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!
Our liver really takes a hit. It processes everything that goes into our body from food, medication, and alcohol, to portions of our personal care products. Our liver acts as a filter to remove toxins and chemicals while gently cleansing our blood.
Often many of us take for granted just how hard our liver works to keep us healthy. Especially in this day and age where we are being bombarded by harmful toxins from our environment, genetically modified and fast foods, hydrogenated oils, nitrates, trans fats, sugar, and so much more…it may just be time to consider giving our liver a helping hand.
Signs of liver toxicity can be numerous and may include skin rashes, fatigue, headache, poor digestion, dizziness, and even jaundice but often signs and symptoms go unnoticed.
A liver cleanse can be done seasonally or on a daily basis in a more gentle way. By using certain herbs, foods, vitamins, and lifestyle practices, we can ensure that our liver is operating at it’s optimal.
Here are some important things that you can incorporate today:
Milk Thistle – Possibly the most documented liver supportive herb is milk thistle. The active ingredient Sylmarin has been shown to offer extra help to the liver in the act of detoxifying heavy metals, alcohol, and other toxins and chemicals.
Dandelion – Once considered an annoying weed, Dandelion has potent liver cleansing qualities. This along with other bitter herbs such as arugula, radicchio, kale, mustard greens, and watercress promote enzyme production and bile flow.
Turmeric – One of my favorite herbs and spices is Turmeric because of it’s numerous healing properties. Turmeric with its active ingredient Curcumin, is a liver cleansing powerhouse. It’s packed with antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory effects, which have a positive impact on your overall body and health.
Wheatgrass – 2 ounces of pure, organic wheatgrass offers as many vitamins and minerals as 4 pounds of green vegetables! This superfood brings oxygen to your blood while helping with the detox and cleansing process. A little goes a long way and regular consumption of wheatgrass offers long-term benefits to the liver.
Beets – Beets are known to have wonderful liver-supporting qualities. Beets improve liver function largely by thinning the bile, allowing it to flow more freely through the liver and into the small intestine.
Lemon – The most simple yet powerful liver tonic is room temperature filtered water with freshly squeezed lemon. The vitamins help to loosen toxins and the citric acid in lemons maximizes enzyme function, which stimulates and aids the liver in detoxification. Lemons although seemingly acidic to taste, tend to alkaline your body when ingested.
Coffee Enema – While the idea of doing regular enemas may not sound ideal, the detox that it offers will benefit you. Regular 15-minute organic coffee enemas will assist the release of buildup and help your liver and gallbladder to create more bile.
Dry Brushing – Dry brushing our skin helps to open up the pores and assists the liver and kidneys in detoxifying. First used by the Scandinavians and the Russians, brushing your skin with a soft-bristled brush with a long handle on dry skin for anywhere from 5-15 minutes regularly, is said to have dramatic detoxifying effects on the body.
Sauna – Once again, the Scandinavian people have it right! The regular use of a wood-burning or infrared sauna will assist the body in sweating out toxic chemicals, heavy metals, and other unwanted buildup, which in turn lightens the load on our liver.
There are a few intense detox programs such as the 10-Day Transformation that I run with my clients and there are also more gentle ones that you can step into gradually. Make sure to take additional fiber along with your liver cleansing products to remove any excess waste from your colon. Rice bran solubles, psyllium husk, and raw, fibrous vegetables work well.
Keep in mind that with any detox, you may experience some negative side effects such as gas, bloating, irregular bowel movements, fatigue, headaches, muscle cramping and more. This is normal depending upon the intensity of your detox program and the level of toxicity in your body but they should dissipate in time.
In today’s world, no matter which type you choose, it is a great idea to focus on this important organ and give it all the assistance it needs to continue working at it’s optimal.
*It is always best to consult with your doctor before beginning a vitamin or herb regimen especially if you have any pre-existing health conditions or if you take medications.
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!
I am ALL for trying to get your vitamins, minerals, and superfoods from our diet. But you and I both know that with busy schedules, lack of planning, and less nutritious foods, it can be difficult to eat in a balanced and healthy way.
That’s why I make sure to incorporate my favorite three products EVERY DAY!
Perfect Food Raw by GARDEN OF LIFE is truly an amazing superfood powder that acts as an insurance policy for your health. By taking at least one scoop of Perfect Food Raw daily, we can rest assured that we’ve received an abundance of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, probiotics, enzymes and more!
This vegan protein tastes AMAZING and satiates us much longer than many other forms of protein.
This special blend of medicinal mushrooms has 9 potent species that truly pack-a-punch when it comes to disease-fighting and immune-boosting properties.
Add 1 scoop of Perfect Food Raw, 2 scoops of protein powder, and 2 Tsp of mushroom powder in your shaker or blender along with rice, almond, hemp, or coconut milk. Feel free to add a banana, avocado, or berries or simply drink as is for your DAILY DOSE of AWESOMENESS!
- Reach out to me to find out where to purchase this special mushroom blend.
Ingredients (Only Organic)
4-5 Cups Shredded Zucchini
2-3 Cups Shredded Carrots
1 Cup Shredded Red Cabbage
1 Sliced Red Bell Pepper
1-2 Cups Sliced Mushrooms
1 Cup Bean Sprouts
1/2 Cup Chopped Cilantro
1 Cup Sliced Scallions or Green Onion
Thumb of Ginger, Grated
Juice of 1 Lime
1/4 Cup Crushed Pistachios as a Topping
Fresh Chopped Mint
Raw Sesame Ginger Dressing
3/4 Cup Sesame Seeds
1/2 Cup Fresh Apple Juice
1/3 Cup Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice
1/4 Cup Crushed Pistachios
1/4 Cup Tamarind Sauce or Paste
1 Thumb Fresh Ginger, Grated
1 Lime Squeezed
Mix the ingredients into a large bowl and toss with the dressing. Serve on a beautiful platter garnished with sliced orange, fresh mint, and chopped pistachios or peanuts. Add edamame if desired.
Every year the Environmental Working Group (EWG) puts together a new list of which items have the highest levels of pesticides and those which are considered safer for you and your family.
Here is the most recent list that you may want to consider carrying with you during your next stop to the grocery store. Whenever possible, I suggest buying everything organic but if budget is an issue, these lists will help.
The CLEAN 15 have less pesticide and would be okay to buy conventional while the DIRTY DOZEN are those with the highest amount of pesticides and should ALWAYS be purchased organic.