Fall Foods that Are Good for Your Health
Now that the leaves are changing colors and the air is growing crisp and fresh, it can be easy to believe that good healthy eating is over. After all, gardens have produced all of their crops and farmer’s markets are closing up shop, so what are you going to do now?Fortunately, there are several tasty, nutritious foods that are best when eaten this time of year, and here are just a few of them:
Loaded with antioxidants, vitamin A, and folate, winter squash are nutrient packed. Plus, with a large variety of squash options from which to choose, you can enjoy them on a regular basis without dulling your taste buds with the same old tastes and textures.
For instance, you can cut an acorn squash in half and bake it in the oven with some light butter on the flesh for a side dish that makes your mouth melt. Or, you can cook a spaghetti squash the same way (minus the light butter) and make it the star of your meal, mixing its vegetable-based strands with spaghetti sauce for a filling meal that won’t add inches to your waistline.
This time of year is also when apples are in full season, giving you a never-ending supply of luscious fruit flavor. They are flavonol-rich so they help prevent cancer and, thanks largely to their high fiber content, they also reduce your risk of diabetes.
Pick from varieties such as honeycrisp, gala, and several others and snack on them when you’re feeling hungry between lunch and dinner. You can also chunk them up and put them on salads with chicken and a vinaigrette dressing for a meal that is sweet and tangy.
Brussels sprouts come into season in September and continue growing until March. They look like little cabbage heads and they are just as healthy for you as they contain a high amount of nutrients, like vitamin K, iron, and folate.
Boil them in water or steam them and sprinkle some apple cider or balsamic vinegar on them for a side dish that makes your mouth water. If you prefer to fry them with a little bit of olive oil for some additional heart health, that is an option too.
Harvested during the fall and winter, pears are a great fruit option now that melons and grapes are out of season. With a multitude of vitamins (such as B, C, and E), as well as other nutrients like potassium and copper, this one fruit brings you many different health benefits during the colder months of the year.
Although they work great for snacking purposes, pears are also tasty atop salads. If you’re craving something warm and sweet, two desirable qualities of cold weather comfort food, cut one up and pop it in the microwave with a little bit of cinnamon on it before enjoying it without guilt.
Most vegetables are summer grown, but not this bouquet of goodness. Cauliflowers are best when consumed this time of year, which is great because they supply vitamin B which boosts your brain function, antioxidants that help remove toxins from your body, and other nutrients which are anti-inflammatory and protect you against cancer.
Cut it up and eat it raw with a little bit of hummus or steam it and sprinkle it with lemon pepper. Some people cook it up and blend it to make faux mashed potatoes. The options are endless, as are the vitamins and minerals it provides for your body.
Another vegetable option is sweet potatoes, which contain a healthy dose of vitamin A and iron. And if you have diabetic issues, they are preferred over white potatoes because they enter your system more slowly, protecting you from blood sugar highs and lows common with this particular condition.
Sweet potatoes taste great when baked in the oven until they are soft in the center, just like a baked white potato, or you can boil and mash them too. Another option is to cut them up and add them to your stews, casseroles, and soups for more flavor and filling.
These are just a few of the foods plentiful this time of year, so enjoy them while they are at their peak. Just as with anything else you eat, mind your portions by using your SlimPlate portion control plates when consuming them and you’ll be all set.
What are your favorite fall foods? How do you prepare them healthily?