Superfoods You Should Be Eating During the FallDec 6, 2013
One basic rule of nutrition is to look for orange and green in your diet. Registered dietitian Dr. Julie Metos explains why color is important when choosing food, especially vegetables. She also talks about the different ways to prepare fall superfoods such as squashes and kales, and why you should think about vegetables first when preparing a meal.
Julie Metos: That jack-o-lantern sitting on your porch is actually a superfood. It's full of vitamin A, fiber, and natural sweetness. I'm Julie Metos, Chairperson in the Division of Nutrition at the University of Utah and registered dietician. Coming up on The Scope, superfoods for the fall that might surprise you.
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Julie Metos: In the fall, we always think of pumpkins and orange foods, and one basic rule of nutrition is really to look for some orange and green vegetables in your diet every day or at least every other day. I wanted to talk a little bit about squash. All of the squashes have a lot of color.
Any time there's color in food, that means it has some carotenoids, vitamin A. Most of them have some antioxidants, and antioxidants are little scavengers in your body that pick up the results of metabolism that can be harmful to your cells. So they're really, really great foods for your health and are delicious and yummy.
Pumpkin seeds are really hot right now because they're super nutritious, they have quite a bit of fiber, and they're really low in calories. One of people's favorite things to do is to roast the pumpkin seeds when they make their jack- o-lanterns. That's a lot of fun.
But other squash have seeds, too, and theirs can be equally as yummy. I've even seen recipes for pumpkin seed brittle instead of peanut brittle. Now, that's kind of more on the candy side of things, so not to be eaten too much of, but they're kind of fun and it's an interesting way to use all of your food products, which we really want to encourage people to do, using all of it and not being wasteful.
Squash is just one thing that I think can be used in a way that is easy and yummy. And it makes fall seem special because it's hard to get those types of squash all year round.
The next set of vegetables that I'd like to talk about are green, leafy vegetables. Did you know kale is really hot right now? There's whole groups on the web that follow kale and find the best kale to purchase across the country.
You can actually roast kale, just like I mentioned for roasted vegetables. It's a nice, crispy treat, but it's also really great to chop it into really small, little pieces and mix into your regular salad. If you're not really a fan of those dark, green leafies yet, mix it with some of your iceberg to give it a little more color. It's a great way to get, again, more fiber, more of the antioxidants, more of those flavonoids and deep color that we see in vegetables that's so good for you.
In the fall, we need to have a routine, and one routine I tell people to follow is when you're thinking of making dinner, always think of your vegetables first. In the United States, our pattern for many of us is to think of which meat we're going to have first, which starch is going to go with it, and then maybe throw in a vegetable if we can. Or we think of a mixed dish like a stir fry or a lasagna, and we think of it as a one pot meal.
Well, start with what you're going to have for the salad or the vegetable first, and then work around that. I think it just kind of naturally balances out your diet a little bit better and will really help you focus on those fall super vegetables that we want you to eat.
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