Fall is an easy time to load up on pie, slow down on workouts, and grab a few extra pieces of Halloween candy. While it is fun to embrace the flavors of autumn, there are many ways to enjoy the gifts of the season without indulging too much on sweets and treats. Whether you are looking for some healthy eating tips this season, or some simple ways to improve your nutrition with seasonal flavors, here are five ways to hone your nutrition this fall.

1. Shop Local

Shopping local is one of the most sustainable food choices you can make. When you choose to shop at your local farmers market rather than a large grocery store chain, you support your local economy, reduce environmental impact, cost of importing foods, and get some great tasting, fresh produce. Finding year-round farmers markets in your area is a great way to improve your nutrition and get some great tasting flavors.

2. Cook Seasonal

Apple and pumpkin pies are fall staples, but there are many great fall harvest recipes beyond just dessert. Making note of fall vegetables in your region (and buying them from your local farmers market) is a great way to improve your nutrition: you eat fresher and less-processed foods. Creating meals with fresh fall vegetables such as squashes, pumpkins, root vegetables is a tasty and healthy way to make the most of the season. Some seasonal fall produce items to add to your shopping list include:

  • Apples
  • Arugula
  • Beets
  • Broccoli
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Carrots
  • Kale
  • Onions
  • Pumpkins
  • And more!

3. Minimize Your Stationary Snacking

Cold weather is a great excuse to bundle up and settle down with a good page turner or a few dozen episodes on Netflix. While cozy evenings in are often a fall favorite, try to avoid excess snacking during long, stationary periods. This may mean opting for some veggies and hummus during a football game and skipping the potato chips, keeping your halloween candy to a minimum, and limiting your snack quantities during cozy nights in. Some tasty snacks to substitute for unhealthy options include:

  • Dried fruit such as mango or coconut
  • Trail mix
  • Yogurt
  • Soybeans
  • Sunflower or pumpkin seeds

4. Eat Immune-Boosting Foods

Flu season begins in fall, which means this is the time of year to give a little extra love to your immune system. Adding some immune system-boosting foods to your daily diet can help prevent colds and flus that make their way into your life. Try adding some of these immune-boosting foods to your weekly menus:

  • Garlic, because of its active ingredient alliin
  • Citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons, and grapefruits because of their high levels of Vitamin C
  • Broccoli, because it contains Vitamin E, Selenium and Iron
  • Ginger, because of its antibacterial properties
  • Yogurt, for its probiotics and Vitamin D
  • Shellfish, because of their high amounts of selenium and zinc
  • Water to flush toxins and keep you hydrated

5. Create (and Maintain) A Workout Routine

Nutrition and exercise go hand in hand. Making and sticking to a workout routine during the fall is an easy way to stay happy and healthy this season. Whether that means going on a few runs per week and taking in views of fall leaves or taking on an extra yoga class, creating a workout routine you can stick to is a great way to stay fit and healthy during the fall.

Megan Herndon

Megan is a Seattle-based writer who covers health and wellness. She has worked in content marketing and journalism for a number of organizations including The Seattle Globalist, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, and The Jakarta Globe. She has a BA in journalism from the University of Washington and is currently working on her second UW degree, a Master of Communication and Digital Media. Born and raised in Hawaii and currently embracing the Pacific Northwest lifestyle, Megan loves all things active and outdoors including hiking, camping, outrigger canoe paddling, and yoga.

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