Fall Foods To Lower Cholesterol And Boost Antioxidants
Posted Oct. 7, 2013, 8:52 am
Dr. Mao Shing Ni / Mirror Columnist
As the autumn breeze cools the summer heat, nature offers us delicious fruits and vegetables to enjoy this season. Eating seasonal produce is tastier, healthier, and easier on your wallet.
Open yourself to try the goodies available in your local farmer’s market. Continue reading to find out this season’s best picks and expand your flavor horizons and longevity at the same time!
Why Go Seasonal?
Several studies indicate that when crops are grown in season, they may have triple the amount of nutrients, plus they don’t have to travel too far to get to your local market. When produce travels long distances, they often undergo chemical treatments to help them survive the long journey to the grocery store, and there’s nothing tasty about that. It is best for your health and your community to support your local farmers so that they can provide you with the season’s freshest, tastiest, and healthiest bounty!
Apple Of My Eye: Lower Cholesterol
One of the first fruits that we associate with fall is the deliciously sweet apple. While there are numerous varieties from which you can choose, the average apple contains about 95-100 calories and four grams of fiber.
Apples are also an excellent source of pectin, a soluble fiber. Pectin is a powerful compound that can help keep your cholesterol and blood sugar in check. To reap the health benefits, try to consume the entire apple with its skin.
The fiber will increase satiety and the crunchy texture will give you a satisfying chew. When possible, choose apples with minimal to no pesticides.
The best way to learn about how your apples are grown is to speak with your local farmer about their growing practices.
A fun fall activity is to go apple picking and enjoy the process of picking your own beautiful and juicy selections!
Bonus Tip: Enjoy the season’s delicious apples with my gluten-free, tasty Beautiful Hot Herbal Cereal.
Visit The Pumpkin Patch To Combat Cancer
Another fall fruit that comes to mind is the bright orange pumpkin. Pumpkin packs a bounty of disease-fighting nutrients that include: fiber, magnesium, potassium, pantothenic acid, and vitamins C and E.
The carotenoids are what give pumpkins their deep, orange hue, while boosting its antioxidant content. Foods that contain carotenoids have been linked to disease-fighting activity like fighting cancer. Pumpkin contains two powerful phytonutrients, alpha and beta-carotene.
In addition, one cup of pumpkin provides about five grams of fiber! You can pick your own pumpkin or purchase canned pumpkin puree at your closest farmer’s market. Be careful not to confuse it with canned pumpkin pie mix that is high in added sugar and preservatives.
Pumpkin can be enjoyed in a variety of delicious ways in a soup, as a side dish with your favorite meal or baked as a sweet treat. When purchasing your own pumpkin remember to save the seeds.
The seeds may be dried and roasted for a delicious snack. Pumpkin seeds are rich in heart-healthy fats, zinc, fiber, vitamin E, magnesium, and iron. Sprinkle them into salads, yogurt, soup or any way that you choose.
Pick Pears For Antioxidant Benefits
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.
May you live long, live strong, and live happy!
Dr. Mao Shing Ni, best known as Dr. Mao is a bestselling author, doctor of Oriental Medicine, and board certified anti-aging expert. He has recently appeared on “The Ricki Lake Show,” “Dr. Oz,” and contributes to Yahoo Health and The Huffington Post. Dr. Mao practices acupuncture, nutrition, and Chinese medicine with his associates at the Tao of Wellness in Santa Monica, Newport Beach, and Pasadena. Dr. Mao and his brother, Dr. Daoshing Ni, founded the Tao of Wellness more than 25 years ago in addition to founding Yo San University in Marina del Rey. To make an appointment for evaluation and treatment call 310.917.2200 or you can email Dr. Mao at firstname.lastname@example.org. To subscribe to his tip-filled newsletter, visit www.taoofwellness.com.