As the days get shorter, and there’s a freshness’ to the mornings, it becomes obvious that the cooler seasons are approaching. Autumn is a time when we start to withdraw from the outdoors, getting ready to consolidate for the winter and go within. I always think of animals, they’ve got living in harmony with nature down pat. Think of bears, in autumn they ensure that they eat hardily, building themselves a nice den to keep them warm through the winter and then they go into hibernation. Us humans, aren’t as extreme, but we need to take head from nature and adjust ourselves to the this time of year. As everything slows down in Autumn, there is a downward shift, less light, trees loose their leaves and energy goes back into the earth.
Autumn is very much about letting go and the lungs and colon are the associated organs for this season which are part of the elimination channels of the body. Emotions associated with autumn are grief and sadness often leading to unresolved emotions being expressed as physical symptoms such as coughs and gastrointestinal problems. As the weather gets colder, we also get drier: dry skin, chapped lips, constipated, dry scalps and coughs. Oily foods rich in natural healthy fats such as tahini (sesame paste), avocado and oily fish are ideal to help retain the natural moisture in our bodies over the cooler months. Foods which moisten the body are particularly important and in season at this time of year are sweet potatoes, carrots, zucchini, leeks, spinach and apples, pears, grapes and figs.
Stand out fruits and vegetables in season in Autumn
Butternut pumpkin a great source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, potassium and fibre. Try butternut pumpkin in a lasagna or roasted.
Eggplants are a unique vegetable high in manganese along with loads of vitamins and minerals. They are also a good source of antioxidants.
Silverbeet is an outstanding veggie jam packed full of vitamins including vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin C, magnesium, manganese, potassium, iron, vitamin E, and dietary fiber. Saute with some veggies or serve as a side to roast lamb or fish.
Pomegranates are a good source of fibre and folate, and a very good source of Vitamin C and Vitamin K. Eat the seeds as a snack or add them to tea for a boost of color, flavour and nutrition.
Sweet potatoes are high in fibre, are a good source of B vitamins and folate whilst being anti-inflammatory and rich in antioxidants. Try them roasted in place of white potatoes.
List of fruits and vegetables now in season
Apples, avocado, beans, beetroot, brussel sprouts, cabbage, capsicum, carrot, cauliflower, celery, chillies, corn, cucumber, eggplant, figs, grapefruit, grapes, kiwifruit ,leeks, Lemon (all year),lettuce, mandarins, oranges, mushrooms, onions, oranges, parsley, parsnips, pears, peas, Pomegranate, potatoes, quince, rhubarb, silverbeet, spinach, spring onion, squash, strawberries, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, zucchini.
Seasonal food plays an important role in our overall health as most fruits and vegetables grow during the season which requires an abundance of those specific nutrients. The diversity and variety of eating seasonally also ensures that you get a wide variety of vitamins and minerals not to mention unbeatable vitality and freshness of food full of flavor. Buy these wonderful Autumn fruits and vegetables from your local farmers market or organic shop, experiment and have fun with these amazing gifts from nature. Not only tickle your taste buds but enhance your health too!
Lina Capovilla -Naturopath