Did you know that steady blood sugar is the ONLY thing that centenarians, people who live to 100 years old, have in common?
On today's food as medicine, we discuss how to get slow carbs into your diet and extract the benefits of healing fall foods and spices.
Fall foods are supposed to be nourishing and comforting. They come with grounding, calming, and balancing energy that gets transferred to us after we eat them.
Anything that grows deep within the earth can have this kind of energetic effect on our mental and emotional state while also physically nourishing our bodies.
And as a huge bonus, they are the perfect way to undermine a sweet tooth because when we stage these sweet, slow-releasing vegetables in our diet, we never get the intense cravings for cookies, ice cream, and candy.
With the turn of the seasons, now is the time to incorporate more use of high-quality spices with Ceylon cinnamon topping the list. Ceylon cinnamon is REAL cinnamon whereas the general kind, cassia is not. Make sure you check your bottles and upgrade this master spice that is clinically proven to lower LDL cholesterol, and a mere teaspoon of it can help balance blood sugar for up to 24 hours. The caveat to our pregnant ladies that cinnamon can increase blood flow, so your dose will not be quite a 1/8 of a teaspoon but rather a sprinkle on oatmeal and smoothies.
Here are our favorite root veggies with some recipes to help you get more of them deliciously in your diet.
Acorn squash and butternut squash: Unlike summer squash, winter squash has a fine texture and a sweeter flavor. They are sturdier and can be stored for months. They contain omega-3 fatty acids and are an excellent source of vitamin A, a powerful antioxidant and one we need more of as natural daylight diminishes. They are high in fiber and help to balance blood glucose levels. Any winter squash tastes good sprinkled with salt, pepper, avocado, or coconut oil and a dash of cinnamon. Bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes
Parsnips: This fall veggie resembles a carrot but is white in color. It has a bit of a nutty flavor and is a great substitute for white potatoes. Roast them in the oven, boil them to make “mock mashed potatoes” or puree them into soups. They are rich in potassium and a great source of fiber.
Pomegranates: This superfood of fall is packed with antioxidants, vitamin C, fiber, and potassium. Potassium keeps your heart healthy and can help lower blood pressure. Try pomegranate juice if you can't find fresh ones. Add the seeds to any fall salad.
Pumpkin: Perhaps the signature vegetable of the fall season, pumpkins can be used for much more than jack-o-lanterns. Packing more than 20% of your daily recommendation for fiber and a great source of b vitamins, add fresh or unsweetened canned pumpkin to soups, pies, cakes, waffles, or pudding.
Sweet potatoes and yams: More nutritionally dense than their white potato counterparts, sweet potatoes are one of my favorite foods. They are high in the antioxidant beta-carotene and help the body to secrete pancreatic enzymes, not to mention great anti-inflammatory benefits. Slice them thin and roast them in the oven with fresh rosemary and sage.
Brussel sprouts: A great food to increase flexibility because of the sulfur compounds they contain. Brussel sprouts get a bad wrap, but made properly, they taste wonderful – mild and slightly bitter, they are great roasted with garlic and olive oil or great to combine as part of a fall salad with nuts and balsamic vinegar. They are a good source of iron, vitamin K, and folate, which eases menstrual cramps, helps boost mood, and prevents birth defects.
Sweet potatoes, yams (the darker ones), and beets – Cider Roasted Vegetables
Butternut squash – Butternut Squash Soup
Acorn Squash – Wild Rice Stuffed Squash
Carrots – Carrot Veggie Soup
Parsnips – Trio Mashed Potatoes (with parsnips!)
Leave a comment and let us know which ones you'll try, what YOUR favorite root veggie is, and how you like to prepare it.