Refresh your five-a-day with autumn’s bounty. Juice-laden, vitamin-rich berries and fruit are at their sweetest and best, filled, as poet John Keats put it, ‘with ripeness to the core’. This is the month to bite into full-of-goodness apples, figs, pears, plums, raspberries, damsons and wild blackberries. Head for the fields, forage among the hedgerows, pick fruit in England’s orchards.
September’s harvest is also rich in fresh vegetables with seasonal treats including runner beans, globe artichokes, beetroot, aubergines, carrots, celery, courgettes, fennel, sweetcorn and watercress. The wider the mix of colours on the plate, the wider the range of nutrients on offer.
For maximum health benefits, eat the freshest possible fruit and vegetables; the longer they lie on the shelf the more flavour, vitamin and water content they lose. When picking our own is not an option, buy fresh from farm/specialist shops and farmers’ markets or, failing that, freshly frozen retains most nutrients and water.
Written by Dr. Noel Duncan