Contributed by: Amanda Albiar, NSCF-CPT
This is the season for cooler weather and an abundance of fall fruits and vegetables. Your workouts might change with the reduction of daylight, but don’t let that dampen your training. Boost your performance with
in-season vegetables such as winter squash, beets and pumpkins. These vegetables are loaded with micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) that are essential for immune function, health, and overall quality of life. They also help optimize your energy levels in exercise performance.
Incorporate the following fresh fall produce into your meal planning.
1. Winter Squash
Not only do these vegetables have a considerable amount of vitamin A, vitamin C, magnesium, and potassium but they also contain pectin; a soluble fiber that slows blood glucose absorption (a benefit for those trying to limit sugars). Try roasting a few different squash with olive oil, salt and pepper. This adds a great side dish to a favorite lean protein for dinner.
Rich in vitamin C, folate, nitrates and potassium. Studies have shown that nitrate supplements, such as beet roots or beet root juice, can reduce blood pressure by up to 4-10 mm/Hg over a period of a few hours. They also aide in reducing oxygen demand. Try juicing beets or dicing them up and adding them to your favorite mix of greens at lunchtime.
This fall gourd is high in fiber and an excellent source of vitamins A and B as well as the antioxidant selenium. Instead of the usual pie mix on Turkey Day, try mixing pumpkin puree into a protein pancake, hummus. or a smoothie.