Four foods that you must include in your fall diet
Summer has come to an end (sadly). Along with those bright sunny days, several of my favorite foods have vanished — Niagara peaches, wild blueberries from Quebec, and, of course, farm-fresh sweet corn.
To be honest, I’m looking forward to the upcoming fall. It’s a time to reset our diets and reintroduce ourselves to healthful foods that are presently in season.
Consuming locally produced goods (as opposed to imported foods) saves money, benefits your community, and is better for the environment (consider how far those out-of-season berries traveled to reach your grocery store).
Additionally, eating seasonally allows you to appreciate foods at their prime in terms of flavor and nutrition.
If you haven’t already, consider include the following nutrient-dense items on your fall meal.
SQUASH WITH BUTTER
This winter squash in the shape of a peanut is an excellent source of carotenoids, antioxidants believed to protect against cognitive decline and heart disease. One cup of cooked squash, for example, has 9.3 milligrams of beta-carotene, more than quadruple the daily dose recommended by experts to help prevent chronic disease.
Additionally, butternut squash is high in alpha-carotene, a carotenoid compound associated with cancer protection. Additionally, one cup of cooked butternut squash contains a good quantity of fibre (6.5 grams), potassium (582 milligrams), folate, calcium, and magnesium.
As a side dish, serve roasted butternut squash with cumin seeds or ras el hanout, a delectable North African spice blend.
Roasted butternut squash cubes are a delicious addition to green salads, whole grain bowls, burritos, chili, and stews. Alternatively, puree it into a creamy squash soup with apple or pear, both of which are in season now.
Purée cooked butternut squash and store in the freezer. Blend it into smoothies, pasta sauces, muffin and pancake mixes, and other baked goods.
ARTICHOKES OF JERUSALEM
Also known as sunchokes, these nutty-tasting, crispy brown-skinned tubers (which are neither true artichokes nor related to Jerusalem) are a good source of inulin, a prebiotic fiber that nourishes beneficial gut microorganisms. Inulin contributes to digestive health by increasing mineral absorption and satiation.
Additionally, Jerusalem artichokes are a good source of iron, providing 2.5 milligrams per half-cup sliced.
Jerusalem artichokes are prepared similarly to potatoes or parsnips. Serve them mashed, roasting, sautéing, grilling, boiling, stir-frying with vegetables, or mixed into soups. Alternatively, you can eat them raw in salads, sliced or grated.
Jerusalem artichokes may induce bloating in certain patients with irritable bowel syndrome due to their inulin content.
The deep crimson color of these root vegetables is due to betalains, phytochemicals that function as antioxidants, aid in inflammation reduction, and aid the liver’s detoxification mechanism.
Beets are also an excellent source of folate, a B vitamin required for the production of DNA and red blood cells.
Salads, vegetarian sandwiches, and wraps all benefit from grated raw beets. Roast beets alongside turnips, carrots, and parsnips.
In a sauté pan, sauté precooked beets in olive oil with a splash of freshly squeezed orange juice and zest. Alternatively, you may make beet chips by mixing thinly sliced beets with olive oil and baking them until crisp.
Utilize the green beet tops as well. Half a cup cooked is an excellent source of potassium and carotenoids, such as beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, and lutein, a phytochemical that promotes brain and vision health.
SALMON SOCKEYE (CANNED)
The season for wild sockeye salmon in British Columbia (June to August) is concluded, but canned (and frozen) wild sockeye is available year-round.
While salmon is well-known for its heart-healthy omega-3 fats, it also contains a significant quantity of vitamin D, a substance that boosts immunity and promotes bone health.
Salmon, particularly sockeye, is one of the few foods that provide a significant amount of vitamin D. Three ounces of canned sockeye salmon contain 715 international units (IU), more than the 600 IU recommended by Health Canada for people aged one to seventy. (It is recommended that older persons obtain 800 IU each day.)
Three ounces of sockeye salmon also contains an adequate amount of vitamin B12 (4.7 micrograms) and calcium (197 milligrams), as well as one-half of a day’s worth of selenium, an antioxidant mineral that helps protect immune cells from free radical damage.
Make salmon burgers and cakes using canned sockeye salmon, sprinkle it into green salads or grain bowls, or add it to scrambled eggs or frittatas. To break up the tuna, try a salmon salad sandwich.