On September 24, 2015

Fall into health: Eating well for the season

Undeniably one of the best times of year for our taste buds is fall. From the abundance of squash choices to the crisp crunch of a Macintosh apple, the air is filled with the lingering scent of cinnamon-spiked treats that are not only tasty, but healthy to boot (pun intended—‘tis indeed the time of year to go boot shopping!). But I digress. Here are three popular foods that would fall into the fall category that boast much more than the ability to fill a pie and provide us with essential nutrients.

Pumpkin

Though filling, pumpkin is quite low-calorie, providing only 26 calories per 100 grams. But lack of calorie content is not indicative of lack of nutrients, and the pumpkin is no exception. That same amount of pumpkin provides more than double the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of vitamin A, an essential nutrient for healthy skin, hair, and eyes. Pumpkin is also rich in various minerals like potassium, copper, magnesium, and phosphorus. No need to take a B-complex supplement if you’re eating pumpkin regularly, as it is full of energy-converting B vitamins that also play an important role in development, health, and growth.

When buying canned pumpkin, try to go for the BPA-free organic choice. I use organic canned pumpkin in combination with oats, raw cacao, dates, stevia, cinnamon, and organic peanut butter and make a pretty mean batch of chocolate pumpkin balls to store in the fridge—perfect for eating on the go without sacrificing optimal nutrition!

Not into pumpkin? Go for any type of squash, which provide similar benefits, are equally as delicious and slightly more versatile.

Apples

Fortunately for Vermonters, there is certainly no shortage of apple orchards in Vermont. From the pale greenish-yellow Pippins to the late summer Paula Reds, there are dozens of apple varieties, likely within 30 minutes of where you live. For those struggling with high cholesterol, apples are an absolute staple. Apples have shown to actually prevent the absorption of low density lipoproteins (LDL, or “bad cholesterol”) via pectin, a soluble fiber found in citrus fruits and apples. As far as fighting that cool weather cold, apples are an ideal choice to incorporate into the diet, as they are rich in antioxidants like beta-carotene and vitamin C, which helps give the immune system that little boost that it needs when the body is under stress. Apples and almond butter are quite an amazing combination, and I also like to add some diced apples to the batter of my gluten free banana muffins—it becomes nearly impossible to only eat just one.

Cinnamon

Little known to most of us, there are actually hundreds of types of cinnamon out there; however only four are used commercially in food, spice, and beauty products. They are Ceylon, cassia, Saigon, and korintje. The most popular of the four is cassia cinnamon, which is what you find in the grocery store. If you ever happen to check out the diabetic foods and supplements section of most grocery stores and pharmacies, you will find that it is quite common to come upon cinnamon capsules.

Why? Because cinnamon has been clinically proven to aid in lowering and stabilizing blood sugar levels and increase sensitivity to insulin—an ideal choice for those who have metabolic derangement that commonly manifests as type 2 diabetes and or polycystic ovarian syndrome. Better yet, cinnamon is rich in antioxidants, contains anti-inflammatory compounds, and helps fight bacterial and viral infections due to its primary component, cinnamaldehyde.

Naturally, cinnamon goes well with a plethora of foods. In the cooler months I prefer to add Ceylon cinnamon to a piping hot mug of flax milk and add a couple drops of stevia for added sweetness; in the warmer late summer afternoons, nothing quite beats banana ice cream blended with fresh cinnamon.

Whether you’re spending the weekend baking in the kitchen or simply whipping up a quick snack, rest assured that the foods that are in season are packed with nutrients that will keep you in good health!

Do you want to submit feedback to the editor?

Send Us An Email!

Related Posts

New plants available at Spring Plant Sale at Woodstock Union HS/MS Greenhouse

May 1, 2024
May 1-31—WOODSTOCK—The spring plant sale at the Woodstock Union HS/MS, 100 Amsden Way, Woodstock Greenhouse, will be open 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on school days, with extended hours until 6 p.m. on Monday, May 6. Changes this year include sourcing all plants from a neonicotinoid-free nursery and featuring many native plants available this spring,…

Study: Vermont’s cigarette use has declined

April 10, 2024
Rates of vaping and use of flavored products by increased  Newly released data from the Dept. of Health on March 26 show that cigarette use among adult Vermonters is decreasing, but the number of adults who use e-cigarettes, also known as vaping, continues to rise. The 2022 Adult Tobacco Survey found that nearly one-quarter of…

Billings Farm & Museum Hosts 2024 Barn Quilt Exhibition: A Celebration of Rural Artistry

April 3, 2024
WOODSTOCK—Billings Farm & Museum is bringing the rural artistry of barn quilts to our scenic site for the 2024 Barn Quilt Exhibition from April 4 – December 1.  Barn quilting recreates the concept of quilt squares on durable mediums such as plywood. These squares, starting at 4 feet by 4 feet and up, feature striking…

The eclipses through Indigenous lenses

April 3, 2024
Sunday, April 7, at 2 p.m.—BRANDON— Peggie “White Buffalo Moon” Rozell will speak about how Indigenous people have thought about eclipses at The Brandon Inn, 20 Park St., at 2 p.m. Sunday. Rozell is a member of the Abenaki and Cherokee people but will also talk about how Navajo, Iroquois and Mohawk people have considered…