Harvest Nutrition

Posted on October 16th, 2012 by in Nutrition

Although most of the fruits and vegetables we associate with autumn are not related botanically, they offer our bodies a consistent nutritional theme. Apples, pears, grapes, beets, and squash are all excellent sources of soluble fiber and all but the squash are great sources of one particular type of soluble fiber: pectin. Pectin has a long list of research-substantiated health effects that range from lowering cholesterol levels to removing heavy metals and other contaminants from the body. This is truly nature’s soft detox agent and a great way to prepare for the short days of winter.

In addition to this great source of soluble fiber, these fruits and vegetables are very alkalizing as they are all great sources of potassium. They have unique phytonutrients that are protective against carcinogens. The ellagic acid in grapes and the betacyanin in beets stand out in this area, but winter squash varieties that cook to a dark orange are loaded with a wide variety of carotenoids that offer similar protection. Autumn makes it easy to eat the amount of fruits and vegetables that we need to feel our best.

What are your favorite autumn fruits or vegetables? Share your recipes!

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About John Bagnulo, PhD, MPH

John teaches nutrition in Kripalu’s Healthy Living programs. He holds a doctorate in food and nutrition sciences from the University of Maine and a Master of Public Health from the University of North Carolina. John served as nutritionist at Canyon Ranch in the Berkshires and is currently on the faculty of the Center for Mind-Body Medicine. A frequent lecturer on topics including weight loss, detoxification, and chronic disease treatment and prevention, John is also a passionate mountain climber who reached the top of Mt. Everest as part of a two-man team.