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10 Fall Foods That Are Extremely Good For Your Health

Here are 10 good reasons to stop by your local farmers market this weekend.

Wellness

Fall is harvest season. This means that if there is ever an optimum time to stop by your local farmers market, now would be it. But before you strike out, it's important that you know about some of the top foods that are in their prime right about now.

The reason why it's so beneficial to consume foods that are in season is 1) you'll be able to take the most advantage of the nutrients that they contain, and 2) you can forego all of the preservatives that foods need to remain "edible" whenever they are out of season.

Two other benefits that come from eating seasonal food is it's better for the environment and you'll be doing your partner to sustain farmers in your area. Plus, seasonal foods are cheaper in price as well. Now do you see why it's a good idea to eat as many seasonal fall foods as you possibly can?

If you're totally down, but you're not 100 percent sure which fruits and veggies make the list, I've included 10 of 'em. As a bonus, I included a recipe for you to try, just in case you want to impress some of your friends with all of your fall cuisine knowledge. Are you ready to get a healthy dose of fall-themed nutrition into your system?

1. Artichokes

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One of the reasons why artichokes are so good for you is they are loaded with all sorts of nutrients. They contain vitamins B6, C and K, folate, iron, magnesium, potassium and even calcium—and that's just for starters! If you're a vegetarian or vegan, you'll be happy to know that they've got around 4.2 grams of protein (raw) as well. As far as the health benefits of artichokes go, they are able to help regulate your blood pressure, detoxify your liver, lower your blood sugar levels, relieve symptoms that are related to irritable bowel syndrome and, they contain cancer-fighting properties as well.

Fall Recipe To Try: Warm Artichoke-Olive Dip

2. Brussel Sprouts

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When I was younger, I ate Brussel sprouts because I was made to. These days, I enjoy them based on how they are prepared. If you're someone who's always been a fan of this vegetable, that definitely works in your favor because they've got quite a bit of vitamins C and K in them, along with Vitamin A, folate and manganese. If you're constantly on the quest for a food with fiber, Brussel sprouts totally have your back. Another great thing about this vegetable is it's got omega-3 fatty acids as well. Thanks to the Vitamin K they contain, Brussel sprouts can help your blood to clot; thanks to the Vitamin C, you'll get a good amount of antioxidants into your system and, thanks to its sulfur compounds, it's the type of vegetable that can be a wonderful detoxifier—a real plus if you're trying to treat adult acne.

Fall Recipe To Try: Spicy Roasted Brussels Sprouts Salad with Avocado & Pomegranate Seeds

3. Butternut Squash

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Butternut squash is pretty bananas on the health benefits front. As far as Vitamin A goes, it's got a record 457% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) in it. Butternut squash also has a healthy dose of almost all of the vitamin Bs, as well as vitamins C, E, magnesium, potassium and manganese. If you're looking for a delicious way to stay regular, butternut squash is a good source of fiber. Also, because of the Vitamin C that it contains, it's the kind of vegetable that will support your immune system, protect your skin (UV rays can still affect it during the colder months) and reduce inflammation too. As a bonus, since it's only 100 calories per serving, butternut squash is the kind of food that can help you to lose weight too.

Fall Recipe To Try: Butternut Squash Risotto

4. Figs

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Two things that are considered to be "nature's candy" are raisins and figs. A part of the reason is because they have a good amount of natural sugar in them. In fact, it's not uncommon for some people to turn figs into a paste and use them as a natural sweetener alternative for their dessert recipes. On the health tip, figs are another good source of fiber. Figs also are able to help control diabetes, lower cholesterol levels, strengthen bones, relieve sore throats, fight free radicals and, thanks to all of the antioxidants in them, they can keep your skin and hair looking pretty amazing too.

Fall Recipe To Try: Fig-Ruby Port Preserves

5. Kohlrabi

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If you're not familiar with what kohlrabi is, it's basically a vegetable that's related to cabbage (another food that is in season this time of year, by the way). It is considered to be a cruciferous vegetable and has the nickname "German turnip". Kohlrabi is awesome because it has a whopping 93 percent of the daily value of Vitamin C that you need. It also contains a good amount of Vitamin B6, along with some potassium and manganese. Kohlrabi is a good veggie to eat during this time of the year because it's got the antioxidants anthocyanins, isothiocyanates and glucosinolates—all of which help to strengthen your immune system. Not only that but kohlrabi promotes a healthy gut, lowers your risk of heart disease, provides quite the energy boost, strengthens your eyes and even helps to prevent anemia.

Fall Recipe To Try: Crisp Apple & Kohlrabi Salad

6. Pears

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Kind of as a sidebar, something that I like about pears is the fact that they represent wisdom. In Zora Neale Hurston's book Their Eyes Were Watching God, the pear tree was a symbol of inner peace as well. So, why not bite into some insight and tranquility this fall? If you do, you'll be enjoying a sweet fruit that will not cause your blood sugar to spike. Something else that's cool about pears is it's a food that has a nice source of fiber in them. Other things that make pears worthy of being on your grocery shopping list is they've got Vitamin C, potassium, electrolytes, magnesium and copper. Also, if you snack on one before you work out, the complex carbs in them will make it easier for you to complete your exercise regimen.

Fall Recipe To Try: Red Wine Poached Pears and Vanilla Bean Mascarpone Filling

7. Persimmons

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If you don't know what persimmons are, they are a fruit that is in peak condition right about now that's known as being a "divine fruit". Because they are rich in catechins and polyphenolic antioxidants, persimmons can provide powerful anti-inflammatory benefits. Some other claims to fame with this particular fruit is its ability to curb your appetite without you having to worry about gaining weight (due to it being a low-calorie fruit). Persimmons also are low in sodium which makes them good for reducing hypertension, they contain copper that can support the production of healthy red blood cells, and—here's a random fun fact—a lot of Japanese people use them as a natural way to treat hiccups. (Try it and report back!)

Fall Recipe To Try: Persimmon Compote

8. Red Grapes

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To tell you the truth, all grapes are in season during the early part of the fall. The reason why I specifically listed red ones is because, is it just me, or do they seem to taste better than white ones during this particular time of the year? Anyway, you'll want to store up on some of these because of all of the vitamins C and K that they have. Red grapes also have copper in them (something that your body needs if you want to naturally fight premature greying). Something else that's cool about red grapes is they've got 1,600 beneficial plant compounds in them to help keep chronic diseases at bay. One of those compounds is called resveratrol; it's got the ability to treat and help prevent cancer cells. Two other good things about red grapes is their ability to lower cholesterol levels and even boost brain health (this includes improving your memory).

Fall Recipe To Try: Sangria Grapes

9. Salsify

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Salsify is a root vegetable that has a very slightly sweet flavor to it. One of the main reasons why people eat it is to treat constipation, due to all of the fiber that it has. Salsify also contains quite a bit of the B vitamins and Vitamin C, along with iron, zinc, phosphorus and magnesium. It's a good source of protein as well. Salsify is another food that will keep your immune system in great shape. And, you'll want to eat it if you want to stay on top of regulating your blood pressure, improving your skin's appearance and, due to the calcium that's in it, reducing your PMS-related symptoms too.

Fall Recipe To Try: Splendiferous Salsify Soup

10. Sweet Potatoes

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One more. I'm pretty sure you already knew that the perfect food known as sweet potatoes is in season during the autumn. If you definitely love the taste of homemade sweet potato pie (or sweet potato French fries), but you're not crystal clear on all of the ways it benefits your health, let's run through a few reasons, shall we? They are also a vegetable that's a great source of fiber. Some other wonderful benefits is they can help to keep you from developing a Vitamin A deficiency; the magnesium in them can keep your stress levels low; they've got compounds in them to guard your body against ulcers; they contain antimicrobial properties that fight against health challenges like pneumonia and, the vitamins A, C and E are wonderful for your skin. So yeah, if you don't get anything else on this list, at least pick up a few sweet potatoes. It's a signature fall food that is as healthy as it is delicious. Enjoy!

Fall Recipe To Try: Sweet Potato Pancakes

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ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
Sign up

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