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Tips on raking up leaves, raking in anti-oxidants and beta-carotene

Some timely November information on yard care, plus something you may not have known about traditional Thanksgiving foods.

Raking

Collect those falling leaves and mulch them. Before you start raking, put on proper shoes. Boots or shoes with heavy soles are best. Take a walk through the yard and pick up any big sticks or branches, paper debris and large rocks. They cause accidents and are not good for the mulch pile. As you are walking about, stretch to loosen up all your muscles before you start raking. Avoid using a rake that is too long or too short. Use a rake that fits your height and weight, and leave a space between your hands on the grip to increase leverage. Alternate your leg and arm positions often while making small piles. When picking up the piles, use your knees, not your back. It may be cooling off, but take lots of breaks and drink plenty of fluids.

Food

Cranberries and sweet potatoes are both native foods with a long history of excellent nutritional value. Besides Vitamin C, cranberries are full of antioxidants that help to cleanse and purify the body. The sweet potato has the highest nutritional content of any vegetable. One cup of cooked sweet potatoes has 30 milligrams of beta-carotene. It would take 23 cups of broccoli to provide the same amount, according to the Farmers Almanac.