As the weather cools and you spend more time inside, it can be tempting to go into full-on nesting mode. You tend to become less active as the available daylight shortens. Who wants to go for a run or drive to the gym in the dark?
Unpacking the bulky sweaters and putting away the swimsuits might just be a tempting reason to give up on a healthy eating routine, too. After all, no one is going to be able to tell if there are a few extra pounds anyway, right?
Stocking up on some healthy fall foods is a great way to avoid this common healthy living trap — and to save yourself the disappointment and trouble of having to lose weight in the spring.
Here are five healthy fall foods you should have in your kitchen as the weather starts to cool and the days shorten:
An average apple contains four grams of fiber, which will help you feel full longer and promote healthy cholesterol. Apples also contain antioxidants and immune system booster vitamin C. That is probably why people say an apple a day will keep the doctor away.
You can get exercise by walking through a local orchard and picking them yourself. Then, display the gorgeous fruit in a bowl in plain sight so you are more likely to choose this healthy fall food.
- Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes provide a variety of nutrients, including potassium, calcium and vitamins A and C, and they are delicious baked on their own. Just avoid the classic sweet potato casserole, with its butter, sugar and marshmallow topping. Instead, opt for a healthy sweet potato recipe like gingered sweet potato and carrot soup or baked sweet potato latkes.
- Brussels Sprouts
Like kale a few years ago, Brussels sprouts are having their moment on restaurant menus across our country. That is good news for those of us who want to maintain a healthy diet, since Brussels sprouts will provide protein, iron, fiber and folic acid.
You can roast Brussels sprouts simply, using just olive oil, salt and pepper, for a caramelized and crunchy snack or side dish.
Cranberries are packed with antioxidants and are low in calories and sugar. We think of them at Thanksgiving as a turkey topping, but they can be enjoyed throughout the fall.
Dried cranberries (with no sugar added) are an easy snack to leave in your drawer at work or in your purse when out running errands. Add them to your smoothies for a quick health boost or try this recipe for cilantro tabbouleh with cranberries.
We can’t have a list of fall foods without talking gourds. Pumpkins and squash make great fall décor, but they should also be a featured part of your diet in autumn.
The types of squash we typically eat include butternut, pumpkin, acorn and spaghetti. Butternut squash is among the most common, and it is full of magnesium, fiber and potassium — while being fat and cholesterol free.
The only downside is with it’s odd shape, thick peel and seedy middle, it can be intimidating to add to your shopping card. There’s no fear needed, however — it’s easy to prepare butternut squash to be roasted.
Enjoy the Fall Harvest Bounty
As we say goodbye to the ripe berries, fresh veggies and picnics of summertime, it’s easy to forgo healthy eating habits. By stocking up on these five fall super foods, though, you can maintain your good habits and feel better throughout the winter.