The Fall Equinox, which occurred this past Monday, is always a bitter-sweet day on the September calendar. With it goes away the lazy days of summer and its fresh produce like berries and corn, and gathering friends around the grill for good food and conversation. The trade-off is simply described as being cozy- spending time with friends, watching football, wearing your oldest sweatshirt and preparing beloved comfort foods.
We wanted to share you with a few foods your body should be craving now that it’s fall, and a few you need to learn to forget about during any season. It’s still possible to make foods that qualify as “comfort,” without sacrificing all the hard work you’ve done throughout the year to change your lifestyle and better your health.
Fall Food Friends
A healthy source of Vitamin C and Fiber – this crisp fall fruit keeps the doctor away by lowering cholesterol, aiding digestion and detoxifying the body.
Swap a serving of meat for a serving of pecans. Under those shells are heart-healthy fats, 19 vitamins and minerals and quality fiber. Pecans naturally provide antioxidants and lower cholesterol.
This gourd has carved a healthy niche for itself, providing Vitamin C, potassium and fiber. The snackable seeds are a high source of essential fatty acids and zinc. Pumpkin also makes the list of 14 Super Foods.
Tiny but mighty, these fall berries prevent urinary tract infections, reduce dental plaque and reduce kidney stones. Cranberries are also a source of Vitamin C, fiber and low in calories.
5. Butternut Squash
Offering a healthy serving of fiber, this gourd will fill you up, while also providing beta-carotene, Vitamins B and C and potassium. All of which can help you avoid cancer and heart disease.
Fall Food Frights
1. Cream-based Soup
Opt for broth- or vegetable-based soups which aren’t weighed down in fat and calories by cream, butter and cheese.
It’s all in how you prepare them. Grill or roast with light cooking spray and herb seasonings and you can reap the benefits of a sweet potato or red skin. Fried in oil or drenched in gravy removes all nutrition and makes for a heaping pile of calories.
3. Chilis and Stews
Lean proteins like chicken and turkey will reduce the slow-cooked fat burden of traditional chili and stew. Focus more on chicken or vegetable broths and load up on beans and vegetables for a healthier recipe.
4. Baked Goods
All the nutrients of apples, pecans, pumpkin and cranberry get baked right out when used in pies, cobblers, candies and lattes. Make your recipes with sugar alternatives, whole grain flour and avoid heavy butter and cream – and know you can always snack on the raw foods for a tasty treat.
5. Halloween Candy
Whether digging into the candy jar for yourself or treating neighborhood children, choose low-calorie, sugar-free varieties like gum, and avoid the trick of calories and sugar shock from chocolates and nougats.