4 Fall Foods4 Fall Foods = Weight Loss, Heart Health, and Immunity

By Maoshing Ni, Ph.D., D.O.M., ABAAHp, L.Ac.

As the foliage starts to turn colors, we may notice a change in the foods our bodies crave. The desire for an ice popsicle just might be replaced by a yearning for a warm bowl of soup. In Chinese medicine consuming foods that correspond to each season is thought to create harmony and balance. Fruits and vegetables contain the most concentrated nutrients and flavor when they are consumed in season. Autumn is the perfect time to try new produce that is packed with delicious phytochemicals to keep your taste buds and health in shape throughout the entire season!

Whether you enjoy apple picking or perusing through a pumpkin patch, you will fall into health with these tasty picks!

An Apple a Day Keeps the Weight Away

These shiny gems are not just for your teacher anymore! A recent USDA-funded study assigned 160 women from ages 45 to 60 to eat dried apples daily for one year. The results demonstrated a 23% drop in LDL cholesterol and lower levels of C-reactive protein and lipid hydroperoxide. The women dropped an average of three pounds, despite consuming the extra calories from the dried apples. This miracle fruit may be enjoyed raw, dried, or baked, but limit the apple pies if you want the full benefits.

Tasty Tip: Chop a crispy apple into your hot oatmeal and sprinkle with walnuts and your favorite spices for a boost of fiber and heart-healthy omega three fatty acids.

Brussels Sprouts Defend from Cancer and Disease

You may want to rethink feeding Fido your Brussels sprouts under the table! Countless studies link Brussels sprouts to cancer prevention and protection from disease. Chock full of vitamin A, C, E, and powerful antioxidants, it is time to invite these mini cabbages back to your dinner table. Their cardio protective and anti-inflammatory benefits make them a perfect fall side dish. You may also want to try a variety of cabbages for their digestive health benefits. Studies demonstrate that cabbage contains a multitude of nutrients that benefit our stomach and intestinal linings.

Delicious Dish: For a colorful meal, shred red and green cabbage together. Then add some sesame oil, lemon juice, and your favorite spices. Enjoy with baked fish for a wholesome meal packed with phytonutrients and flavor!

Root Your Way to Health

If you love to chomp on bright orange carrot sticks or savor the terrific taste of turnips, you will be happy to take advantage of the root vegetables that are staples of the fall season. Tasty tubers like sweet potatoes, yams, cassava, and taro pack a punch of potassium, fiber, beta-carotene, iron, and folic acid, supporting a healthy immune system. Baking, roasting, or adding these delicious roots to stews is a great way to enjoy these nutrient powerhouses. Make a mélange of roasted beets, turnips, rutabaga, and parsnips for a low-fat side dish that will keep your belly—and tastebuds—satisfied.

Chew on This: Beets contain powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, thanks to betalains, the pigment that gives them their deep red hue. Grate raw beets into your favorite salad or steam and serve them with lemon juice and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil for a tasty side dish.

The Perfect Pear for an Antioxidant Boost

In season through October, this juicy and sweet fruit comes in a variety of colors and textures. This fragrant fruit is a member of the rose family and is a great source of copper and vitamin C, which can help protect our bodies from free radical damage. To enjoy the full antioxidant benefits of pears, it is best to eat them ripe. How to tell if it is ripe? Check the neck! Gently press your thumb against the neck. If it yields to slight pressure, it should be ready to eat. Pears are also an excellent source of dietary fiber, which has been shown to promote colon and cardiovascular health.

Mouthwatering Meal: Add a chopped pear to a warm bowl of quinoa, sprinkle with toasted sunflower seeds, and drizzle with honey.



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November 2011

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