Fall is finally in the air, and that means it’s almost time for the holiday eating season. From October’s Halloween candy sales to that final piece of Thanksgiving pie, autumn can be a tough time for those looking to eat more healthily.
However, if you’re able to steer yourself away from dessert, you’ll find that it is also a great time to discover all kinds of seasonal fall produce that’s excellent for weight loss and heart health.
The next time you’re at the grocery store or farmers market, keep an eye out for these harvest fruits and veggies. They’ll add some extra nutrition and variety to your meals and help keep you full enough to avoid that bag of Halloween candy.
Brussels sprouts are an underrated seasonal item packed with antioxidants, vitamins and fiber. They’re also very filling and low in calories. Buying them when they’re in season means you’ll save money and get the best possible flavor. Keep in mind that these hearty vegetables can also make a great main dish, not just a side.
Try them in: Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Capers and Carrots
This once-fad food has become a staple, and it (along with other leafy greens) is in its prime this time of year. Full of vitamins A, K and C, it’s easy to whip up a salad with kale. If you’re into trying new things — and avoiding fattening snacks — kale also makes great homemade “chips.”
Try it in: Crispy Tamari Kale Chips
The American Heart Association recommends filling your plate with vegetables of all different colors — it’s an easy way to tell that you’re getting a variety of nutrients in one meal. Luckily, beets come in several heart-healthy colors. If you haven’t tried anything but the classic red beet, it’s time to look to varieties like heirloom or golden beets, all available and fresh in the fall.
Try them in: Pear, Beet and Gorgonzola Green Salad
Last but not least, these staples of the season are a great way to sneak in your daily serving of fruit. Plus, they contain a unique form of fiber that aids weight control. Combine apples with other fall flavors, like butternut squash, for an extra boost of flavor and nutrients.
Try them in: Apple Butternut Squash Soup