5 Healthy Trader Joe’s Fall Foods Filled With Heart Benefits
Since we’re already well into the swing of fall, be sure to seek out Trader Joe’s Best Fall Foods that provide benefits for your heart and gut – you know, before they inevitably sell out and that we were off on new journeys with gingerbread and peppermint galore. We asked Amy Shapiro, MS, RD, CDN, of Real Nutrition in New York City, to get an idea of what’s most worth adding to the cart from a diet perspective.
5 Trader Joe’s Must-Have Foods for Fall Rich in Gut and Heart Health Benefits
1. Butternut squash
Shapiro says Trader Joe’s stocks this type of winter squash in both whole and cubed varieties. “It’s a whole food that screams to die for,” she says. It’s good for the gut because it’s high in fiber, which “will act as a prebiotic for the microbes in your gut and help lower cholesterol.” Additionally, Shapiro points to squash’s rich vitamin A content, which helps boost immunity and eye health. Best of all, butternut squash is both flavorful and versatile. “It goes really well with everything; I love using it in cooking because it is naturally sweet, [whether] in soup or as a side dish,” Shapiro shares.
2. Organic pumpkin puree
Available in the canned food aisle, organic pumpkin puree at Trader Joe’s is definitely worth adding to your fall harvest. “Pumpkin is loaded with nutrients like fiber to support heart health and keep you regular,” says Shapiro. In other words, this stable, quintessential fall item is one of the best things to add to your pantry this season. As is the case with butternut squash, there are endless ways to get creative in the kitchen. “You can use pumpkin puree in everything from pies to muffins to soups,” says Shapiro. For those who are considering cooking with it and want to keep their wellness game in check, she adds one final word to the wise: try to avoid using premade pumpkin pie filling (or use it sparingly at the very least), because she says it’s loaded with added sugar.
3. GT’s Synergy Living in Gratitude Kombucha Raw Fall Edition
Kombucha has long been one of my favorite fermented drinks for gut health, and I can’t wait to sip GT’s limited-edition fall kombucha, which is flavored with apple, turmeric, carrot and with spices, each year. The drink gets Shapiro’s stamp of approval for taste, calling it “a fun way to bring in fall flavors,” but more importantly the benefits you might not get from other seasonal favorites. “Everyone loves a pumpkin spice drink, but when that drink is kombucha, we benefit from the good bacteria crowding out the bad germs we may be exposed to during cold and flu season,” she says. . Plus, Shapiro reminds us that fermented foods and drinks aid digestion and immunity, both of which are on our minds as we prepare for the holiday festivities.
4. Harvest Blend Herbal Tea
If you want to sip something warm that still taps into the flavors of the season (think cinnamon, ginger, roasted chicory, orange zest, apple, etc.), Shapiro recommends opting for Trader Joe’s caffeine-free Harvest Blend herbal tea. “I love this tea for many reasons,” says Shapiro. Chief among them? “It’s rich in polyphenols and antioxidants to fight disease and promote heart health,” she explains. But the benefits don’t end there, as she notes that herbal tea can also soothe us before bed and provide a worthy substitute for less nutritious beverages like soda, alcohol, and sugary drinks.
5. Dry Roasted Maple Almonds
While you can surely find plenty of other heart- and gut-friendly foods at Trader Joe’s (both festive for fall and year-round), Shapiro’s handpicked dry-roasted maple almonds from grocer to complete his top five finds for fall. “Almonds contain heart-protecting fats and fiber that help lower cholesterol, balance blood sugar and [improve] digestion and satiety,” she shares. These maple flavored almonds are dietitian approved for their delicious, slightly sweet flavor and also because they are low in sugar. “They’re an easy addition on a salad, or over roasted squash or mashed sweet potatoes to add texture and nutrition to a side dish or meal,” Shapiro continues, it’s i.e. if you have any left over after munching straight from the bag.