7 Fall Foods You Should Be Eating

7 Fall Foods You Should Be Eating

It’s no secret that eating local brings many benefits. “Local produce is fresh and full of flavor,” says Debbie Cooper, RD, LDN, Network Clinical Nutrition Manager for St. Luke’s University Health Network. “It has higher nutritional value since it is eaten sooner after being picked and retains more nutrients. It also supports our local farmers.”

Despite the cooler weather, lots of fruits and vegetables remain widely available in the Lehigh Valley well into fall. In fact, Lynn Trizna, Farm Project Manager at the St. Luke’s Rodale Institute Organic Farm, which supplies St. Luke’s hospitals with produce, is currently harvesting winter squash, beets, and broccoli. 

But there’s way more than that available at local farms and markets. Here’s a rundown of what’s in season and why you should eat it:

Perfect for cubing and roasting with a little oil, beets are loaded with betalains, which help reduce inflammation; and natural nitrates, which reduce blood pressure. 

These cruciferous veggies contain the compound sulforaphane, which has cancer-fighting properties. Chop ‘em in half and roast to perfection, or shred and add to a winter salad. 

Another cruciferous vegetable, broccoli is also a good source of sulforaphane as well as heart-healthy folate. Try steaming it and blending into a creamy soup, or lightly sautéing in a stir-fry. 

Acorn, butternut, buttercup, and hubbard squashes are all rich in fiber and beta-carotene which prevents free radical damage and promotes healthy eyes and skin. Steam and blend into a soup for natural creaminess.

This hardy green is loaded with vitamins A, K, and C, and contains a range of other healthful compounds. Try lightly sautéing it with a little garlic and olive oil.

One serving has 377% of your daily value for vitamin A in the form of beta-carotene, and plenty of heart-healthy potassium. Swap these in for white potatoes whenever you can.

Packed with heart-healthy fiber, pears are a nice way to switch things up from seasonal apples. A great snack: pear slices with almond butter. 

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