10 Best Superfood Choices for Fall Eating

Photo credit: bigstock

Photo credit: bigstock

The weather is slowly turning cooler, and you know what that means. Right! It’s fall! This means some of the best superfoods Mother Nature has to offer are almost ripe and ready to be harvested. So many fall foods offer us a chance to fight infections, increase our immune health, as well as offer us healthy vitamins at the same time. Check out the top 10 superfoods that are perfect for healthy fall eating.

 

1. Carrots

This superfood makes a super snack anytime! Just one raw carrot has about 13,000 IU of vitamin A, a super important vitamin for our eye health, supple skin, as well as fighting the free radicals that cause so much cell damage, not to mention premature aging. Did you know that eating just two carrots every day can reduce your cholesterol levels by as much as 20 percent? Carrots can also fight cancer as well as help to clean toxins from the liver.

Carrots are alkaline, which means that it makes an inhospitable environment for cancer to grow while revitalizing the blood. Carrots are also great for your teeth and gums. They actually kill the germs that cause cavities. For those times when you can’t brush your teeth after eating, chew on some organic carrots to clean your mouth and prevent tooth decay.

These little orange veggies become sweeter once they reach maturity, so choose carrots that are larger. Fresh carrots should be ready about September, so get ready to munch like Bugs Bunny!

Photo credit: bigstock

Photo credit: bigstock

2. Brussels sprouts

Don’t make that face! Made correctly, these veggies taste heavenly! It’s true that they can have a bitter aftertaste, so combine them with a bit of garlic, onion, and a touch of flavorful sauces such as balsamic vinegar. These little veggies pack a lot of nutrition. Just half a cup have more than 100 percent of your daily recommended intake of vitamin K, are a good source of folate, and a terrific source of iron.

Brussels sprouts contain a chemical called sulforaphane, and it’s been strongly linked to killing cancer kills before they grow. In order to get the most of this cancer fighting compound, don’t boil these veggies, stir-fry or lightly steam them. These veggies are also a great source of vitamin C, which acts like an anti-oxidant in your body, fighting off those cell damaging free radicals. Findout why brussels sprouts are a good source of fiber.

These are typically harvested starting in September, so get a plateful of Brussels sprouts and get your green on!

Butternut Squash

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3. Squash and Pumpkins

Squash is such a versatile veggie, you can use it in just about any dish, from sandwiches, to salads, as a side dish or dessert, and some people even use it in place of pasta! All types of squash are a good source of fiber, beta carotene, and complex carbs. Pumpkins are for a lot more than just Jack o Lanterns! Pumpkin is another good source of carbs that can help regulate blood sugar in the body and pumpkin seeds are a healthy source of protein and zinc. Read more about health benefits of pumpkin seeds.

Squash and pumpkins are also a great source of antioxidants, which help to reduce inflammation as well as kill free radicals in the body. Squash also have plenty of those healthy omega-3 fatty acids, so if you’re not a fan of fish, this is another way you can get your fill of omega-3s.

You should start seeing these beauties in September, but they often harvested right through December in some areas.

Photo credit: bigstock

Photo credit: bigstock

4. Parsnips

These might look like carrots, but they have a nutty flavor and are sweeter than most carrots. Use these in rice or potato dishes or puree some to use in soups. Parsnips are a good source of fiber, not to mention they are full of potassium, which is important for controlling your blood pressure. Just half a cup of cooked, sliced parsnips has 3 grams of fiber, 11 percent of your daily intake of vitamin C and folate, and 10 percent of your recommended daily intake of manganese. All that nutrition for a skinny little 55 calories! These taste so sweet because, after the first frost, this veggies starches change into a sugar, which makes them a favorite of those with a sweet tooth.

Don’t confuse this with the “cow” parsnip. That veggie is related to the parsley family.

If you have never tried these, now is the time. These should be showing up in your local farmers market about October, so be sure to keep an eye out for these tasty treats!

Photo credit: bigstock

Photo credit: bigstock

5. Cranberries

You most likely already know that cranberry juice is great for urinary tract infections, but did you know that eating cranberries or drinking the juice, will stop the E.coli bacteria as well? Don’t buy that juice in the stores, however, as most of it is simply sugar water with a bit of juice for flavor and color. Get pure, organic juice from your health foods store and eat fresh, organic cranberries, and you will also be flushing out toxins from your body at the same time.

Cranberries are great for just about every part and function in your body. They can kill the bacteria and acid production in your mouth to stop cavities. They also contain polyphenolic extracts, which have been shown to stop the growth of lung, prostate, breast, and colon cancer.

Yes, the juice can be a little tart for some, but it’s perfectly OK to mix it with some organic apple juice or mix up a smoothie with cranberries and bananas to sweeten it up enough for those who find it a little too sour on its own. Try cranberries and lemon juice cocktail to lose weight. No matter how you mix it, cranberries are a fall powerhouse of health that you shouldn’t miss out on.

Cauliflower With A Basket O

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6. Cauliflower

The perfect side dish for fall and winter meals. Cauliflower tastes great when it’s lightly steamed but can also be boiled and then mashed as an alternative to potatoes. Puree them and add them to soups or pour over casseroles. Cauliflower has important phytonutrients that can lower cholesterol and even though you don’t think it would be it’s an excellent source of vitamin C. Cauliflower also has compound that fight cancer cells.

Cauliflower has terrific antioxidant power, carotenoids, and phytonutrients that will protect you from free radical damage, as well as protect your from cardiovascular disease and certain types of cancer.

Cauliflower is also known to have strong detox powers. They also contain a compound called glucoraphanin, which protects the lining of your stomach, not to mention their high fiber content which helps to aid in digestion. No matter how you look at this veggie, it’s simply packed with healthy nutrients!

Sweet Potatoes

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7. Sweet potatoes

Oh so good! Sweet potatoes are high in beta carotene, B6, and vitamin C. They also have tons of vitamin A, which supports the immune system, beautiful hair, and soft skin.

Sweet potatoes also contain vitamin D, which is important in the fall months as the days get shorter and we get less sun exposure. Vitamin D plays a vital part in our health as it controls everything from our energy, nerves, moods, and helps to build healthy bones, heart, skin, and teeth. They also contain iron which is important for the proper formation of white blood cell production and the proper functioning of our immune systems.

Magnesium is necessary to the body for healthy arteries, heart function, muscles, and nerve function and sweet potatoes are a great way to get your magnesium. One research study estimates that more than 80 percent of Americans are magnesium deficient.

All these health benefits mean that maybe we should start eating sweet potatoes much more often, not just at Thanksgiving, don’t you think?

Organic Apples In Summer Grass

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8. Apples

Fall is apple time. Apple pie, apple cider, apple sauce, and apple juice, all from the deliciousness that is fall apples.

Apples have so much to offer us. We can avoid Alzheimer’s by eating more apples. Studies show that those who drank apple juice had higher levels of acetylcholine (a neurotransmitter) than those who didn’t drink apple juice. Apples also are well known for giving us cleaner, whiter teeth by lowering the bacteria levels inside our mouths.

Apples can also protect us from a number of diseases, including Parkinson’s. Those who ate high fiber foods, including apples, had much lower risks of developing this chronic disease. The American Association for Cancer Research also says that eating apples, which are rich in flavonols, can reduce your risk of developing cancer of the pancreas by as much as 23 percent.

Since apples always make the “dirty dozen” list when it comes to pesticide exposure, always choose organic. Organic apples of all kinds are a healthy superfood everyone will enjoy.

Photo credit: bigstock

Photo credit: bigstock

9. Pears

Sweet and juicy, who doesn’t love pears? Pears are a good source of copper and vitamin C. A medium sized pear will bring you about 5 grams of healthy fiber, which is about 20 percent of your daily need. Pears contain soluble fiber, including pectin, which is known for lowering your “bad” (LDL) cholesterol levels. However, on top of that, pectin can also improve your immune system, as shown in research studies involving mice.

You can also load up on healthy antioxidants while enjoying fall pears. Researchers have found that, when pear ripen and get that deep golden/green color, the chlorophyll breaks down into huge quantities of antioxidants, as if pears are begging us to eat them when they are ripe, juicy, and at their nutritional best. Be sure to eat the skin, as these also contain large quantities of antioxidants and you wouldn’t want to miss out on those!

Pears are available the first days of September, so grab some healthy, organic pears while they are here.

Photo credit: bigstock

Photo credit: bigstock

10. Rutabaga

This funny looking vegetable is a cross between a cabbage and a turnip. These are quite popular in Sweden, but not quite so much in America. These have a deep, earthy flavor that is great in soups and casseroles. Rutabagas are a good source of both fiber and vitamin C.

In fact just a half a cup serving of rutabaga has 16 milligrams of vitamin C, that’s about 25 percent of your daily requirement. Eating foods with high levels of vitamin C are known for maintaining healthy bones and teeth, as well as for the repair of damaged skin. Vitamin C can also prevent cancer, heart disease, and osteoarthritis.

The vitamin C level in rutabagas begin to reduce when exposed to light, air, heat, and water, so store these in a dark, cool place and cook them within 3 or 4 days of buying them to get the maximum vitamin C possible.

Sources:

Thedailygreen.com

Dailymail.co.uk

Womenshealthmag.com

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