BOOST YOUR HEALTH THIS AUTUMN

By filling up on the season's best fruit
PHOTO: DAREEN MUIR/STOCKSY

Making sure your diet is varied and packed with a range of nutrients is key to optimal health. But eating foods that are in season is going one step further in your nutrition game. Not only is it better for the environment and often cheaper, but you’ll also be getting the produce in its prime – which tends to mean a higher level of nutrients. Good news if you care about your health.

With the turn of the new season, it’s time to check in with which fruits we should be chowing down on this autumn to really up our game. Want our pick of the best seasonal veg too? Click here.

1 Blackberries

While blackberries tend to come into season at the end of summer, they still stay in their prime until autumn comes around, so we’re able to catch them at their best at this time of year. They may often be forgotten in lieu of the more popular berries like raspberries, blueberries and strawberries, but these antioxidant powerhouses can really hold their own.

Why: We’re talking seriously high levels of vitamin C and loads of fibre.

Try it: Baked with apple into a hearty crumble.

2 Pears

Something about cinnamon and pears just screams autumn, don’t you think? Pears don’t tend to be a common go-to when it comes to snacking on fruit – it’s way more common to grab a banana or apple on the go – but they’re super versatile and can be used in desserts as well as salads.

Why: Their levels of vitamin C, potassium and vitamin K are impressive.

Try it: Add to your morning porridge with a sprinkle of cinnamon for a really wholesome breakfast.

3 Figs

When figs are in season and you eat them at their perfect ripeness, there aren’t many other fruits that can rival them. From the unique texture to the sweet taste, they feel like a real treat compared to the more common all-year-round fruits we eat more often. Go for the deepest colour when choosing yours.

Why: Thanks to the thick skin and plentiful seeds, figs are packed with fibre. They also boast high levels of vitamins A, B and C.

Try it: Why not give a fig jam a go? Otherwise, adding them to your cheese boards is always a winner.

4 Plums

The contrasting flavours of super sweet with tart make plums a really popular pick. Although they can be eaten raw as a snack, plums lend themselves well to being baked, cooked or made into jams.

Why: Not many people know about the nutritional value of plums. They’re extremely high in antioxidants but also contain high levels of tryptophan.

Try it: Drizzle with honey and bake in the oven for a sweet and healthy treat.

5 Quince

If you’re not familiar with quince, get to know! The pear lookalike can sometimes be found on cheeseboards as a jam or chutney, but works well cooked into dishes too. They come into season well into autumn so why not give it a go this year?

Why: They’ll give you a good helping of vitamin C, zinc and iron.

Try it: Cooked into a stew made with a rich meat such as beef.

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