As the days get shorter and the weather cools, many people lose their taste for light summer salads, and start gravitating towards traditional comfort foods like potatoes, pasta, cakes, and cookies. But over time, overindulging in these foods can throw off your eating plan, and you can quickly find yourself carrying around some extra unwanted pounds .
To protect both your health and your waistline, try replacing those summer salads with these hearty fall vegetables. They provide a variety of nutrients, offering protection against cancer and other diseases. And there are plenty of options for preparing them, so they can easily be adapted to anyone's taste.
Cauliflower is 25% protein, making it a great source of protein for anyone on a vegetarian and vegan diets. In addition to having it raw with dips, it can be roasted, mashed, cooked in casseroles, or curried. And because it's so low in calories, there's no need to feel guilty if you go back for seconds. As with all cruciferous vegetables, cauliflower is nutrient-dense, rich in antioxidants, and provides a host of cancer-fighting properties. Plus, it beats out oranges for its vitamin C content!
Another cruciferous vegetable with cancer-preventive properties, cabbage is especially rich in vitamin K. Research has shown that vitamin K may offer protection against Alzheimer's disease, through its impact on calcium regulation in the brain. Cabbage is also a source of the detoxifying minerals sulfur and chlorine. Many people are familiar with cabbage in coleslaw, but it works just as well in soups, casseroles, or mixed into a stir fry.
Another cruciferous vegetable, Brussels sprouts look like little mini-cabbages. And just like cabbage, they're a good source of vitamin K, along with vitamin C. Note that overcooking brussels sprouts will destroy both their nutrients and their flavour. Steaming them in a bit of water, and then giving them a light sprinkling of salt, is quick and easy way to serve them, and will preserve the maximum flavour and nutrient content.
These root vegetables resemble carrots, but parsnips are typically a pale, cream colour. While they aren't especially high in any one particular vitamin or mineral, they provide a good mix of nutrients, making them valuable in achieving a balanced diet overall. They're also a good source of fibre, so they'll help you maintain healthy digestion and avoid constipation. Parsnips are most often either steamed, baked, or added to soups.
Sweet potatoes are rich in vitamin A, which supports eye health; a deficiency in this vitamin can contribute to vision problems and night blindness. Vitamin A is also needed to maintain healthy skin and healthy immune function. Sweet potatoes can be cooked in pretty much all the same ways you prepare regular potatoes: boiled, mashed, baked, roasted, or fried.
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