WELLNESS--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!)