Fall or the autumn season marks the transition season from summer to winter. The days become significantly shorter, and the nights are bigger and colder. With this transition and change in the climatic conditions, people’s immune system tends to work slower and every healthy person is prone to catching cough, cold, or even fever, therefore the need for good food. The fall season is characterized by the shedding of leaves or them turning into yellowish or orangish in colour, to prepare nature for the upcoming weather, i.e winter.
Winters are cold and dry and are different from the vibrant and sweaty summers. This is nature’s indication that in fall, while this transition is occurring, people need to gear up for the approaching winters. We are what we eat and we are also but nature’s children, therefore the combination of natural changes and food habits go hand in hand while determining a person’s health.
Now that this relation is clear, it is time that we know about a few food habits that need to be incorporated during this crucial transition season. While winter is around the corner and people are susceptible to falling sick, changing the food habits and taking proper sleep, and exercising regularly can help you beat the chill.
What to eat
Fruits – As for every other season, it is mandatory to consume seasonal fruits even during fall. Fruits that are seasonal are citrus fruits, especially various types of oranges, grapefruits, apples, figs, and even dry fruits like dates and raisins.
Cooked food – Since this is the period of transition, your immune system and along with that, your digestive system tends to be weaker. Therefore it is recommended to eat cooked food and not raw ones, especially in the case of fruits. You can go with stewed apples or pickled grapefruits, cook pies with pumpkin and lemons etc. You can also sneak in tons of carrots in your cake for added nutrition.
Vegetables – In fall, different coloured vegetables that are in season are preferred. A few examples are zucchini, all kinds of squashes, beetroot, carrots, and bok choy. There are several other options too. The best way is to visit the market to find out.
Grains – We are going for easily digestible grains this season. Examples are quinoa, basmati rice, oats, millets and whatever else is available. These grains help stimulate warmth in our body, which is necessary for this season.
Fats – Please do not confuse fats with junk. We are highly recommended to avoid burgers and french fries and any other unhealthy fats. Healthy fats constitute avocado oil, olive oil, coconut oils, and nut butter, and even fatty nuts like almonds and walnuts. Just substitute your refined oils with these organic and cold-pressed ones to cook your meals this fall.
Spices – When it comes to spices, we are again looking for warming spices this season. Spices like cardamom, cinnamon, garlic, ginger, paprika, cloves etc are warming spices. All sweet spices should be counted in too, like nutmeg etc. These spices need to be incorporated into your diet regularly for a cold and cough-free season.
Fluids – It is the most important thing to consume for the drier seasons. Fluids whether warm or at room temperatures need to be constantly sipped on throughout the day. It is also the time to sip on herbal teas like licorice tea, ginger tea, etc. We can also drink some homemade pumpkin spice lattes if we are feeling fancy and also for the spice kick in our fluids.
Proteins – Lentils are very important for this season. Dals with various tadka of spices, soybeans, which are a great source of proteins too. Along with that, you can consume paneer, tofu, eggs, and meat in small quantities.
Dairy – Cow milk is good for fall. If you are vegan, you should choose nut milk like almond or cashew as they keep the body warm. Apart from that, Indian ghee is an excellent dairy to keep your body warm and definitely should be consumed during this season.
Foods not to eat
Raw foods and salads – as mentioned before need to be avoided this season as they can be a challenge for your digestive system. So are junk foods and processed foods to be avoided as much as possible since they make your already weak immune system weaker, and consist of excessive calories and unhealthy fats.
Caffeinated drinks and teas – need to be consumed in moderation too as they stimulate your body too much making it susceptible to cold. Even though they sound like ultimate warming fluids, notice how when you are done with your cup of hot cappuccino, you tend to feel chilly instantly. Instead, switch to herbal teas more this season.
Salty and instant snacks – like salted and caramel popcorn, instant ramen, chips and sour candies need to be avoided at all costs.
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