Nutrition Tweaks for Fall
By Sara Butler
Fall is a bountiful time of year and a great time to make a few changes to the way you eat. As the weather gets cooler, you may notice your body craving different foods – soups, roasted root vegetables, and casseroles. Your body changes with the weather outside, so it makes sense you should eat foods appropriate for the season. Here are a few ways you can change your eating habits for the autumn season to help keep you healthy all season long.
Use Your Slow Cooker
Slow cookers are the perfect way to make a hearty meal when you’re in a hurry. Just dump the ingredients in the slow cooker in the morning and by the time you get home you’ll have a warming and comforting dinner.
A slow cooker is a perfect way to cook some of the vegetables that come into season in the fall. Pumpkin and butternut squash with some olive oil in your slow cooker can actually boost the antioxidants in the vegetables!
Beans: The Magical Fall Fruit
Beans in the autumn are always a good idea. Larger beans require longer cooking times, so simmering them on your stovetop when the weather is a bit cooler seems just right for the fall. Beans are full of fiber, which makes them filling and a good source of protein. Black beans are full of antioxidants too, so cook some of those up this fall!
Root Vegetables are In
You need to add color to your diet, and in the fall, root vegetables totally fit the bill. Go for the colors of the season such as orange vegetables. They are full of beta-carotene that your body converts to Vitamin A, a vitamin which helps to support your immune system and improve your vision. Pumpkins are also a good choice. The seeds can be roasted and make a great snack full of magnesium and antioxidants.
If you want something a bit more exotic, try a rutabaga. This vegetable is a sort of cross between a turnip and a cabbage, and it’s chock full of fiber and low in calories to boot.
Cook with (Good) Fat
In the fall don’t be afraid to add a little fat to your meal. Healthy fats such as sesame oil, olive oil, coconut oil and ghee are great choices. They help your body to absorb the fat-soluble nutrients such as Vitamins E, A and K that are present in many fall vegetables.
Fats also help your body to fight off SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) by helping your body to produce serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps to influence your mood.
So, reap the benefits of this season's harvest by making these small changes to your eating habits!