When you think about fall foods, the first things that come to mind might be pumpkin pie, caramel apples and other comfort foods, but there are actually a lot of wholesome options freshly available in autumn. As summer slowly fades and cooler temperatures prevail, it's definitely time to refresh your mindset, wardrobe and even your diet.
Fortunately, fall fruits and vegetables are just as delicious as they are nutritious. Keep an eye out for these seasonal superfoods next time you're at the grocery store or farmer's market to gain full body benefits, from your toenails to your tastebuds.
An apple a day may not definitely keep the doctor away, but it will keep you healthier. Granny smith, gala, fuji or macintosh - pick your favorite and don't bother peeling it, just bite right in - MSN Health noted that the skin has flavonoids, which are good for your heart. These fruits are packed with antioxidants, which, according to Runner's World magazine, have been found to prevent muscle injuries caused by downhill running, making them an ideal treat pre- or post-workout. They're also chock full of dietary fiber, which keeps you feeling full for longer while keeping your cholesterol down. Snack on one raw or slice it up, spread it onto a baking sheet, shake on some cinnamon and sprinkle granola or candied walnuts on top. In just fifteen minutes you'll have a guilt-free dessert.
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They may have made you cringe during your childhood, but Runner's World explained that Brussels sprouts contain more cancer-crushing glucosinolates than any other cruciferous vegetable. According to MSN Health, just 1/2 cup provides more than your daily recommended intake of vitamin K. For a tasty addition to pasta, halve them, sautée in olive oil and sprinkle with parmesan.
Athletes can especially reap the rewards of eating this licorice-flavored veggie. Runner's World revealed that in a recent study, runners experienced less damage to their lungs after jogging in a polluted air chamber when they had consumed more vitamin C, and fennel has 30 percent of your daily value. Try slicing it raw into a salad with bibb lettuce, goat cheese, avocado and pistachios. For added benefits, add persimmons - the news source explained that this bright orange fruit is chock full of catechins and carotenoids, which can reduce inflammation and help you recover faster after grueling exercise.
These root veggies are far more nutritious than their white counterparts, so feel free to dig in. In fact, MSN Health reported that they are a phenomenal source of both iron and vitamin A. A high level of potassium can help with circulation, too, according to Runner's World. The magazine pointed out that studies have shown eating sweet potato extract for a week made antioxidant levels soar and reduced signs of muscle damage after a strenuous run. Try slicing them in long wedges, tossing them in olive oil and spices and roasting them for a healthier alternative to fries. You could also bake them into a frittata, or add them to a three-bean chili for a comforting fall dinner.
This tart fruit has garnered a lot of attention in recent years from the health-minded community, and for good reason: MSN Health reported that pomegranates have a significant amount of vitamin C and folate, and UCLA research has shown pomegranate juice has higher antioxidants levels than red wine. Plus, FitSugar pointed out that Duke studies determined the fruit can help to treat or prevent heart diseases, Alzheimer's and certain cancers. Toss the seeds into cereal, Greek yogurt and even a spinach salad for some tangy crunch. Or blend them with david kirsch vitamin super juice for a super-smoothie that's loaded with vitamins and herbs that boost your energy, immunity and metabolism.