So Many Reasons to Love Autumn Including Your Health!

Even if you are all-in for Team Summer, few of us can resist the call of autumn with its cooler temps, changing leaves, vibrant blue skies, hometown football games, apple orchards and all things pumpkin. Did you know Illinois produces 80% of the nation’s pumpkins with most of them grown in central Illinois?

What you may not realize is how many health benefits are associated with the arrival of fall. No, pumpkin lattes don’t count! But pumpkin all by itself offers vitamins, minerals and a healthy dose of beta carotene. Plus fiber, which helps keep you feeling full on fewer calories. Also, pumpkin keeps your digestive system in good working order!

Pumpkin enhances savory and sweet recipes. Feature its versatility in muffins, breads or soups. You can also roast the seeds at 300 degrees for 20 -30 minutes for a crunchy and nutritious snack.

“The antioxidants in pumpkin give it that distinctive orange color and provide us with a bunch of health benefits,” said Erin Zepp, a dietitian and culinary medicine coordinator with Memorial Wellness Center. “It’s really a nutrient-dense super food. Pumpkin’s beta-carotene, alpha-carotene and other antioxidants can help lower inflammation, fight off infection, lower cancer risk and even help you control weight. It also offers amazing benefits for your skin.”

Here are some other health benefits that arrive with the turn of the calendar.

  • Experiment with gourds, squash and even brussels sprouts.
  • Take your exercise routine back outside. Nobody likes to exercise during dripping humidity and high temps, but the cooler weather makes walking, hiking or running outdoors ideal. Don’t forget to take your favorite canine with you!
  • Enjoy that added hour of sleep with daylight saving time. Sleep is one of the most beneficial things you can add to your daily routine.
  • Cozy up! Take time to notice the leaves changing, appreciate the addition of jeans, leggings and sweaters to your wardrobe and slow the schedule down to include picking pumpkins, walking a trail or roasting marshmallows.

Most importantly, don’t squander the fleeting opportunities of the fall season!

Curious about Memorial Wellness Center?

We are led by a team of physicians, including bariatricians and bariatric surgeons specializing in obesity medicine, who work alongside you and your primary care physician to determine the right treatment option for you given your specific health profile. In addition, you will be supported by an expert team in the fields of nursing, nutrition, lifestyle and fitness to provide you an individual treatment plan to help you reach your goals.