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Neighbors Growing Together | Oct 24, 2014

Autumn brings new selection of produce

By DEE SANDQUIST, Hy-Vee Dietian | Sep 26, 2013

As we move into autumn, a whole new selection of colorful produce becomes available, including apples, potatoes, squash and several others. These seasonal foods have their own unique health benefits.

What are flavonoids? (definition)

Flavonoids are compounds found in plants that are believed to have a positive impact on health. Flavonoids are also plant pigments that contribute the brilliant and beautiful colors found in plants – especially oranges, yellows and reds. Scientists estimate that there are literally over 6,000 flavonoids found in plants.

What do flavonoids do? (benefits)

In the last decade, scientists have conducted considerable research to learn more about the potential health benefits of flavonoids associated with fruit – and vegetable – rich diets.

In some studies, intake of foods rich in flavonoids has been associated with a decreased risk of chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease, asthma and stroke. Flavonoids are also believed to boost the immune system, promote longevity and protect brain health. Further research is needed to better understand the mechanisms and pathways of flavonoids and their role in health.

What foods provide flavonoids? (sources)

Flavonoids are found in almost all plants, including herbs, fruits, vegetables, legumes, red wine, tea and chocolate. Some fall favorites include apples, winter squash, grapes, nuts, grains and berries (aronia berry or cranberry).

How can I get more flavonoids in my diet?

•Eat a diet rich in a variety of whole, unprocessed fruits and vegetables.

•Enjoy an abundance of raw fruits and vegetables.

•When cooking vegetables, keep them brightly colored and protect the flavonoid content by using minimal cooking times, lower temperatures and small amounts of liquids.

 

Apple Pecan Nachos

All you need:

2 pears, sliced

2 apples, cored & sliced

8 strawberries, chopped

¼ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted

¼ cup white chocolate chips, melted

¼ cup unsweetened shredded coconut flakes

¼ cup chopped pecans

 

All you do:

1.Place apples and pears on a platter.

2.Sprinkle strawberries over sliced apples and pears.

3.Drizzle melted chocolate separately on top of fruit.

4.Sprinkle with coconut and pecans.

The information is not intended as medical advice. Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.

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