As the colder months set in, we find ourselves turning to more stodgy foods which in turn leads to weight gain, so here we share some healthy eating tips for autumn.
Since our diets change, and we gradually start feasting on hot pots, stews, and delicious heart-warming pies, Izzy Cameron, Nutrition and Weight Management Specialist at Diet Chef, suggests some top tips to ensure you not only maintain your weight and overall well-being, but also make the most of the seasonal produce that’s available on your doorstep.
During autumn there is a wide range of nutrient-rich root vegetables and fruit, which all help to keep you fit and healthy – Izzy Cameron states that the best autumnal foods include:
Apples – The nutrients found in apples can help prevent spikes in blood sugar and reduce the risk of a variety of chronic diseases. This fruit is in season during the autumn months and comes in a variety of flavours.
Pears – Recent studies have shown that the skin of pears contains at least three to four times as many phenolic phytonutrients (essential compounds enhancing one’s health) as the fruit’s flesh. These phytonutrients include antioxidants, anti-inflammatory flavonoids, and potentially anti-cancer phytonutrients like cinnamic acids.
Winter Squash – Butternut and Pumpkin are just a couple of varieties of winter squash which act as a natural accompaniment to autumn cuisine. Both rich flavour, and high in nutrients, winter squash one of the best buys of the season.
Cabbage – This seasonal vegetable has cholesterol-lowering benefits, and is also rich in fibre particularly when steamed.
Wild Mushrooms – Mushrooms are really great to eat since they can help influence blood lipids, blood glucose, immunity, and weight control. They also offer many essential nutrients and antioxidants which the body needs.
Pomegranates – Considered the ‘jewel of the autumn’ Pomegranates are a rich source of soluble and insoluble dietary fibres. It is also a good source of Vitamin C.
Root vegetables – All different kinds of root vegetables are great – carrots, turnips and swede for example are real nutritional stars in both autumn and winter. Tasty beetroots are also great as they are jam-packed with Folate, Vitamin C and Magnesium.
Of course it isn’t just about what you eat in autumn that keeps you healthy; you need to be doing the right things too! With this in mind, Izzy has also listed her top three tips, to help ensure you maintain your weight and wellbeing during the autumn months:
Don’t give in to the darker nights – As soon as the nights start to get darker, our motivation to keep as active as we were in the summer months begins to wane. Try not to give into the sofa too soon though, and look for alternative ways to keep moving and burn those calories, such as a new exercise DVD or a local exercise class.
Keep an eye on cosy comfort food calories – As we start eating fewer salads and opt for more warming, hearty foods, people’s portion size tends to increase as well. Since this is also the time we start to reach for jumpers and cosy clothes, as well as become less active, the extra pounds gained from increased food consumption can slowly and steadily creep on. Enjoy the change in season; just be conscious of portion size.
Don’t forget to drink (water that is!) – When it’s warmer in the summer months we consciously drink more water. But when it starts to get cooler we don’t consider this as much. Drinking water helps keep skin hydrated and looking good. It maintains the body’s balance of fluids, but also helps keep calories in check as often we confuse hunger with thirst.