If my practice has taught me one thing, it’s that a variety of foods are absolutely essential healthy fruits being an essential part of one’s diet. Almost every one of my friends and clients eventually comes to a point where they just can’t stand to eat one more salad, or filet of salmon. Eating boringly is dangerous when you’re learning how to be healthy. If you don’t have many options, you’re more likely to fall back on the convenient processed but bad-for-you foods you relied on in the past. Healthy eating requires variety, and lots of it.
Luckily, nature is on our side. The start of fall doesn’t only mean walking our kids to the bus stop and bracing for cooler weather. It also means we have a whole new variety of fruits and veggies to choose from! Eating seasonally offers real taste, budget, and health benefits. Here are just a few of them:
We all know that fruit tastes better in season. If you’re eating a summer fruit in the middle of winter, the chances are it was produced either by growing in a greenhouse, or other controlled environment. Or it was picked early so it could be saved and shipped to you on demand. While there’s nothing wrong with either of these methods – an out of season apple is still an apple – both methods have a real effect on taste. Fruit that’s allowed to ripen fully on the vine as they say, not only tastes better, but contains healthy sugars called monosaccharides. When you’re training your palate to like healthy fruits / foods, taste is essential.
In-season fruit is less expensive. Transporting food across long distances in the off season costs companies money, and they’ll generally pass that cost on to the customer. With a few exceptions, fruit is scarcer in its off-season. That apparent rarity is what drives up costs, which means that buying your fruit in season can significantly lower your shopping bill at the checkout. You can of course buy in-season fruit and freeze it so you can keep it longer.
Nutrients are more plentiful in seasonal healthy fruits. Fruit has only a certain amount of time it needs to ripen to be at its maximum free radical-fighting weight. Picking it early – or growing it in artificial conditions – depletes its nutrient store.
Keeping a list of what fruits and veggies are in season is a great way to make sure you aren’t eating exactly the same thing,on a daily basis, for the entire year. Here’s a list of fall fruits you can stock up on:
Apples: Some researchers believe that apples may aid weight loss by reducing the number of calories you eat throughout the day. For the full antioxidant effect, make sure you eat the skin, which is packed with nutrients.
Pumpkin: Pumpkin’s are high in fiber and packed with vitamins A, C, and beta carotene, which help boost immune function. Plus, pumpkin makes a great entrée, and a tasty dessert (heat it up and sprinkle with a little cinnamon).
Grapefruit: Research suggests that grapefruits can aid weight loss. Plus, it contains 75% of your daily value of vitamin C.
Other healthy fruits you should look for, include cranberries, grapes, figs, pears, and pomegranates.