With the leaves starting to change and days getting shorter, it seems fall is officially upon us.
For most, a change of seasons is exciting. It's a chance to reset and get back into the swing of things. It's a time to switch out your wardrobe for cozy sweaters and sip on hot apple cider. And the holidays are around the corner which means there's a lot to look forward to!
With weather change it's important to pay attention to our health, especially during the busyness of the new season. Who wants to get sick in the midst of all this fun? Luckily there are many fruits and vegetables that are deliciously in season, that can help our immune systems shift into this seasonal change.
Here are 7 seasonal foods that will boost your health this fall:
Get ready to go apple picking because this fruit is jam-packed with health benefits. For starters, apples contain 5 grams of soluble fiber, which aids in digestion, lowers cholesterol, and helps control blood sugar levels, among other things. It is also filled with Vitamins C and A. Vitamin C has many benefits but is most noted for its ability to aid the immune system and combat the common cold. Vitamin A is vital for bone growth, vision, and immune health as well.
2. Brussel Sprouts
Though they tend to get a bad rap, brussel sprouts have some wonderful health benefits. And when cooked right, they're delicious too!
Similar to apples, brussel sprouts have high levels of Vitamins A and C, which as mentioned, are beneficial to our bodies' immune systems and eye sight.
Additionally, brussel sprouts are a great source of folate, a vitamin that plays a key role in maintaining healthy DNA. Studies have shown that healthy amounts of folate can help lower risk of certain cancers.
Scoot over apples, pears are just as deliciously nutritional, if not more so! Pears are one of the highest fiber-containing fruits. In addition to the benefits previously mentioned, fiber also keeps you feeling fuller longer. They're the perfect healthy snack to satisfy your hungry kids between meals.
Additionally, pears contain plenty of Vitamin C and copper, a vitamin/mineral duo that has antioxidant qualities — great for the immune system and has the potential to ward off certain types of cancer.
For parents who have kids with lots of allergies: Pears are a hypoallergenic fruit. So those who tend to have food sensitivities are unlikely to find that with pears.
Cauliflower, usually out-shined by its green cousin, broccoli, is packed with health benefits. For starters it's a brain food; for it contains high levels of choline, a B vitamin that supports brain healthy development— perfect for our little students.
As most Cruciferous vegetables do, cauliflower contains great amounts of vitamins and minerals, supports digestive health, and provides cancer fighting antioxidants such as Vitamin C and beta-carotene.
Like the other vegetables, Squash is packed with Vitamins and minerals. Squash's vitamins C, A, magnesium and antioxidants will boost your immune response to foreign substances and cancer-causing free radicals.
Squash also has an anti-inflammatory capacity, provided by its Omega-3 fatty acids, which can help prevent type 2 diabetes.
Cardiovascular issues can also be prevented with the help to squash's potassium and magnesium. These two minerals increase blood flow and reduce stress on the heart. The fiber, pectin, helps reduce cholesterol levels, lowering the risk of heart attacks or strokes.
Overall, the high level of vitamins and minerals that squash contains promote bone health. This is important for our little ones who we want to grow strong and healthy bones!
6. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet Potatoes have many noted health benefits, but perhaps the most noted is it's high level of the antioxidants, beta-carotene and Vitamin A. This potato has a superior ability to raise blood levels of Vitamin A, which may be particularly true for children. Again, antioxidants and Vitamin A are important to our bodies in helping protect against cancers or foreign substances.
Like squash, sweet potatoes also promote healthy bone growth. This is due to their high level of Vitamin D, a vitamin we usually get from sunlight. Vitamin D is especially important to get more of during the winter months as the days get shorter.
Lastly, sweet potatoes contain large amounts of iron, which promote the production of red and white blood cells in our body. This leads to a healthier, stronger immune system.
Last, but certainly not least, pomegranates. Pomegranates provide your body with the vitamins and minerals it needs to help fight off bacterial infections, improve heart health, and improve memory. Three things that are extremely beneficial for young, active kids as well as adults!
Pomegranates contain bioactive compounds such as flavonoids that help fight against parasites and microbial infections. They enhance probiotic bacteria that fights off harmful bacteria.
The juice in pomegranate seeds are cholesterol and blood pressure lowering!
And when it comes to memory, pomegranates are like Popeye's spinach. Polyphenols in pomegranates work to promote memory retention in our brains.
So, head to you local grocery store or market and pick out this season's delicious fruits and vegetables! Whatever you choose, the selection will be certain to provide wonderful benefits to the health of you and your loved ones.
Learn more about the powerful effects of these foods on our bodies: