Get Your Harvest On

Fall is in full swing now, with lit up jack o’ lanterns on porches and pumpkin flavored everything on the shelves. Before you know it, Halloween, Thanksgiving, even Christmas will be upon us. But these seasonal food favorites are timeless, really. Eat em’ up while you can get them fresh and easy!

“I love autumn’s crisp air, brilliant colors, and especially all the wonderful  harvest foods. Here are seven of my favorite fall superfoods:

Apples—We’ve all heard the adage, “an apple a day  keeps the doctor away,” and provided that apple is an organic one, the saying  holds some truth. In addition to the vitamins and minerals, they contain an  important phytonutrient called malic acid, which when ingested helps improve  energy production in your body and has been shown to help fibromyalgia sufferers.

Beets—Recommended by holistic health professionals  purify the blood and cleanse the liver, beets are also high in nutrients such as  folate, manganese, potassium, and vitamin C. In their uncooked state, beets also  contain an important compound called betaine, which research has shown reduces  several compounds linked to inflammation in the body. The phytonutrient that  gives beets their rich purplish-red hue is a potent cancer fighter.

Carrots—Not only an incredibly  versatile vegetable, carrots are also packed with nutrition, particularly beta  carotene. A single raw carrot contains 13,500 IU of this potent antioxidant. If  you’re not sure what that means … it means a whole lot of free radical fighting  ability to protect against cellular damage, premature aging, cataracts, and even  cancer. According to scientists at the United States Department of Agriculture,  eating two carrots daily may reduce total cholesterol levels by 20 percent in  those people with elevated levels.

Cranberries—Originally used by the First Nations of  North America for urinary tract infections, cranberries and cranberry juice (the  real deal, not the sugar-laden stuff most grocery stores dispense) are serious  superfoods. According to researchers at the Alliance City Hospital in Ohio,  cranberries contain compounds that prevent E. coli bacteria from sticking to the  walls of the urinary tract making it easier to be flushed out of the body.  Cranberries and pure cranberry juice also appears to flush fat, toxins, and  debris from the body’s lymphatic system—a network of vessels and fluid that  operates like an internal street-sweeper.

Pumpkin—Like carrots, pumpkin is packed with beta carotene. It is  also a great source of complex carbs—the good carbs that help regulate blood  sugar. And, don’t throw the seeds away, pumpkin seeds are powerhouses of protein and  zinc—both essential nutrients for a strong immune system. Zinc is also helpful  for a healthy prostate. After cutting up the pumpkin (smaller ones usually have  the best flavor and nutritional value), toss the seeds with a bit of olive oil and sea salt and bake at 350 degrees until slightly brown. 

Squash—Like its relative, the pumpkin, squash is an  excellent source of complex carbohydrates, fiber, and beta carotene, making it a  delicious and nutritious addition to your diet. Use it as you might use pumpkin,  or roast wedges and serve on salad, in wraps, or on sandwiches.

Sweet potatoes—High in beta carotene, C, and B6, as  well as potassium, iron, and magnesium, sweet potatoes are naturally delicious  and nutritionally superior to white potatoes. Their rich orange colour indicates  that they too are high in beta carotene, which is the precursor to vitamin A in  your body and necessary for healthy skin, hair, and immunity.”

From “7 Autumn Harvest Superfoods” By

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