The autumnal vegetable of good humor – Italian Cuisine

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After reviewing the tastiest autumn fruit, we could not possibly miss his counterpart, the vegetables. Autumn also here is able to give the best, giving us vegetables to discover and rediscover, rich in beneficial properties and perfect for light and appetizing recipes that trigger an immediate good humor.

The fruits of the autumn garden are colorful, low-calorie, rich in vitamins and minerals; in addition, they have properties that counteract aging thanks to the high content of antioxidants, which counteract free radicals.

If you never got along well with autumn, here's a series of good reasons to come back and make peace … at least, at the table!

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Pumpkin: a full of potassium, beta-carotene and antioxidants without worrying about calories

Potassium, beta-carotene and very few calories: why just eat pumpkin just before Halloween? Decorative, good, tasty and perfect to maintain the line: in fact, it boasts a high satiating power in the face of an almost minimal caloric intake, and can therefore be inserted into any type of diet. Moreover, this autumn first-fruit is an excellent antioxidant and has purifying properties, which make it perfect for delicious velvety and soups.

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Jerusalem artichoke: rich in iron and vitamins, helps purify, digest and fight cholesterol

Yes, we know, it is actually a tuber, but we can not not add it to this list for several good reasons. Jerusalem artichoke is very rich in iron and vitamins, and has more than one beneficial properties: it helps purify, digest, keep blood sugar low and fight cholesterol. Added to the salad will give a touch of flavor more not only to the dish, but also to health.

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Mushrooms: low in fat and even fewer calories, in addition to abundant mineral salts and vitamin B

If we had made an exception for the Jerusalem artichoke, we also have to extend it to the mushrooms, as neither plants nor fruits. How could we, however, exclude the true protagonists, who, in the face of their few fats and even fewer calories, lend themselves to a thousand ways to be cooked? They contain abundant mineral salts, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, but also vitamin B; they are excellent antioxidants and help the body to protect itself from viruses, especially those coming with the first colds. Perfect in risottos, sautéed, even baked or raw in salads: you will not be spoiled for choice on how to taste them!

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The cabbage: helps digestion and naturally prevents constipation, as well as possessing anti-inflammatory properties

Nourishing and healthy, rich in fiber and fatty acids, the cabbage – or savoy cabbage – is a beneficial vegetable for health because of its recognized anti-inflammatory properties. Among its "superpowers", it helps digestion thanks to the richness of fibers and helps to prevent constipation naturally. It also contains vitamins A and C, as well as being a source of mineral salts such as iron, calcium, potassium and phosphorus.

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Red radicchio: good diuretic and detoxifying properties in the face of few calories and many minerals, fibers and vitamins

Pliny the Elder called it "the Venetian lettuce": the radicchio preserves its history even in the Latin origin of its name, "radicula" or root. This typically autumnal delight can count on the one hand on low caloric contents (it is made up of 90% of water) and on the other on a good dose of mineral salts (calcium, phosphorus, potassium), as well as fibers and vitamins. Its nutritional characteristics translate into good diuretic and detoxifying properties as well as – due to the presence of polyphenols – antioxidant qualities. The extra advice? To taste it at best, for salads opted for an early variety (with rounded leaves), while in the case of risottos choose the late variety (with long leaves).

Marianna Tognini
October 2018

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