Ask the dietitian: Fall veggies and their health benefits


SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Fall vegetables are not only delicious, but they also carry lots of nutrients your immune system needs this time of the year as the weather gets colder and we approach flu season.

It’s like Mother Nature knows just what we need.

“You’re getting the most anti-oxidants with the seasonal produce. And oddly enough, a lot of the nutrients that you need more of in the fall are available in the in-season produce,” said Hy-Vee dietician Amanda Allen.

She says vitamin A and vitamin C are highly abundant in fall produce.

Not only are fall veggies an immune health boost, but shopping in season can also be budget-friendly.

Some fall favorites include butternut squash, spaghetti squash, pumpkin, radishes, Brussel sprouts, carrots and sweet potatoes.

Recipe: Roasted leaks

  • Set the oven on 400
  • Roast leaks for about 30-40 minutes.
  • Prep with: avocado oil, salt and pepper
  • And top it with some Parmesan cheese

“It’s going to be very tender. It’s going to have some sweetness,” said Allen. “Not only is it going to taste great, but it’s going to bring some health benefits.”

Allen said some of those health benefits are that leaks are very low calorie – only 30 calories for a cup of leaks, and it’s very rich in fiber.

“Often, people don’t get enough fiber. Most people get less than 10 grams of fiber per day. We need around 30 grams, so with this, you’re already a third of the way there,” Allen said.

Leaks, she says, are also anti-inflammatory, and help with diabetes, blood sugar control and lowering cholesterol.

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