5 Superfoods To Taste This September

5 Superfoods To Taste This September

August is gone, and September brings in the feeling of the last of what summer has to offer. So, get excited for the freshness of fall. The following superfoods below will help you savor refreshing warm-weather flavors and look forward to the comforting tastes of autumn.

Sweet Potatoes
What Makes Them “super”: These complex carbs with four grams of fiber in each potato make this a healthy choice. The vitamin A will help build up your immune system. Plus, the beta carotene can repair your skin by boosting skin cell production.

How To Enjoy: You may bake them, however steaming them avoids heating up the entire home with the oven. You may, also, purée two of them and put it in bean dip — sort of like hummus — with cashew butter. And, you can eat them all week and it stores well in the fridge, as part of a dip.

Broccoli
What Makes It “super”: It’s a great source of antioxidants, vitamin C and potassium. The cruciferous vegetable also packs anti-cancer properties, and could possibly prevent the progression of osteoarthritis. Adding to its nutrition are folate, beta carotene and calcium which give this veggie the power to promote eye health, protect against heart disease, strengthen the immune system and build strong bones.

How To Enjoy: This versatile vegetable can be added to just about anything — grilled, roasted or eaten raw. Be careful not to overcook it, as some of the potassium and vitamin C can be lost with heat.

Beets
What Makes Them “super”: Beetroot is very high in antioxidants, calcium and potassium. The betanin and vulgaxanthin, which give the beets their deep hue, have anti-inflammatory properties as well.

How To Enjoy: Beets can be mixed into smoothies or dips to create a beautifully bright dish. They can be roasted, steamed, grated and eaten raw, or made into a dressing using a food processor.

Grapes
What Makes Them “super”: This small fruit is a good source of vitamins C and K. Plus, they’re hydrating because of they’re water content. The skin contains resveratrol (famous for giving red wine its health benefits, as well as preventing premature aging of cells) and other compounds that may reduce allergy symptoms.

How To Enjoy: They’re so convenient to eat like popcorn, but they can, also, be frozen for a delicious dessert on a warm night.

Lima Beans 
What Makes Them “super”: These beans are a good source of soluble fiber to keep you feeling fuller longer. One cup of lima beans adds 13.4 milligrams of iron and 38.2 grams of protein to your diet. All beans pack protein, but unlike meat sources, they have little to no fat and are cholesterol-free.

How To Enjoy: It’s common to buy frozen lima beans, however you may make them into a soup or dip. You can also steam limas and add them to meat dishes, or mix them with veggies for a nutritious side dish.

What in-season produce do you like to indulge in? Let us know in the comments below!

6 Steps To Reset Your Sleep Patterns For Fall

6 Steps To Reset Your Sleep Patterns For Fall

While Monday, Labor Day, is known as the unofficial end of summer, many people find it more difficult to adjust their sleep schedule back to what it was before the laid back summertime schedule began. Although it is especially true for children who go back to school in August or September, adults can also suffer the consequences from shifted summer sleep schedules.

Once fall arrives, in about three short weeks, we might find that we are still doing many activities in the evening and nighttime, making it more difficult to fall asleep at the earlier desired time. I, for one, can attest to this. And, I will have to wean my way back into the school/work schedule. Some fortunate people find that they can just change their sleep timing to go to bed earlier and wake earlier without any issue. If you’re one of those people, the sooner you start keeping a steady sleep-wake schedule seven days per week, the better! If you aren’t one of those people (my hand raised), here are some suggestions that can help:

1. Power Down
Avoid any screen time (i.e. computers, cell phones, TVs) at least one hour before your new desired bedtime (but ideally two hours before). Melatonin is a hormone that’s naturally produced in our brains and it comes out when the sun starts to set. Melatonin helps to induce sleepiness and keeps us asleep throughout the night. Bright light can limit melatonin production, and blue light (especially from all the electronics screens) is an even bigger offender.

2. Wind Down
Practice winding down your body and mind as well. Find relaxing activities and hobbies that are calm, quiet and soothing. This is not the time to return emails, finish work and be active. Sleep isn’t an on/off switch — it is more like a dimmer switch where you turn down the lights and your body.

3. Light Bright
Do the opposite in the morning. When you wake up, get up and open all the curtains in your house. Get as much natural light as you can. Eat breakfast in front of a window. Bright light stops melatonin production, wakes us up and helps us keep a more consistent bed and wake schedule.

4. Stay The Course
Keep a steady sleep-wake schedule seven days a week. For some, this may be a challenge. However, our bodies don’t have a “weekday” switch and a “weekend” switch. We need to keep things steady. If you sleep in on the weekends, you may only make it harder to go to bed at a more normal time come Sunday night.

5. Slow And Steady
If you’re really struggling with adjusting, some people find that gradually adjusting to a new schedule can help. Go to bed 15 minutes earlier (and wake up 15 minutes earlier) every day until you reach your target bed and wake times. This also means that you should dim the lights and wind down at home 15 minutes earlier every night.

6. Eat For Sleep
Get back on a healthy overall diet. We often loosen up our diet rules over the summer in favor of the ice cream and pie. Limit sugar at night, and avoid anything with caffeine (soda, coffee, tea, chocolate) after noon. Avoid alcohol within three hours of bedtime since it can disrupt sleep even further.

If you’ve tried the above suggestions and you are still struggling with sleep issues, talk with your doctor or a sleep specialist since there are other treatment options that can be quite useful.