Eat The Seasons!  Fall Edition

“Eating the seasons” is an important way to introduce food variety into your diet, but it also has many other benefits as well.  Foods that are in season taste better, they are less expensive than those grown out of season, they are more nutrient-dense, and they are better for the environment (that blueberry you love doesn’t have to be flown, shipped, and driven from far away so it has a lower carbon footprint).

As summer turns to fall, a whole new crop of foods are coming into season.  Here are FoodTherapyMD’s top 5 foods to add to your grocery list this fall.

Arugula

Arugula is one of my favorite leafy greens, and for good reason.  It is one of the highest nitrate containing vegetables, which, when converted into nitric oxide in the body, is a powerful vasodilator.  This means it relaxes the blood vessels, increase oxygen delivery, and lowers blood pressure.  In addition to putting arugula in salads, try juicing it with beets and celery for an amazing heart-healthy juice.

Artichoke

Artichoke is not a food that many people have on their radar, but they should! That is because artichokes are full of fiber, packed with antioxidants (150% more per cup than blueberries), and have phytonutrients that decrease insulin resistance and help control diabetes.  Studies have shown that artichokes are particularly good at lowering glucose levels after a meal, so definitely add these to your shopping list this season.

Radish

Radish are one of my favorite cruciferous vegetables.  Cruciferous vegetables are the most nutrient dense of all plants, and they have powerful cancer-fighting properties.  Radish are also perfect for getting over colds, flus, and allergies because they contain large amounts of quercetin, which blocks histamine.  Radish also loosen phlegm and help to clear mucus from the lungs.  Fall means back to school, and that means germs and colds! So don’t forget to stock up on radish.

Raspberries

Raspberries are delicious.  That is probably enough to get you to eat them, but if you need more reasons, they also have one of the highest levels of ellagic acid and anthocyanins of any fruit.  This means they decrease oxidative stress in the heart and vessels, they are powerful cancer fighters, and they help protect normal cells from DNA damage due to carcinogens.

Garlic

For me, garlic is ALWAYS in season, but fall is technically the best growing period.  Garlic is an allium vegetable (like onions, leeks, shallots, and scallions) and this type of vegetable does amazing things for the human immune system.  Epidemiological studies show that allium veggies are associated with a lower incidence of ALL cancers, but especially those of the colon, esophagus, ovaries, and prostate.  Garlic is also antibacterial, eliminates oxidative stress in the heart and lowers cholesterol.  

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