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Fall harvest

The many health benefits of Fall's healthy harvest

Tuesday, October 29, 2013 by: Catrell Cooney
Tags: Fall harvest, healthy foods, pumpkin

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(NaturalNews) With the cooler temperatures, changing leaves, and the holidays in full swing it is time to bring fall's healthy harvest to the table. Many of the foods typically grown in the fall season are packed with nutrients. However, we may need to find alternative ways to enjoy them instead of smothered with cheese or underneath whipped topping. Here are some of the stars of the fall season.

Broccoli

When it comes to broccoli, it scores high of the list of being one of the most nutritious vegetables in the world. Broccoli is a cancer preventing and fighting powerhouse due to its rich source of biochemicals. At only 50 calories per serving, it is also a great source of fiber, folate, vitamin C and beta-carotene. Packed with highly nutritious phytochemicals, this cruciferous vegetable not only helps in the fight against cancer, but also has been shown to benefit eye health, aid in building a strong immune system, protecting against birth defects, and diabetes. It is great when eaten raw, in soups, steamed, sauteed, and oven-roasted.

Brussels sprouts

Only a few vegetables originated in northern Europe and Brussels sprouts are among them. In the late 16th century, they were cultivated near the Belgian capital, which is how they received their name. Brussels sprouts are also in the cruciferous family and therefore are highly nutritious. Rich in antioxidants, vitamins K and C as well as a host of other vitamins and minerals, Brussels sprouts are helpful in preventing many types of cancers such as prostate, colon, bladder, breast, and ovarian. There are many ways to enjoy these little gems, but a few of the most popular are oven-roasted, steamed, or sauteed.

Cauliflower

Just like broccoli and Brussels sprouts, cauliflower is also part of the highly nutritious cruciferous plant family. Being an excellent source of fiber, it helps improve colon health and safeguards against cancer. It has even been shown to block cancer cells from growing. Protecting against rheumatoid arthritis, boosting the immune system, and anti-inflammatory support are just some of the many health benefits you will receive from eating this delicious vegetable. Try it raw in salads, sauteed, or steamed. A great alternative to mashed potatoes is mashed cauliflower. It's a great way to get to kids and reluctant adults to try this tasty vegetable.

Kale

While most vegetables are all superfoods, kale is off the charts when it comes to nutrients. Loaded with iron, calcium and vitamin K, this leafy green has 10 times more lutein than broccoli, which helps guard against macular degeneration. Kale also contains the plant compound indoles that has been shown to guard against certain cancers such as breast, cervical, and colon. Stop using kale as only a garnish and start incorporating this healthy green into meals. Some tasty ways to enjoy kale are in soups, smoothies, stews, salads, or baked kale chips.

Pumpkin

This fast growing, low calorie fruit, which is typically associated with pies or jack-o-lanterns, has amazing health benefits. Weighing in at only 100 calories per pound, pumpkin is packed with nutrients. It is rich in fiber, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals such vitamins A, C, and E plus copper, calcium, potassium, and phosphorus. Try using pumpkin this season for more than just a dessert or decoration. It tastes wonderful roasted or in a soup plus it is an excellent addition to curries, stews, and smoothies. Roast the heart healthy seeds for wonderful snacks and as crunchy salad toppings.

Sources for this article include:

http://www.organicfacts.net
http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=10

About the author:
Catrell Cooney is a holistic health coach, personal trainer, Zumba Instructor, world traveling vegetarian, and wellness travel specialist. On Catrell''s site The Wandering Coconut, she shares recipes, products reviews, travel and health tips. Her and her husband also own and operate their own travel agency at Cooney World Adventures specializes in wellness and adventure travel. Plus they assist individuals traveling with dietary restrictions.

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