That wonderful season of cool nights, crisp air, and seasonal harvest foods is in full swing. However, it’s also the time when we tend to huddle on the couch with a plate of Buffalo wings or chips and cheese while watching the Bears. It shouldn’t come as a surprise when we step on the scale one morning and find we’ve edged up a few pounds. Carrying that extra weight can end up putting stress on our feet and legs as well as contributing to other health problems.
It’s instinctive to eat more in the fall, according to Psychology professor John de Castro, whose studies at the University of Texas, El Paso, have shown that people typically add as many as 200 calories to their daily intake when the days get shorter. He cites our ancestors’ need to fill up before the hard winters for that tendency. Other studies suggest that the low spirits that can accompany the shorter hours of sunlight cause us to seek comfort in food.
Despite our instincts, it is possible to eat wisely, and nature has provided us the means with a plentiful supply of healthy foods that mature in the autumn. Visit your local farmer’s market and you will find apples, turnips, rutabagas, pears, and squash, among many others. Can’t you just smell that wonderful bowl of soup or stew – chock full of vegetables – simmering in your crockpot?
Vegetables aren’t the only stars of the season. Citrus fruits such as kiwi, grapefruit and tangerines will be more prevalent in the grocery store, and there’s nothing like a bite of a crisp, juicy apple, fresh from the orchard. Enjoy the flavors of fall while your body benefits from these healthy selections.
If you find that your fall nutrition isn’t what it should be, and you notice aches and pains in your feet or ankles, contact Dr. Stavros Alexopoulos at My Chicago Foot Expert. He can diagnose your foot problems, and recommend resources to improve your eating habits and keep off that extra weight. Call (773) 561-8100, or request an appointment online.