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 October, 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 October along with their health benefits.
These help keep free radicals from bouncing around your body, which has been linked to cell damage and diseases such as cancer. But while most fruits have some sort of antioxidants such as vitamin C, pomegranates have the benefit of especially potent ones called polyphenols that also give the fruits their color. These polyphenols are the same compounds that give green tea its healthy edge. They also contain almost half of the daily recommended intake of vitamin C, and have three times more antioxidants than tea or red wine, according to Medical News Today.
Pomegranates can aid your digestive tract in more ways than one, which is especially helpful during the holiday season when the meals get a little bigger. Juice from pomegranates has been found to reduce inflammation in the gut that’s related to Crohn’s disease and colitis, allowing food to pass more freely. Meanwhile, pomegranates also contain a pretty healthy dose of dietary fiber – about 7 grams per cup of arils (seed coverings) according to Healthline. Not only can the fruit juice help stop the hardening of the arteries (known in the medical world as atherosclerosis), but also it may even be able to reverse the damage and clear clogged passages, according to WebMD.
Plums are actually from the same family as apricots, peaches, and nectarines, but that’s where the similarities end. Vitamin C found in plums helps your body build muscle, form blood vessels, recover, and is beneficial for your eyes as well. According to a study in 2010, participants who drank prune juice and ate prunes had lower blood pressure than the prune-less control group. Anthocyanins – the reddish-blue pigment in plums – can help remove harmful free radicals. At 30 calories, a small plum isn’t just a great snack, it also helps satisfy cravings for sweets. With this in mind, plums can be ideal for those who are on a diet or want to cut back on their calorie intake.
In research, subjects who ate prunes and took vitamin D and calcium supplements had significantly improved bone density in their spine and forearms than the group who consumed dried apples and took the same supplements. Plums are filled with dietary fiber and when dried, the resulting prunes are well known to aid in constipation relief. Chock full of antioxidants, plums also contain anthocyanin and quercetin, both beneficial in supporting a healthy brain. With 113 mg of potassium packed into a medium-sized fresh plum, adding them into your diet is a great way to reduce the risk of stroke and manage high blood pressure.
Probably the most known benefit of cranberry juice is that it can prevent urinary tract infections (UTIs). You may not immediately think of cranberries as a way to prevent cavities, but research shows the same a-type proanthocyanidins that help prevent UTIs can help in other ways. Cranberries have anti-inflammatory effects, thanks to their high amounts of antioxidants, especially anthocyanins and flavanols, which give cranberries their dark hue. If you eat an animal-based diet, cranberries can help put good bacteria into your digestive system. From lowering blood pressure to improving your cholesterol levels, cranberries can help improve your overall heart health. Cranberries may also help lower your LDL (bad). Cranberries contain a plant compound that may reduce the risk of gastric ulcers and stomach cancer caused by the bacterium Helicobacter pylori. Cranberries are one of the best food sources of ursolic acid, a plant compound with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and potential anti-cancer effects.
Grapes contain many important vitamins and minerals, including copper and vitamins B and K. One cup (151 grams) of grapes contains 6% of the DV for potassium. This mineral is necessary for maintaining healthy blood pressure levels. Evidence shows that potassium helps lower blood pressure primarily by helping dilate your arteries and veins. It may also help excrete sodium and prevent the narrowing of arteries and veins that would otherwise increase blood pressure. Compounds in grapes may protect against heart disease by lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Grapes are rich in antioxidants, which are beneficial plant compounds that may protect against chronic health conditions. Resveratrol, an antioxidant in this fruit, may help by reducing inflammation, acting as an antioxidant, and blocking the growth and spread of cancer cells in your body. In fact, it has been studied for its effects on numerous cancers.
Though grapes are high in sugar, their low to moderate GI makes them fairly safe to eat in moderation if you have diabetes. Additionally, compounds in grapes may protect against high blood sugar. Grapes contain several compounds — such as resveratrol, lutein, and zeaxanthin — that may help prevent common eye diseases. They contain compounds that may improve memory, attention, and mood, as well as protect against Alzheimer’s disease. Grapes contain several compounds that may have beneficial effects against harmful bacteria and fungi. Resveratrol, which is found in grapes, has been shown to activate genes associated with slower signs of aging and a longer lifespan. Grapes contain compounds with anti-inflammatory effects, which may in turn protect against chronic diseases.
Grapefruit is a great food to include in a balanced diet. That’s because it’s high in nutrients but low in calories. In fact, it’s one of the lowest-calorie fruits. They are low in calories and provide a significant amount of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Grapefruit may benefit your immune system. It contains several vitamins and minerals known for their role in protecting the body against infection. Eating grapefruit before meals may help with weight loss. Its fiber and water content can promote fullness and reduce calorie intake. Grapefruit may help reduce insulin resistance, which can lower your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. They contain nutrients and antioxidants shown to help protect the heart by regulating blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Grapefruit contains several types of antioxidants that may help prevent the development of some chronic conditions, including heart disease and cancer.
The citric acid in grapefruit may help reduce the formation of calcium oxalate kidney stones. Grapefruit has a high water content, which helps you stay hydrated. It also contains citric acid, malic acid, and tartaric acid. These are all different types of alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs). AHAs are often used in skin care products due to their variety of benefits, including improved skin texture and elasticity. If you take certain medications or have sensitive teeth, you may need to limit your grapefruit intake or avoid it altogether.
Gluten-Free, Vegan, Serves 8
- 1 cup raspberry chia jam
- 6 Tbsp orange liqueur
- 1 pound vegan mascarpone cheese
- 1/4 cup xylitol sugar
- 1 cup coconut cream
- 1 tsp pure vanilla
- 28 soft gluten-free vegan ladyfingers
- 3 3/4 cup fresh raspberries
- 1/4 cup cacao powder
Stir together the jam and 4 Tbsp of liqueur in a small bowl. Combine the remaining liqueur and mascarpone into a large bowl and mix well. Into another bowl beat together cream, sugar, and vanilla until soft peaks form. Using a rubber spatula transfer 1/4 of the whipped topping into the mascarpone. Once you have lightened the mixture fold the remaining whipped cream into the mixture. Avoid overmixing. Pretreat serving dish of choice with a non-stick option. Line the base with ladyfingers. Spread half of the jam over the ladyfingers. Add half of the mascarpone filling on top of the jam followed by a layer of fresh berries. Repeat the layering process with the remaining ladyfingers, jam, mascarpone, raspberries, and cover with cacao powder. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours and serve.
Blackberry Ricotta Bars
Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Serves 12
- 1/2 cup Almond meal
- 1 cup coconut flour
- 3 eggs
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 3 cups vegan ricotta cheese
- 3/4 cup xylitol sugar
- 1 tsp pure vanilla
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1 Tbsp coconut milk
- 1/4 cup vegan butter melted
- 2 cups fresh blackberries
- 1 1/2 Tbsp coconut oil
Blackberry Chia Jam:
- 2 cups frozen blackberries
- 4 Tbsp stevia sugar
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 2 Tbsp chia seeds
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a bowl, combine the almond meal, flour, and baking powder. Using a separate bowl, combine eggs, ricotta, sugar, a pinch of salt, sugar, vanilla, zest, and milk until glossy. Combine the dry ingredients with the wet. Gradually add the butter and oil. Mix to combine and fold in the blackberries. Prepare the jam by combining all the jam ingredients except the chia seeds. Heat the jam in the microwave for 1-2 minutes and stir in the chia seeds. Pour the batter into a pretreated 8×12-inch pan. Bake for 25 minutes, then remove from the oven and spread the jam over the top. Place back into the oven for an additional 25-35 minutes.
Baked Creme Brulee French Toast
Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Serves 8
- 1/4 cup Maple syrup
- 1/2 cup date sugar
- 6 Tbsp vegan butter melted
- 8 large eggs beaten
- 2 1/2 cup coconut full-fat milk
- 3 Tbsp orange juice
- 1 Tbsp pure vanilla
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg ground
- 1 tsp cinnamon ground
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 loaf gluten-free bread sliced
- 2 Tbsp xylitol sugar
- 10 ounces raspberry jam
- coconut whipped cream to serve
Pretreat a 9×13-inch baking dish with a non-stick option of choice. In a bowl, mix syrup, date sugar, and butter. Spread the mixture on the bottom of the baking dish. Using a large bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, juice, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Submerge each piece of bread into the egg mixture letting soak for at least 1 minute. Arrange the bread in the dish and pour the remaining mixture over top. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour or overnight. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Sprinkle sugar over top and bake for 45-50 minutes or until golden brown. Meanwhile, heat the jam with 1/2 cup of water and make the whipped cream. Serve warm topped with jam and whipped cream.
Chocolate Cider Caramels
Gluten-Free, Vegan, Serves 60
- 1 cup apple cider
- 1 1/2 cups coconut cream
- 2 1/2 cups coconut sugar
- 1 cup date syrup
- 1/2 cup vegan butter
- 2-4 Tbsp bourbon
- 16-ounces dark chocolate
- 2 tsp Pure vanilla
- flaky sea salt
Line a 9×13-inch baking dish with parchment paper. In a large saucepan, combine cider, cream, sugar, syrup, and butter. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally until the mixture reaches 244 degrees F, about 12-14 minutes total. Remove from heat and carefully stir in the bourbon and vanilla. Return to high heat and bring it back up to 244 degrees F. Remove from the heat and carefully pour into the dish. Let set up at room temp for 4 hours to a day. Cut the caramel into 2-inch squares. Place in the freezer for 20 minutes. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler and dip each piece. Place onto parchment paper and top with salt. Let set up in the fridge for 20 minutes. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
Get Started Today
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!
Need A Hand?
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!