Along with the changing colors of the leaves and the fall season upon us, comes delicious produce packed with nutrients. Choosing a colorful assortment of fruits and vegetables is best, as different nutrients exist along the different color spectrum. The orange pigment found in fall produce such as butternut squash, pumpkin and sweet potatoes, for instance, contain the antioxidant beta carotene known to promote eye health. And, the red pigment found in pink grapefruit contains the antioxidant lycopene linked with prostate health.
Here are some nutritious winners that also taste great.
Sweet Potatoes are rich in the antioxidant beta-carotene and are also full of fiber, vitamin B6, folate, vitamin C and the mineral potassium. They are especially nutritious when eaten with the skin on and contrary to a popular dieting myth, they are not fattening! They are delicious baked whole in the oven or roasted with a drizzle of olive oil.
Brussel sprouts are little cabbages and a member of the brassica family. They are known to be rich in phytochemicals and believed to have antioxidant properties and a great anti-cancer fighter. They are delicious when roasted in the oven and sautéed with olive oil and drizzled with honey.
Apples provide fiber along with the heart-healthy antioxidant quercitin. Best to eat with the skins and a baked apple sprinkled with cinnamon and raisins makes the perfect after dinner treat.
Butternut squash is a delicious and sweet orange vegetable rich in the antioxidants beta carotene and lutein. This yummy winter squash can be baked in the oven, roasted or pureed and made into a hearty soup. It tastes great with a sprinkling of cinnamon and ginger.
Grapefruit provides a significant source of vitamin C, folate and potassium, as well as fiber. Pink grapefruits are particularly rich in the antioxidant lycopene. Eating these fruits whole yields more nutrients than drinking the juice.
Pears are loaded with fiber and are a good source of the antioxidant vitamin C. Baking or poaching pears brings out its delicious flavor. Incorporate a poached pear into a salad for a delicious and nutritious twist.
Parsnips, a once overlooked root vegetable, contain a significant amount of fiber as well as vitamins such as the B vitamin folate and vitamin C, and the mineral potassium. Their sweet and nutty flavor makes them a great addition to use in soups.
Kiwifruit with its brilliant green inside is packed with vitamin C, potassium and fiber. It makes a great addition to a fruit salad.
By: Dr. Lisa Young