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5 Fall Cleanse Foods

August 28, 2012

As summer transitions into fall, the farmers markets reveal the bounty of the autumn harvest. This segue into colder months is a great opportunity to shift the way you eat. Turning your focus to cleansing seasonal foods can increase your energy, improve your digestion, and prepare your body for winter’s approach.

A cleanse can last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, and it doesn’t require any fasting. You can just simplify your plate by incorporating more seasonal produce – like these 5 fall staples:

Apples: This antioxidant-rich fruit helps reduce inflammation and is linked to heart and lung health. Pick up some crisp green apples for a healthy on-the-go snack, or chop up and simmer with cinnamon for a healthy treat.

Brussels sprouts: High in fiber and vitamin C, this cruciferous vegetable can help lower cholesterol levels, and contain phytonutrients associated with cancer prevention. You can roast or sauté sprouts for a delicious side dish. Try this recipe for brussels sprouts with chestnuts.

Onions: This round vegetable provides anti-inflammatory benefits and protects cells from oxidative stress. It can help lower the risk of colorectal, laryngeal, and ovarian cancers. Add raw onion to salads or cook chopped onion in soups, stews, and stir fried dishes.

Sweet potatoes: Despite their sweet flavor, these tubers help balance blood sugar. They are also a good source of beta-carotene and vitamins B6, C, and D. Try them baked or in soups and stews.

Winter Squash: These gourds are rich with fiber, which is good for digestion and heart health.  They also contain cell-protective antioxidants, including beta-carotene and vitamin C. Bake or steam squash and season with digestive spices for a healthy main or side dish.

What fall produce are you most looking forward to? Let us know in the comments.