We are now in the season of apple picking and pumpkin spice lattes, aka the best time of the year. I love caramel apples and apple cider donuts as much as the next person, but there are also much healthier food options that don’t have the added calories that most of your favorite fall snacks have. With the fall harvest coming up, here are some fresh produce options coming into season as recommended by whfoods.com, a website that lists the health benefits of various foods:

1. Apples

Ah apples, the classic fall fruit. No New England fall is complete without a trip to the local apple orchard to go apple picking. Whether you choose Macintosh, Cortland or any other type, you can’t go wrong with a freshly picked apple if you’re looking to increase your fruit intake. Apples help reduce bad cholesterol and are a big factor in helping to maintain a healthy heart.

2. Mushrooms

I know most people aren’t crazy about mushrooms — I know I definitely wasn’t at first — but they do grow on you after a while. Mushrooms have a lot of Vitamin D, fiber and potassium, making them a great fall snack. I recommend either adding them to a salad or putting some in an omelet if you want to try them.

3. Sweet Potatoes

As your typical Irish-American girl from your typical large Irish-American family, I usually eat potatoes with every meal. Sweet potatoes are one of my favorites because they have high levels of potassium and iron. A lot of people can be iron deficient without knowing it, so increasing the amount of foods you eat that contain iron can help ameliorate this problem. I eat them before runs as a natural energy boost and to fight off low iron levels during runs.

4. Pears

Pears, like apples, have high amounts of sugar; however, pears also have high amounts of necessary fibers. Sure, eating five pears a day won’t help you in the long run, but one or two a week will help you get the fruits you need for your diet without compromising taste.

5. Pumpkins

Contrary to popular belief, a pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks is not the only way you can enjoy the tasty flavor of pumpkin. Pumpkins themselves have high levels of Vitamin C, which helps fight colds and keeps your immune system strong. Roasted pumpkin seeds are one of my personal favorite fall foods and are very good in aiding heart health as well.

About The Author

--Sophomore | Vine Editor -- Nursing : Irish Studies

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