As fall hits its full stride we are once again met with a range of food, weather, and events that combine to make this season so special. While the cooler weather might initially conjure up thoughts of football games, outdoor fire pits, and hot chocolate, there are perhaps two things that truly signify autumn: apples and pumpkins. These two fruits typify fall in many ways. With apples, there is the time-honored New England tradition of walking or riding through apple orchards and picking your own apples (and perhaps eating an apple or two along the way). With pumpkins, people all over the country begin buying and carving pumpkins of all shapes and sizes in preparation for Halloween. But there is more to these fruits than you might realize.
Did you know?
- Apples are members of the Rose family
- There are 2,500 varieties of apples currently grown in the United States
- 25% of an apples volume is actually air, which is why “bobbing for apples” works
- The average person eats 65 apples a year – conversely, the average person also eats 70 hot dogs a year!
- Pumpkins, like tomatoes and cucumbers, are actually a fruit as they are a product of a seed-bearing plant
- The average pumpkin contains roughly 500 seeds
- There are nearly 50 different types of pumpkin
- The largest type of pumpkin, the Atlantic Giant, often grows as much as 50 pounds . . . per day!
But apples and pumpkins hold more value than just serving as seasonal food symbols. Both fruits offer distinct health advantages that benefit everyone, particularly seniors. Consider that among other things:
- Lower cholesterol
- Reduce blood pressure
- Stabilize blood sugar
- Ease inflammation
- High in beta carotene, which turns into Vitamin A
- Improve eye and skin health and supports immune system
- Seeds are high in protein and iron, but low in calories
- Every part of the pumpkin is edible, including the flowers, skin, leaves, and even the stem
Most people have heard that eating “an apple a day will keep the doctor away” and with good reason. Apples make for a healthy and quick snack and should be on every senior’s grocery list. And while you’re at it, add a pumpkin to your cart and make some pie or soup. Or better yet seniors, visit one of Darien’s wonderful food sources such as Palmer’s and pick up some delicious dishes featuring apples and pumpkins. Be sure to bring your At Home In Darien membership card to Palmer’s on Wednesdays and receive a 10% discount! As always, At Home In Darien is available to drive any Darien senior to Palmer’s, or to the Farmer’s market in Goodwives Shopping Center, or to wherever you’d like in Darien, Stamford, Norwalk, and New Canaan. Please call us with any questions at (203) 655-2227, or visit us at https://www.athomeindarien.org if you need any additional information regarding the unique services and support we provide on behalf of Darien seniors.