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Sun October 13, 2013
Health

You can't go wrong with fall veggies

What do you think of when you hear the words "fall foods?" For children, “fall foods” may mean candy corn and Halloween treats, while others may think vegetables -- things like squash, cabbage and beets. These fall under the category of autumnal vegetables, and can provide many healthy benefits to consumers of them.

This week on Take Care, nutritionist Joan Rogus talks about what makes fall vegetables good for you. Rogus is a registered dietitian in central New York who's been a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics for over 25 years.

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“This is a great time of the year to switch to some of the heartiest and healthiest vegetables around,” Rogus says of fall.

Vegetables this time of the year are classified in three different groups: squash, cruciferous vegetables and root vegetables. “And within each of those groups and categories there are so many different flavors and colors and even just a wealth of vitamins and minerals. Whatever you choose, you can’t make a bad choice,” says Rogus.

Some of the most popular and healthiest fall vegetables include:

  • Cabbage: Often called a “super vegetable” due to its many anti-cancer properties and low calorie count. It can be served raw and cooked.
  • Squash: Contains beta carotene, which have both anti-cancer and anti-oxidant properties. Squash also boosts the immune system and lowers the risk of heart disease.
  • Beets: Contains anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which is great for people with arthritis. Rogus points out that the top of the beet is one of the most nutritious parts of a beet, as it contains iron, calcium and magnesium.

Juicing is a popular way many people get their daily requirement of vegetables, and while Rogus notes that just about any fall vegetable can be juiced, one key component often gets lost in the process.

“A lot of times, depending on the machine you use, you lose a lot of the valuable fiber, which is one of the huge benefits of having vegetables,” she says. While juicing is an effective way of getting the other nutrients vegetables provide, Rogus says, “the whole vegetable is the way to go rather than juicing.”

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