Your Health: New ways to eat fall’s five healthiest foods | SierraSun.com

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Your Health: New ways to eat fall’s five healthiest foods

From Halloween candy to the Thanksgiving feast, autumn arrives with its fair share of opportunities to overdo it.

Fortunately, Mother Nature provides an antidote: a bounty of fresh, delicious fruits and veggies to keep your taste buds happy, your body healthy and your waistline in check. Head to the produce aisle or farmers’ market to pick up these seasonal options.

APPLES

Bob for these beauties and you’ll come up with a heaping helping of fiber. You’ll feel fuller on fewer calories, helping you control your weight. Plus, fiber fights cholesterol and lowers your heart-disease risk.

Try this: Add sliced apples to salads or tortilla wraps; dice them into a homemade turkey meatloaf; or stuff a whole apple with raisins, cinnamon, and oats and bake for a breakfast or dessert treat.

BRUSSELS SPROUTS

The bane of many children’s dinner plates, these small cabbage-shaped veggies now appear on many trendy restaurant menus. Low in calories and high in vitamin C, fiber, and folate, Brussels sprouts also contain antioxidants that protect your cells. Some evidence even suggests they reduce cancer risk.

Try this: Roast at a high heat or steam with lemons, mustard, and walnut oil.

CAULIFLOWER

A favorite of low-carb dieters, this non-starchy vegetable makes a creamy, delicious stand-in for a portion of buttery mashed potatoes. And each spoonful serves up plenty of vitamins, minerals, and plant-based compounds called phytonutrients, which help keep arteries clear.

Try this: Steam, then puree with plain Greek yogurt, garlic, and a bit of Parmesan; roast with olive oil and garlic; or eat raw with your favorite low-fat dressing.

GRAPES

You can find these green and purple globes in grocery stores year-round. But as they reach their peak each autumn, they’re flavorful and colorful, not to mention less expensive and more local. These fruits and their juices may contain the same antioxidants that give red wine its heart-healthy benefits.

Try this: Pack a small bag for healthy snacking on the go; freeze and eat as a dessert treat; or roast and combine with thyme, mustard, and cooking wine as a sauce for lean meats.

SWEET POTATOES

Besides filling fiber, these bright tubers count as a great source of vitamin A and potassium. Vitamin A promotes healthy eyes and skin and boosts your immunity. Meanwhile, potassium helps control your blood pressure.

Try this: Mash and stir in wheat germ to make sweet potato pancakes; bake in the oven and top with salsa, veggies, and cheese; or dice and stir into hearty soups, stews, and chili.

Jennifer Trew, RD is a registered dietitian at Barton Health’s Dietary Services.