Dr Sally Norton, Leading UK Health Expert and NHS Weight Loss Consultant & Surgeon. Founder of www.vavista.com & www.vavista-awards.com educates Asian Lite readers – “ Pumpkins aren’t just for carving this autumn!’’
Not just for carving at Halloween, pumpkins (and squashes in general) are a great alternative to potato. A cup of cooked, mashed pumpkin contains more than 200 percent of your recommended daily intake of vitamin A, which aids vision, particularly in dim light, according to the National Institute of Health – perfect as the nights are drawing in! Pumpkin is also a great source of fibre – 3g per one-cup serving and only 49 calories, keeping you feeling fuller for longer which is key when it comes to weight-loss. And don’t forget the seeds – pumpkin seeds are a rich source of typtophan, an amino acid that helps the body produce seretonin – the body’s mood-regulating hormone – so a handful a day, may help keep the winter blues at bay!
Whether it’s windfalls from the garden or a bag with your weekly shop, apples are in season and in abundance in autumn. A great on-the-go snack, packed with fibre to keep you feeling full and natural sugar for a little boost, they are also great pureed and used in place of sugar to sweeten any homebaked treats, with fewer calories.
Sprouts get a bad press at this time of year, but they really do deserve a place on your plate this winter. Like cauli and broccoli, cruciferous vegetables really are worthy of a ‘superfood’ tag, with the ability to lower cholesterol, fight inflammation and some early studies show they may even help inhibit some forms of cancer.
Free and laden heavy in hedgerows at this time of year – add a handful of blackberries to some protein-rich Greek yoghurt for an antioxidant rich, low-sugar pud.
Cinnamon and spices
We’ve extolled the virtues of fragrant spices before – as the night’s draw in why not make a healthy curry tonight to warm you up? As well as internal central heating, they offer antiseptic properties, an immune system boost, pain-relief and even an increase in sex drive!
The supermarkets are gearing up for Christmas and netted bags of satsumas are piled high. These pocket-sized powerhouses are full of vitamin C – and they come ready wrapped! Perfect for on-the-go snacking to keep cold season at bay! (Cranberries and pomegranates are in season and great sources of Vitamin C too).