Have you ever noticed that at the time flu season begins many of the most immune boosting fruits and veggies come into season? Think about it... Blackberries are in season until mid September, apples are in season from September to late October, citrus is from November till middle to end of January and don't even get me started on the squash and winter greens! Of course there are many more, which I'll get to later, but why do you think this is? As I began to research all the wonderful fall foods, I realized that God had given us his own flu vaccine. He knew that this time of year our bodies are under attack and we need a little something to help us fight back. In his infinite wisdom he has given us more than we could imagine to take care of our families and ourselves. We often underestimate the power that vitamins, minerals and even our bodies have to fight off illness and disease. Any time I dive a little deeper into things, be it flu season or something else, I am amazed and awed by how much thought our God put into every aspect of life. It's time for us to start really looking to the foods He created and how he wanted us to use them.
I wanted to give you a list of some of my favorite fall/winter foods with their healing properties. I hope you find this helpful!
Apples- Why does an apple a day keep the doctor away? Well, it's an excellent source of zinc, calcium, magnesium, vitamin C and so much more! So take advantage of how sweet apples are right now and enjoy! These are a great way to fight off illness. Since they are in season right now they are quite affordable. For a family outing you can often find local apple orchards that let you pick your own apples for even less!
Asian Pears- These are truly my favorite fall fruit! They taste like candy, I can't get enough! These are high in vitamin C and folate. I find these are a bit pricey so they are normally a treat. Other pear varieties are cheaper and contain similar amounts of vit C. Like apples, you can sometimes find pears in local orchards that you can pick yourself.
Butternut Squash- Now, squash in general is an excellent source of immune boosting properties, so be sure to eat whatever squash variety you like. I just wanted to highlight butternut squash. They are high in phytonutrients and antioxidants as well as beta-carotene (Vit A) and fiber. In just 1 cup of squash there is nearly half the daily recommended dose of Vit C! It also contains B6 which is essential for your immune system to work properly and thats just a few of the amazing nutritional qualities. Butternut Squash is a rich and smooth squash, it is excellent turned into bread (like banana nut or pumpkin), stews, pureed soups and steamed served with a little butter and salt.
Sweet Potato- Sweet Potato is another excellent source for Vit C, B6, antioxidants and fiber. You can get up to 35% of your daily recommended amount of beta-carotene (Vit A). I love the variety of ways to prepare them from baked sweet potato fries to sweet potato bread to plane old baked sweet potato.
Citrus- Oranges, grapefruits, lemons and tangerines are most well known for their high doses of Vitamin C. They are also high in anti oxidants and phytonutrients. Here is something else interesting, citrus, particularly pink citrus, contains components that may help fight off cancer.
Kale- Don't cringe, hear me out! When you mention kale most people I know immediately glaze over. Kale isn't usually a green you get excited about. However, it is an amazing source of Vit C, Vit A, Vit E, multiple B vitamins as well as lots of phytonutrients! This is a food that should be a regular part of everyones diet... If your not a fan (like myself) you might try kale chips. Personally, I like cheesey kale. You dehydrate the leaves until crispy and season them accordingly. They are like a chip! My husbands younger siblings say they taste just like cheetohs, I would agree. Because they are dried, the kale is still raw and you will receive all the health benefits from it.
There are many more immune boosting foods available in the fall. These are just a few I regularly include in my grocery list. To see more fall foods and how to tell if they are ripe, click here. I truly believe that God created these foods for a purpose, they are not just to please our palate! Rather than using "lots of Vit C" as an after thought, lets bring it to the front burner. In all out modern medicine it's easy to forget that God has his own superior tools. Lets teach our children about the amazing things God made for us and how he planned to keep us healthy. Let's show them how loving and caring our God is by showing them how he prepared for our needs.
"And the LORD will grant you plenty of goods, in the fruit of your body, in the increase of your livestock, and in the produce of your ground, in the land of which the LORD swore to your fathers to give you. The LORD will open to you His good treasure, the heavens, to give the rain to your land in its season, and to bless all the work of your hand. You shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow. " Deuteronomy 28:11-12
Written By Happily Domestic Contributer: Brittney Thompson