By Rand Al Disi
Guest writer/ Certified Nutritionist
November is not just about Halloween and stuffing ourselves with yummy candy! Foods peak at specific times of the year, which means flavors are at their best and freshest. So what’s in season to eat right now? From squash to sweet potatoes and pumpkins, here are my top 11 picks of this fall season.
1) Just ‘beet’ it!
Although it may be available all year round, beets are at their best in the fall.
This root veggie contains betaine; a compound that helps in the prevention of heart and liver disease, and nitrate which increases the blood flow to your brain and may reduce the risk of dementia.
Rand’s Tip: Roast the beets for 3 minutes and toss them in your salad! Top it off with some pine nuts for an awesome finish.
My fav low Kcal recipe: http://www.rarebits.co.uk/recipes-beetroot-feta-salad
2) Cabbage and its ‘mini me’, i.e. Brussels sprouts
One of the main components of both cabbage and Brussels sprouts is glucosinolates which has incredible cancer fighting properties in addition to being loaded with Vitamins A&C for radiating skin.
Rand’s Tip: Try replacing your iceberg lettuce with cabbage or sprouts as the base of your salad.
My fav low Kcal (for 2): https://greatist.com/eat/recipes/brussels-sprout-and-egg-scramble
3) Pumpkins, pumpkins and more pumpkins!
Who ever said pumpkins are only for Halloween decorations never knew the benefits they store in?
This fruit is the best source of alpha and beta-carotene (which gives it it’s color); the precursors of retinol. What does this mean? This super-duper orange-colored plant is filled with nutritious Vitamin A for cellular growth and healthy vision.
Rand’s Tip: why should our stews be boring? Try having pumpkin stew for lunch instead.
My fav low Kcal recipe: https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/pumpkin-stew
4) The [healthy] sweet spot
The peak season for sweet potatoes is fall! Like pumpkins, sweet potatoes are rich in beta-carotene, which can prevent vitamin A deficiencies and promote a healthy eyesight.
Rand’s Tip: Keep the skin on and just enjoy it! This will increase the fiber content by almost 30-40%!
Rand’s recipe: with the skin on, cut the sweet potatoes into fingers. Place onto wax paper and simply bake in the oven at a temperature of 150 Celsius!
5) Chia means strength
And this is exactly what it gives to you! These magical little seeds are packed with omega-3, calcium, iron and protein.
Rand’s Tip: Are you lactose intolerant or have an allergy to yoghurt? Make your own pudding using chia!
Add 1 tablespoon to ½ cup of almond, rice or soy milk. Leave it overnight and enjoy a mouth-watering pudding the next morning!
Rand’s fav recipe: http://www.simplebites.net/how-to-make-simple-chia-pudding/
6) Sweet as honey
With fall comes the flu *cough cough* and the best way to beat it and boost your immune system is with honey. The antioxidant and energy powerhouse aids in so much including weight loss, sleep promotion and is considered a natural cough syrup.
Rand’s Tip: Try adding 1 teaspoon of honey to a cup of boiled cinnamon. Sprinkle with some walnuts for added nuttiness.
Rand’s fav recipe: http://www.feelhealthylife.com/2015/05/the-miracle-recipe-from-honey-walnuts-cinnamon-and-pectin-for-weight-loss-and-treatment-of-cancer/
7) Keep calm and cranberry on
Fall is the season of freshly picked cranberries! Rich with phytonutrients that contain mega doses of antioxidants, this tiny fruit keeps your cells young and healthy eating up the scavenger free radicals!
Rand’s Tip: Whether dried or fresh, cranberries offer a rich nutritional content of Vitamin C, E, K, pantothenic acid and dietary fibers.
Rand fav recipe: http://www.eatingwell.com/recipe/248222/cranberry-smoothie/
8) Passionate about persimmons
These moderately high in calorie fruits provide 70 Kcal per 100g – which is about 1 fruit – but are very low in fat and provide your body with fast absorbing energy to stay warm.
Rand’s Tip: Wait until mid-season to harvest them in order to reduce the acidity of this fruit.
Rand fav recipe: http://www.geniuskitchen.com/recipe/pomegranate-persimmon-salad-with-warm-goat-cheese-264107
9) Chai tea latte
Enjoy you Chai tea latte with a lower level of caffeine than coffee to keep your body warm and energized! The milk or milk substitutes found in chai latte supplies protein and calcium needed to build muscles and bones, while the chai tea contains healthy antioxidants that may help prevent disease.
Rand’s tip: Tea is filled with anti-oxidants and a lower dose of caffeine when compared to coffee.
Rand fav recipe: http://livesimply.me/2014/10/06/homemade-chai-tea-latte/
10) Hydration is always in season
During the fall/winter season, everything seems to fall lower than its normal range!
The level of moisture and hydration are generally lower and your body tends to lose a lot of hydration. Don’t forget to increase your water consumption during these days.
Rand’s Tip: Rule of thumb- 2 every 2; have two glasses of water every 2 hours!
Rand’s ideas to increase water consumption: https://skinnyms.com/12-easy-ways-to-increase-your-water-intake/
11) Ginger - The natural fat burner
By the end of the 11th don’t forget to increase your consumption of ginger to trim down your belly fat in preparation for endless events coming up this holiday season!
Rand’s Tip: Ginger can target the main reasons that belly fat accumulates, such as overeating, hormonal changes and low energy leading to lack of exercise.
Rand’s belly fat trimming recipe:
Boil 1 teaspoon of shredded ginger root for 1-3 minutes.
Add 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
Enjoy the refreshing taste!