Fall is a glorious time especially when it comes to the food. Harvest time brings delicious stone fruits, pumpkins, squash and the like. So what are the delicious and wholesome items you need to add to your grocery list this weekend? Here are 8 we fell in love with all over again.
1. Bring on the beets: Whether you choose to roast, bake, saute, steam, or eat raw, beets are as versatile as their shape. They're becoming more popular than ever before and they're not just for adding to your salad. Beets or beetroots, as they are most often called, belong to the Chenopodiaceousfamily. Although beets have a high sugar content than most vegetables, you can safely eat beet roots a few times a week and their greens in unlimited quantities. This way you can enjoy not only their earthy, sweet flavor, but also their power-pack nutrients.
2. Brussel Sprouts: Cruciferous vegetables like brussel sprouts may not have been your childhood nemesis, but these members of the cabbage family like cauliflower, broccoli, and Brussel sprouts can help you fight off cancer. An antioxidant called sulforaphane is released when chewing these veggies, and has been documented as having a protective effect on the cells of the body. Brussel sprouts have about 3 grams of protein per cup.
3. Spaghetti Squash: Low in calories and high in fiber to keep you fuller longer, this stringy choice will always be a good one (and you can have a lot of it too!)
4. Butternut Squash: This is an excellent source of vitamin A which is essential for eye health. By roasting, baking or even steaming it will bring out the mildly sweet and buttery flavor. This squash is also a great source of fiber, potassium, beta-carotene and B-complex vitamins.
5. Broccoli: If chopped, you'll get about 2 grams of protein per cup of broccoli. Even further, in February of this year, Oregon State University issued the results of a study focused on African American men that indicates the sulforaphane found in broccoli can destroy prostate cancer tumors while preserving healthy cells. They're also full of fiber, which work to keep you fuller longer and curb your appetite to fight afternoon cravings.
6. Pumpkin: Of course this is an excellent fall food to try. Did you know pumpkin seeds have 12 grams of protein per cup, twice as much as the protein in an egg. It's high in iron, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium and zinc to boost the immune system. Pumpkin is full of antioxidants which helps fight inflammation.
7. Cranberries: Like all berries, these red gems contain tons of antioxidants which help fight inflammation throughout the body. They also act as a natural diuretic and help prevent urinary tract infections.
8. Figs: A favorite in the Mediterrnean diet, figs will always be a good source of fiber along with these other benefits:
- Full of antioxidants to fight inflammation
- Naturally increases potassium levels
- Acts as a natural laxative
- Contain prebiotics: help support good bacteria in your gut
- Help lower blood pressure
- Fig leaves have been shown to lower triglycerides
- Protect against Macular Degeneration
- Great sources of vitamins A and E
- Reduce risk of prostate, breast and colon cancer
- Fig leaves have diabetes healing properties