From Thanksgiving stuffing to Halloween candy, we often think of fall foods as being rich, sweet and otherwise unhealthy. But some of fall’s staple dishes are made using fresh, seasonal ingredients that pack a nutritious punch. Think of that classic image of a cornucopia packed with newly harvested fruits and vegetables of all your favorite fall colors. It may differ from the shades of green we normally associate with healthy foods, but they are no less nutritious and, in fact, provide some unique vitamins and minerals foods of other seasons do not. Nutraceutical manufacturers use these foods to create high-quality ingredients for supplements that provide similar nutritional support.
This fall, make sure your diet has the right balance of nutrition by incorporating these top 5 fall foods or investing in nutraceuticals that provide the same beneficial ingredients.
Let’s be honest: apples are great all year. After all, “an apple a day…” right? But with so much good vitamin K, vitamin C and potassium, not to mention the amount of fiber in both the skin and flesh, apples really are one of the best fruits you can add to your diet. According to Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, apples lower the risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease, and a study published in 2017 in the European Respiratory Journal even suggests that apples can help repair lung damage from smoking. As fall foods go, this is one to put at the top of your list!
Perhaps the most iconic fall food, the pumpkin is actually a fruit in spite of its slightly more savory taste. We think about pumpkin in our pies and our lattes, but they also make great soups and breads. On a nutritional level, pumpkin provides your body with vitamin A via beta-carotene, as well as a good amount of vitamin C and fiber. Like the seeds? They are rich in antioxidants, iron, zinc, and magnesium. Try slicing your pumpkin for roasting or puree it as a healthy meal alternative for your dog!
Packed with fiber, antioxidants, and vitamin C, cranberries are a great low-calorie snack that is usually seasonal from September to January, making it a perfect tart treat for any of the fall holidays. They are great on their own, but toss them over a fall salad for some added sweetness. Cranberries help reduce oxidative stress, lowering the number of free radicals in your body as well as the chances of developing diseases like Alzheimer’s.
They’re great roasted with some salt and pepper, or with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar for a sweet pop of flavor. But the vitamins and minerals they pack in make them both extremely healthy and delicious. Brussels sprouts provide your body with a great source of potassium, iron, and B vitamins, including B6 and thiamin, which protect the heart. They are also a good source of fiber and antioxidants. But most importantly, they contain prebiotics, which acts as food for probiotics in the body, supporting gut health and providing benefits that extend throughout the body.