Fall into Fruits and Veggies

Have you ever noticed how people tend to eat more fruits and vegetables in the summer compared to fall?

It’s refreshing to grab a handful of cool grapes, a cold orange, cut up watermelon, or an apple in the summer. Although the need for 5 fruits and vegetables everyday are consistent year-round, a Public Health Nutrition study showed that people consume less as summer fades. They also found that people who do consume the recommended “5-A-Day” are less likely to develop heart or other health-related diseases.

Join in on decreasing your risk of developing these diseases by simply consuming at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables daily.

Below is a list of fruits and vegetables that are in season during fall; how you should choose them; what health benefits they provide; ideas on how to prepare them; and serving sizes:


Fall Fruit/ Vegetable Health Benefits How to choose? How to prepare? Serving Size
Avocado

High in monounsaturated fat and oleic acid that both serve to protect your heart.

Also, source of vitamins A, C, and E; fiber; iron; and potassium

Uniform color with no bruises.

When pressed gently, should give a little; however should not be mushy or firm.

Cut up on sandwiches or salads.

Make guacamole dip.

Put in enchiladas.

1/8 of medium Avocado

About 1Tablespoon
Brussels Sprouts

Source of cancer-fighting phytochemicals.
Detoxifies carcinogens and promotes healthy skin and immune function.

Excellent source of vitamin K, C, folic acid.

Firm and bright green.
No yellow or wilted leaves.

Not puffy or mushy.

Braise with herbs and spices.

Slice and combine with salad-favorites, toss in olive oil, salt and pepper.

½ Cup cooked

1 Cup raw
Broccoli

Contains cancer-fighting agents by promoting detoxification.
Excellent source of Folate, Fiber, Vitamins A, C, K.

Lowers risk of heart disease, cataracts, builds strong bones, protects against ulcers, rheumatoid arthritis, and birth defects.

Dark green color without any yellow.
Stems should be firm with no slimy patches

Unwilte

Raw with dips.
Steamed with lemon juice and pepper.

Cut up fresh broccoli in soups and/or casseroles; or substitute frozen chopped broccoli

1 Cup raw

½ Cup cooked
Sweet Potatoes

Vitamin-A rich to promote eye-health
Vitamin A and C have anti-inflammatory effect to protect against heart disease and emphysema.

Shown to stabilize blood sugar levels and lower insulin-resistance with peel.

Firm
No dark circles or cracks
No soft spots

Boil, then mash with small amount of butter and brown sugar
Boil and mash with white potatoes with peel

Slice, spray with Pam or lightly coat w/ oil, and bake for chips

½ Cup

Size of a computer mouse
Leeks

Lower cholesterol by raising HDL, “good” cholesterol, levels.
Eating at least twice a week lowers prostate and colon cancer risk.

Combination of manganese, vitamins B6 and C, folate, and iron stabilize blood sugar and insulin resistance.

Firm and straight
Dark green leaves and white tips

Not yellow or wilted with cracks or bruises

Sauté with lemon juice and thyme
Add chopped in salads, sandwiches, soups, casseroles, or omelet

Add to wild rice

1 Cup raw

½ Cup cooked
Grapes

Contain flavinoids that protect against blood clots and lower “bad”-LDL cholesterol.
Protects against heart disease, lowers blood pressure
Also, seen to protect against breast and lung cancers, Alzheimer’s, and macular degeneration.

Excellent source of manganese.

Plump with no wrinkles

No juice should be leaking and should be attached to the stem

Slice and add to chicken or tuna salad
Snack with cheese and crackers

Add to fruit salad

17 small grapes

~ ½ Cup
Kiwifruit

Excellent source of vitamin C and fiber.
Phytonutrients protect DNA
High fiber protects heart by blood sugar control
Antioxidants neutralize cancer causing and inflammation agents in the body

Recently seen as blood thinning alternative to aspirin

Should be squeezable when held between forefinger and thumb; should not be soft
Avoid bruised or damp spots

Salad topper

Blend with yogurt, ice, and strawberries for smoothie
1 small kiwi = to size of an egg
Pear

Excellent source of fiber.
Promotes cardiovascular and colon health.

Protect against macular degeneration

Want firm, but not too hard

Remember you have to allow to ripen a day or two when you purchase

Pears with goat or bleu cheese for dessert
Chop pears on cereal

Poach in apple juice or wine

½ of large pear

½ Cup canned pears in own fruit juice

1 Seasonal consumption of salad vegetables and fresh fruit in relation to the development of cardiovascular disease and cancer. BD. Cox, et al., Public Health Nutrition, 2000, vol. 3, pp. 1929

Tufts University: www.tufts.edu
http://www.whfoods.com/foodstoc.php