Fall brings with it a whole slew of things to be excited about—going back to school, tailgating, football and cool crisp air. Plus, Halloween, Thanksgiving and, of course, an entire line-up of healthy fall foods! Here are our four top picks for fall:
Pumpkins are more than just jack-o’-lanterns—they’re creamy, versatile and add great flavor and nutrition to so many fall recipes. Pumpkins are delightful in many desserts, yet you’d never guess the indulgence is vegetable-“laced.”
Reasons to dig in:
You’ll get an energy boost thanks to pumpkins’ nutrient-rich, quality carbohydrates that fuel your brain, muscles and central nervous system.
Who doesn’t want a weight-loss buddy? At only 40 calories per half cup, plus four satisfying grams of fiber, your waistline will thank you!
You’ll get a leg up on keeping your blood pressure in check from pumpkins’ high potassium content.
Another bonus? Pumpkins’ fantastic color comes from the cancer-fighting antioxidant beta-carotene, which gives your skin a beautiful hue, while also protecting it from damage from the sun, boosts your immune system and promotes good vision.
Great ways to pumpk“in”dulge:
Fall is all about comfort food—and cauliflower helps create the knock-off versions of comfort foods for a fraction of the calories, sparing your waistline so you can still fit into your holiday clothes. Cauliflowers’ sweet, slightly nutty flavor is ideal for winter side dishes. Whether blended or pureed into soup, made into mashed “potatoes” or “rice” or added to casseroles, you’ll reap cauliflower’s fantastic health benefits.
Reasons to dive in:
It’ll help you lower your risk of cancer. Glucosinolates found in cruciferous vegetables detoxify carcinogens and protect cells from DNA damage.
You’ll fill up without filling out. You can eat four cups for just 100 calories and you’ll get a whopping 12 grams of fiber, helping to fill up your stomach.
You’ll flood your body with nutrients—including immune-boosting vitamin C and bone-healthy manganese, vitamin K, folate, phosphorus, potassium and magnesium.
Delicious ways to get it:
Sweet and crunchy, apples provide a fantastic sweetness, no sugar necessary. When baked, they turn into the ultimate soft, sweet and chewy fall or winter comfort food. Plus, an apple a day may really keep the doctor away!
Reasons to take a bite:
Red Delicious, Granny Smith and Gala all rank in the top 20 of the USDA’s list of foods highest in polyphenol content per serving size.
You’ll help reduce your risk of cancer, thanks to apple’s flavonoids.
You’ll help to lower your cholesterol, thanks to pectin, apple’s soluble fiber.
The quercetin found in apples can help lower your risk of Alzheimer’s and lung, prostate and liver cancers.
Nutrient-boosting tip: Don’t peel the skin. According to the Dole Nutrition Institute, a medium-sized Red Delicious apple with the skin left on has about twice as much fiber and 45 percent more polyphenols than one that has been peeled.
Scrumptious ways to eat them:
There’s nothing better than tossing beans in chili, soup, stews and casseroles to warm you up and for protein, fiber and satiety. Beans can help to keep you slimmer by keeping you full and preventing overeating. Plus, they’re wallet-friendly.
Reasons to enjoy beans (aim for three times a week for maximum nutrition benefits):
In addition to being high in fiber and protein, beans are high in folate and essential nutrients.
Reduce your risk of cancer and diabetes by enjoying two to four cups of beans a week.
Significantly reduce your risk of dying from heart disease by replacing animal protein with vegetable protein sources like beans.
Thanks to their high fiber content, beans help keep your cholesterol levels in check.
Easy, Delicious Ways to Get Them: