Asparagus

The spear like vegetable asparagus, can help thwart disease.  It’s full of antioxidants that are good for the skin.  Vitamin K is high in asparagus which aids in blood clotting and the vitamin C strengthens immunity.  The folate is great for pregnant women and it’s anti-inflammatory.  Yes, your urine may smell after a delicious meal of asparagus, but the fiber is great for digestion.

In the Northern hemisphere it usually grows between March and June.  You will find thinner spears early in the season and thicker ones as the season progresses.  Asparagus are great for roasting, grilling or in a stir fry.

asparagus

Brussel Sprouts

Brussel sprouts are part of the cruciferous family.  This little green vegetable is packed with nutrients.  It’s high in vitamin K which is good for bone health.  There’s also a good amount of vitamin C.  Brussels are high in fiber that aids digestion.  The omega 3 fatty acids can help the body with inflammation.  This winter vegetable is a good antioxidant that can lower cholesterol.  Don’t let the size fool you, brussel sprouts have great anti cancer properties.

Belgium is not the only place where brussel sprouts are popular.  They’re grown during the winter in Europe and North America.  So, get out the steamer, add a little olive oil and enjoy this delicious vegetable.

brussels-sprouts

 

Winter

During the winter season it’s important to keep warm. This can be done by heating your body from the inside out, eat foods such as oatmeal, soups, and stews.  Warm liquids like ginger tea or adding cinnamon to warm drinks is great.  Since it’s a time of illness, it’s a good idea to add extra vitamin C to your diet.  It gets dark earlier which is a sign that we should go to bed earlier and get some rest. If you do go out make sure to bundle up.  Nature is slowing down and so should we, so cozy up with a good book and enjoy.

winter

 

Sweet Potatoes

Just because sweet potatoes have a delicious sugary taste doesn’t mean that they’re bad for you.  They are grown in warm, temperate climates.  These root vegetables contain good amounts of vitamin A and some vitamin C.  They’re a great anti-inflammatory food.  The beta carotenes found in the orange colored sweet potatoes are good for immunity and the eyes.  The purple variety has strong antioxidant properties.  Plus, the sugar in the sweet potato is released slowly into the blood stream so the body won’t experience a spike in blood sugar.

In Indian tradition the sacral chakra or svadhisthana is equated with the orange color.  They say that if you consume orange foods it helps open up the sacral chakra.  This can bring about strength, vitality, and creativity.  If you would like to be revitalized forget the french fries, cut up a sweet potato into wedges and bake it in the oven.

sweet potato

Kiwi

The kiwi may be small brown and fuzzy on the outside but cut one open and you’ll find an enormous amount of nutrition in this vibrant green fruit.  Kiwis have more vitamin C than an orange, which will help strengthen the immune system.  The fiber in kiwis can improve digestion.  This little fruit is a great antioxidant that can support the overall health of the body.  They are lutein rich to strengthen vision.  Kiwis are also a good source of vitamin K  and potassium as well.  Other health benefits include: helps blood pressure, balances acid/alkaline content in the body, great for heart health and disease prevention.

A majority of the kiwis found in stores are grown in California, between October and May, and New Zealand, between June and October.  Add them to your juice mixture, put them on your salad or just enjoy the sweet little green fruit on its own.

 

Kiwi

 

Pomegranates

Pomegranate, the other red fruit, is usually in season from September to January.  This nutrient dense food is high in vitamin C, potassium, B vitamins, fiber, folic acid, and iron.  They’re a great antioxidant that can help the body against free radicals and oxidation.  In fact, pomegranates are more powerful as an antioxidant than green tea, cranberries, or blueberries.  Some of the other benefits include: lowering blood pressure, preventing plaque build up in the blood vessels, lowering cholesterol, and inhibiting cancer growth.  This vibrant red fruit is great for the heart and blood vessels.

In Indian tradition the root chakra or muldhara is equated with the red color.  It’s said that if you consume red foods such as the powerful pomegranate it can strengthen this base chakra which grounds the body, provides security and confidence.  If you’re feeling ungrounded, break open a pomegranate and enjoy the sweet juicy seeds found inside.

pomegranate-73910_1280

Pumpkins

It’s autumn, that means pumpkins galore.  They’re not just for carving, pumpkins have a lot of great health benefits, and I’m not talking about the pie.  Pumpkins are contain fiber, potassium, vitamin C, and beta carotene which is a source of vitamin A and an antioxidant.  The pumpkin seeds contain amino acids used to make hormones in the body and can also help with cholesterol.  So when you go to the store to get the jack o’lantern buy an extra pumpkin to consume.

pumpkins

Immune System

The immune system helps maintain optimal health.  The spleen is part of this system because its involved in immune response.  Herbs that are beneficial to the immune system include:

Vitamins and supplements that are good for immunity include: algae, aloe, bee pollen, carotene, royal jelly, and vitamin C.