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.

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. Use pumpkin in muffins, breads or soups. Roast the seeds at 300 degrees for 20 -30 minutes for a crunchy and nutritious snack.

“Pumpkin is a natural immunity booster and also helps with heart health like lowering blood pressure,” said Janice Dowell, a dietitian and culinary medicine coordinator with Memorial Wellness Center. “It’s really a nutrient-dense super food. The beta-carotene, alpha-carotene and other antioxidants found in pumpkin can help lower inflammation, fight off infection and even help you control weight.”

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

  • Cool-weather fruits and vegetables are in abundance. Try a new variety of apples this fall, 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.