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3 Fall Favorites to Enjoy Now

By Amber Page

Once the calendar turns to September, our thoughts turn to fall -- and all the tasty treats that go with it.

But you know what? A lot of those delicious fall foods have major health benefits you can appreciate all year long, so there's no need to wait. Dig into these goodies now.

It's Time for Pumpkin Everything

At this time of year, pumpkin spiced foods are everywhere you look. And while you should use caution when ordering lattes or eating baked goods, pumpkin itself has all sorts of health benefits.

Pumpkin is a high-fiber, low-calorie food, so it will fill you up -- without expanding your waistline. 

Even better, it has tons of vitamins and minerals that help you feel your best, like Vitamin C, Vitamin E, potassium, magnesium and iron. It can help lower your blood pressure and ward off heart disease.

It also has antioxidants, which boost your immunity and help protect you from cancer.

Best of all, pumpkin is an incredibly flexible ingredient and can be used in a wide variety of sweet and savory dishes.

Try substituting pumpkin for half of the cheese in a recipe. Or use pumpkin puree in a delicious and hearty soup. Baking? You can substitute pumpkin for butter and oil. 

Cranberries: Too Good to Limit to Sauces

Most of us put cranberry sauce on the table at Thanksgiving, but that's not all this healthy and delicious fruit can do.

A cup of cranberries has 4 grams of fiber, very little sugar and a host of antioxidants like Vitamins A and E. Cranberries also contain polyphenols, which lower inflammation and reduce your risk of stomach cancer and bacterial infections.

So how do you use them? Put them in a smoothie. Sprinkle raw cranberries on a salad. Roast them with pork tenderloin or bake them as part of a chicken dish. You could even just sprinkle them with a little sugar and eat them by the handful. 

You can also pair them with pumpkin for a double whammy of immune-boosting goodness.

Make Room for Butternut Squash

Whether you roast it, saute it, puree it or toast it, eating butternut squash is a delicious way to make a super healthy meal.

Butternut squash is an antioxidant powerhouse. It can help lower your blood pressure, reduce inflammation and protect against heart disease. Studies have shown it can also protect against cognitive decline. 

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Brandon, Fla.

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