The seasons are changing and the crisp, fall air is soon to be upon us. You may notice your body is craving fewer salads and more warm foods like soups and roasted vegetables. Our bodies adapt to the changes in temperature. In the summertime, the days are longer and we tend to be more active, requiring a need for more carbohydrates from natural sugars found in fruits and vegetables like corn, cantaloupe, strawberries, etc. We also need to stay hydrated in the heat, so our body tends to crave foods high in water like watermelon and cucumbers.
As it gets colder, the air becomes more dry, which reflects on our bodies through dry throats and sinuses. This leads to our bodies needs for a diet rich in fats and proteins in the form of warm, oily foods such as meats, nuts, squash, and avocados.
Autumn begins with an abundance of apples, which contain a good source of fiber and pectin, aiding the body’s digestive tract and cleansing the intestines. This prepares the body specifically to aid in the digestion of fats – which we tend to eat more of during the colder months. As the seasons change, it is important that we fuel our body with the proper foods for optimal health. Here are five tips to prepare you to fall into healthy eating:
- Check out local farmers markets to see what produce is in season. This will help broaden your variety of different root vegetables to cook with like carrots, butternut squash, and sweet potatoes. When shopping for fruit, look for sweet, heavy fruits such as bananas, avocados, and oranges rather than berries. These fruits and vegetables are loaded with vitamins A and C to boost immune health during cold and flu season.
- Clean out your pantry. Go through and toss any expired items. Make an inventory of what you have and items you may need.
- Gather recipes more appropriate for fall – such as soups, stews, and chilies using more root vegetables and heavy protein.
- Integrate more whole grains like quinoa, brown rice, and barley. These grains are loaded with fiber to help aid digestion, iron (for your blood health), vitamin B and vitamin E!
- Add more warming spices to your dishes like cinnamon, ginger, cumin, and cloves.
Here is one of my favorite recipes to cook in the fall!
For more information on health and wellness programs at Dedham Health, visit our website or call us at 781-326-2900!
-Taylor St. Cyr, Exercise Physiologist at Dedham Health