Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Dr. Debbie Palmer, author of the new Mindful Beauty.
Summer—with its abundant fruits and vegetables—may be officially over, but fall’s bounty is just as plentiful…and just as delicious. What’s more: the wide variety of deep rich colors that we can find in fall’s produce is indicative of the health-promoting antioxidants they contain.
In fact, the deeper or richer the color of a fruit or vegetable, the more antioxidants it contains. It’s the antioxidants—compounds that help prevent or stop damage from oxidants (damaging free radicals found in everything from the sun’s rays to the pollution around us)—that give fruits and vegetables their vibrant hues.
So head over to the nearest farmer’s market—or to your nearest produce aisle—to pick up some of these fall faves!
- Apples: Whether you love red or green apples, these perennial fall favorites are loaded with antioxidants like flavonoids and quercetin. Be sure to eat the skin, though, as that’s where the antioxidants are concentrated. (This is a good reason to reach for organic apples, as pesticides reside mainly in the skin of a fruit or vegetable.) They’re also chock-full of vitamin C and fiber—particularly pectin, a soluble fiber that’s been shown to help lower cholesterol.
- Citrus Fruits: Grapefruits, oranges, tangerines, and clementines are all abundant, starting in fall. And they’re all great sources of the antioxidant vitamin C. Plus, the deeper the color of the citrus fruit, the more antioxidants called flavanones it contains.
- Grapes: Red, green, purple, and even black grapes are chock-full of powerful health-promoting antioxidants—one of which is called resveratrol. This is the reason red wine, in moderation, has been found in many studies to be good for your health (particularly the health of your heart).
- Kale: This deep leafy green—which tastes delicious raw or cooked—is packed with antioxidants carotenoids (like lutein and beta-carotene) and flavonoids (like kaempferol and quercetin). And it’s also super-high in all sorts of other key vitamins and minerals like vitamins A, C, and K and the antioxidant mineral manganese. (Keep in mind that this veggie is part of the family of veggies called cruciferous vegetables; other fall cruciferous vegetables that are good for you include broccoli and cauliflower.)
- Squash: This yummy vegetable is incredibly versatile: you can bake, roast, or sauté it—and even roast the seeds. And the rich yellow-orange color of butternut squash, acorn squash, buttercup squash, delicata squash, pumpkin, and so many more is a sure sign they’re full of the antioxidants carotenoids, lutein, and zeaxanthin. Fall squash also has plenty of the antioxidant vitamin C and the antioxidant mineral manganese. They’re also rich in fiber and plenty of other vitamins and minerals, too. (Squash seeds are high in fiber and healthy fats.)
Keep in mind that any brightly colored fruit and vegetable is rich in antioxidants, too: tomatoes; pears; red, yellow, green, and orange peppers; and so much more!
Discover more healthy eating tips and ways to stay happy, healthy, and glowing in Mindful Beauty.
Here’s to a happy, healthy fall!
Our thanks to Debbie for her guest post! For more from Dr. Debbie Palmer, read her article, “5 Ways to Manifest Outer Health, Inner Peace, and Beauty.”