You can fall in love with fall! The fleetingly gorgeous yellow, red and orange leaves crowning our treetops aren’t just stunning to see – their presence also can enhance mood and energy levels. Research shows that yellow is associated with happiness and optimism, and red and orange are both stimulating. Next time you need a bit of inspiration, find time to be surrounded by natural autumn color – in your local park or even in your own backyard.
“Spending just five minutes al fresco can boost your mood and self-esteem,” according to a study by researchers at the University of Essex in Colchester, England. Our local bright orange pumpkins and red apples have salubrious effects for the same reasons -- and more. Visit an apple orchard to pick a bagful for pie, fresh applesauce or a quick and juicy snack, or stop at a farmer’s pumpkin field with family or friends to choose one to decorate for Halloween or to bake.
Research by the Department of Nutrition, Food and Exercise Sciences at Florida State University found that women who ate a cup of apples every day lowered their “bad” LDL cholesterol by 23 percent. And pumpkins offer abundant vitamin A - good for eyes, hair and skin. Also, pumpkin seeds are packed with the mineral magnesium, which can help lower blood pressure and boost bone health. Embrace the fresh crisp air and open your eyes to the bounty – those simple experiences right here in the Capital Region can bring both health and beauty into your life.
– Helen Susan Edelman, LiveSmart Project Director, firstname.lastname@example.org
Times Union - Edited and written by Helen Edelman