4 Healthy Fall Food Ideas for Athletes

STACK Expert Kait Fortunato says fall is a great time to add delicious, healthy alternatives to your diet and recommends four of the best.

Pumpkin - STACK

The arrival of fall, with its bounty of in-season fruits and vegetables, provides a good reason to change up your diet. If you pack the same lunches day after day, you may find yourself craving other foods or never being satisfied—and you may be missing out on some key nutrients.

Here are some great healthy foods to try this fall.

Pumpkin

One cup of pumpkin gives you more than your daily recommended allowance of vitamin A. It is full of antioxidants and fiber, which can help keep you full longer, and high in potassium, a nutrient you need to replenish after a workout. My favorite pumpkin recipe is Whole Foods Turkey Pumpkin Chili. It's easy to throw together on a weekend, and it makes for great lunches throughout the week. Or add pumpkin to your smoothie for a nice post-workout treat.

Brussel Sprouts

Brussel sprouts get a bad rap, but I encourage you to give them a try, especially when they're in season. They are high in vitamin C to keep your immune system strong and vitamin B to boost your energy. They also pack a good amount of fiber and antioxidants. I like to drizzle brussel sprouts with olive oil and roast them in the oven. They become carmelized and take on a nice, crunchy texture. I also like using shredded brussel sprouts as a base for my salad. It's a nice change-up from standard lettuce.

Apples

Apples taste best when they're in season in the fall. If you're an athlete, apples are a great addition to your diet, because they help keep your blood sugars stable and provide one of your fruit servings for the day. Loaded with antioxidants, apples also protect your heart and inhibit inflammation. For a sweet treat, I like to microwave sliced apples with cinnamon and top them with plain Greek yogurt.

Mushrooms

Mushrooms are so versatile. You can toss them in an omelet for breakfast, tuck them into a grilled cheese sandwich at lunch, or add them to spaghetti sauce at dinner. Mushrooms are rich in vitamin D and antioxidants. Their strong, almost meaty taste makes them a great alternative for dinner on "Meatless Monday." While it's still nice out, make a pizza by grilling portobello mushrooms to provide the "crust," then top with sauce and cheese.


Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock

Topics: WORKOUTS | FIBER | FOODS | CHEESE | FRUIT | LUNCH | ANTIOXIDANTS | DINNER | APPLES | MUSHROOMS