When the trees lose their leaves, and the winter winds take over, our healthy habits tend to drop. The shorter days and lower temperatures keep us stuck inside, which may impact our motivation to exercise. Our sedentary behaviour caused by the changing seasons may induce carb cravings, and ultimately weight gain.
We’ve put together a list of ten must-try foods to incorporate into your diet to take care of your health while the cold weather lingers. Load your plate with these foods to preserve your summer radiance, energy levels and healthy weight this season:
Every list of must-have fall foods needs to include pumpkin! Pumpkins may populate doorsteps during autumn, but they also contain a wide range of health benefits. The plump orange fruit is low in calories and contains beta-carotene, which your body can convert into vitamin A. Pumpkins are also rich in antioxidants, and the popular autumn fruit may help to protect your immune system thanks to their high content of vitamin C.
If you are interested in using pumpkin in something other than pumpkin pie, you can check out these healthy, but tasty recipes
2. Butternut Squash
Butternut squash comes from the same family as pumpkins and reaps of similar, potent benefits. Reportedly, this beloved autumn fruit will pump your body with fibre, as well as potassium (good for your bone health). It also contains vitamin B6, which can help to better your nervous and immune systems!
Have you tried butternut squash soup before? If you don’t have a favourite recipe, you may want to check out this heart-warming, absolutely delicious recipe.
Fall is the season for apple picking! Therefore it is vital to take advantage and munch away on the apples fresh off of the trees. Not only does biting into a crisp, juicy apple help to combat your cravings for unhealthy sweets, but apples contain a plethora of benefits! Apples contain soluble fibre, which aids digestion, and the pectin in apples may serve as a probiotic. Organic Facts claim that the pectin in apples, “specifically helps to improve the functioning of the bacteria living in our large intestine.”
You can find unique ways of incorporating apples into your diet via these recipes. They are super kid-friendly, too!
4. Sweet Potato
Like butternut squash and apples, sweet potato is rich in fibre. And similarly to pumpkins, sweet potato contains beta-carotene. The starchy vegetable is rich in minerals and vitamins such as iron, calcium, vitamin C and carries the majority of the B vitamins.
If you are looking to please your taste buds with a brand new sweet potato dish, you may want to check out this Spinach & Sweet Potato Stew recipe!
The benefits of avocados are becoming more and more known in the health realm. Several sources highlight the amount of healthy fat content in avocados, which may help you to feel full for longer! That’s right; one source claims that the monounsaturated fat in avocados may you help you lose weight, and the amount of fibre will benefit you in that area as well because it can help you to stave off hunger - “For every 100 g of avocado, you get about 7 g of [fibre]”. Also, the good fats within the vibrant green fruit can help to decrease the amount of bad cholesterol in your body while increasing your good cholesterol.
If you are tired of the traditional guacamole or are bored of consuming avocado on toast, you may want to give these creative recipes a try!
6. Raw Nuts
Raw nuts, like avocados, are healthy fats! Kim Jordan, a Certified Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, claims that we may be subject to an energy crash after consuming carbs, which is why treats like avocados, raw nuts, and olives (see below) are the perfect answer for combating the winter blues. Jordan says “body can also use fat as fuel, and it is a longer-burning source, leading to more even energy levels, longer satiety between meals, and less blood sugar ups and downs.” Raw nuts may not only help you to feel full longer, but they may improve your heart health, decrease systolic blood pressure, and help you lose weight!
You can learn more about the benefits of consuming raw nuts here.
Olives may be an acquired taste, but the ones who enjoy munching on these fruits rich in healthy fats are in luck! Some researchers declare that olives may help to decrease your chances of developing breast, colon, and skin cancer due to their phenolic antioxidant content and squalene and terpenoid compounds. And, one particular compound - oleocanthal - can work to relieve pain and decrease swelling.
The source linked in this section also includes a video on how to pit olives, as well as a recipe for lentil tapenade!
It is for good reason that cauliflower is becoming a favourite pizza crust substitute, as the vegetable contains an array of benefits. The cruciferous vegetable carries Indole-3-carbinol, “a phytonutrient that has been shown to aid the liver in its detox functions.” Cauliflower also contains vitamin K, which can help to maintain your bone health, as well as choline, a property that assists your gastrointestinal tract.
You can spice up your cauliflower and reap its unique benefits with these recipes.
You’ve likely noticed how arugula adds a novel flavour to your salad or other dishes, but its benefits exceed far past its natural tastiness! The garden rocket is loaded with chlorophyll, which may protect you from liver and DNA damage. Researchers believe that arugula can decrease inflammation, can act as a cleanser, and they declare that the rocket may elevate your sex life!
Arugula is a wonderful ingredient for salads, but you may want to add the tasty green to other dishes. Here is a list of ways to make the most of the green rocket!
Broccoli, like arugula and cauliflower, is a cruciferous vegetable. Amanda Montalvo, a Registered Dietitian and Functional Nutrition Practitioner, highly recommends adding more cruciferous vegetables to your diet this fall. She claims that “Not only do they contain important vitamins and minerals, but they also naturally support our bodies detox pathways and help us tap into a specific genetic pathway important for antioxidants.” Broccoli has several benefits; it can help better your heart and bone health, its fibre content can work to eliminate toxins, and its omega-3 fatty acid content can act as an anti-inflammatory.
Plain broccoli may taste dull after a while, so here are some inventive recipes that will provide your body with essential nutrients while also pleasing your taste buds.
Will you add these healthy, whole foods to your daily diet while the cold weather takes over?