Fall Foods to Promote Better Health

Fall Foods to Promote Better Health

Most of us enjoy the festivities of the autumn season. It’s a reminder of the upcoming holidays, family celebrations, and comfort foods. Even though Los Angeles remains warm, hints of crispness begin to fill the air.

I am a big believer in eating seasonally whenever possible meaning that we consume foods which are grown in the particular season of year that we are in.

This fall, why not try some of nature’s amazing autumnal superfoods which are packed with vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, and other health-promoting gifts.

Pumpkin – Pumpkins are packed with Vitamin A from Beta Carotene which helps to promote better vision. Pumpkin seeds are high in tryptophan which support healthy serotonin levels and assist in balancing our mood and sleep. Pumpkin seeds or pumpkin seed oil have been shown to strengthen the prostate and may lower the risk of prostate cancer.

Squash – There are so many varieties of squash and all have enormous health benefits. They are one of the oldest groups of vegetables on earth and they help to boost overall immunity, reduce inflammation, improve vision and blood circulation, and regulate blood sugar. They also improve lung function and have antifungal properties.

Zucchini – Zucchini is high in B Vitamins which improves overall energy. It may also help to control Diabetes, and improve digestion along with being high in antioxidants including Vitamins A and C, and Super Oxide Dismutase. Zucchini also helps to support proper thyroid and adrenal function.

Brussel Sprout – This cruciferous superfood is more popular than ever and for very good reason. They are excellent sources of Vitamin C and Vitamin K. They assist your body in detoxing because of the sulfur-containing compounds and they may lower your risk of cancer and estrogen levels because of their high levels of indole-3-carbinol.

Cauliflower – Another vegetable from the cruciferous family, it is particularly potent at fighting prostate cancer when combined with turmeric. It is also very high in antioxidant vitamins and minerals.

Pomegranate – This beautiful fruit is high in a unique antioxidant called punicalagin. Research indicates it may be effective in reducing the risk of heart disease due to aggressive free radical-scavenging activities in the body. The high polyphenol level in pomegranate has also been linked to a reduction in cancer cell activity.

Apple –  Apples are high in vitamins and minerals along with both soluble and insoluble fiber. The fiber content is effective at slowing or preventing the absorption of bad cholesterol into the arteries along with assisting proper elimination and detox. An apple a day really does keep the doctor away provided it’s organic since apples are one of the most highly pesticide sprayed fruit on earth.

Celery – Celery contains luteolin a nutrient which may slow memory loss and inflammation in our brain. It is also low in calories and high in vitamin and mineral content. It has been linked with an ability to slow cancer cell growth, especially in breast tissue for women on synthetic hormones.

Carrot – Carrots are extremely high in Beta Carotene which converts to Vitamin A in our liver and is known to support proper eye health. The minerals in carrots work to promote strong bones and a healthy nervous system along with maintaining healthy and young skin, hair, and teeth.

Beet –Beets contain nitric oxide which help to open blood vessels providing the body with more energy and feeding the cells with extra oxygen. Beet juice extract is wonderful as a pre-workout for this reason. Beets also assist the body in proper liver detox.

Cranberries – The juice of cranberries are most known for their positive effects on the kidneys and the urinary tract also in aiding urinary tract infections. They also have powerful immune-boosting properties and work to fight most types of cancer cells.

Turnip – Turnip greens are even more vitamin enriched than the root although both have amazing healing benefits. The sulfur-containing compounds have powerful anti-cancer effects along with a great deal of antioxidants and minerals.

Sweet Potato – Like other orange fruits and vegetables, sweet potato contains high levels of the powerhouse antioxidant Beta Carotene. Sweet potatoes have less calories per serving than white potatoes and a lower glycemic index rating too. This high fiber vegetable is especially great as a pre-workout food.

Whenever possible, buy organic produce in order to avoid toxins and chemicals. Experiment over the next few months and try some new recipes. You may just discover a new-found love for the most exciting fruits and vegetables of the year.

 

Jay Bradley is a Youthful Aging, Wellness & Lifestyle Expert Living in Los Angeles. http://www.JayBradleyLIfestyle.com

He is the Best-Selling Author of LIVE LOOK FEEL, The 12-Week Guide to Live Longer, Look Younger & Feel Better!

 

 

 

The Benefits of Eating Seasonally

The Benefits of Eating Seasonally

If we look at our ancestor’s diet, we see clearly that it was back to basics the way nature had intended. For the most part they grew and harvested their own food and stored up enough for the winter months. They instinctually and by necessity ate according to the seasons. Certain foods grew early in the summer while others in the spring or fall and their meals were governed around that.

These days everything is available at our fingertips. If we want squash in the spring, we will have it. It we’re craving spinach in the winter that too is easily acquired. But what numerous people are realizing is that our bodies are meant to eat according to the natural flow of the seasons. Although we have certainly been doing fine by mixing it all up, many are finding an increase in energy, vitality, and overall health by getting back to our ancestral diet of seasonal eating.

Local and seasonal produce tends to be tastier and richer in nutrients and we also benefit financially because seasonally grown fruits and vegetables are generally less costly because of a higher demand and increase in availability.

If you’re like me you’ve fallen into a pattern of eating the same things over and over again out of habit. What’s great about eating seasonally is that it forces us to try a variety of foods that we may not necessarily consume and that equals a wider array of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients for our body.

Let’s look at how this might work and which foods fit which particular season. Keep in mind that if you have allergies to certain foods like I do, or dietary restrictions due to health issues, then you’ll need to skip over those particular foods and choose ones that don’t cause a reaction. Here is a general guide:

SPRING March, April, May

Apricot, artichoke, asparagus, broccoli, cabbage, collard green, garlic, lettuce, mushroom, onion, scallion, pea, pineapple, radish, strawberry, Swiss chard, turnip, lime, tomato, spinach, zucchini, watercress

SUMMER Late May, June, July, August, September, Early October

Apricot, bell pepper, blackberry, blueberry, cantaloupe, pineapple, cherry, collard green, corn, cucumber, eggplant, garlic, green bean, honeydew melon, kiwi, mango, nectarine, okra, peach, plum, raspberry, strawberry, lychee, fig, watermelon, lettuce, radish

FALL Late October, November, December

Beet, bell pepper, broccoli, corn, cucumber, okra, Brussels sprout, cabbage, cauliflower, collard green, cranberry, garlic, ginger, grape, green bean, kale, lettuce, spinach, persimmon, mango, mushroom, onion, parsnip, pea, pear, potato, kumquat, cranberry, guava, pomegranate, quince

WINTER January, February

Beet, Brussels sprout, cabbage, broccoli, fennel, endive, olive, red currant, grapefruit, kale, leek, onion, orange, clementine, tangerine, date, passion fruit, parsnip, pear, potato, pumpkin, rutabaga, sweet potato & yam, turnip, winter squash, rhubarb

ALL YEAR

Apple, avocado, banana, carrot, celery, coconut, lemon

To get a more accurate picture of what is seasonal in your area, go to a local farmer’s market or research seasonal produce in your particular region. It will differ from state to state and for various countries.

By eating homegrown and seasonal produce you are also supporting local farmer’s who rely on your patronage to continue their business. Most of these farmers grow without pesticides or chemical sprays even though they may not be able to afford the organic certification.

It’s easy to fall into a routine of eating the same things week by week. Why not challenge yourself and begin experimenting with a variety of local produce that you wouldn’t normally consume? Consider getting a weekly organic fruit and vegetable delivery, which ensures that you’ll receive a new selection throughout the year.

The new message of health and balance is to get back to basics trusting that nature knows best. What is more basic and natural than eating like our ancestors did while providing an exciting new selection of meals for yourself and your family?

 

Jay Bradley is a Youthful Aging, Wellness & Lifestyle Expert Living in Los Angeles http://www.jaybradleylifestyle.com

He is the Best-Selling Author of LIVE LOOK FEEL, The 12-Week Guide to Live Longer, Look Younger & Feel Better!