Foods To Eat This Autumn: Eating real is all about eating whole foods and fresh unprocessed ingredients, plus it’s about getting the most nutritional bang for your buck in the supermarket. These 16 foods are in season now meaning they’ll be more readily available and, generally lighter on the wallet.
Foods To Eat This Autumn, Apples are so versatile that while they are great to eat raw, they also make a delicious addition to baked goods, salads, sauces or stews. Apples contain pectin, a type of soluble fiber linked to reducing cholesterol levels, as well as valuable antioxidants such as quercetin, which also has a protective role against heart disease and cancer. Just make sure you eat the skin too, as the skin is a valuable source of fiber and other nutrients.
Foods To Eat This Autumn, Bananas are an all-time healthy and portable snack for very good reason. Bananas are an excellent source of the mineral potassium that’s linked to assisting lower blood pressure, as well as maintaining fluid and electrolyte balance in the body. Bananas are also a good source of the amino acid tryptophan, which may have a calming influence, making bananas the perfect late-night snack.
Foods To Eat This Autumn, Bursting with color and sweet, earthy flavors, beetroot is the supreme support act of the foodie world. Beetroot is low in kilojoules, with only 200kj per 1/2 cup cooked, as well as being a good source of folate, manganese, potassium and packed with dietary fiber. Beetroot’s distinctive color comes from betacyanins – plant pigments that act as powerful antioxidants that may help to lower the risk of heart disease. Traditionally beetroot has also been used as a liver detoxifier.
Foods To Eat This Autumn, Not only is broccoli packed with a number of disease and cancer fighting compounds, it is rich in nutrients such as vitamin C, beta carotene, folate, iron and potassium. To top it off, it’s high in dietary fiber and low in kilojoules. One cup contains 100% of your RDI for Vitamin C, and a massive 6g of dietary fibre, so great for maintaining bowel health. Make sure you use the broccoli stems as well as florets, as they are a valuable source of fiber.
5. Brussels sprouts
Foods To Eat This Autumn, Brussels sprouts are so much more versatile than you would imagine. Ditch the boring boiled version from your childhood and reinvent the humble sprout by preparing it in a butter braise, sautéing it with bacon and macadamias or shredding it finely and serving it raw in a healthy salad.
A member of the highly acclaimed cruciferous family, brussels sprouts also contain several cancer-fighting compounds such as bioflavonoids and indoles, which act by inhibiting hormones that promote tumour growth. These mini cabbages are also rich in Vitamin C, with just ½ cup raw sprouts containing more than 100% of your RDI.
Foods To Eat This Autumn, Cabbages are a leafy green superfood. They are full of essential vitamins and antioxidants and are naturally low in calories. They can be served raw in salads and slaws or cooked into soups, stews, curries and more.
Cabbage is a member of the cruciferous family, a family well known for its impressive protective properties against certain cancers, including lung, colon, ovarian and breast. Also low in kilojoules and high in fiber, cabbages are rich in Vitamin C, with red cabbage boasting an even higher Vitamin C content than its green counterparts.
7. Capsicums (red)
Foods To Eat This Autumn, Capsicums are bursting with flavor and abundantly in season. Slice them, dice them, roast them, enjoy them in a range of colors. They can be eaten raw or cooked, stuffed or roasted to black, then the skin peeled, to reveal a sweet, yet savoury addition to a salad, quiche or antipasto platter.
All capsicums are low in fat and kilojoules, however deeply colored red capsicums are superior to the other colours in terms of nutrients, containing almost twice as much Vitamin C and beta-carotene as their green counterparts, plus they are rich in disease fighting bioflavonoids. Capsicum can also help reduce the risk of macular degeneration as it contains the antioxidants lutein.
Foods To Eat This Autumn, A member of the parsley family, the carrot is an ancient vegetable that’s thought to have originated in North Africa or central Asia. Early carrots were red, black or purple, and it wasn’t until the 17th century that the Dutch developed the modern orange variety.
Carrots are an excellent source of carotene (which is converted into vitamin A in the liver). Carrots are the richest source of beta-carotene – a powerful antioxidant that is also the precursor of Vitamin A. The more vivid the color, the higher the beta-carotene content. Vitamin A is required for healthy bones, hair, skin, immunity and eye health including the prevention of night blindness. Carrots are also a good source of dietary fiber and potassium.
Foods To Eat This Autumn, The snow-white cauliflower is a vegetable among the brassica, or cabbage family, with relatives including broccoli and brussels sprouts. Cauliflower is low kilojoule and fibre-packed, and makes a great low-carb alternative to regular potato mash. It is also a great source of Vitamin C, just one cup of raw cauliflower florets contains 50% of your RDI.
Foods To Eat This Autumn, This versatile vegetable (also known as aubergine) ranges in color from purple- black through pale green and variegated to white. It also comes in lots of sizes, from the more common large and bulbous variety to finger-slim Japanese eggplants and pea-sized South-East Asian varieties.
Choose glossy, firm, unblemished eggplants that feel heavy for their size. Eggplant is high in fiber – especially soluble fiber that also assists with controlling blood cholesterol levels, vitamin B6 for healthy blood and manganese for healthy bones. It also contains folate for a healthy heart and potassium for optimal blood pressure. Eggplant is also rich in antioxidants.
Foods To Eat This Autumn, Fresh or cooked, the sweet aniseed flavor of fennel is a bold addition to any dish. High in fibre and rich in vitamin C, fennel is a healthy ingredient to add to your dishes. It’s also high in folate and potassium. Fennel is also considered a digestion aid. In India, fennel seeds are often chewed at the end of a meal, to not only stop indigestion, but also keep bad breath at bay.
Foods To Eat This Autumn, Australia is one of the most successful grape-growing countries in the world, producing hundreds of varieties for eating and winemaking. Grapes are a good source of fiber, vitamin C, potassium and energy, and contain more natural sugar than any other fruit. Grapes are great on their own, in salads or desserts, and as part of a cheese platter. Freeze picked grapes in airtight containers and serve as an after-school snack. Great with saffron, brie, blue cheese, mascarpone, hazelnuts, walnuts, pastry, chilli, sweet potato, pork, chicken and fish.
13. Green beans
Foods To Eat This Autumn, These popular beans, also known as French beans or string beans, consist of a crisp, edible green pod enclosing soft, tender beans. They’re usually sold with the ‘string’ – the long, fibrous thread that runs the length of the bean – removed. Trim the stem end before cooking.
If steaming or boiling green beans for salads, plunging them in icy water after cooking will stop the cooking process and preserve the bright green color. Green beans are low in kilojoules, high in fiber and a good source of vitamin K, which is important for normal blood clotting and strong bones. They’re a rich source of the antioxidant beta-carotene, and contain vitamin C, folate and potassium.
Foods To Eat This Autumn, This fuzzy little fruit is prized for its delicious flavor. It’s also one of the most nutrient-dense fruits available, which means you get lots of nutrients out of every bite. Low in fat and low GI, one serving of kiwifruit contains a whopping 240 per cent of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C.
Two kiwifruit contain more fiber than a bowl of bran cereal and it has more fiber than all of the other fruits in the table below. It’s also one of the few low-fat sources of vitamin E, which boosts the immune system and is important for lowering cholesterol.
Foods To Eat This Autumn, This small green-fleshed citrus fruit comes in two main varieties in Australia: Tahitian (with green skin) or Mexican (with yellow skin). Limes are high in vitamin C and they also contain pectin, which is a good source of dietary fiber.
Foods To Eat This Autumn, Mushrooms are actually a fungus, not a vegetable, and come in many varieties. White agaricus mushrooms (common white button and portobello mushrooms) are sold in supermarkets and fruit and vegetable stores all year round. Oyster, Swiss brown and shiitake mushrooms are at their best during autumn, but are also generally available all year round.
Mushrooms are particularly nutritious as they are low in sodium. They’re a good source of thiamin, vitamin B6, iron, magnesium and zinc, and contain dietary fiber, riboflavin, niacin and folate. They’re also very low in saturated fat and cholesterol.