gain access to a personal Registered Dietitian today.

We accept most Health Insurance plans

TWEETS BY @FAMILYFOODLLC

PINTEREST

GET OUR APP