When the temperature drops, and especially around the holidays, it seems like it just gets harder to resist sweets and syrupy drinks. After all…pumpkin and peppermint season only comes around once a year. How are you supposed to pass that up? It’s okay to treat yourself every now and then, but try incorporating these fall superfoods into your diet this fall for a healthy change.
You’ve heard the saying ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away.’ While apples aren’t going to prevent broken bones, they do have Vitamin C, antioxidants, and fiber that can help build up your immune system. Eat them alone, or slice them up and add them to yogurt or oatmeal. Although apple pie is delicious, it can be high in calories. Try a lower-calorie option of baked apples with cinnamon and nutmeg.
One of the perks of cauliflower is that it’s a versatile vegetable. Eat it raw, roast it with olive oil, puree it into soup, or try mashed cauliflower for a low carbohydrate version of mashed potatoes. Cauliflower has been linked to cancer prevention and is also a good source of Vitamin K and Vitamin C. In addition you can get 12 grams of fiber from 100 calories' worth of cauliflower.
Don’t let Thanksgiving dinner be the only time you have cranberries this season. Cranberries have some of the most anti-aging, anti-cancer, and anti-inflammatory antioxidants of any fruit. Add unsweetened dried or fresh cranberries to muffins, cereals and salads, or snack on them plain for a pick-me-up.
The good news: Pumpkin season really IS good for you. The bad news: an extra pump of pumpkin spice in your latte doesn’t count. Pumpkins are a great source of fiber and Vitamin A, which stimulates white blood cell activity and regulates cell growth. You can roast or sauté pumpkin ‘meat’ and drizzle with maple syrup for a sweet snack, or roast the seeds and top with the spice of your choice.
Oranges, grapefruits, kiwi and tangerines peak in the fall. All great sources of Vitamin C, these fruits contain high levels of potassium, which can help regulate nerve function. Mix them up for a fruit salad, or toss it into the blender with some ice, milk and vanilla for a smoothie.