Take Advantage of Seasonal Produce to Beat the Bulge

Cooler days ahead bring holiday festivities and higher calorie dense comfort foods to the table. Taking advantage of your fall seasonal fruits and vegetables can help add variety to your diet and help you fight the holiday bulge.

Fall fruits such as apples, figs, cranberries, pomegranates, and pears bring a warm seasonal welcome to the kitchen. Be creative with these fruits to add the most variety. You can eat them plain as is, or you can add chop them up and add to salads for extra color and texture. You can add them to stuffing or rice pilaf for extra crunch. Cranberries and pomegranates taste wonderful mixed into hot oatmeal or added to smoothies for an extra boost of immunity building vitamin C. Fruits have a high water content making them ideal for those individuals hoping to maintain or lose weight. The high water content fills your stomach and helps you to feel full faster so it helps with portion control.

Fall vegetables such as squash, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, beets, broccoli, and Brussel sprouts bring a comforting array of textures and colors to the dinner table. Roasted squash and beets make a nutritious and colorful side dish. Beets and pumpkins can even be added to smoothies for an extra helping of antioxidants and fiber. Broccoli and Brussel sprouts can be chopped or shredded and added to salads for a fresh change from traditional lettuces.

Seasonal produce contains more fiber than its starchy cousins and a larger array of vitamins and minerals to keep you healthy as we approach the cold and flu season. New fall produce gives us the opportunity to introduce new foods into our regular diets. Adding new fruits and vegetables into your meals helps to prevent vitamin deficiencies. If you have special dietary needs or food allergies, you can still enjoy the fall harvest by contacting a dietician or food nutritionist to help you create a custom menu and recipes to fit your dietary needs. Many of the larger specialty grocery stores will have a unique array of fruits and veggies from all over the world, giving you a larger selection of seasonal produce. Some of the specialty stores will even provide small group tours to learn about the unique selections found in the store. If you are feeling adventurous to try something new and different, contact your local grocer and ask about a small group tour of their produce department and learn how to prepare something new.

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