Autumn is a great harvest season. The fruits and vegetables that grow best in during these cooler months are hearty and nutrient dense. The ground is filled with root vegetables and the trees are abundant with fresh, crisp fruits. Here are a few of fall’s superfoods that you should include in your diet in these coming months.
Winter Squash (Pumpkin, Butternut, Delicata, Acorn & Spaghetti Squash): Winter varieties of squash are much denser and hearty than the summer varieties; they are high in fiber, potassium & Vitamin A. From a TCM standpoint, winter squash are cool and sweet – they can dry dampness, reduce fever and relieve pain. Try all the varieties baked or roasted with warming spices like cinnamon and nutmeg.
Apples: We’ve all heard the phrase, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” and that’s because apples are a great source of Vitamin C which helps keep our immune systems strong. In addition, they are also a great source of fiber and Vitamin A. In TCM, apples are cool, sweet and slightly sour. They help strengthen the heart, tonify the Qi, quench thirst, lubricate the lungs and resolve mucus – another reason they are great to eat during the peak of cold/flu season. Apples are great to eat as is, baked or boiled and mixed with cinnamon & agave to make homemade applesauce.
Beets: Bright in color and packed with nutrients like folate, magnesium and Vitamin C, beets are a root vegetable that shouldn’t be passed up this fall. According to TCM dietary theory, they are cool and sweet and nourish the blood, tonify the heart, lubricate the intestines and cleanse the liver – they really are a superfood! Beets are sweetest when roasted with a little olive oil, salt and pepper.