Cristina L. Morales, MPH RDN LD, Registered Dietitian for St. Hope Foundation.
Autumn for many of us is the best time of the year. Aside from the hustle and bustle of holiday shopping there is the task of grocery shopping too! One great way to load up on nutritious foods, is to check out the produce isle and see what’s in season. What was the last vegetable you tried? What about a fruit serving? In my practice, too often, clients report a low consumption of fruits and vegetables. Many report not ever tasting a vegetable, eat a vegetable once a month, and some have diets with a low variety of fruits and vegetables. The months of December, January, and February are the winter months. And, the season’s fruits and vegetables include grapefruit, papaya, buttercup squash, Brussel sprouts and many more. Did you know that fruits and vegetables are fat free, cholesterol free, sodium free or very low in sodium, and most contain a rich amount of vitamins A, C, and K? Dates are currently in season and contain a high amount of fiber which is great for digestion and heart health. Kale has an abundant amount of health benefits, and has an abundant amount of Vitamin K, which helps with wound healing. Kale is also a good source of calcium that support bone health, and is high in Vitamin A and C. Another fabulous food is Sweet potatoes! They are high in vitamins A and C, and contain about 3 grams of dietary fiber per serving. You might be surprised when you taste these plant based foods as they are quite delicious. Sweet potato is a versatile vegetable. It can be purchased fresh, frozen or canned. Sweet potato can be boiled or baked, mashed or chopped, and roasted or steamed. Sweet potatoes make a superb holiday side dish and can be served as the main course, as a soup or salad. Another sweet tasting food is Buttercup squash. The best cooking method for this winter squash, also called turban squash, is baked or steamed. It has a sweet and nutty flavor and is harvested during the Fall and Winter months. Take a trip to your local supermarket today or opt for curbside pickup, and explore some seasonal foods this year. ‘Till next time, stay healthy and be well.
For a list of seasonal foods, check this out! https://www.outofmilk.com/ideas/fall-fruit-vegetable-essentials/
For a delicious Buttercup squash recipe, check this out! https://www.runningtothekitchen.com/roasted-buttercup-squash/