Summer might be ending, but autumn is coming with a wonderful and colorful array of fruits and vegetables. Not only is it a beauty when plated, but these vibrant ingredients contain a powerhouse of nutrients that your immune system needs more than ever – especially at the risk of COVID-19. If you’re looking to brighten up your Instagram story while improving your health, choose these tasty choices instead of fast food.
You can sometimes get colorful wild carrots ranging from cream to purple, but the most common is that lovely orange hue. Hit your local farmers’ market and consider glazing them with honey before they are baked in the oven – the result is succulent and packed with more than twice your daily dose of vitamin A.
If you’re not ready for kale yet, consider butter lettuce. This smooth lettuce is deliciously decadent and has no overly healthy taste. It’s a perfect addition to a sandwich or even a salad base on its own. Butter lettuce is filled with a major antioxidant called beta-carotene and a phytochemical called lutein. Both are key to preventive measures against degenerative diseases.
There are so many different kinds of mushrooms out there. We love a sweet portobello or a hearty mushroom soup on a chilly day. Mushrooms are essentially an inflammation-decreasing superfood, and they are robust in taste – enough to be compared to meat! They are also packed with prebiotics that feeds the microbiota in your intestines and promotes healthy digestion.
Apple pick is one of our favorite fall activities; there’s just so much you can do with them! From apple and squash soup to stuffing, there are plenty of tasty options along with classic unhealthy options like apple pie and strudel. Baked apple rings also hit the spot when you sprinkle cinnamon with a naturally sweet treat. Apples contain vitamin C and a ton of antioxidants. They also contain pectin, a prebiotic that is known to reduce high cholesterol levels while keeping your intestines happy.
Many of us have been traumatized by boiled Brussel sprouts, but there are way better ways to make the most of your taste when you’re cooking. Try to buy them as fresh as possible on the stalk and toast them with olive oil, pepper, and salt in the oven. They are packed with iron and other good-for-you vitamins that will strengthen your immune system.
There are more ways to eat sweet potatoes than baled in a casserole of artificially sweetened marshmallows. You can bake them in sweet potato fries or serve them as a mash on the side with grilled fish or chicken. They’re packed with fiber to keep you fuller for longer, and they’re also packed with vitamins C and A. If you cut them into chips, they’re also making some pretty mind-blowing nachos.
The ultimate addition to any charcuterie board, figs both look and taste dazzling. They are packed with fiber and are known to lower bad cholesterol while regulating blood sugar and potassium, both of which can improve blood pressure. If you are eager to snack all day or suffer from frequent constipation, consider making fig, goat cheese, and walnut salad. Figs are delectable on their own, too.
This purple-red vegetable is mesmerizing both in its color and in its health benefits. The root vegetable contains betalains, a phytonutrient that fights inflammation and has antioxidant properties. Beets can also help our bodies better absorb calcium. When shopping for your beets, try choosing smaller beets, which will be more tender than larger beets. They’re sweet enough to sneak into a dessert, but they also make a delicious side dish or salad.
When nothing hits the spot, there’s a hot bowl of butternut squash soup. Its velvety texture is almost addictive when purified, but if you cube one of these and toast it, the taste is equally impressive. Just make sure you add seasonings like garlic and salt! Vitamin C will help keep your immune system strong, while beta-carotene helps improve eye health.
Grapes are like the candy of nature. They’re hard to put down once you stop, and while they make one of the best inventions ever – wine they taste pretty amazing on their own as well. There are endless varieties of grapes, and even though they taste like desserts, they contain substances such as vitamin K that enable stronger bones, along with polyphenols, otherwise known as micronutrients.