Healthy Fall Foods for Your Diet
November 21, 2017
Fall is a wonderful time for our taste buds. As the weather cools, we put the grills away and dust off the oven. Suddenly, baking becomes a way to keep the house warm, instead of driving everyone out of the kitchen. Thanksgiving is a landmark of autumn, and will evoke drool the second it comes up. Everyone is ready to eat.
However, fall food isn’t great at being health-conscious. Turkey is fine, but the mashed potatoes and gravy that it’s often paired with are not. This can be a pretty big downer for dieters, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t join in on the fall festivities. While it may not seem like it on the surface, there are plenty of delicious and healthy fall foods to go around. In this article, we are going to go over snacks, drinks, and meals that will taste like fall and be off your hips by winter.
Light snacking in the Fall
Snacks are an essential part of a diet. Eating small snacks throughout the day keeps your metabolism running at full speed. As the cookies start to come out, snacking can become difficult. Or, more specifically, healthy snacking can become difficult.
Apples are an easy solution to this problem. As you’ve heard since elementary school, apples are a great part of your diet. Apples are sort of a cure-all. Rich in antioxidants and fiber, apples have also been shown to reduce your risk of strokes, diabetes, and breast cancer, lower cholesterol, and improve neurological health. You should still be going in for routine checkups, but an apple a day may just keep the doctor away.
In addition to all of this, apples pair well with many fall activities. While you can find apples in grocery stores year round, you are more likely to pick them in September than you are in July. Going apple picking is a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon, and having some around the house will help you stay healthy this fall.
Roasted pumpkin seeds are another snack often overlooked. While you’re dumping pumpkin guts into a bowl with the kids, you may want to keep a cookie sheet at the ready. Pumpkin seeds are good for your heart health, can help to relieve symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (or prevent it), and reduce the risk for some cancers. Turns out a jack o’lantern can do more than make your house spooky.
Healthy Fall drinks
In September, we talked about whether or not pumpkin spice was good for you. Our conclusion was that it’s not terrible, but should be reserved for cheat days. I’m sure this will ruin more than a few days, but there is good news: other fall drinks are much better.
If you’re looking for a way to spice up your coffee, consider cinnamon. Loaded with antioxidants, cinnamon is also an anti-inflammatory, and can help to fight off infection. You can add cinnamon to coffee many ways, but this recipe from Health.com is one of the best. Adding cinnamon to a healthy whipped cream variant is a convenient way to make your morning coffee better.
Chai lattes are great, as well. Bearing the flavor of leaves changing color, chai lattes simply taste like autumn. A light drink, served hot or iced, chai lattes can help to fight off kidney stones and osteoporosis, while remaining calorie-light.
Fall meals for your diet
Unsurprisingly, you’ll find the aforementioned snack foods returning in healthy meals. For example, a great fall recipe is pumpkin ravioli. “Ravioli” and “healthy” may not go together often, but this recipe dodges that masterfully. While pasta is practically synonymous with carb, you can’t avoid it forever. What you can avoid, however, are the two things that go with it: pasta and cheese. This delicious fall ravioli trades in red meat and heavy cheese for a pumpkin sauce that will help your heart and warm your belly.
Apples can be used in various recipes as well. Consider sauteeing them alongside pork chops, or mashing them up into a soup. Health.com’s Apple-Butternut Squash soup is a delicious way to feed your family this fall. The apples add more than flavor, of course, but the butternut squash brings a nice spoonful of health to the table as well. From your bones to your skin, from the gym to the bathroom, butternut squash promotes regularity, bone health, good skin and weight loss.
Carb heavy and nutrient light, fall foods can put your diet in a bind. Remaining conscious of this fact can keep you mostly out of trouble. Don’t forget about what you’re drinking, either, as some favorite fall fluids can help you pack on pounds. That said, you don’t need to keep the delicious flavors away to keep a healthy diet. Some creative cooking can keep your body healthy and your taste buds happy.