Four Fall Super-foods to Boost Your Health
Hello Fall! Finally! Where have you been? While I always know the cool temps come later in Atlanta compared to the Northeast where I grew up, we've had a particularly long wait this year. As much as I love summer salads and grilling out, I’m ready for soups, casseroles, and comfort food!
Many people associate Fall with Pumpkin Spice Lattes, Halloween candy, and sweet potato casserole with marshmallows, but we can surely do better than that! There’s NOTHING wrong with a Pumpkin Spice Latte every now and then, but let’s talk about some ways to incorporate some Fall Super-foods into our weekly routine that will not only taste delicious, but also provide REAL health benefits. I’ll even share some of my favorite recipes to go along with each food!
Even if you don’t love to cook or find yourself short on time in the kitchen, give these recipes a chance…none are super time consuming or complicated, and all can be tweaked a bit here if you’re running short on an ingredient or prefer to leave one out.
Without further ado, here are 4 Fall Super-foods that you should be taking advantage of in the coming weeks!
Pumpkin lattes may taste yummy, but the average coffee shop latte is full of artificial flavors, sugar, and other processed ingredients, making it a sub-optimal choice that can actually contribute to sugar cravings and energy slumps. On the other hand, a cup of real pumpkin actually provides more fiber than a cup of kale, helping you feel fuller for longer!
Other impressive health benefits of pumpkin include high content of the anti-oxidant beta-carotene, which your body turns into Vitamin A, as well as lutein and zeaxanthin, all of which have a primary role in eye health, immunity, and healthy skin.
Here’s the good news…you don’t need to buy a pumpkin and deal with the hassle of removing the seeds and cooking it yourself! Canned pumpkin fits the bill!
Broccoli is part of the cruciferous vegetable family which includes kale, cabbage, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts. All are known to have positive health benefits. Broccoli contains a multitude of vitamins and minerals that can boost immunity and enhance gut health, plus it also contains plant compounds that some studies have shown to help reduce the risk of certain cancers.
Broccoli is a fantastic source of potassium and fiber, as well as vitamins K, C, E, and folate. Most people are surprised to learn that broccoli actually contains a significant amount of protein relative to other vegetables.
One of my favorite things about this veggie is that it keeps in the fridge for a pretty long time compared to other, more fragile vegetables. And, it tends to be well-received by both kids and adults, and even the pickiest of eaters!
Try incorporating it as a side dish, or include it as part of a main dish like a casserole or soup. When all else fails, add it to your next crudités platter when you’re entertaining.
Beets are a root vegetable with a wide scope of health benefits. They are loaded with potassium and folate, and have immense anti-inflammatory benefits. The high potassium content plays a role in keeping blood pressure regulated, as well as supporting muscle and bone health.
Incorporating beets into your routine is a great way to change up the flavor and color profile of your average side salad. While roasting them in the oven is pretty simple, I often take the easier way out and purchase pre-roasted beets.
4. SWEET POTATOES
How can we leave these guys out? Once again, they’re full of fiber and tout many of the super-food qualities discussed above; in particular: fiber, Vitamin C, beta-carotene, and potassium. They also contain a significant amount of Vitamin B6 which plays a role in metabolizing food into energy, as well as Vitamin E, which has been shown to provide protection from oxidative stress.
You might be contemplating the fact that sweet potatoes are a starchy vegetable and therefore full of carbs. But, they are in fact one of the better carbohydrate sources to include in your diet due to the high nutrient and fiber profile. They are also one of the most versatile foods, in my opinion, and can be incorporated into endless types of recipes from baked goods to meatless mains or as an enhancement to main dishes like chili and soups.
Here are just a few of my favorite ways to use these super-food spuds:
I hope you love fall weather as much as I do, and I hope you’ll find this information to be useful as you continue on your journey towards optimal health. I’d love to connect with you personally if you want to dig deeper and learn about more ways you can personally adjust your diet to meet your health goals!
Thanks for reading!