Happy first day of fall!
There are some great things about summer, especially with regards to fruits and vegetables, but the end of warm weather doesn’t need to mean the start of a boring, bland diet with no variety. Never fear! Some of the most flavorful and nutritious fruits and veggies are getting ready to come into season, and we all know that in season foods are higher in vitamins and minerals.
Take your meal planning to the next level with some of these delicious choices, full of fall color and flavor and guaranteed to satisfy.
- Apples – portable, packable and full of endless possibilities, apples are full of fiber and low in calories.There are literally hundreds of varieties available - I wait all year to be able to enjoy Honeycrisp apples. Top whole grain waffles with sliced apples, or send them in a lunch box with peanut butter for dipping. Or for a twist, add them to a Caramel Apple Milkshake!
A very interesting article was written on the Mayo Clinic website about broccoli’s ability to reverse diabetes damage. The Mayo Clinic is a very credible and highly renowned hospital that has a great reputation as a pioneer and innovator in medicine – patient care, medical research and academic education. The article discussed a research study in which scientists examined the phytochemical sulforaphane, found in broccoli.
Research has shown that sulforaphane seems to help:
- Produce enzymes in the body that protect blood vessels, which is achieved by reducing tissue damaging substances triggered by high blood sugar. Vascular disease is a major complication of diabetes. This type of disease can lead to heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney failure, and circulation issues in extremities, which could lead to possible amputation.
We’ve all taken the food quizzes that determine what kind of personality we have based upon the kinds of snacks and foods we gravitate towards, but more and more studies show that what our bodies are designed to eat are the foods found in nature which are crunchy and chewy. I know – this doesn’t bode well for all of us ice cream lovers out there or mac and cheese fans where the creaminess and smoothness doesn’t make our teeth work too hard but it does make us appreciate how evolution has worked for both our ancestors and for us to keep us fit and healthy. Crunchy apples, crisp broccoli, hearty almonds are foods low in calories, high in fiber and low in unhealthy fats. It’s no wonder that diets are packed with fruits and vegetables which take longer to eat and make us feel full.
Broccoli has many health benefits. Protecting you from the sun may be the last thing that comes to mind. But researchers in the U.S. are finding an extract from newly sprouted broccoli helps fend off damage from harmful ultraviolet radiation.
So, eating and wearing broccoli are beneficial.
The extract, known as sulforaphane, reduced skin redness and damage by more than one-third compared with untreated skin, they said.
“This is a first demonstration that a human tissue can be protected directly against a known human carcinogen,” said Dr. Paul Talalay of Johns Hopkins University, whose study appears in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
“This is not a sunscreen,” Talalay said. The extract helped fortify skin cells to fight the effects of UV radiation as opposed to blocking the rays.
At the highest doses, the extract reduced redness and swelling by an average of 37 percent. The effect varied considerably with volunteers, ranging from 8 to 78 percent protection, due to genetic differences.
Skin cancer – the most common cancer in the U.S. – affecting more than 1 million Americans every year, according to the National Cancer Institute. It kills more than 10,000 people each year, which is about four percent of all cancer deaths.