How to Maintain a Healthy, Seasonal Diet This Fall

We’re officially in a new season and for those who love fall, with its golden sunlight and brisk air, bring it on!

A great way to morph with the season is to take advantage of fall produce. Nature has a beautiful way of being in sync with our body’s needs. Summer, with its bounty of fresh fruit, salads, and other light fare, is totally in keeping with hot weather and lazier days. Now we’re hankering for hardier fare that will see us through our revved-up schedules and colder chillier days. And that’s exactly what fall produce does!

What to consider concerning your fall menus: 

  • Favor your local farmers market. The benefits of shopping locally are many including a gorgeous and full display of seasonal fruits and vegetables—heightened flavor and freshness. This means picked within a day or two and at their peak of ripeness—and environmentally sound with localized shipping and no packaging.
  • Plan to cook. Now that’s actually a good thing and yes, it does take more time and more planning. But cooking puts you in charge of your food and being certain that only good-health ingredients go into your dish. Ayurveda, the ancient Indian tradition, recommends cooking most foods – the reason, because it aids digestion, and optimizes nutrient absorption, says the Chopra Center. Steaming or lightly sautéing are both great options. 
  • Go for diversity. Did you know there are 11 varieties of winter squash alone? Most can be baked, steamed, sautéed, or roasted. Plus, you can add many types of squash to soups to enhance flavors. Butternut and acorn are well-known, but how about trying something else—delicata squash for example? Its skin is thinner than most and that makes it easy to prepare and cook. Ask the proprietor at the farmers market about other fresh ideas for selection and preparation. Get creative and be an active, informed consumer.
  • Choose foods at the height of their season. With so much produce coming to us year-round, it’s easy to lose sight of particular foods’ real seasons. For instance, fall is the true beginning of the season for parsnips and turnips, both great additions to soups and stews, as well as sautéed dishes. Brussels sprouts season peaks in fall and winter … take advantage of them now at their tastiest best. 
  • Keep nutrition in mind. When you think about color and fall veggies, it’s pretty much orange. There’s a great reason for that—orange means beta carotene and one of its nutritional benefits is that it helps strengthen the immune system—and it’s just what you need when about to face the season of colds and coughs, plus it will even give your skin a nice glow. Fall veggies are rich in other nutrients as well. Just a sampling of fall food nutrients include: folate (Brussels sprouts), potassium (parsnips), phytonutrients (cauliflower), iron (sweet potatoes), vitamins A, C and K plus folate (turnips). 
  • Snack seasonally. Tangerines, apples, and kiwis … they all come in an easy-to-eat form and pack an impressive nutrient load. Plus their sweetness hits the spot that will keep you from vending-machine temptations. 

As you can see, there is absolutely no reason to let your healthy food habits slip with the onset of cooler weather. Indeed, there is every reason to expand the variety of Nature’s gifts to make your dinners seasonably sound and even more delicious. 

Amy kurtz

Amy Kurtz is YOGANONYMOUS' resident health and wellness expert. Having had experienced a variety of chronic health issues from a young age, Amy realized that the only way she was going to recover was to become an active participant in her own well-being. Amy deeply believes in the power of self-care and it is her mission to teach people how to truly take care of themselves. A Health + Wellne...READ MORE