Konnecting with Kris Blog
Connect with Saline County FCS agent Kris Boulton.
Eat or Decorate with Autumn Vegetables?
You can certainly tell that fall is in the air! Cooler temperatures, sounds of bands and fans at football games, and the arrival of pumpkins, gourds, and winter squash at the local markets to welcome fall! While many people use pumpkins and gourds for decorating, these vegetables are packed with nutrients that are great for us.
While we use pumpkins and gourds for decorating, these vegetables are packed with nutrients. Winter squash, pumpkins, and carrots are all deep yellow to deep orange in color and are particularly rich in beta-carotene, which the body turns in to Vitamin A.
For foods high in beta-carotene and other carotenoids, try to choose red, orange, deep-yellow, and some dark-green leafy vegetables every day. Be aware, however, that color is a clue, not an assurance, that fruits and vegetables are good sources of beta-carotene. For example, despite their color, neither corn nor snow peas have much beta carotene-but they do supply other nutrients.
What are the Benefits of Vitamin A?
You have probably heard that Vitamin A is an essential part of a healthy diet. Vitamin A helps our eyes to adjust easily and see normally in the dark, plus it promotes the growth and health of cells and tissues throughout our bodies.
Vitamin A also protects you from infections by keeping the skin and tissues in your mouth, stomach, intestines, respiratory, and urinary tracts healthy. It also may reduce your risk for certain cancers and other some other diseases by working as an antioxidant in the form of carotenoids. This is a healthy reason why we should have at least one serving of Vitamin A rich food daily.
Anyway you decide to enjoy your pumpkins and winter squash, know that you are getting a vegetable that is high in both Vitamin A and beta-carotene that tastes great! I like to decorate for a while inside then cook them. That way I get the best of both options – beauty and nutrition.
For more information about autumn vegetables and nutrition, check out this blog from Howard County!.