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Benefits of Fall Food #FirstDayofFall

While on the road this month enjoying all that Italy has to offer....

Fall is here and so are many foods that we associate with the fall season. Recipes featuring pumpkins, pears, many types of squash abound in magazines and online food networks. So what does this mean nutritionally? Great news! Orange foods are some of the most nutritious on the planet!  Health benefits of these food groups include:

  • Improves eyesight
  • Keeps bones strong
  • Protects your skin
  • Boosts immune function
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Aids in weight loss
  • Prevents high blood pressure

Take butternut squash, for example. The nutrition and health benefits include all of the above, and there are a variety of easy and delicious ways you can enjoy it—baked (with real butter and cinnamon), or added to stir-fry’s and salads. It’s the perfect side dish to any entree, and also makes for a mouthwatering soup. So are acorn squash and many other types of squash.

It’s no coincidence that “carotene” sounds like “carrot.” Beta-carotene is one of more than 600 carotenoids, which are the pigments that give color to egg yolks, tomatoes, fruits, dark leafy vegetables and some types of seafood. These are incredibly good for your eyes, heart disease/stroke prevention, and for healthy skin.

Carrots are available all year, and you can use them in everything from vegetable soups to mixed veggie dishes to salads. They can also be juiced and sliced into sticks for raw snacking, or baked as chips.

Pumpkins are also a great source of vitamins, minerals, proteins, and omega-3 fatty acids, and the seeds can be dried and salted for a homemade snack or saved to plant in the spring. Pumpkins also provide lots of vitamin C, riboflavin, potassium, copper, and manganese.

And for a healthy snack, why not have a fresh pear?  Pears contain a wide range of both vitamins and minerals, including magnesium along with B-vitamins like folates, riboflavin, vitamin B6. Pears are also high in vitamin C, which is good for fighting infection throughout the body, and vitamin K, for building and maintaining bone strength. Pears are also high in fiber, up to 22% of the recommended daily value.

So enjoy your fresh fall fruit and vegetables. And as always, remember to buy locally grown, and pesticide/herbicide/fungicide free food.

Jondra Bjorkman, CNC Certified Nutritional Counselor Fitness Nutrition Coach #rejuvenatehb

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