The Top 7 Fall Fruits And Their Health Benefits

The Top 7 Fall Fruits And Their Health Benefits

The autumn harvest brings an array of root vegetables for comforting, hardy recipes that warm the soul. You’ll also see numerous fruits that you don’t typically see any other time of year. We don’t know about you, but fruit that is in season for a limited time is very exciting. Not only do these fruits exhibit impressive nutritional profiles, but they also taste great and are quite versatile. 

A 2020 study found that vegetarians who ate a diverse mix of fruits and vegetables had a lower risk of stroke than non-vegetarians who ate meat. An additional study from 2021 also gives people a reason to eat more fruits and vegetables. In this study, participants who ate the recommended five servings of fruits and vegetables per day experienced a lower risk of death than those who ate fewer servings. Additionally health experts encourage people to eat seasonal produce items because they are at peak freshness and nutritional value. Choosing seasonal produce will also help reduce your carbon footprint, as fresh and local items don’t need to be transported long distances. We are talking about farm to table!

For more inspiration and information about seasonal produce items, visit your local farmer’s market and talk with the farmers. They are very knowledgeable about the flavor profiles and how to use/cook with the various produce items. To buy you some time until that happens, we’ve outlined the top seven fall fruits below. 

Kumquats

Don’t know what kumquats are? They are about the size of grapes, but they are citrus fruits and happen to be one of the best sources of fiber and vitamin C. Although they are technically winter fruits, they often show up in mid to late fall. In some areas, such as the Southern United States, they are available year round because of the warmer climates. Kumquats are the only citrus fruit that you can eat with the peel, which contains even more antioxidants than the fruit’s flesh. 

Quinces

A lesser known fall fruit, the quince is probably not in your regular fruit rotation. It resembles a lumpy, slightly larger pear, exhibiting a bright green skin. Quince is naturally rich in vitamin C, potassium, copper, fiber, and antioxidants, including rutin and caffeoylquinic acid. Most people boil quince to enjoy it, as that is the best way to enjoy the best flavor. Quarter the fruit, remove the core and seeds, and boil for about 40 minutes. You can add the flesh to juices, tarts, sweet treats, and purees. 

Pears

We are going from the quince, a fruit that somewhat resembles a pear, to the actual pear fruit. From Anjous and Bartletts to Forelle and Seckels varieties, pears are a hydrophilic food, meaning they fill you up quickly and love water. Pears contain the complex carbohydrate known as pectin, which acts as a detox agent, immune system stimulant, and gastrointestinal tract regulator. According to several studies, eating pears on a regular basis may help reduce bad cholesterol levels and regulate the body’s absorption of sugar. 

Cranberries

You cannot have an article that details the best fall fruits and leave cranberries off the list. Fresh cranberries are only available for a limited time, typically from mid to late fall. Harvested in places like the Northeast United States, cranberries are valuable sources of plant compounds like benzoic acid, anthocyanins, quercetin, vitamin C, and epicatechins. Cranberries go great in sauces, pies, scones, muffins, salads, smoothies, and desserts. A 2022 study found that participants who took a cranberry supplement (the equivalent of one cup of cranberries) daily for 12 weeks improved memory and lowered LDL (bad) cholesterol. 

Apples

Apples are the quintessential fall fruit, and one of the best fall outings is to go apple picking at an orchard. Available in many varieties, apples are excellent sources of fiber, vitamin C, and polyphenols, which are beneficial plant compounds that exist in plant-based foods. Polyphenols may help to reduce the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes, according to several research studies. Flavonoids, which are also present in apples, may help reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and general cognitive decline. 

Grapes

Although grapes are available year round, they boast their best flavor during fall. Enjoy varieties like champagne, concords, holiday seedless, and many others. Grapes don’t seem to get a lot of attention when it comes to nutrition, but they are excellent sources of vitamin C, vitamin K, and antioxidants like resveratrol, an anti-inflammatory compound that keeps your skin looking young. Grapes also contain anthocyanin, another antioxidant that has ties to longevity. 

Passion Fruit

Passion fruits are available in the early- or mid-fall months, and they grow in climates that are always warm. The actual fruit is quite gelatinous, with black seeds that are also edible. The taste is a bit sour, but riper passion fruits tend to be on the sweeter and highly fragrant side. You can incorporate passion fruit into acai bowls, smoothies, and juices. They are naturally rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, beta-cryptoxanthin, carotenoids, and other polyphenols.

2022-10-18T15:53:29-07:00

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