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Nutrition Tips Ahead of Halloween, According to Nicole Avena, Ph.D.

·3-min read

PRINCETON, N.J., October 25, 2021--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Fall is a wonderful time for cooler weather and festive holidays such as Halloween, and although this is a fun time of year, it can bring new opportunities for weight gain and veering away from health goals. Nicole Avena, Ph.D. shares healthy habits to incorporate in between Halloween candy this season.

"It’s hard to imagine the words ‘healthy’ and ‘Halloween’ used in the same sentence, but we can indulge in treats that aren’t so sweet," says Nicole Avena. "It can be fun to educate the family with unique and engaging recipes full of seasonal produce."

Nicole Avena provides healthful tips this season:

  1. Sweet Potatoes Aren’t Just for Thanksgiving. Instead of reaching for that Halloween candy when you want something sweet, try roasting some sweet potato with cinnamon. Cinnamon contains antioxidants and necessary vitamins like calcium and potassium, while sweet potatoes contain high levels of vitamin A and vitamin C that can help boost your immune system.

  2. An Apple a Day. Apple picking is a great, fun fall activity to do as a family. Apples are a versatile fruit—bake them with some warm spices, try your hand at homemade applesauce, or consume raw. Apples contain vitamin C and other nutritional benefits that can help fight off those seasonal sniffles. If apple picking isn’t your thing, grab some Apple Cider Vinegar gummies from vitafusion. The easy-to-take, chewable gummy supplements include vitamin B-12 for energy and metabolism support to keep you on track this season.

  3. Stay Active. Getting outdoors and taking in some fresh air can do wonders for the soul. Fresh air has been shown to help digest food more effectively, improve blood pressure and heart rate, strengthen the immune system, and reduce obesity rates, all leading to a healthier you. Take a hike, walk in the park, or explore your neighborhood to get out, feel active, and work off some of that Halloween candy as a bonus.

  4. Shop Your Farmer’s Market. Fall produce is full of antioxidants and natural fiber from brussels sprouts and pumpkin to parsnips and persimmons. Learn more about seasonal produce and boost your health with a visit to a local farmers’ market. The foods available at local farmers’ markets will depend on what grows in each geographic region and is a great way to incorporate in-season produce picks into a fall meal plan.

  5. Tricks or Treats. The spookiest holiday of the year is also a good marker for the start of flu season. With kids likely to get out and enjoy Halloween parties with friends, it is vital that their immune systems are strong to fight off any virus. Giving children vitamins in a gummy form, like L'il Critters Vitamin D Gummy Bears, can help keep them happy and healthy past Halloween and into the holiday season. Offering dried fruit instead of candy this fall to your kids, trick-or-treaters, and partygoers is a healthy and sweet alternative as fruit contains natural sugar. Raisins, apricots, or banana chips can be a tasty alternative, but be sure they don’t contain added sugars.

  6. Don’t Just Carve Your Pumpkin. Visiting a pumpkin patch is another fun outdoor festivity this season. Instead of tossing the chunks of pumpkin after carving a jack-o-lantern, try roasting them, cooking, and making into a soup, or even adding it to a fall-flavored smoothie with a little Greek yogurt and spices. Pumpkin can boost your immune system and is rich in vitamin A, C, and E, while pumpkin seeds are a natural source of magnesium. Roast the seeds and season however you want for a crunchy and healthy treat.

"We tend to stress more as we head into the holidays and winter season. So, although the weather is getting colder, it is important to keep moving. By keeping ourselves active and finding those fun fall activities, we can stress less ahead of the holidays," adds Avena.

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Gráinne Gallogly

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