It’s fall, so bring in the veggies and pumpkins. Just don’t stave off the fruits! Throughout the autumn season, Connecticut farmer’s markets will produce a bounty of antioxidant-rich fruits perfect for jams, jellies and all other sorts of celebratory fall infusions. In particular, the Westport Farmer’s Market, open on Thursdays 10-2, will bring the beauty and pureness of fresh produce straight to our neighborhood on Imperial Avenue. We talked to WFM Director Lori Cochran, and below is a list of fall-themed fruit she promised will have a showing in the upcoming months at the local Market.
Do apples really keep the doctor away? Well, seemingly, yes. From helping gums and teeth to reducing cancer risk, apples have an impressive range of far-reaching benefits. According to several Cornell University studies, apple consumption was linked to reduced risk of female coronary heart and lung disease (the latter with pears). WFM sells over 12 types of apples, according to Cochran.
The vibrant reds and purples in grapes are caused by flavonoids, chemicals that reduce free radicals (the precursors to aging). Thus, red grapes- and, consequently, deep red wine- are superior. This doesn’t mean the green ones aren’t healthy either, though. If GGs are your fave, don’t cut them off, all grapes have been proven to have anti-oxidant qualities. Expect these puppies in late August and September.
Like tomatoes, squash is fruit in disguise. The seeded food is a great source of carotenoids, which help to prevent lung disease and to process Vitamin A in the body. Thumbs up for butternut squash: it was long thought the skin was solely beneficial, but recent research has evidenced that the flesh provides anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic results, as well. Chochran raves about squash, which she says last for months and is sold in many varieties at WFM.
So good things do come in small packages. Despite its size, figs pack in more fiber than the majority of large fruits and vegetables, according to a study. In terms of antioxidants, they’re not bad, either- the fable fruit is chockfull of biggies like calcium and potassium, and yields benefits to blood pressure, bone density and general homeostasis. Figs are grown in CT among other places.
Pears, soft, gooey and juicy, are a treat to enjoy. Luckily for us, they’re healthful to bat. Associated with apples in many contexts, pears are packed with Vitamins C, A, K and B and copper, magnesium, and xx. Put together, these compounds create steep protection from vision loss to osteoporosis. Just try to resist skinning them: according to sources, the fluffy inside sports the fewest nutrients.
Like its cousin berry types blueberries and blackberries (which Cochran says are also great in CT fall) raspberries contain high doses of Vitamin C, flavenoids and phytochemicals that help in the prevention of disease and immune degeneration. But unlike the others, though, red raspberries are considered the main source of cancer-fighting nutrients ellagitannins. Eat them fresh, pair theme with crème, or mash them into jams, regardless: they are very high in antioxidants.