The surroundings is getting wintry, and you can find paler, dry leaves covering up the roads and gardens – autumn has set in and with it the whole environment has turned a bit gloomy. However, autumn also offers a treat for your taste buds as a vast variety of seasonal vegetables and fruits fill up the stores. Furthermore, a little bit of food indulgence is just what you need to beat the autumn blues and pep up your mood.
Cure yourself to the deep, dark colored vegetables and juicy fruits rich in nutrients and phytochemicals that will not only delight your senses but will also build your defense and prepare you for the cold season.
Here’s a list of a few of the best Autumn Comfort Foods:
Apples contain flavonoids, which are one of the most amazing antioxidants available in food form. From reducing the risk of health conditions to preventing cancer, apples have many health benefits. There are two reasons why they’re great choice, specially in the autumn season – first they have powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-allergenic properties that will deal with the common infections and allergies that appear in the autumn season; and secondly, they’re superb for your skin and can help your look and feel younger. Have them with your breakfast, or as a mid-day snack, and you can truly keep the doctor away!
Cranberries are delicious, juicy and absolutely healthy fruit widely attainable in the autumn season. They are low in calories and are packed with Anthocyanins, heart-healthy antioxidants. Cranberries also play an essential role in curing gum conditions, mouth ad stomach ulcers, urinary tract infections and many forms of cancer. You can come across fresh cranberries from September through December, but most of it is used for cranberry juices and sauce.
Pumpkins are surely another essential autumn comfort food, for they’re loaded with beta-carotene, antioxidants, Vitamin C and Folate. Even the seeds are packed with nutrition and are a rich source of Zinc and Omega 3 fatty acids. The air gets very dry in autumn, which can damage your skin and make it look dull and chapped. Making pumpkin a part of your diet, can keep your skin moisturized, supple and free from infections.
Garlic surely is nature’s own medicine. It contains Allicin, a chemical that is highly effective against viruses, fungi and bacteria. Internal consumption of garlic can reduce the LDL cholesterol levels in the blood and prevent cancer. As for the autumn blues, consuming garlic can drastically improve your mood too.
Ginger has a lot of natural heat, which is what makes it a great autumn comfort food. Whether you prefer ginger tea, or ginger pickle or just plain julienned ginger with honey, the advantages of this root are many. It can heal cough, cold and throat congestion, provide relief from digestive problems and soothe your stomach, fight nausea and even work wonders in driving away the allergies. According to recent researches, ginger works as an organic anti-inflammatory agent and is quite good for musculoskeletal illnesses.
Parsnip is a root vegetable that belongs to the family of carrots. They are a rich source of Fibre, Vitamin C, Calcium and Iron. These are abundant in colder areas, and are primarily a winter vegetable. You can either steam and cook them with different vegetables or you can eat them raw, for their sweet and delicate flavor.
Kale is a dark, green leafy vegetable most commonly available in the autumn season. Kale works as an immunity enhancer (essential in autumn), clears lung congestion, wards off the infections and allergies. It is particularly beneficial for liver and stomach infections. Kale is full of iron, beta carotene, calcium, Vitamin C and potassium, and is a must add in your list of autumn comfort foods.
Aside from the fact that sweet potatoes are widely available in autumn and taste excellent, they are also a storehouse of health benefits. These yummy delights contain high amounts of Vitamin C and beta-carotene (vitamin A), so you can easily ward off cold and other infections. Sweet potatoes are a great food choice for diabetics, as they are low glycemic food. The high amount of dietary fiber present in sweet potato promotes a healthy digestive tract and relieves constipation. For better flavor, eat these hot.
It is one of the oldest known spices, and a perfect choice for autumn. Cinnamon is often used in traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicines for curing cough, cold, nausea, flatulence, diabetes, diarrhea and numerous other physical ailments. It can calm your senses and keep your body warm and comfortable in the cold season. Cinnamon is also believed to improve energy and vitality, and is specially useful for people who have cold feet but warm upper bodies. You can sprinkle cinnamon powder over side-dishes and salads, drink it with tea or mix it with juices.
One more group of herbs, which are good for your taste buds also as your health, are different forms of pepper. Including pepper to your food can help you in various ways – it reduces flatulence, improves digestion, treats gastrointestinal disorders, kills viruses and bacteria, clears chest congestion, treats cough and cold, and so on. It’s also a rich source of antioxidants. Whichever form of pepper you prefer – cayenne, black or white, they’re all a great and healthy addition to your recipes especially during autumn.
Autumn signifies the beginning of the cold season, which is why a lot of people suffer from bouts of cold and cough and different types of allergies. Your skin will also feel extremely dry and lifeless, and will be more susceptible to fungal infections and bacterial.
Various autumn foods mentioned above are warming in nature, and work toward preventing the common infections and allergies associated with this season. These fruits, vegetables and spices will enhance your immune system and keep you comfortable and warm, so you are ready for the cold days.
For more information on Autumn Foods, please visit our health site.