When you buy fruits and vegetables in season, they’re more likely to be locally sourced and picked at the peak of their deliciousness. Studies have also shown they’re more likely to retain all of their nutrients if allowed to ripen naturally on their plant of origin.
Here are 10 of Arizona’s most nutritious autumnal crops; you can learn about more from the
Arizona Farm Bureau’s website www.fillyourplate.org
- Apples — Rich in fiber and vitamin C, apples can guard against blood vessel and heart damage, and their antioxidants may slow growth of cancer cells.
- Arugula — This superfood is high in fiber, antioxidants, vitamins B and K, calcium and folate, reducing inflammation and protecting the aging brain.
- Beets — These are packed with essential vitamins, minerals and plant compounds. They contain nitrates that lower blood pressure and improve athletic performance and may reduce inflammation.
- Carrots — They
improve vision as well as regulate your weight and blood pressure and boost your immunity. Rich in vitamins A, B and K and anti-inflammatory nutrients.
- Dates — High in the antioxidant polyphenol, dates balance their natural sugar content with lots of fiber and potassium. In moderation, they’re a great sub for empty-calorie sweets.
- Green Beans — A nutritional powerhouse, these contain vitamins A, B and K, plenty of fiber and other potent compounds, some known to have anti-carcinogenic traits.
- Pears — They’re an excellent source of fiber, antioxidants and important minerals including copper and vitamins C and K. They also have a low glycemic index.
- Pumpkins — These are low-calorie and go through the roof in potassium, vitamin A and fiber content. They help regulate blood pressure and sugar and keep you energized.
- Spinach — A versatile ingredient in the kitchen, spinach is very low in calories but manages to pack in nutrients that strengthen bones, teeth, hair and hearts.
- Zucchini — Its list of nutrients is almost as long as the typical ‘zuke. They aid in digestion, protect the heart and may aid in blood sugar regulation.