The crisp Autumn air hit my face as I was walking through the Farmer's Market here in New York City this morning. I had a difficult time getting up and felt as if I had molasses in my blood!
I had no motivation and found it difficult to even open my eyes all the way. Just the opposite of my usual Yang personality!
As I strolled through the market, my eyes opened wide as I caught all the wonderful, bright colors of the Fall fruits and vegetables. Fresh herbs filled the air with their scent as I become very inspired and ran home to write this article.
The Full Force of Fall is in Fruition
Apples: contain naturally-occurring chemical compounds known as phytochemicals, polyphenols, or flavonoids, some of which have been proven to have antioxidant activity that inhibits, or scavenges, the activity of free radicals in the body. Cell damage from free radicals can be a factor in certain cancers, heart disease, strokes, and other conditions. The major antioxidant components in apples are polyphenols contained mainly in the skin known as quercetin glycoside, phloretin glycoside, chlorogenic acid, and epicatechin.
The names are complex, but their health value is clear: Quercetin has been reported to reduce carcinogenic activity, inhibit enzymatic activities associated with several types of tumor cells, enhance the antiproliferative activity of anticancer agents, and inhibit the growth of transformed tumorigenic cells.
Citrus Fruits: Hundreds of studies have been conducted on the nutrients found in citrus fruit, including orange juice, and the role these nutrients play in reducing the risk of such diseases as cancer and heart disease, when part of a low fat diet rich in fruits and vegetables.
Citrus fruit, which contain essential vitamins and minerals, are an important part of a healthy diet for all men, women and children. In both fresh and juice form, citrus – including oranges, grapefruit and specialty varieties such a temple oranges, tangerines and tangelos – have many important nutritional benefits.
Barley Grass and Wheat Grass: Eating barley and wheat grass is like eating a plate of green vegetables. These cereal grasses, are harvested young and are ecologically grown in nutrient rich soil. They are approximately 25% protein and contains all the essential amino acids, concentrated vitamins, minerals and fiber. They have been shown to increase our overall health by reducing intestinal putrefaction and maintaining healthy blood another important component of cleansing.
Broccoli: Broccoli is known as the “Crown Jewel of Nutrition” for its vitamin-rich, high in fiber, and low in calorie properties. Not only does broccoli give you the best vegetable nutrition available, it also gives you many ways to lead a healthier, longer life.
Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the United States with cancer as the second, and broccoli gives you many ways to help fight and prevent these and other diseases. Broccoli has multiple cancer-fighting properties including vitamin C, beta carotene, and fiber. It is also rich of phytochemicals which appear to offer us protection against certain cancers and heart disease. Indole carbinol and sulforaphane are two different phytochemicals that are found in broccoli.
Buckthorn Bark: Acts on the liver, gallbladder, blood and intestines. Has a stimulating effect on the bile and conditions of the, liver, gallbladder and lower bowels; does not gripe and keeps the bowels regular without irritation.
Burdock: Supports the blood, kidneys and liver. A natural blood purifier which eliminates uric acid and excess waste material. Burdock is quite effective in treating dry and scaly skin disorders such as psoriasis, dandruff and eczema, also helps break sown calcification in joints.
Cabbage, Cauliflower: Nutritionally and medicinally, the cauliflower is similar to the cabbage. Of course, the lower sulphur content is obvious. Cabbage and cauliflower are rich in antioxidants, which help prevent cancer, and prevent heart disease caused by oxidative damage to blood vessels. It is especially rich in Vitamin C – one cup of chopped flowerets or laces of cabbage meets a whole day's requirement of this vitamin.
A deficiency of Vitamin C causes scurvy because it interferes with collagen synthesis. Collagen is one of the structural frameworks of normal tissues. Other anti-cancer molecules present in significant amounts included the phytochemicals sulforaphane and indole-3-carbinol.
Leafy Greens, Spinach: Leaf lettuce, beet greens, and spinach are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to these salad vegetables. Greens actually come in a wide variety of colors, textures, shapes, and flavors. They may be green to yellow-white, or red to purple, soft to crisp, curly to flat, and peppery to bitter to mild. Mix and match them and you've created an exciting salad! Greens are an excellent source of vitamin A and a good source of vitamin C.
For a bigger boost of vitamin A, buy greens that are medium to dark green (the darker the leaves, the more vitamin A). Many greens, such as spinach, kale, and collards are known for their mineral content, especially iron, calcium, magnesium-as well as the vitamins folate, riboflavin (B2) and vitamin K. Leaves are very rich in antioxidants- – the carotenoids and beta-carotene, the tocopherols (vitamin E) and of course, vitamin C.
Onions: Diaphoretic, lubricating to muscles. Rich in sulfur compounds called Thiosulfinates- they are anti-inflammatory and contain Vitamin C, Quercetin and are a powerful antioxidant.
Scallion Bulb: very helpful in reducing the early symptoms of a cold. This is a great remedy for diarrhea in the aged, as well.
Taro Root: Nutritious, assists the stomach, builds blood.
Consider all these wonderful healing foods when you stroll through your Fall garden or Farmer's Market!