The Fall Flavors of Weight Loss

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New season, new superfoods.

With the change in seasons comes a change in availability of particular foods. The warm-weather loving fruits of spring and summer will gradually be a bit harder to obtain, which means we’ll need to turn our attention elsewhere for healthy eating. Luckily, though fall may be a bit colder, it can still provide plenty of delicious, nutritious food that can help you to shed off a few pounds while you wait for the sun to come out again.

First and foremost, fall is the season for sweet potatoes. The reason tubers are eaten more in the cold months is because they’re resistant to changes in temperature. That’s what happens when your entire body is buried; no stems exposed to the elements. In addition to being a tasty roasted snack, sweet potatoes are rich in vitamin A and vitamin C, a good replacement for summer’s citrus fruits.

With the spooky season all up ons, there’ll be no shortage of pumpkin in the markets (though make sure they’re safe for consumption and not just for decoration). Some people can just eat straight-up sliced pumpkin, which admittedly freaks me out a bit, but whether you eat it whole or mush it into a puree, pumpkin can be a great source of vitamins A, K, and C, as well as healthy fiber. Pumpkin seeds are no slouches either, packing magnesium and protein, as well as the mood-boosting L-tryptophan. Cook ’em up with some olive oil for a heart-healthy treat.

If you’re not in the mood for produce, fall also provides lots of healthy spices and seasonings, with two of the most prolific being cinnamon and turmeric. Studies show that a little cinnamon helps you to keep better control over your blood sugar, which in turn helps you control cravings. Just don’t eat a spoonful straight. Turmeric will get your blood pumping and keep swelling at bay with its powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Some studies show an increase in turmeric consumption linked with lessened body weight, though the jury’s still out there.

Fall and winter may be the seasons of hibernation, but that doesn’t mean you have to sit around and gain weight. Just because your food isn’t as vibrantly colored doesn’t mean it’s less good for you.