I’ve been counting down the days. And not in a good way. Fall approaches and the local Farmer’s Markets shutter one by one. I find myself scrambling…. where to find good produce and healthy options? And even worse…. is it even possible to find good produce now that the spring and summer months are over?
I’m happy to report – YES. You have beautiful, healthy options to get you through the cold months. Let me highlight them for you….AND how you might work them in to your diet.
When I say cranberries, you likely think Thanksgiving, as this is the time of year we see and hear about these little berries most, but they have so many additional health benefits. Loaded with Vitamin C, fiber and phytonutrients - all of which combine to make them instrumental in fighting urinary tract infections, as well as reducing the risk of breast cancer and heart disease. Another bonus? They can help to reduce plaque and cavities. Think salads, sauces, scones and more…..
Apples are at their best in the Fall and it is so easy to find ways to work them into your diet. They are low in calories, high in fiber, have no cholesterol and give your body important nutrients like potassium, vitamin C, calcium and folic acid. You can add them to salads, main dishes serve them with dips (yogurt, peanut butter), put them in desserts like pie or even eat them on their own.
You don’t need me to tell you that nuts are good for you, right? And you also don’t need me to say that portion size matters – even though these little guys are so full of protein, a handful of them could replace a serving of meat at lunch. Their nutritional value is intense – offering more than a dozen vitamins and minerals including zinc, magnesium, vitamin B6 and folic acid. Including multiple servings of nuts like pecans in your daily diet can boost your immune system, reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, cancer and heart disease. Consider adding pecans to your salads, pies, even main dishes.
Remarkably, pears are even more effective at lowering cholesterol than apples as they contain more pectin – a soluble fiber. In addition to that, pears are loaded with all kinds of healthy goodness: B12, A, C, E, copper, potassium and folic acid. Because they seem to possess certain magical qualities, they can also prevent high blood pressure and stroke, prevent cancer, and the fruit has cooling effects that have been known to reduce fever. Frequently eaten on their own, pears are often used in desserts, but can also be fit into meals.
Pumpkins do more than decorate your doorstep for Halloween. Think desserts, breads, soups…even pancakes, doughnuts, pudding and pasta. Within pumpkin you will find vitamins C and E, as well as riboflavin, iron, fiber and potassium. It also provides carotenoids….which help fight heart disease and cancer. Talk about healthy eating.
Happy healthy eating…