The Autumn welcomes crisp leaves and cozy nights. The environmental changes come in swift and settle slow. With weather changing, and an earlier sundown our bodies can often loose vitality as we adjust to a new season. Temperatures drops shake our immune system and can be the cause for catching the common cold, feeling low on energy, or having poor sleep. We may suffer from emotional distress, due to reduced daylight hours in the fall season. Less daylight can also lead to feelings of depression.
The good news is Autumns Harvest offers so many opportunities to improve our health and enjoy the goodness of fall. By taking advantage of the healthy harvest fall has to offer our bodies can rise against the environmental changes. Autumn is a time to be thankful for your health, and there is no better way to do so then showing appreciation through good nutritional choices. Below is a list of the healthiest foods that are nutrient dense, low in calories, and can be used to make health conscious dishes that will keep us feeling well as the crisp leaves fall.
Apples are available year-round, but who doesn’t appreciate their extra crisp flavor in the fall? Apples are rich in fiber, and important antioxidants. Apples can help with a wide range of health issues such as anemia, constipation, and cholesterol. Vitamin K, Iron, and magnesium are its strongest beneficiaries.
Apples are simple and can be eaten as a snack on their own, but we can also include apples in a wide variety of dished. Apples are a great additive to salads, and even meats. If you’re looking to the sweeter side of apples, baking them with low calorie syrup and a sprinkle of cinnamon can offer a near apple pie satisfying treat.
Butternut squash is the perfect way to embrace falls harvest. It is an excellent source of fiber and had been proven to reduce inflammation Butternut squash can also help give you immune system a boost. As temperatures begin to drop, there is no better time to incorporate butternut squash into your diet.
Butternut squash can be cooked in a variety of ways. Simply roasted with salt, pepper and onion powder, can help amplify its taste. Butternut squash can also be puréed into soups, or even diced into rice. With butternut squash the possibilities are endless.
Cranberries are loaded in Vitamin C, a supper important vitamin for our health during flu season. Cranberries help with circulation reducing the risk of disease. Cranberries can be used to make a fall relish, and work great in deserts. They can also be eaten in salads (paired with your apples) or alone as a snack.
Pecans offer a large amount of zinc, a crucial nutrient for immunity. Pecans also offer Vitamin E, which plays an important role in skin health. Pecans can be used in a wide variety of dishes. You can add them to top off your butternut squash, apples, and even to a salad with your cranberries. Pecans can also be ground down to coat your favorite meats.
What would fall be without Pumpkin? Pumpkin offers a whopping 20% of daily fiber and helps lower the risk of hypertension. Pumpkins antioxidants revitalize the body and skin preventing free radical damage. Pumpkin is a very similar consistency as butternut squash. It can also be roasted or pureed. Pureed pumpkin can be sautéed with a sweetener, chilled, and used as a sweet side for your apples, or to top rice cakes.
Beets are a great source of vitamin A and help regulate blood sugar. Beets have been shown to improve digestion and even prevent cancer. They offer a tremendous amount of benefits for heart health and can also aid in athletic performance. Beet salads are a great way to enjoy their full flavor. They can be mixed with almost any vegetable as a side dish.
Cauliflower is a great source of Vitamin B, this is essential for our cognitive health. Cauliflower also offers vitamin B6, pantothenic acid and potassium. Cauliflower offers detoxification to the body and can help in hormonal balance. Cauliflower can be roasted, boiled, or riced. It can even be mashed as a swap out for potatoes.
Turnips are a great source of calcium and can help with digestion. They are also rich in Vitamin C, and fiber. Turnips also help fight inflammation and boost your immune system while stimulating white blood cells. Turnips can be sliced, diced, or left whole, or mashed. They are full of flavor and can be enjoyed with minimal seasoning.
Being proactive about your diet during seasonal changes can help maintain your immunity and overall health. Our nutrition fuels our body on every level and can be our greatest natural agent of physical and mental wellness. By including these foods into your diet during the next coming months you will truly be taking advantage of all the goodness fall has to offer.