We all know by now that fresh fruits and vegetables are tremendously important to our bodies. In the autumn we have so much produce available to us but there are some foods that are “extra good” for us. Healthy eating gives us healthier bodies. Cooking these foods really is not hard either and the results are far better than what you could imagine. Here are six super healthy foods for fall, what they can do for you, and even some recipe suggestions.
Purple & Red Grapes
Yay! This is something just about everyone loves anyway. The purple and red varieties of grapes have resveratrol which is an anti-oxidant. This can help protect us from coronary heart disease. On a side note, grapes are one of those fruits that you really should try to buy organic because even after washing the pesticides can remain because of the thin skins.
Now some of you may think you do not like beets, but it may just have been the way beets were prepared when you tried them at first. I grew up loving Aunt Nellie’s pickled beets that my grandma served at just about every meal. These are still delicious to me but I love fresh beets even more. Beets are rich with vitamin C, magnesium, folate, potassium, and manganese. These things can help counteract the blood pressure raising effects of sodium and most of us definitely have too much sodium in our diets. One of my favorite way to use jarred beets (but you could use fresh also) is in this Fresh and Fruity Beet Salad recipe. Even better is to roast fresh beets I think. Make up extra to serve in salads too. Make sure to read my post on how to roast beets and sauté the beet greens for a double healthy side dish.
The old saying, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” actually has some truth to it. Studies are showing that apples can significantly lower your risk of type 2 diabetes even. Make sure you eat the peel as well because there is a lot of healthy fiber there. Apples are great additions to salads, slaws and stuffings. Even if you occasionally use them as a sweet treat in a dessert there are still nutritional benefits to them like in my Rustique Pomme Cannelle recipe.
I personally am not a fan of cooked cabbage, Hubby loves it though. What I do like is raw cabbage which is probably better for me anyway. Cabbage is actually a natural treatment for constipation, stomach ulcers, obesity, eczema, arthritis, gout, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s disease. Cabbage is actually higher in vitamin C than oranges! Who knew? This year I started making a Cilantro and Lime Coleslaw recipe with fresh cabbage and it is so fresh and bright tasting. This will be something I will make year round I think.
You may have grown up eating sweet potatoes just on Thanksgiving and they were probably smothered with butter, sugar, and marshmallows. Not a bad tasting dish, but sweet potatoes deserve better I think. They are rich in B6, vitamin C, vitamin D, iron, magnesium, potassium, and beta carotene. While they are naturally sweet, the sugars are slowly released into your bloodstream which actually helps us have a balanced source of energy without a spike. Just like other potatoes they are extremely versatile. My favorite way to have them is this Grilled Sweet Potatoes with Cilantro-Lime Vinaigrette recipe – you can do this recipe roasted in the oven if it is not grilling weather. For Thanksgiving try my recipe for Sweet Potatoes in Orange Cups which has some sweetness, but not as much as traditional sweet potatoes on Thanksgiving do.
Honestly I hated these when I first tried them BUT I found out once again it was the method of preparation I did not care for. My first taste of Brussels sprouts was boiled – not pleasing to my taste buds in the slightest. A few years ago I discovered that roasting vegetables makes them so completely different though and so Brussels sprouts got that treatment and they are incredible. They are a cruciferous vegetable – just like cabbage. I love that there is protein in them as well, about 2 grams of protein in a 1/2 cup serving. Again this fabulous fall food has lots of other goodies for us like vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin K, folate, potassium, vitamin E, most of the B complex vitamins, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, copper, calcium, manganese, and selenium! Wow! One of the most popular posts on my blog is the Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts Recipe and I really encourage you to give it a try even if you think you do not like Brussels sprouts. Just buy a few fresh ones and make a small batch the first time even. They really are wonderful!
Do you eat all six of these fruits and vegetables regularly? What is your favorite way to prepare them?