Savory turkey, sweet pumpkin, tart cranberries…These are the flavors of the fall/winter season. But according to some nutritional experts, we should be eating more of these types of foods all year round because they are so full of natural antioxidants and fiber.
“Several foods we consume this time of year are actually good for you when prepared with minimal added fat, sugar and salt, and consumed in moderation," says Stacey Snelling, a registered dietitian and associate dean at American University's School of Education, Teaching and Health.
Many people do not eat with the seasons. They eat whatever they want all year round. However, if you’re wondering how to have more energy, eating with the seasons is one of the best things you can do for your body. Fueling it with ample antioxidants and fiber will help you stay energized throughout the day.
Here are some examples:
- White turkey meat is low in fat, high in protein, high in B vitamins, and low in calories compared with dark turkey meat.
- Cranberries are low-calorie, fat-free, cholesterol-free, and high in fiber and vitamins A and C.
- Sweet potatoes, pumpkin and carrots are fat-free, cholesterol-free, and high in vitamins A and C, and fiber.
- Red wine is fat-free and high in heart-healthy antioxidants, but only one alcoholic beverage per day for women and two per day for men is recommended.
- Dark chocolate is high in antioxidants and a healthy indulgence when eaten in moderation.
- Broccoli is the food that can do no wrong. It is low in calories, fat-free, and high in vitamins A and C.
- Do you normally say “no” to the green bean casserole? You might want to reconsider it! Green beans are low in calories, fat-free, high in vitamins C and K, and high in fiber.
- Green peas are fat-free, high in vitamin K and high in fiber.
The spices we use in these dishes might also provide health benefits, according to Snelling.
"Some research has found that cinnamon may lower blood sugar, improve diabetes and aid in treating bacterial infections," she says.