By: Emily Bihm
Since the summer season has officially come to a close, we must mourn not only the loss of pool time, bikinis and endless sunshine….but also our favorite produce. It is getting harder to find our summer favorites such as berries, melons, and corn. With the season shifting into fall it is time to replace some of our beloved foods with what may seem like stranger and less varied options. Don’t fear the strange and different! Check out the amazing health benefits behind the foods of fall.
Brussels Sprouts – While many people cringe at the mere thought of Brussels Sprouts, they have gained much popularity lately for their awesome health benefits. These veggies are packed full or protein, fiber, and antioxidants. Sprouts also help ward off bone loss, cardiovascular disease, and various types of cancer including colon and prostate. Typically Brussels sprouts are steamed which is why their taste may seem so repugnant, but if you roast them with olive oil, salt, and pepper their flavor because much sweeter and overall totally savory.
Pears – Pears are a great fruit to have available in the fall because of how much fiber they have. On average this is 6 grams. Having a diet high in fiber is very important because it keeps blood sugar and cholesterol levels down while fighting the good fight against heart disease. Pears are also chocked full of vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C and K, the B’s, and calcium. Pears are great on their own as a snack, but they also work well in a variety of recipes. Try pairing them with roasted chicken, in soup, tossed into a salad, or added to a dessert.
Pumpkin – We all know fall is pumpkin season. There’s pumpkin pie, soup, lattes, and even pancakes. The meat of a pumpkin contains high amounts if Vitamin A as well as fiber. Its seeds, however, are often overlooked, but they offer wonderful nutritional value. Pumpkin seeds have fiber, vitamins, minerals, and contain an amino acid known for boosting your mood. Instead of munching on chips during your next break, keep roasted pumpkin seeds on hand.
Cauliflower – This flowery vegetable makes a great side dish because it is super low in calories and has tons of vitamin C. Cauliflower also contains antioxidants which are proven to fight free radicals, boost immunity, and ward off infections. There are many different ways to cook cauliflower including roasting or steaming it. If you are looking to find a low calorie alternative to potatoes then mash up some cauliflower instead.
Pomegranate – While still a fruit, pomegranates have a sour taste to them which makes them perfect for sweet or savory snacks. Their juice which is loaded with antioxidants can be drank alone or used as the base for a marinade. The seeds can also be used in salads, both vegetable and fruit, as well as mixed with cottage cheese or yogurt. Load up on this tasty fruit because it’s rich in vitamin C and folate.
Sweet Potatoes – Sweet potatoes are full of fiber, vitamins A and C, and potassium. They are perfect baked, but you can also make sweet potato chips or fries to save on calories. The antioxidants found in sweet potatoes are known to have anti-inflammatory properties, which can help people who suffer for arthritis or asthma. They are no longer just a thanksgiving treat, but a great alternative to white potatoes that can be easily mixed into our fall diet.
Even though summer has come and gone, it does not mean that you cannot be creative or flavorful with what you cook. Try mixing these foods and any other produce inherent to fall into your routine and you won’t be disappointed. Happy cooking!
Images courtesy of photostock/freedigitalphotos.net
About the Author
Since graduating from college two years ago, Emily has been working as a waitress at a local breakfast restaurant. She enjoys writing and reading in her free time and hopes to have her own column in the future. She loves music, watching Netflix, spending time with friends and loved ones, and walking her dog Ollie.