As a season, fall has so lots of redeeming qualities, in the event you live somewhere with true seasons throughout the year; the air becomes a tiny cooler in the morning, the humidity is non-existent, & all sorts of delicious & nourishing fruits & vegetables are obtainable locally! I do know, it looks like a unusual thing to get excited about, but eating fresh from local farms (or even your very own garden) means that you are eating vegetables as they are fresh from the ground; they are not being forced farmed & forced ripened, you are eating them as they were supposed to grow & ripen, which means they are saturated with nutrients & vitamins & taste their best.
Improving Diet and Nutrition with Fall Veggies

What are the best fall veggies for you?

 Some of the vegetables with the most nutrients right from the ground are squash: there's so lots of varieties, they have incredible nutrition, & they are such a versatile vegetable that can be added to  anything! Each variety has a differently flavor, & because most squash have such thick skin, they can be stored for up to 6 weeks one time picked, so you can buy up your favorites & store them…or buy a few different varieties & try all of them. My personal favorites are sugar pumpkins, kabocha, pasta, & butternut squash because I cook & bake with them, & add them to my morning smoothies !

Why are squash so good for you?

Each variety has its own amount of nutrients, however there's some key nutrients that squash are high in, making them not only tasty but also excellent for your health (& hitting weight loss goals)!

Fiber: All squash tend to have fibrous flesh, which softens when cooked, which gives it a pleasant consistency, and it's plenty of benefits. As fiber is difficult for your body to absorb, it slows down digestion in the stomach, helping to maintain steady blood sugars, which makes you feel full longer, and curb cravings. Because of that, you tend to take in less food when you eat a high fiber diet (you feel fuller faster), but it is also great for colon health and it helps to flush out your intestines by moving quickly through the digestive tract, giving you a flatter stomach. Be warned when you first start adding in these high fiber gems to your diet, you may feel a small bloated at first, but one time your body gets used to it, you will feel great!

Vitamin A:  Technically, squash are high in beta-carotene, which is changed in to Vitamin A when it is broken down and absorbed in the stomach. Irrespective of that, both are great sources of nutrition. They are high in antioxidants, and help to boost your immune system. Studies have found that diets high in beta-carotene lead to less heart issues (think stroke, heart assault, etc) and lower rates of oral and lung cancers (which are prevalent these days.) And Vitamin A assists with healthy vision, improves your skin (skin is more vibrant looking – who doesn’t need that?), and it's been shown to improve sperm function and production. Both high levels of beta-carotene and Vitamin A are a winning combination in squash!

Vitamin C: I bet you thought you knew everything about this vitamin, but there's new studies coming out on a regular basis related to the benefits of a diet high in Vitamin C. It does help to boost your immune system, as it is of the first vitamins depleted when they have a stress response (which usually makes our immune system work harder) so eating giant doses can help to get your immune system back in the swing & fight off those common cold viruses. Females with diets high in Vitamin C have also been found to have skin with less wrinkles & fewer issues with skin dryness. It also has recently been found that individuals who eat high Vitamin C diets, have a decreased risk of stroke, & while the exact reason is unknown, it’s a nice reason for me to eat high Vitamin C foods!
Now that you know the way great squash are for you, you need to know how to cook them & add them to your diet!

How do I cook squash?

How do I cook squash
The best way, is to roast squash because after they are roasted, you can remove the pulp & freeze it for later, or cook/bake with it immediately. To roast to perfection every time, without fail:
  • Preheat your oven to 375F.
  • Slice the squash in half (takes some muscle) and scoop out the inside seeds.
  • Place the squash skin side up in a roasting dish, puncture the skin with a fork 4 times on each side, and drizzle a little olive oil over the top.
  • Roast for 45 minutes. (you know its ready because you can easily push in the outside skin and it feels soft)
  • Let the squash cool for a bit, and use a spoon to scoop out the inside pulp, perfectly roasted… and you can add to your favorite recipes or try something new!

How can I get more squash in my diet?

How can I get more squash in my diet
Easy, add it to a smoothie! My “go to” pumpkin smoothie:
  • 1/4 cup fresh pumpkin
  • 1/4 cup mango (frozen is great if you don’t have fresh)
  • 1/2 an orange (or juice equivalent)
  • 1 teaspoon chia seeds
  • 1 teaspoon flax seed (I prefer ground)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoons uncooked oatmeal
Put all ingredients in a blender, fill halfway together with your milk of choice, blend on high for two minutes, then pour, drink, enjoy, & feel healthy!

Small changes in your diet can greatly improve your overall health, & eating veggies that are in season, at their freshest, can be of the largest steps towards a healthy lifestyle as well as a healthy body!

In Lovely Health!

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