As the days shorten and the weather cools, it’s a good idea to take nature’s hint and eat seasonally. Autumn’s colour change from summer’s lush greens to yellows and oranges is a good reminder to make the most of what’s in season. The bounty of new harvests of many colourful fruits and vegetables such as tomatoes, avocados, grapes, kiwifruit, apples and passionfruit vegetables such as capsicum, carrots, pumpkin and kumera, all contain a wide range of antioxidants essential for good health.
Not only will your body be grateful for eating seasonally, your pocket will be in better shape too! It’s very cost-effective and environmentally sustainable to source the freshest local foods on offer at any time of year.
The nutrients you need to focus on in autumn to maintain wellness and enhance the body’s cellular immunity to ward off those winter colds and flus are:
The fat soluble vitamins A, E and K Pro-Vitamin A (betacarotene) from orange vegetables such as carrots, pumpkin and kumera and leafy greens such as spinach, kale and lettuce and Vitamin K from all leafy greens. Vitamin E – from nuts, vegetable oils and seeds. Again freshness is important as Vitamin E in foods is vulnerable to oxidation after harvesting and in storage.
The vitamin B group found in whole grains and cereals, particularly Vitamin B5, B6 and Folic Acid are important for bug-fighting white blood cells.
Vitamin C – sourced from fruits and vegetables, the fresher the better as vitamin C degrades quite quickly in harvested foods. Fresh citrus fruits and berries are an excellent source of this essential nutrient for structural integrity and infection control for every cell in your body.
Zinc – critical for immune defence, can be sourced from seafood, milk, nuts, grains and pulses. However the amount of this mineral in foods can vary widely from soil or sea conditions.
Selenium – another essential mineral for virus control and cancer prevention and, unfortunately, one of the most deficient in NZ soils. More reliable sources are Brazil nuts, oysters, tuna and sardines.
Beta-glucans from medicinal mushrooms such as reishi, shiitake and nutritional yeast promote immune response against a wide variety of viruses.
Everyone can benefit from spending more time out in the open air, the cooler conditions in autumn will reward extra exercise with some free Vitamin D from the weaker sun’s rays. Most pre-menopausal women would also benefit from focusing on iron sources in the diet such as red meats, legumes or fortified cereals.
Vital Greens can give you the peace of mind that you are getting all of the above essential nutrients and more in one convenient daily serve. All in a form the body can optimally absorb and assimilate. As a superior multi-vitamin alternative, ‘Vital Greens’ can take the guess-work out of your essential daily health needs in all seasons.
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