Favorite Food Friday: The Best Autumn Produce

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I was born in late spring so summer was the first season I really experienced and I am pretty sure that is why I love it the most. But even after the season’s juicy melons and tangy citrus are past their prime, Mother Earth’s bounty offers up some of its richest flavors and a cornucopia of benefits for our bodies. Before hitting the grocery store, check out my list of favorites to fill your cart this fall.

Sweet Potatoes: The long-lasting, versatile veggie is packed with Vitamin C and E which improve the immune and cardiovascular systems, exactly what we need as cold season looms in the near future. The tuber also offers Vitamin B, maintaining your mood, and Vitamin D, the “sunshine vitamin” of which we need to increase intake levels during colder months.

Rutabaga: This thick-skinned root vegetable is a great source of potassium for regulating blood pressure and serves up lots of fiber, aiding in digestion. Also known as Swedes, they have phytochemicals that eliminate the body’s carcinogens and help the liver process harmful toxins. What’s more, a serving of rutabaga includes over half the daily value of Vitamin C.

Pumpkins: Reigning king of the season, pumpkins have a wealth of nutritional benefits — when they’re not flavoring your latte, sorry ladies. Expectant mothers can benefits from their folate levels which boost cell renewal and fetal development. Don’t toss the seeds! Instead, roast them with a little oil and salt, as they contain tryptophan, an effective treatment for social anxiety disorder that improves your mental well-being.

Carrots: This fan favorite is the most abundant food source of beta-carotene, effectively slowing down the aging process by diminishing wrinkles and repairing cell damage. The Vitamin A in carrots protects the skin from sun damage, acne, uneven tone and dryness. Those of us who consume carrots at least twice a week have drastically lower rates of glaucoma.

Red Cabbage: Although you can find cabbage in grocery stores any time of the year, the cruciferous vegetable ripens at the end of the summer and gets sweeter as the weather turns colder. Red cabbage contains ten times the vitamins of its green brother, improving your eyes, teeth and bones.