AZ Crop Guide: What’s in Season for Your Nutrition

Because Phoenix, AZ doesn’t experience harsh winters, it’s easy to find an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables throughout the year. Fall, in particular, is a special season for produce in the area. 

Arizona-Grown Fruits and Vegetables to Eat This Fall

Here are some of the most nutritious fruits and vegetables available at your local grocery stores and farmers’ markets this fall:

  • Arugula. Arugula belongs to the brassica family of vegetables, along with cauliflower, broccoli, and cabbage. These veggies are high in fiber, antioxidants, and glucosinolates that may reduce the risk of developing lung, breast, prostate, and pancreatic cancer.
  • Beets. These dark red vegetables are a great source of nutrients, including vitamin C, fiber, and folate. Beets also contain pigments and nitrates that may help lower blood pressure and enhance athletic performance.
  • Bok choy. This type of Chinese cabbage contains vitamins C and E, as well as beta-carotene. These nutrients possess powerful antioxidant properties that may help protect cells from cancer-causing free radicals.
  • Carrots. Adding more antioxidant-rich vegetables, such as carrots, to your diet can help reduce the likelihood of cancer and cardiovascular diseases.
  • Chard. The health benefits of chard are life-changing and include an ability to prevent various types of disorders, manage blood sugar levels, boost the immune system, improve digestion, reduce fevers, and fight inflammation. What’s more, it may help to lower blood pressure, prevent heart disease, detoxify the body, increase bone strength, and improve the function of the brain. So, eat up!
  • Cilantro. Cilantro contains many important bioactive compounds, such as polyphenolic flavonoids and other antioxidants, which are known to have health-improving and disease-preventing qualities.
  • Corn. Because yellow corn is a good source of antioxidant carotenoids, it may promote eye health. It is also a superb source of many vitamins and minerals. 
  • Eggplant. Eggplants are an underrated superfood. It’s high fiber-content plays a role in supporting the digestion process, improving heart health, and warding off certain cancers, among several other benefits.
  • Peppers. Research from the International Journal of Cancer in 2009 discovered that premenopausal women who consumed two or more servings of peppers or foods rich in carotenoids each day lowered their risk of breast cancer by 17 percent. This is because carotenoids can disrupt estrogen’s signaling ability.
  • Tomatoes. Delicious tomatoes are an important dietary source of lycopene, an antioxidant that has been linked to a multitude of benefits, including reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases and certain cancers. These fruits are also an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin K, potassium, and folate.
  • Spinach. As you may already know, spinach is an excellent source of innumerable vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A, B2, C, and K, iron, folate, and manganese — to name a few. Vitamin K, in particular, is essential for maintaining bone health, and no other vegetable is denser in this vitamin than spinach.

Other picks that have the highest levels of good-for-your-health nutrients include kale, zucchini, onions, and figs

To help ward off diseases, keep the heart healthy, and enhance cognition among a myriad of other benefits, make sure to stock your fridge and pantry with these Arizona-grown crops for the fall time. After all, they provide nutrients vital for health and body maintenance.