Summer is officially gone, but its end doesn’t mean the end of fresh produce. Fall can be one of the most beautiful seasons ever. We are lucky to have sunny and still quite warm weather and I find the falling leaves and golden-red palette outside brings an incredible peacefulness.
Fall brings plenty of seasonal fruits and veggies that are not only good for your health but can also help with weight loss.
Here is a list of produce you will want to stock up with from September to November:
Apples are great to cleanse the body. Pectin, a type of fiber found in apples, swells with water in the digestive tract, creating a gel-like substance that binds with fat in the intestine. This helps the maintenance of a stable blood sugar level and lowers the cholesterol. Reports* show that pectin binds to and eliminates toxic metals from the body.
Broccoli is a true beauty food, because of its anti-aging benefits. It is full of phytonutrients, fiber and antioxidants, helping with the neutralization of free radicals. It also has strong detoxifying properties, because of the special combination of phytonutrients found in them. Rich in minerals, iron and vitamin C, broccoli can help keep your bones strong and alkalize the body. Enjoy them steamed with some virgin olive oil and garlic.
Winter squash is one of the richest sources of plant based anti-inflammatory nutrients such as omega 3’s and beta-carotene. They are important for a strong immune system to help protect against colds and flu. It can also help regulate the insulin levels and balances the blood sugar level. Don’t forget the pumpkin seeds – excellent source of zinc and B vitamins.
The fiber in pears makes this fruits a great detoxifier as their consumption helps cleanse the colon. They are rich in vitamins C, K and E, and contain lots of minerals, such as manganese, potassium, iron and magnesium. They also contain antioxidants, which can be found in the skin of pears, so make sure you eat organic pears, and eat the skin.
- Sweet potatoes (potatoes)
Sweet potatoes contain resistant starch that can actually help burning off extra fat in the body. The bright orange colour of sweet potatoes is due to the high levels of carotenoids and beta-carotene they contain. Rich in biotin, vitamins B2, B6 and E, and a good source of iron, potassium, they are a great addition to your fall menu.
The component betacyanin in beets, that gives the veggie its strong red colour, also stimulates the liver function and increases the oxygen-carrying ability of the blood. They are a great cleansing food, as they help remove toxins and congestion from the body. If you get beets from the farmers market, make sure you keep the green tops and add them in your smoothie, as they are rich in iron, potassium and are a great source of chlorophyll.
Rich in phytonutrients, such as carotenoids and flavonoids, spinach really is a health promoting food. Spinach is an excellent source of vitamins K, A, C and E and contains numerous minerals, including iron (hello Popeye!). It makes it one of the best foods to be consumed this fall. You can enjoy spinach raw in salads or smoothies, or cooked.
*P.Knekt, S. Isotupa, H.Rissanen, et al., “Quercetin Intake and the Incidence of Cerebrovascular Disease”, European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 54 (2000):415-417