Hippocrates famously said, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” proving that he knew a thing or two about good nutrition. Too many times we think about food as reward or treat or comfort, instead of thinking about its nourishment to the body. Food heals, replenishes and fuels our lives. This fall, we have 6 foods to add to your diet, and let these foods be your medicine.
Okay, so green tea isn’t necessarily a seasonal food, but the cooler weather has most of us craving something warm to drink. Instead of coffee or hot chocolate, reach for green tea. Drinking four cups of green tea a day helped people shed more than six pounds in eight weeks, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reports. Green tea contains catechins, a type of phytochemical that may briefly affect the metabolism. Green tea has also been shown to lower cholesterol and blood pressure, making it a heart healthy drink.
Often overshadowed by arugula, this peppery green can knock any dish into nutritional shape. It’s particularly rich in vitamins A, C, and K, and other antioxidants that are good for you. Incorporate watercress, one of the best foods for your diet this fall, to sandwiches and salads for a more lively taste, or blend the greens into pureed soups.
Two main varieties of Swiss chard are found on store shelves: one with multicolored stems and veins, often called rainbow chard, and another with white stems and veins. Both are great sources of lutein and zeaxanthin, an antioxidant duo that’s good for your eyes. At only 7 calories a cup, the green giant is waistline-friendly, too.
This Southern favorite contains a wealth of nutritional goodness, including notable amounts of vitamins K and C, folate, and beta-carotene. To make it easier to meet all your daily nutrient needs, aim to eat about 2 cups of dark, leafy greens like collards every day.
Packed with nutrients like beta-carotene, vitamin C, and bone-building vitamin K, kale has been billed as an ultimate super food. For those who dislike its strong flavor, give baby kale a try. The immature kale leaves have a milder taste, are deliciously tender and don’t require any chopping. Kale is a great addition to sandwiches, soups, salads or lightly sautéed and served as a side dish.
An apple a day may keep the doctor away as well as unwanted fat. One study found that dieters who ate one apple before each meal, burned more calories and lost more weight than dieters who did not kick off their meals with apples. And apples are packed with rich phyto-nutrients and antioxidants.