Saturday, October 20, 2012

five fabulous fall foods

Summer, that season of fresh salads, greens, berries, and melons all bursting with healthful vitamins and nutrients, has passed. Autumn, however, also please our palates, providing us with different gifts of nature. There are many seasonal fruits and vegetables, which are just as tasty as summer while delivering different health benefits. Here are some fabulous fall foods (depending on your location) and their health benefits.

Tomatoes - This berry provides high lycopene content, that rare plant pigment which imparts their red color to tomatoes and other fruits . According to several studies lycopene can prevent cancer, lower cholesterol, and appears to protect us from harmful ultraviolet radiation. In addition to lycopene, tomatoes are high in potassium, fiber and vitamin C, helps to strengthen the immune system before the influenza season.

Cabbage - High in fiber, which supports digestion, can lower cholesterol, and provides cardio-protective benefits, cabbage is also rich in antioxidants which can protect the body against many types of cancer (including breast, prostate and ovarian cancers). Another benefit of this versatile benefit is that cabbage juice has long been known for it's healing effects on stomach ulcers.

Persimmon - Another berry, persimmons are high in fiber, and antioxidants. They also provide vitamins A, C, D, iron, potassium, calcium, copper, magnesium, manganese, and iodine. Persimmons can provide a fair number of health benefits from lowering blood pressure to being cardioprotective to it's anti-tumor benefits. However, persimmons are also high in glucose and sucrose making them a poor choice for those suffering from diabetes.

Turnips - A root vegetable containing potassium, magnesium, sulfur, iron, sodium, iodine and manganese, turnips are anti-cancerous while their high fiber content make them a great choice to lower cholesterol and support a healthy digestive system. One of the great things about turnips are that you can eat the greens as well as the roots, making them a versatile food to add to your diet. And those greens are just as loaded with nutrients as the roots, containing vitamins A, C, K, and folate. Turnip greens are even high in calcium making them a good choice to support bone health.

Beetroot - Another root vegetable which has edible greens, beets are highly anti-inflammatory and support detoxification in the body. Beetroot is high in folate, manganese, fiber, potassium, and vitamin C while the greens are a great source of lutein and zeaxanthin, two phytonutrients which are especially supportive of eye health. While almost all products can be found in stores throughout the year, for freshness and higher nutritional content it is important to eat seasonally.

Adding these autumnal foods to your diet is not only tasty and easy, it's also good for you.

Korah Morrison has been working as a freelance writer for over 2 years. She writes essays on various topics at and loves her work.

photo:  Jean-Pol Grandmont

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