Seven Healthy Fall Ingredients

Ready to refresh your eating habits? Fall is the perfect time of year! Not only is the crisp and cozy weather ideal for crockpot meals, but thanks to fresh, seasonal ingredients, it can be healthy too. In today’s blog post, let’s take a look at seven ingredients to incorporate into your fall cooking.

Seven Healthy Ingredients for Fall Cooking

1. Cranberries.

It is well-known that cranberry juice can help combat urinary tract infections, perhaps due to phytochemicals called proanthocyanidins. Cranberries also have other antioxidants and good-for-your-heart anti-inflammatory compounds. You can top your warm oatmeal with dried cranberries and cinnamon (more on that below!) or throw some in a leafy green salad with goat cheese and nuts. You can also add cranberries to quinoa for a sweet side dish.

2. Cinnamon.

Did you know that cinnamon may help lower blood sugar levels for patients with Type 2 diabetes? This possibility is particularly important for people who have pre-diabetes, as the ingredient may slow down their path to full-fledged diabetes. Here are some ways to incorporate cinnamon in your diet:

  • Add a splash of milk and sprinkle of cinnamon to a cup of hot coffee.
  • For an afternoon snack, slice up an apple, sprinkle some cinnamon on top, and dip each slice into some nut butter.
  • Add a dash of cinnamon to your favorite chili recipe for a bit of spice!

3. Garlic.

Studies indicate that garlic may lower your blood cholesterol and even help fight stomach and colon cancer in some individuals. Keep a jar of chopped garlic in your refrigerator and add it to roasted vegetables, chicken or turkey dishes, chili, and soups. 

4. Sage.

Some research suggests that sage helps to improve both memory and attention span. Chop this herb and add it to winter squash, zucchini, and sweet potatoes before roasting. You can also include it with your breakfast omelet for a tasty morning treat. 

5. Tumeric.

Thanks to curcumin, tumeric potentially has anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer benefits as well as antioxidant properties. You can sprinkle it into your favorite soups; add it to brown rice for a nutrient-packed side dish; or add it, along with olive oil, to carrots before roasting.

6. Ginger.

Ginger’s stomach-soothing effects are helpful during pregnancy, chemotherapy, or surgery recovery. It can also help calm the queasy feeling from motion sickness (anyone up for a fall road trip?). Use it to add an Asian flavor to stir-fry recipes, or combine it with honey for a sweet grilled salmon dish.

7. Pumpkin.

It’s not fall without a mention of pumpkins! Canned pumpkin is easy to have on hand and even easier to throw into a smoothie, soup, or even pancakes. It is packed with vitamin A, which helps both eye and skin health, and is also rich in fiber. This powerhouse ingredient may aid in blood sugar stabilization and is particularly helpful for individuals with elevated LDL cholesterol levels. 

Reach out to Dr. Asha Tota-Maharaj, MD at Platinum Primary Care with all your healthcare needs. Come visit us at 2071 Dundee Drive in Winter Park.