For many people, summer is their favourite time of year. The opportunity to get out in the sunshine, never feel cold, spend lots of time in the great outdoors with late sunsets, work on the garden or spend time watching or playing summer sports are all among the reasons to enjoy this season to the max.
However, now we are in August the clock is ticking on these eastival delights. The nights are starting to draw in and sunsets that until recently occurred after 9pm will soon be happening at 8pm. Next month, autumn will commence, the nights will become shorter than the days and the lush green of summer will start to give way to the golds and oranges of a new season.
That may sadden those who love hot days and cricket, as well as worrying those with an eye on winter fuel bills. But autumn can also be a great time, from its colours to its festivities. Best of all, there are some tasty seasonal superfoods to help people stay healthy and make the most of it. If ever there was a time to stock up on super organic foods, it is now.
Some of the superfoods you may encounter in autumn are actually quite familiar. As an American product that substituted the turnips their ancestors would have grown across the Atlantic, the pumpkin has found its primary place in Europe as something to carve for Halloween rather than eat. But Europeans are increasingly discovering a taste for treats like pumpkin pie.
This is good news, because they contain lots of vitamin A and also lots of fibre, especially their seeds.
Pumpkins are not the only seed-bearing superfood that is good for autumn and widely available. Pomegranates and blackberries are too, with plenty of vitamin C to add as well.
Squashes and vegetables like beets and sweet potatoes are also in plentiful supply and offer lots of fibre and vitamin A, vitamins and minerals. All this will help you to improve your immune system ahead of all the bugs that will go around, which may include another Covid wave. That doesn’t mean older folk should forgo any flu or Covid booster jabs, but every bit can help in the fight.
Just as importantly, these foods are great in stews, soups, puddings and warm casseroles, the kind of warming, comforting food that people just love to eat in autumn and winter.
After all, when the weather is no longer warm, what everyone needs is heat from other sources. Since only one night in autumn involves standing around a large bonfire, warm food and clothes will be central to creating comfort.
The thought of autumn might be an unhappy one for some, while others will look forward to dressing up, fireworks and kicking through falling leaves. But for the undecided, it could be that an autumn filled with delicious superfoods brings warmth, comfort and health in abundance.
After all, if you know you are eating well and healthily in autumn, you won’t look with foreboding towards the waistline consequences of all that Christmas sugar and stodge!