If you visit farmers’ markets regularly, you will notice a turnover of local fruits and vegetables due to seasonal changes. Indeed, food items from farmers’ markets are usually fresher and often more nutritious for you and your pets. With autumn upon us, what is available these days? It really depends on the temperature where you live. However, many gardeners agree that the fruits and vegetables listed below are commonly harvested in the fall. Some of them may be harvested in early summer depending on when they were planted and the temperatures.
Are you asking yourself, “Fruits and vegetables for companion dogs?” Yes indeed! We definitely support homemade and balanced meals for dogs that follow formulations/recipes from veterinary and animal nutritionists. Once you become adept, you can start switching out fruits and vegetables to add variety for taste and nutrient density. Even if you do not cook for your companion dog, you can think about giving these foods as treats.
Interestingly, many so-called “functional nutritionists” advocate for eating only the seasonal fruits and vegetables applicable to where you live. [The same applies to honey.] Put simply, one expert says that during the summer months we generally crave cooler and moisture-rich foods like watermelon or cucumber. As autumn and winter set in, we tend to seek out warmer foods like soups and broths that could be made with pumpkins, other squashes, or carrots.
Locally grown fruits and vegetables found at farmers’ markets usually have reduced amounts of pesticides and herbicides. Local is also better for the environment since fruits and vegetables are not hauled thousands of miles to a local grocery store.
Fall Fruit & Vegetables
- Brussel Sprouts
- Celeriac (Celery Root)
- Collard Greens
- Green Beans
- Sweet Potatoes
- Swiss Chard
- Winter Squash – Acorn, Spaghetti, Butternut, etc.
- Many fruits and vegetables should be lightly steamed to enhance bioavailability (digestibility) and reduce their goitrogenic (antithyroid) effects.
- Winter squash and pumpkin can be roasted in the oven.
- Tiny pieces or shredded apples, pears, carrots and green beans can be given raw.
Phytochemicals / Phytonutrients
We all know about the important vitamins and minerals found in fruits and vegetables. However, phytonutrients (phytochemicals) are also found in fruits and vegetables. Phytonutrients have potent antioxidant properties (antioxidants are substances that help protect cells from the oxidative damage and even cancers caused by free radicals) and research shows that they also protect against heart disease and cancer and block tumor activity.
- Carotenoids, which include alpha-carotene and beta-carotene, are probably the most widely known class of phytonutrients. Foods rich in carotenoids include carrots, collard greens, turnip greens, squashes, pumpkin, yams, sweet potatoes and kale.
- Flavonoids, another class of phytonutrients, include the anthocyanin pigments that give berries and other dark-colored fruits and vegetables their blue, purple and red tints.
- Isothiocyanates are phytochemicals that exert an anti-cancer effect on the epigenome (the chemicals that regulate the genome) by inhibiting cancer cell proliferation and inducing apoptosis (cell death). Isothiocyanates are found in cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collards, kale, radishes, and turnips
Fall Fruits and Vegetables High in Soluble Fiber
- Beet pulp
- Green beans
- Sweet potatoes
- Winter squash
If your companion dog suffers from a thyroid problem, please avoid feeding him the following vegetables, unless they have been lightly cooked or steamed:
- Brussels Sprouts
We hope that your companion dog will share your enjoyment of the taste of this fall bounty! Bon Appetit!
Dodds WJ, Laverdure, DR. Canine Nutrigenomics. DogWise Publ., 2015.
“Planting Fall Vegetables.” Better Homes & Gardens, www.bhg.com/gardening/vegetable/vegetables/fall-vegetable-gardening/.
Seidenberg, Casey. “The Health Benefits of Eating Seasonal – and 10 Ways to Start.” Chicago Tribune, 5 Oct. 2017, www.chicagotribune.com/lifestyles/health/ct-benefits-eating-seasonal-20171005-story.html.
van Wyk, Katrine.“10 Reasons To Eat What’s In Season.” Mind Body Green, 14 May 2012, www.mindbodygreen.com/0-4807/10-Reasons-To-Eat-Whats-In-Season.html