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The crops of the fall season are usually not quite as exciting to most of us as those we get in the spring and summer.  BUT, the health benefits of these wonderful items will take you far in helping ward off colds and other illnesses.  Take a good look at how beneficial these crops are for you!

foods to fight illness


Broccoli is rich in Vitamin C to help fight off colds and helps fight high blood pressure.  I love this recipe from The Food Network (they have so many more- just search BROCCOLI on their page)
Screen Shot 2014-10-09 at 2.38.07 PM


Cauliflower is also rich is Vitamin C, has a powerful impact on our detoxification system and is a super source of potassium which helps keep your heart beat regular.   You can even mash it to make it look like mashed potatoes – the kids might not even know!


Cabbage has cholesterol lowering benefits when it is steamed!  Savoy cabbage, in particular, has received attention in cancer prevention research.


Romaine lettuce has Vitamin C and beta carotene to make it heart healthy and it’s Folic Acid helps to protect against heart attack and stroke.  Lettuces can help with INSOMNIA!
The white fluid that you see when you break lettuce leaves is called lactucarium. This has relaxation and sleep inducing properties. Simply eat a few leaves or drink some lettuce juice.
ps – if you can’t sleep, read this post: 
good nights sleep for mom


Pumpkin is a great source of Vitamin A for your eyesight.  Even better, the National Institute of Health is seeing evidence of foods with beta carotene, like pumpkin, as playing a role in cancer prevention! Eat those seeds and help lower your LDL or “bad” cholesterol.


Winter squash, like Butternut, Acorn and Spaghetti, are one of the richest sources of anti-inflammatory nutrients such as omega 3s and beta-carotene, which are important for a strong immune system to help protect against colds and flu. The winter squash also have    anti-diabetic and insulin-regulating properties.


Apples lower cholesterol, keep you full, better lung function, fight colds, decrease diabetes risk, are thought to possibly help lower chances of developing Alzheimer’s thanks to levels its antioxidants – in particular acetylcholine.


Kale’s risk-lowering benefits for cancer have recently been extended to at least five different types of cancer –  the bladder, breast, colon, ovary, and prostate and you can count on kale to provide valuable cardiovascular support in terms of its cholesterol-lowering ability.  YES, YOU CAN HELP TO FIGHT CANCER WITH KALE! 

Plus, you can make Awesome Kale Chips (I found this one on the Food Network)
Our 6 year old LOVES these! 
A bowl of leafy greens in a wooden bowl. Screen Shot 2014-10-09 at 2.34.37 PM

Next up… Beets:
Think of Beets as red spinach. This vegetable is one of the best sources to lower your blood levels of compounds that can damage your arteries and increase your risk of heart disease. Beets are a two-in-one vegetable as the mineral-rich greens are also delicious. These colorful root vegetables contain powerful nutrient compounds that help protect against heart disease, birth defects and certain cancers, especially colon cancer.


Turnips are a good source of potassium which is essential to healthy blood pressure.  You should prepare and eat both the turnip root (the bulbous bottom part) and the greens. The bulb is high in vitamin C, while the greens are a good source of vitamins C and K, folate and calcium.

A group of pumpkins with text in front of them.
Thanks to a local company, The Produce Box  for sharing these foods with us… (and thanks for delivering farm-grown fresh fruit and vegetables as well as local meats and NC-produced specialty items to families, companies and community organizations across the state.  Way to keep us healthy! )  & thanks to The Food Network for the great recipes to go along with them!

Do you want more tips?  check out this post:
How to start Eating Clean (when you don’t know where to begin)


Hi there!

I’m Becky, a former elementary school teacher turned certified child development therapist and blogger. I work at home with my husband and together we are raising (and partially homeschooling) our four children in the Carolinas. I love diet coke, ice cream, and spending time with my family.

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