Fall is finally here and it brings with it a bounty of healthy and nutrient-dense foods. When the seasons change it can be difficult for our immune systems to make the transition. Cooler temperatures mean an increase in lung inflammation and a spike in flu and colds. With everything, our bodies are exposed to on a daily basis coupled with the strain and stress of our daily lives our immune systems take a beating. Luckily, as always, mother nature has our backs and ensures we have foods that boost our immunity. In Winter it can be difficult to find foods high in nutrition and the fall season is nature’s way of providing us with one last burst of foods packed with everything our bodies need. As such, our bodies have the ability to take advantage of this windfall and stock up on the building blocks it needs.
Let’s face it, we all want to look and feel our best. One of the best ways to do just that is by providing our bodies with the building blocks they need. During the month of November, mother nature fills our cupboards with fruits and vegetables that help bring out the best in all of us. Fall fruits and vegetables are full of vitamins and minerals that support immunity, slow aging, boost metabolic rate, improve skin and hair health, support your heart health, and more! The following is a list of the best fruits in November along with their health benefits.
Apples are not only great at getting you up and on your way they are perfect to aid in weight loss and management. Apples are high in fiber which aids in digestion and helps keep you feeling full longer. The fiber in apples also helps lower the risk of heart disease and aids in maintaining healthy blood sugar levels. Apples are also low in calories and high in water content which helps the body naturally detox and thus, removes excess weight that can be stored toxins. When our bodies come into contact with something they either do not recognize or consider an enemy they encase it in fat as a form of protection. During detoxing our bodies force out these fat-encased toxins which result in a lower number on the scale.
Apples are great for your brain activity. They contain high levels of boron, which stimulates the electrical activity of the brain and increases mental alertness. Apples also help to produce Dopamine in the body which helps to improve: memory, mood (feelings of joy or bliss), motivation, and focus. Apples may not be rich in calcium, but their high levels of boron make it a great food to prevent osteoporosis and strengthen bones. A 2006 study published in the journal Experimental Biology and Medicine found that quercetin (one of the antioxidants found abundantly in apples) was one of two compounds that helped to reduce cellular death that is caused by oxidation and inflammation of neurons. Once again, highlights what makes apples so desirable in daily nutrition.
Pears are also relatively low in calories and have no added sugar. Boasting 6 grams of fiber, pears have more fiber than a 1-cup serving of kale! From helping you maintain a healthy weight to reducing your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, eating enough fiber is integral to a well-balanced diet. Not to mention, we’re very thankful for the digestive benefits a high-fiber diet provides (fiber makes your poop softer and bulkier, making it easier to go), and we love that we can get over 20 percent of our daily recommended value from a pear. Even though pears have some natural sugar, their high fiber content ensures your blood sugar won’t go soaring after eating one (which makes them a perfect on-the-go snack for people with diabetes) Plus, their low-glycemic index means you won’t be hungry for minutes after snacking on one.
Persimmons are rich in betulinic acid which has anti-tumor compounds. This acid has the power to cause tumor cell apoptosis. Essentially the tumor cells die before they have a chance to develop. If you have a tumor already, the betlulinic acid helps prevent the tumor from growing larger or metastasizing. Because persimmons are so rich in antioxidants, they have the power to neutralize disease-causing free radicals. Persimmons are rich in nutrients like potassium which has been shown to reduce blood pressure. Once the blood pressure is reduced, there is significantly less strain on the cardiovascular system. High blood pressure is associated with an increased risk for heart disease. Known to help regulate blood sugar levels, persimmons are a portion of food that people who have diabetes should consider adding to their diet. Persimmons are rich in fiber, so they can leave you feeling fuller for a longer period.
Figs are often recommended to nourish and tone the intestines, they act as a natural laxative because of their high fiber content. The fiber they provide also has prebiotic properties, feeding the gut bacteria and promoting a healthy gut environment which as a result improves digestive wellness. They are high in polyphenols. These compounds have protective antioxidant properties, which means they help prevent oxygen from reacting with other chemicals and causing damage to cells and tissues, by so doing they are key to managing oxidation. Figs are a good source of bone-friendly minerals including calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus. Figs are especially rich in calcium with some studies suggesting they contain 3.2 times more than other fruits. Being a good source of potassium may help to counteract the urinary excretion of calcium, caused by a high salt diet. All of which may lessen the risk of osteoporosis.
Fresh figs are low in calories and contain a variety of vitamins and minerals. However, dried figs are high in sugar and calories. They may improve digestion and decrease constipation, help manage blood fat and blood sugar levels, and kill cancer cells. Figs may cause digestive upset or diarrhea due to their anti-constipation effects. They may also interfere with blood thinners, and some people may be allergic to them.
Limes contain vitamin C and flavonoids, the antioxidants that strengthen collagen. Drinking lime water can hydrate and rejuvenate your skin. Vitamin C and flavonoids are also found in some topical skin care products. Drinking lime water improves digestion. Limes are acidic and they help saliva break down food for better digestion. Additionally, flavonoids in limes stimulate the secretion of digestive juices. The vitamin C and antioxidants in limes can strengthen your immune system and help your body fight off infections such as the cold and flu virus. It may also shorten the duration of an illness. Limes have a low glycemic index and help regulate how your body absorbs sugar into the bloodstream. As a result, you may experience fewer blood sugar spikes.
Limes are a good source of magnesium and potassium, which promote heart health. Potassium can naturally lower blood pressure and improve blood circulation, which reduces your risk of a heart attack and stroke. Arthritis, gout, and other joint problems are all caused by inflammation. Vitamin C can reduce the level of inflammation in your body, so adding lime juice to water can relieve symptoms of arthritis and similar conditions that cause joint pain and stiffness. Limes can also reduce uric acid levels. Uric acid is a waste product the body produces when breaking down foods that contain purines, like meat, liver, mushrooms, and dried beans. High levels of uric acid can cause gout.
Irish Apple Cake
Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Serves 10
- 1/2 cup vegan butter softened
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup coconut sugar
- 3 Tbsp coconut milk full fat
- 1 cup coconut flour
- 1/4 cup almond flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/8 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon ground
- 3 apples peeled and thinly sliced
- 3/4 cup coconut flour
- 1/4 cup oats
- 6 Tbsp vegan butter cold
- 1/2 cup coconut sugar
- Custard Sauce:
- 6 egg yolks
- 1 1/2 cups full fat coconut milk
- 6 Tbsp xylitol sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Pretreat a 9-inch cake pan with a non-stick option of choice. Prepare the sauce by bringing the coconut milk to a simmer or medium heat. Meanwhile, whisk the yolks and sugar until well combined. Drizzle a small amount of milk into the yolk mixture and stir well. Repeat the process and then transfer the yolk mixture into the milk and continue to cook stirring frequently. Let cook until the mixture coats the back of the spoon. Remove from heat and add the vanilla. Pour the sauce through a sieve and set aside.
To prepare the topping, blend the butter into the flour, sugar, and oats until the mixture is incorporated. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time until well incorporated. In a separate bowl, combine all the dry ingredients and slowly add to the wet ingredients along with the milk. Pour the batter into the pan and smooth it out evenly. Top with apples and then topping. Bake for 50 minutes to an hour, until the top is lightly brown and a toothpick comes out clean.
Cranberry Brie Bites
Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Serves 12
- 2 cups fresh cranberries
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2-4 Tbsp coconut sugar
- 4 sage leaves
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 2 tsp orange zest
- 8 ounce wheel of vegan brie cubed
- 2 sheets of gluten-free vegan puff pastry
- 1 egg
- sea salt to taste
Add the cranberries, sugar, cinnamon, sage, and orange juice to a medium pot. Over high heat, bring the mixture to a boil. Once it starts to boil, use a fork to burst the berries. Continue to cook for 10 minutes or until the jam has reduced and thickened by 1/3. Remove the sage and cinnamon. Stir in the zest and salt. Remove from heat. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut pastry into squares. Place brie in the center and top with cranberries (if you like extra sauce put a small amount under the brie). You can pinch them into purses/bags, layer the sheets (like a pop tart), or my favorite is to put them into a cupcake pan and leave them open. Top with honey and additional zest.
Apple Pie Muffins
Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Serves 12
- 2 cups coconut flour
- 1 1/2 cups packed brown coconut sugar
- 1/4 cup almond flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup vegan butter melted
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 2 cups apples diced
- 1 tsp pure vanilla
- 1/3 cup coconut flour
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 Tbsp vegan butter melted
- 1/2 cup packed brown coconut sugar
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line 12 cupcake pans with parchment paper cups. In a large bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, and salt. Using a separate bowl, mix butter, sugar, milk, vanilla, and egg. Stir until the sugar has dissolved. Slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. Stir until everything is just blended. Fold in the apples and spoon them into the cups. In a small bowl combine all the ingredients for the topping and sprinkle over the top of each muffin. Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Roasted Tomato Basil Soup
Gluten-Free, Vegan, Serves 4
- 3 pounds Roma tomatoes cut in half
- 8 cloves garlic peeled
- 3 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 yellow onions sliced thin
- 1/2 cup basil packed
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 1/2 tsp oregano dried
- salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the tomatoes and garlic onto the tray. Drizzle with 3 Tbsp olive oil and season to taste. Roast in the oven for 40-45 minutes. While roasting prep the onions. Add 1/2 Tbsp of oil to a large pot over medium heat. Once the oil starts to heat toss in the onions. Cook for about 20 minutes stirring as needed to prevent the onion from sticking. Once tomatoes are done roasting allow them to cool for 10 minutes before adding to the pot. Using an impulsion blender blend everything in the pot. Add in the basil and blend again. Transfer over the remaining ingredients and cook at a simmer for 10 more minutes. To serve, garnish with additional basil sliced thin and vegan parmesan cheese.
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Keeping your body free of toxins and free radicals is necessary to maintain a healthy life and a healthy mind. There are tons of foods you can add to your regular diet to help your body with its critical detoxifying processes. If you are looking for a safe and all-natural way to detox your body at home be sure to check out my Balancing Abundance Program. Because detoxing is so important and realistically everyone should be doing it on at least a seasonal basis I have taken the time to put together a program to help you do just that. Here’s the thing, I know working with me one-on-one can seem difficult to get into (due to limited space) and I wanted to be able to give everyone an additional solution that has no limits. You deserve to be happy, healthy, and successful at everything you do so here are some recipes to help set you up for success!
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A happy and healthy life is closer than you may think. We all have to deal with our health daily, and when we don’t feel our best, it shows. If you are tired of just making it through your day, you NEED to start investing in your health today! You are not alone on this journey. If you ever need any help, I am always here to do just that. Even if it is something as small as acting as a sounding board, do you have any questions or concerns I can help you with? Feel free to contact me directly at [email protected], or you can even book a one-on-one call with me. Be sure to subscribe to gain access to tons of free goodies and check back daily for more great recipes and information!