5 Healthy Fall Vegetables to Boost Your Mood and Brain Function
As the cold weather approaches, many of us experience the desire for hearty, warm foods. Typically, comfort food is not known for its health benefits, but fall vegetables are packed with nutrients and taste good too! We are also entering the season when colds and illnesses begin to circulate, so it is more important than ever to keep our immune system up with good quality and intentional nutrition.
Here we have a list of 5 delicious seasonal vegetables that will satisfy your body and mind!
- Sweet Potatoes: These are a great alternative to regular potatoes as they contain many more nutrients like vitamins A and C. They’ve even been found to cause lower fluctuations in blood glucose and insulin levels. Sweet potatoes can also satisfy your craving for hearty food, while also benefiting your health. You can make these into fries by baking them in the oven with some garlic and paprika or mashing them with some coconut oil.
- Brussel Sprouts: Although some call these “mini cabbages,” they should really be known as nutrient-packed goodness! They’re not only tasty; they also contain vitamin C, folate, omega-3 fatty acids, and fiber. Brussel sprouts have anti-cancer properties and can help protect your cells from damage through compounds called isothiocyanate. Brussel sprouts can be served raw, baked, sauteed, or air fried.
- Beets: This bright red root vegetable is a sweet delicacy that adds fall vibes to any meal. Its high nitrate levels may favorably impact hypertension, atherosclerosis, type 2 diabetes, and dementia, while its rich phytochemical compounds, including ascorbic acid (vitamin C), carotenoids, phenolic acids, and flavonoids, plus high antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory capabilities, point to usefulness for those with conditions like liver disease, arthritis, and cancer. It is best to bake beets in the oven and serve with a salad.
- Kale: In a single cup of kale, you intake 9% of the daily value of calcium, 206% of vitamin A, 134% of vitamin C (more than in a medium orange), and 684% of vitamin K, plus minerals like copper, potassium, manganese, and phosphorus. This superfood is a great staple in any meal as it pairs well with almost anything. Kale chips are a great way to get your vitamins while enjoying a yummy snack.
- Pumpkin: Last but certainly not least, we have pumpkins! Aside from being a decoration, pumpkins provide more than 200% of daily vitamin A, lutein, and zeaxanthin for eye health, potassium, vitamin C, fiber, antioxidants, and carotenoids. As well as this, pumpkin seeds contain pumpkin oil which helps stabilize moods and reduce anxiety. You can add mashed pumpkin to almost any dish from pancakes to quesadillas, and roasting pumpkin seeds in the oven is simple!