3 vegetarian DASH diet recipes that are perfect for fall, recommended by dietitians

Squash soup and lentil and beet salad in bowls.
Dietitian Danielle Smith recommends squash soup and lentil and beet salad for fall on the DASH diet.Getty
  • The heart-healthy DASH diet includes lots of vegetables.

  • It is also low in sodium, added sugar, and saturated fats.

  • Two dietitians specializing in the diet told Insider their favorite DASH diet recipes for fall.

Two dietitians who specialize in the heart-healthy DASH diet told Insider their favorite tasty recipes for the fall.

The DASH diet aims to reduce high blood pressure by including lots of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, skinless fish and poultry, and low-fat dairy. The diet is low in added salt, sugar, saturated fats, and alcohol.

The diet topped the American Heart Association's list of healthy diets earlier this year, even above the ever-popular Mediterranean diet. The DASH diet is often recommended to people who have hypertension, but it's also a generally healthy way to eat.

Danielle Smith, a registered dietitian working with Top Nutrition Coaching, and Rosanne Rust, registered dietitian and coauthor of DASH Diet For Dummies, gave Insider their favorite DASH diet recipes for the cooler months.

Moroccan-inspired vegetable and chickpea stew

Inspired by North African tagines, this vegetable-packed recipe recommended by Rust is rich in fiber and low in saturated fat. Simply add broth to vegetables and chickpeas sautéed with tomato paste and spices, and serve with couscous.

Rust said that "including beans and legumes every week is a smart move for your DASH meal planning."

Chickpeas, or garbanzo beans, are full of protein, fiber, and zinc, which helps maintain your immune system.

Roasted kabocha squash soup

This soup recipe from Simply Recipes uses kabocha squash, which is a Japanese winter squash variety. Smith said kabocha squash "is rich in fiber and good sources of Vitamin C, Vitamin A, and antioxidants, as well as other micronutrients."

To make the soup, roast your squash and sauté your other ingredients, then combine and blend to a smooth consistency. Smith also suggests adding a protein, like chicken, ground turkey, chickpeas, or lentils, to make this soup into a balanced meal.

"Feel free to reduce the salt in the recipe or just be mindful of total sodium intake throughout the day," Smith said.

Roasted beet and lentil salad

Although summer salad season may be over, this roasted beet and lentil salad from the Washington Post is perfect for fall. Add your roasted beets, lentils, chopped carrots and onions, and sautéed beet greens to a bowl with the homemade vinaigrette, and toss.

Smith said this dish is perfect for the DASH diet because it features beets.

"Beets are good for blood pressure because they are rich in nitrates which the body converts into nitric oxide, a molecule that helps relax blood vessels, improve blood flow, and ultimately lower blood pressure," she said. Plus, the lentils are a big source of fiber, which is great for digestive health.

Read the original article on Insider