This basketball-looking vegetable is loaded with fiber, protein, and beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is massively important for your body. It's an antioxidant with two main purposes. One, it's a heart disease fighter. Two, it can be converted into vitamin A. Why is this important? Vitamin A repairs and creates skin cells. If you want good-looking skin, skip the pumpkin latte and roast up a few wedges of the real thing. You’ll also get the high fiber to give you energy and keep you regular.
Pumpkin seeds are great too. They are loaded with protein, lutein, and phytosterols that keeps your LDL (bad cholesterol) low.
Artichokes are one of my all-time favorites. I remember putting salt on the steamed leaves and eating the heck out of them. Artichokes are great to lower your cholesterol, improve liver and digestive health, and lower blood sugar. If you have muscle cramps, artichokes are rich in magnesium to let your muscles recover and rest. There are many ways to eat them, but I prefer them steamed. Don't forget to eat the heart as it's loaded with nutrients too.
For the fruit lovers out there, this one might not be at the top of your list, but just like pumpkin and artichokes, pears are high in fiber and are a staple for regulating blood sugar. Your GI tract will thank you for all the nutrients. Remember to keep the skin on for the fiber benefit. Eating pears regularly might help keep the weight off from the Halloween candy that's magically disappearing into your belly.
I had to throw in one with omega-3 fat too. One ounce of walnuts is enough ALA fatty acids for your daily intake. If the price of meat is getting too high, use walnuts to replace some of your animal protein. This plant protein reduces the intake of saturated fats that raise your LDLs (bad cholesterol) and elevate your risk for heart disease.
Eating fruits and vegetables in season allows your body to have a wide variety of vitamins and minerals throughout the year. Our bodies store vitamins for days, months, and years so you can throw away your One-A-Day vitamins and get all you need through your food. Create new recipes and treat your palate to the fall flavors.
And if you are really craving a pumpkin latte, try a pumpkin almond milk smoothie as a healthy alternative.
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