Summer is winding down and the cold months are quickly approaching but that doesn’t mean healthy food is out of season and outdoor activities need to come to an end. Fall is the best time of year to strengthen our body’s immune system, enjoy in-season fruits and vegetables and take in the foliage with outdoor activities. Use the below tips to be your best self this season!
Strengthen your Immune System
With flu season approaching, now is the time to boost up your vitamin C intake, drink plenty of water and maintain a good sleep schedule.
-Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that helps to keep your immune system strong and fight symptoms of the common cold. The easiest way to stay healthy during flu season is to load up on Vitamin C rich fruits and vegetables such as; apples, berries, citrus fruits, dark leafy greens, tomatoes, broccoli and even some fortified foods.
-Drink plenty of water throughout the day by keeping a reusable water bottle at your desk or in your car. Drinking enough water helps to not only keep you full, but it will keep your skin clear. Dry skin is a common problem in cold weather months and dehydration can be a contributing factor.
-The amount of sleep you get can help or hinder your immune system. Studies show that people that do not get enough sleep are more likely to get sick after being exposed to a virus or the common cold. Try to get 7-8 hours of sleep per night for optimal immune health.
Take Advantage of Local & In-Season Foods
Fall is one of the best times of year for fresh, seasonal fruits and vegetables. In-season foods include; apples, squash, brussel sprouts, cabbage, sweet potatoes, kale and of course pumpkins. Check out farms in your area for the best local selections or take a family day trip to go apple or pumpkin picking! Try the below recipe to utilize local vegetables this season.
Autumn Vegetable Salad
4 cups roasted butternut squash, cubed
4 cups Brussel sprouts, halved and roasted
1 medium red onion, cut in wedges
1 cup fresh baby kale
¼ cup dried cranberries
¼ cup pumpkin seeds
2 oz crumbled goat cheese
½ cup extra virgin olive oil plus 2 tbsp for roasted veg
2 tbsp maple syrup
4 sprigs of fresh tyme
2 sprigs of fresh sage
1 tsp back pepper
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp whole grain mustard
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
-Preheat oven to 400 and roast butternut squash, Brussel sprouts, and red onion together with olive oil, salt and pepper for 25 minutes
-While vegetables cool, combine all dressing ingredients together and whisk thoroughly until fully combined
-Begin to assemble salad by tossing the baby kale with roasted vegetables and dressing. Garnish with cranberries, goat cheese and pumpkin seeds and enjoy.
Enjoy the Outdoors
Just because summer is over doesn’t mean outdoor fun needs to come to an end. Cool brisk weather is the best time for hiking and admiring the fall foliage. Other activities this fall include; camping, biking, and even walking through your local farmers market. Getting outside and enjoying the fall weather will help with weight loss, boosting energy and combating illness.
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