Seasonal Nutrition Tips - Autumn
As the seasons change and Summer starts to fade, kids go back to school and the nights draw in, our lifestyles alter accordingly. In the Autumn months it is easy to slip into old habits as the days shorten there seems to be less time to exercise and cook healthy meals and darker nights call for more comforting food.
Fortunately, mother nature has designed her larder to complement our seasonal needs and just as the summer berries disappear from the hedgerows the fruit trees burgeon with ripe apples, juicy plums and root vegetables erupt from the soil.
Orange and yellow fleshed Autumn veggies such as carrots, parsnips and squash are rich sources of antioxidant beta-carotene a derivative of vitamin A, best known for its role in the formation of pigments necessary to maintain normal vision. Whilst incorporating leafy greens like cabbage and kale, will help to top up iron and vitamin K both essential for healthy blood. These seasonal vegetables can all be grown easily at home and are delicious in comforting soups, stir-fry’s and stews.
Darker, shorter days mean less exposure to sunlight which from the end of September to early March is insufficient for our bodies to produce enough vitamin D. Essential for the absorption and utilisation of Calcium, a deficiency of this vitamin can lead to muscle weakness and bone pain. In fact, most people would benefit from supplementing this vitamin during the Autumn and Winter months, especially those who are elderly and housebound. A 10microgram supplement is recommended, available over the counter at your local chemist.