Author unknown once said, “People are so worried about what they eat between Christmas and the New Year, but they really should be worried about what they eat between the New Year and Christmas.”
There is much wisdom in this statement. We should always be concerned with what we are putting in our bodies, after all, food does not know what time of the year it is. Likewise, it will make no difference to our bodies if we stuff that pumpkin pie in our faces in November than March. We should eat well all year around. So with that in mind, and with the resolutions of the New Year looming, let’s talk about some cool weather super foods that will put us on the right track for those remaining 11 months.
What better than some piping hot oatmeal to start your day? The whole grain in oatmeal will give you enough plant based protein and fiber to stop hunger for the rest of the day. This piping hot breakfast food also contains beta- glucan, a starch that has been shown to reduce bad cholesterol by 5 to 10% by just eating 3 grams per day. Keri Gans, RD. suggests mixing in almond butter and chia seeds for some healthy fat content.
A true superfood in every sense of the word,hot chocolate contains flavonoids, an antioxidant believed to decrease free radical damage and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer. Try to avoid the sugary powdered mix. Increase health benefits by melting in some dark chocolate squares or preparing it with almond milk.
Black Bean Soup
Well, we all know the power of black beans, and this tasty dish is chock full! Beans are a powerful source of copper and iron, which are known to help muscles use oxygen more effectively and support the immune system. One serving of this cold weather treat provides 15 grams of fiber and protein. In addition, black beans have almost no content of saturated fat, in contrast to animal proteins and the American Chemical Society research finds that black beans contain more flavonoids than any other bean.
Not only are these greens full of phytonutrients to fight cancer and fiber, they are also packed with Vitamin C. As 74.8 mg/ cup, brussels sprouts may be just the thing for fighting a cold this year. If the bitter taste frightens you off, do as Gans suggests and, ” Roast them in olive oil.”
If your goal this season is to consume more pumpkin containing products than thought humanly possible, you’re in luck, and you may be on the right track. According to the National Institutes of Health, most women should get 700 micrograms of pumpkin a day. The squash is packed with vitamin A, which is crucial for good vision. If you are thinking of stirring up a batch for the holidays, you will be using about a half cup of pumpkin puree which will give you your daily dose, plus you’ll be getting antioxidants from the beta-carotene. A study on the carotenoid found that it can be effective in the treatment of human breast cancer.
Keep these in mind when you make your holiday menu for a healthy, warm and festive season, we would love to hear about your favorite fall health foods.