Crisp leaves are falling along with Melbourne temperatures. As the trees turn so should our eating to prepare for the winter months ahead. Autumn offers spectacular beauty outdoors and an abundance of fruit and vegetables to enjoy. Start the season with smart eating and you’ll reap the rewards.
Autumn is a time to conserve energy and boost our immune system. Eating seasonal produce is essential as it’s more nutritious and flavoursome than out of season fare. These foods also suit the weather as they can be incorporated into soothing soups, stews and casseroles.
Boost your immune system by consuming fruit and vegetables in a wide variety of colours. This ensures you get a wide range of phytochemicals and antioxidants to help fight emerging coughs and colds. Eat plenty of red, orange and purple fruits and vegetables as well as your greens.
Red fruits and vegetables contain lycopene which protect us against cancer and heart disease. Choose tomatoes, capsicum, strawberries and red apples. Purple fruits and vegetables contain anthocyanin which has powerful anti-aging effects. Beetroot, red cabbage and eggplant are excellent sources. Oranges, lemons, corn and squash contain carotenoids which protect us against chronic disease.
Green fruit and vegetables are full of vitamin B, C and iron for our immune system in Autumn. Enjoy spinach, broccoli, green apples, beans and cabbage. Don’t forget your brown and white fruit and vegetables too. These have powerful antibacterial and antiviral properties. Eat plenty of cauliflower, bananas, garlic, onions, potatoes and ginger.
Fruits in Autumn can be eaten on their own or included in meals. Apples can be added to pork or coleslaw, bananas and strawberries to your cereal and oranges and mandarins make a yummy addition to a chicken salad or roast pork or duck. Poaching pears or figs also make a scrumptious dessert.
Soups are an easy way to combine in-season potatoes, parsnips, peas, carrots, leeks and spinach. Slow cook pumpkin, squash or silver beet and add rhubarb to your porridge or custard. Capsicum, celery, corn and spring onion are also fantastic on salads or in stir frys during Autumn.
Blustery winds in April can make our body feel dehydrated, causing dry sore throats and coughs. Hydration is important and the types of fruits and vegetables available now can really help. Cauliflower, eggplant, red cabbage and spinach contain more than 90 percent cent water. Watermelon, strawberries and grapefruit are also very beneficial.
Choosing in season, quality fruit and vegetables is essential to your health and well-being. Select a variety of fresh, bright produce to ensure you get an abundance of nutrients and an enticing meal. Don’t forget to continue to exercise and get outdoors for some vitamin D. Leaving Summer eating behind may not be so bad.