Friday, September 16, 2011

Fall in Love...with Autumn Produce! OMNI Medical Center's Top Seasonal Fruits and Veggies

Happy Friday!
The fall season is here...and that means cooler weather, the beautiful changing colors of leaves, and amazing fruits and veggies for cooking and eating!

Check out OMNI Medical Center 's list of Top Produce for Autumn:

Broccoli--Broccoli is a green cruciferous vegetable packed with folic acid, vitamin K, A and C. It can be eaten raw or cooked. Add it to cold salads, whole grain pasta, serve it cold or hot with toasted sesame seeds or simply lightly sautéed in garlic and oil.

Brussels sprouts-- These greens are members of the cabbage family, and if made properly, they taste phenomenal and help keep you full -- because Brussels sprouts are packed with filling fiber! Our favorite way to prepare them is roasting them in the oven. Brussels sprouts are a very good source of folate as well as a good source of iron.

Pumpkin--In addition to making a beautiful carving, pumpkin is a nutrient powerhouse! It's high levels of beta carotene, Vitamin A and Vitamin C (which can help boost immune function). Pumpkin is also rich in potassium and high in fiber. Use pumpkin as a soup base, add it to chili, or simply heat it up with some cinnamon and organic Stevia for a sweet, savory dessert!

Spinach--A great veggie for those of us on the OMNI Medical Center medical weight loss program! Spinach is packed with iron, fiber and folic acid. Use spinach as a side dish, add it to soups or eat it raw in a salad. 

Sweet Potatoes--More nutritionally dense than their white-potato counterparts, sweet potatoes are an excellent source of Vitamin A and C, and also contain potassium, iron and copper. Not only are they super healthy, but they're naturally super sweet, too! For a savory baked dish, brush your sweet spuds with some cayenne pepper, sea salt, and a sprinkle of olive oil for a healthier version of french fries!

Winter Squash-- Best in October through November, winter squash is an amazing veggie. Sure, it's full of fiber, but did you know that our friend winter squash is also a good source of Vitamins A and C, several B vitamins, potassium and omega-3 fatty acids? Winter squash has a sweet flavor and is great as a side dish tossed with a few dried cranberries and paired with turkey, chicken or pork.

Apples-- Apples are full of antioxidants, and some experts believe they can curb your appetite and cause you to take in fewer calories throughout the rest of the day (which is great if you're on the OMNI Medical Center program). Sweet or tart, apples are satisfying eaten raw (we love Fuji apples!) or baked into a delicious dish. Just be sure to eat the skin -- it contains hearty, healthy flavonoids.

Grapefruit--Research suggests that this sweet 'n sour citrus fruit can aid in weight loss (another great item to add to your grocery list!). A small study found that eating half a grapefruit a day resulted in an average weight loss of more than 3 pounds in 12 weeks. Scientists speculate that the weight loss happens because grapefruit lowers insulin levels, which curbs your urge to snack. In addition, grapefruit contains more than 75 percent of your daily recommended intake (DRI) of Vitamin C, is a good source of lycopene and contains pectin, which has been shown to lower cholesterol. If grapefruit is a little too tart for you, try sprinkling a little organic Stevia on top. If not, try adding it to mixed greens and combine it with avocado and shrimp for a refreshing citrus salad!

For more nutritional ideas or information about the OMNI Medical Center Weight Loss Program visit our web site: 

Have a great weekend, 
--The OMNI Medical Center Team

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