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Healthy, Fall Inspired Foods

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When we think of fall, many things come to mind, such as fashion, football, the color of leaves changing, new beginnings, and food.

There is beauty in the colors of the season. As we transition into cooler weather, our bodies tend to crave comfort foods. This is not necessarily a bad thing if you keep it healthy. Here are some fall inspired foods that are packed with both health and beauty benefits.

[Related: Five Ways to Get Your Health Goals Back on Track]

Pumpkin
The pumpkin craze has grown over the past few years and there is no shame. It is taste bud, health, and beauty friendly. Pumpkin is known to help shed pounds, lower cholesterol, increase vision, and put you in a good mood. The orange sphere also helps your kidneys, liver, and regulates digestion. This power food is packed with vitamins and minerals such as beta carotene and vitamins B1, B2, B6, C, and E. Minerals include calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron, and phosphorus, just to name a few. There is an abundance of beauty benefits as well. With all of the vitamins and minerals in pumpkin, this food collectively helps cell rejuvenation which keeps your skin looking great, and the collection of B vitamins helps hair and nails. Many of us enjoy pumpkin-flavored beverages, pastries, and desserts, but if you want to pump up the pumpkin intake in an instant while getting some of the benefits, snack on some pumpkin seeds.

Cranberries
They are small, but don’t let the size fool you. This fruit has benefits that will help your heart, immune system, bladder, teeth, and weight, just to name a few. Cranberries have a healthy dose of antioxidants, vitamin A, C, vitamin B3 and B5. By eating cranberries, your skin will increase elasticity, retain moisture, and reduce wrinkles. Your hair will grow and attain natural shine. Cranberries are also known to prevent and decrease dandruff, psoriasis, and alopecia.

Turmeric
With its orange-yellow hue, this spice has been around for years. Turmeric has many healing nutritional properties, such as iron, vitamin B, manganese, and potassium. Most known for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, the spice is known to lower the risk of prostate cancer, help the female reproductive system, assist with depression, and aid in weight loss. Turmeric has wonderful properties to help the skin as well. It is known to reduce acne, scaring, and balance uneven skin tone. Due to the antioxidant properties, the spice can also fight free-radicals, which will keep skin looking young.

Buttercup Squash
This food will keep you warm and healthy during the cooler months of the season. Low in calories and fat, buttercup squash is a food full of health benefits. Known to have more than 200% of the recommended daily amount of vitamin A, it also has vitamin C, and vitamin B1, B3, B6. Collectively this squash will help your nervous system, immune system, eye health, and aid in the prevention of lung, colon, prostate, and breast cancer. Eat this food and your skin, nails, and hair will thank you too. It aids in wrinkle reduction, keeping a clear completion, and hair growth, while enhancing moisture and shine.

Yvelette Stines is an award-winning writer whose work has been published in Essence, Uptown, Heart and Soul, Jones, Hispanic Executive Quarterly, and Green Build + Design, just to name a few. Her book Vernon the Vegetable Man encourages children to choose healthy lifestyle habits. Stines’ blog Calming Corners motivates readers to live a calm and healthy lifestyle. You can find her calmly playing on social media @yvelettestines and @calmingcorners.