Fall and Winter Produce

One of the greatest pieces of advice I can give as a holistic nutrition counselor is to buy, eat, and enjoy the produce that is in season. This ensures that you are buying fruits and vegetables that are grown locally and are fresh. When you purchase produce that is not in season where you live, you are buying something from farther away that most likely has been treated with chemicals to have a longer shelf life. Not only is buying local healthier, but it is less expensive too! Check out the top fall/winter fruits and vegetables and just exactly what role they play in your health.

Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable filled with anti-cancer phytochemicals called isothiocyanates that neutralize carcinogens. Broccoli also contains incole-3-carbinol-a strong antioxidant and simulator of detoxifying enzymes, which has been said to protect the structure of DNA and reduce the risk of breast and cervical cancer. Women are highly recommended to include broccoli in their daily diet for this very reason. Just one cup of broccoli contains: 2g of fiber, more than 2g of protein, 288mg of potassium, 43g of calcium, 81mg of vitamin C, plus folate, magnesium, phosphorous, beta-carotene, vitamin A, and 1,277mcg of lutein and zeanthin; cartenoids that are said to be helpful in protecting eyesight.

Kale is a cabbage that is full of antioxidants and cancer-fighting phytochemicals. You know my love for this green thanks to my previous blog dedicated solely to its health benefits!  Aside from indoles that are known to fight against cancer, kale contains sulforaphane; a sulfur-containing compound that boosts the body’s detoxification enzymes and may even help fight cancer as well. In just 2 cups of kale, you will get 4g of protein and 3g of fiber along with calcium, iron, and vitamins A, C, and K. If you thought broccoli was good for you, kale also contains seven times the amount of beta-carotene of broccoli and ten times the amount of carotenoids; lutein and zeaxanthin.

Sweet Potatoes if you don’t have blood sugar issues like Diabetes, sweet potatoes are a fabulous source of beta-carotene, vitamin A, and potassium, along with an antioxidant called quercetin that has anti-inflammatory properties. Not to mention, their candy-like taste soothes that carbohydrate and sweet craving with a minimum amount of calories- a medium sweet potato only has 103 calories. When eating a sweet potato, be sure to eat its skin, as that is where the fiber is!

Oranges are the kings of citrus fruits, but remember this is the fruit, not the juice. When you eat a yummy, sweet orange, you are ingesting limonoids. Limonoids are said to help fight various cancers, including: mouth, lung, skin, breast, stomach, and colon cancer. Oranges also have other polyphenols like hesperidin that works with vitamin C as an anti-inflammatory, vasoprotective, antiallergenic, and anticarcinogenic affect. One medium orange contains a nice 3.4g of fiber to protect against cholesterol and lots of potassium to help lower blood pressure.

Apples literally have everything! When it comes to healthy compounds found in apples that help protect us, there is a laundry list of them that fight numerous ailments. Apples are fruit royalty, containing phytochemicals like catechin and phloridzin that help with cardiovascular disease, lung and colon cancer, boron to fight osteoporosis, and a source of soluble fiber called pectin that helps control blood sugar. The antioxidant power in apples packs a big punch and the phrase “an apple a day keeps the doctor away,” certainly rings true.

NutritionAshley Pettit