Seasonal Fall Foods You Should Include in Your Diet
Many associate summer berries with the healthiest foods for their diet, but that is not necessarily the case. During fall time, many flavorful superfoods finally come into season. These diverse options can be enjoyed in a soup, a salad, a special dish, raw, or even all together.
Though you’ll find apples all year round, they truly shine in the fall. During this time of year, you’ll find the widest variety of apples available– from Fuji, to Jazz, to MacIntosh, to Honeycrisp, and so much more. Other than being delicious, apples are fantastic for gut health. On average, apples can contain anywhere from 16 to 20% of your daily value of fiber, which may even reduce blood pressure and the risk of gastrointestinal disease and cancer. It is also high in the immune-boosting vitamin C, the highest amounts being in the skin. One can’t help but think of the old saying: an apple a day keeps the doctors away!
Pumpkins are another seasonal staple– especially with pumpkin spice becoming so popular over the past few years. When you remove the sugary drinks from the equation, pumpkin is great for you. It is rich in beta-carotene, which is converted into vitamin A and provides your body with a number of health perks. A cup of cubed, raw pumpkin gives you around 55% of your daily value of vitamin A! It is also high in potassium (providing about 8% of your DV), vitamin C (providing about 12% of your DV), and fiber as well (26% of your DV). Because it is fairly bland, it can go in just about any dish of your choice.
Similarly to pumpkin, sweet potato is packed with a great deal of vitamins and minerals that will help you be the happiest, healthiest version of you. A single sweet potato can provide you three to five times your daily needs of vitamin A. It provides you 20% of your daily need for vitamin C and 13% of your daily value of fiber. On top of that, sweet potatoes are rich in magnesium, potassium, and beta-carotene. Unlike its cousin, the potato, sweet potatoes only clock in at about 110 calories, making them a great choice for a side dish or base for a dinner.
Cranberries are well known to be a superfood, but most of the year you can only find them in their sugary, dried format. During the fall and winter, you can get your fill of fresh cranberries. They have been implicated to improve bladder health while defending against breast, colon, lung, and prostate cancer. They are also high in fiber and vitamin C, making them heart-healthy foods. The antioxidant-packed berries are quite tart, but that makes them a great mix with just about anything, from chocolate to pork.
Cauliflower (and its sister, broccoli) is one of the most vitamin-packed vegetables you can add to your diet. Jam-packed with fiber (8% DV) and potassium, cauliflower is fantastic for your digestive system and can even lower your blood pressure. It also contains five-times your daily needs for vitamin C and about 75% of your daily value for vitamin K. You can eat cauliflower as-is, but you could also consider grating it into cauliflower rice for a healthy stir-fry.
An alternative to onions, these flavorful little vegetables sure pack a punch. They are high in kaempferol, which has been shown to protect against heart disease due to its anti-inflammatory properties. They are also high in lutein and zeaxanthin, which have been shown to prevent eye disease. On top of that, they are a great source of fiber and vitamin K. Consider using leeks in place of your onion of choice, drop them in whatever dishes you like, and enjoy the benefits!
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