Employee Health and Wellness: Health Benefits of Fall Favorites
The cool dry air and bursts of orange, reds and yellows in the trees makes it official — fall is here! Officially beginning on Sat., Sept. 23, fall is a special time that many enjoy for numerous reasons including an opportunity to get outside and exercise in cool weather and the chance to enjoy traditional fall produce.
Stores and restaurants filled with pumpkin spice and apple cider treats, make it hard not to indulge in many fall favorites. Luckily, many of these fall harvest specialties may also provide some unexpected nutritional benefits.
Commonly desired in the form of a pie, pumpkin is packed with vitamin A, fiber and antioxidants, providing great nutritional value. Experts say vitamin A is great for your vision, immune system and can help maintain healthy skin and bones. Although a pumpkin-spiced latte may not provide the most nutritional benefits, adding pumpkin to oatmeal, soups, pasta sauces or even enjoying pumpkin seeds is a healthy option.
Apples, a round or oval-shaped fruit coming in various sizes and colors, may also provide surprising health benefits. Loaded with multiple fibers, potassium and vitamins C and K, experts suggest that apples have been linked to lowering the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and supporting weight loss. Remember the old adage, “an apple a day, keeps the doctor away.”
If you are interested in trying a new recipe and taking advantage of the health benefits mentioned, the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) MyPlate is a great resource for free healthy meal recipes and food planning suggestions, such as their apple cinnamon bars or pumpkin bread. Enjoy!