Autumn brings with it a bounty of fresh, vitamin-packed food selections. Buying seasonally means you get to enjoy foods at their peak of freshness and height of nutritional value. Buying food in season also tends to be more affordable.
The autumn harvest offers an array of delicious, nutritious choices that taste even better when consumed in season. Buying seasonal foods from local farmers and vendors is also helpful to the environment and to your community. The following are eight of the top delicious fall superfoods to help fuel your health and your yoga practice:
Apples are probably the quintessential autumn food, associated with autumn harvests and fall’s bounty. That old saying about apples “keeping the doctor away” has been proven by science; studies have found apples are extremely high in the healthy antioxidants that can help fight diseases like cancer, heart disease, type 2 diabetes and dementia. Just be sure to eat the skin – it’s packed with nutrients!
2. Brussels Sprouts
This cruciferous vegetable is loaded with compounds that fight and prevent disease and keep you energized during yoga sessions. They are antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, which fights oxidative stress and keeps cells healthy. Packed with vitamins and fiber, Brussels sprouts bring the rich flavors of fall and are a great way to change up your veggie side dishes. Try slicing them in half and sauteeing them with garlic powder and a pinch of black pepper until slightly browned.
Squash is abundant in fall and is loaded with vitamins like A, B, C, D, K1, calcium and magnesium. It contains antioxidants, protective compounds and even healthy omega-3s. Consider roasting squash as a side or puree it into a healthy autumn squash soup. Try spaghetti squash served with marinara sauce as a healthy alternative to pasta. Pumpkin squash is an excellent source of vitamin A, and you can bake the seeds for a healthy and tasty snack for after class.
Pears are another delicious autumn fruit that are rich in vitamin C, copper and fiber. They support heart health, skin health and reduce the risk of stroke. They also aid in digestion, blood sugar regulation and maintaining a healthy weight.
5. Yams and Sweet Potatoes
Orange-colored sweet potatoes are rich with the health-promoting carotenoid beta-carotene. These antioxidants block free radicals that would otherwise damage your cells from the inside out. Yams and sweet potatoes can bring immune system support, reduce inflammation, regulate blood sugar, and lower the risk of disease.
Cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable that helps you fight cancer with its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory properties. It also boosts brain and heart health, bringing vitamin C, K, beta-carotene, and more. Cauliflower is also an excellent substitute for carb-heavy foods like bread or starchy white potatoes. Steam cauliflower and whip them up for a low-carb version of mashed potatoes. Julienne them and sautee with garlic until browned to make faux hash browns. Cauliflower can also be made into pizza crusts, soft taco shells and even cauliflower “bread.”
Pomegranates are a somewhat exotic fall food that are an excellent source of antioxidants, vitamin C and other beneficial compounds. They help to protect you against serious diseases, and they also assist with joint health so that you feel good even after challenging asanas. Sprinkle the juice-filled sacs of the pomegranate onto salads, or use them to add zest to favorite savory dishes.
The kiwi is another exotic fruit to help you change up your diet in fall. They are loaded with phytonutrients that protect against free-radical damage. They also bring you antioxidants, beta-carotene, and vitamins C, E, magnesium, potassium, and more. Scoop kiwi out of their fuzzy skin and serve them sliced in fruit salads or as a healthy dessert.
The autumn season is rich and abundant with healthy, nutritious food choices. Buying seasonally is a wonderful way to keep your diet interesting and enjoyable throughout the year. You are also honoring and staying in the flow of the natural yin and yang of life; Ayurvedic medicine says eating seasonally aids digestion and the full integration of nutrients. Find these eight delicious fall favorites, and fuel your autumn yoga sessions in healthy and invigorating ways.