bunch of fall apples
Megan Reynolds

Five Foods to Feel Good About Eating This Fall

bunch of fall apples
Megan Reynolds

Five Foods to Feel Good About Eating This Fall

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Fall is here!

Originally posted to healthyhelpingsnutritionservices.com

As the leaves change and the weather grows colder, we are reminded of all the comforting foods and flavors we love. Some fall foods not only taste great, but may help to boost your immunity and fight some diseases. Try adding these in these fall favorites this season!

  1. Apples: The fiber, mainly in the skin of apples, can help keep you feeling full longer and may help with weight loss, too. Eat them raw while they are in season or along with one to two tablespoons of hummus or peanut butter for a light lunch or snack. For a healthy treat your family will love, chop 4-5 apples and add 1/4th cup of water and simmer on the stove until tender. Mash the results with a potato masher or blend in a blender for a homemade applesauce. 
  2. Cranberries: Just a little of these very tart berries can pack a punch. They can prevent infections by keeping bacteria from attaching to cells and can prevent stomach and urinary tract infections. Some research shows that 2 cups of cranberry juice (regular, light, or whole cranberry juice) daily can decrease inflammation markers like C-reactive protein and may prevent heart disease or cancer. A serving of dried cranberries (1/4th of a cup) can provide a sweet snack or can be added to a salad, giving delicious results.
  3. Squash: Pumpkin and winter squash, like acorn and butternut, provide a great source of vitamin A, which can help prevent macular degeneration. Never cooked with this ingredient before? Try using this quick and easy recipe to create a delicious side dish. Rinse winter squash well and prepare to cook it whole by piercing a few times with a fork. Bake in the oven on a baking sheet at 375℉ for 45 min to an hour. Allow it to cool and the squash will be easy to remove from the peel and pulp. Serve squash drizzled with a little olive oil and Parmesan cheese that everyone will enjoy.
  4. Sweet potatoes: A great source of vitamin A and fiber, sweet potatoes are in season as well this fall. This is a healthy option that tastes great, too. You won’t have to feel guilty for indulging in this ingredient, one cup of sweet potatoes is only 100 calories and no fat! Sweet potatoes can make a great side dish. Rinse them well and pierce each potato with a fork all over. Wrap each potato in foil. Place each foil package on a baking sheet and put into a 500℉ oven to bake for 45-60 minutes. It will be the sweetest sweet potato you have ever had! Garnish with a little cinnamon for extra flavor.
  5. Cinnamon: There are many types of cinnamon these days. Typically, the cinnamon we buy at the grocery store is a combination of different kids of cinnamon. Clinical studies have shown that one type of cinnamon, Cassia cinnamon or Chinese cinnamon, can decrease blood sugar levels. About 1 teaspoon a day of Cassia cinnamon has had positive effects in humans with diabetes when studied for up to four months. Consider sprinkling cinnamon on your oatmeal in the morning or use it to flavor your coffee or tea instead of sugar. Keep in mind, you may not notice a dramatic effect in your blood sugar, especially when you combine cinnamon with pumpkin pie 🙂

About the Author

Megan Rizzi Reynolds has ten years of experience as a registered dietitian. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in 2004 from Kent State University. She completed her internship at the Department of Veterans Affairs in Cleveland, Ohio in 2005. She completed her Master of Science Degree in Nutrition at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio in 2006. Megan worked as a dietitian at the Cleveland and Cincinnati VA Medical Centers in the renal clinics, wound clinic, as well as the general nutrition outpatient clinics after graduation. She also covered the medical and surgical intensive care units. During this time, she earned her board certification as a Specialist in Renal Nutrition. In 2009, Megan worked with hospitalized patients at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN as a dietitian. While there, she gained experience in covering a general medicine floor, a cardiac floor, and the medical intensive care unit. Since moving back to Cleveland, she worked with Davita Health Care Partners for 3 years as a renal dietitian for people on dialysis. She has also had the opportunity to work in wellness areas such as teaching a Cambodian population how to integrate a healthy American diet, working as a health coach for small local businesses, providing individual nutrition counseling to help clients meet their goals. Megan has a passion for helping others improve their quality of life through nutrition and food. Please feel free to contact her with any questions, or to find out more about HealthyHELPings nutritional services.

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