Fall means hot tea, maple lattes, and pumpkin…well, everything! With all of the pumpkin-spice-maple-who-knows-whats, the season can send your healthy habits spiraling out of control but, with a little effort, these flavorful fall superfoods can benefit the healthy lifestyle you’ve spent all year pursuing! Nevermind syrupy lattes, cakes, and cookies – this ultimate guide to flavorful fall superfoods is full of foods you never knew you needed.
Brussels sprouts contain something called glucosinolates, a sulfur-containing compound, which makes the isothiocyanates that activate protective enzyme systems in your body! These guys also have potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties which we love for promoting the body’s natural mechanisms that fight both chronic oxidative stress and inflammation!
Brussels sprouts are an excellent source of:
- Vitamin K
- Vitamin C
- B vitamins
and also help to support your body’s natural detoxification system!
Try this recipe: Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pine Nuts + Balsamic Glaze
Did you know that, in the United States, apples ranked second for highest antioxidant activity? Much of apples’ antioxidant properties is contained in the peel, where you’ll find nutrients like:
- Vitamin C
and more! While apples contain plenty of nutritious benefits, fiber is the shining star as far as we’re concerned. One medium apple has 4 grams of soluble fiber — the type that may help lower cholesterol – which is great for those trying to stay slim as fiber has been shown to support healthy weight loss! Enjoy it as one of the easiest grab-and-go snacks you can come by, dice one in a bowl of oatmeal with a pinch of brown sugar and cinnamon for a crustless apple pie, or use it to add some sweetness to your salads.
Try this recipe: Apple-Cinnamon Greek Yogurt Pancakes
Cauliflower is our favorite anti-inflammatory, antioxidant-rich fall superfood, and it took the health + wellness world by storm this year! We don’t blame the world for falling in love with this unassuming veggie and couldn’t be happier with the number of amazing recipes that show just how versatile it is. From pizza crusts, mashed potatoes, fried rice, and more, adding cauliflower to your meals may:
- Boost brain health
- Support a healthy heart
- Promote healthy digestion
- Support the body’s natural detox
- Provide anti-inflammatory properties
and all while providing your body 85% of your daily value of vitamin C at 30 calories per cup!
Try this recipe: Sweet and Smoky Caramelized Cauliflower
Step away from the marshmallows and butter – these fall superfoods are for much more than Thanksgiving casseroles! More nutritionally dense than their white-potato counterparts, these guys pack an impressive amount of vitamins A + C, iron, fiber, and beta-carotene. As an antioxidant, beta-carotene can help ward off those pesky free radicals, reduce inflammation, + regulate blood sugar by raising blood levels of adiponectin, a protein hormone created by your fat cells to regulate the metabolization of insulin!
Sweet potatoes are one of the easiest fall superfoods to whip up, too! Simply wash it, poke a few holes in it with a fork, microwave for 3-4 minutes, and you’re off!
Try this recipe: Sweet Potato Chicken + Kale Skillet
Many of us enjoy pomegranates alone as a snack (don’t forget you can eat the seeds!) which makes knowing how to get to the juicy arils an essential skill. Try using this simple process:
- Cut off the crown, then cut the pomegranate into sections
- Place the section in a bowl of water, then roll out the arils with your fingers (discard everything else)
- Strain out the water, then enjoy!
Like sweet potatoes, these made our Fall superfoods list because of their impressive antioxidant content! Did you know that a UCLA study showed that they even beat out red wine for their spot on the list? But, that’s not all – pomegranates also serve as an excellent source of vitamin C with a juice that provides a tangy base for marinades and seeds that can be tossed into salads or smoothies to amp up the flavor!
Try this recipe: Pomegranate Smoothie Bowl
Carrots + Parsnips
- Supporting healthy eyes and vision
- Providing antioxidant support
- Supports regularity with dietary fiber
- Supporting healthy blood sugar levels
Apples aren’t the only tree-fruit coming into season this time of year! Loaded with fiber and potassium – two nutrients that Americans don’t get enough of – pears are a staple in our fall superfoods list! For just 100 calories, one medium pear has vitamin C, copper, flavonols, carotenoids, and a quarter of your daily value of fiber which plays an essential role in digestion.
Sliced pears are a sweet addition to any fall salad, but complement your pork roasts and burgers! Cooking can really bring out their fabulous Fall flavor, so try them baked for a sweet-but-healthy dessert, too.
Try this recipe: Baked Pears with Walnuts and Honey
This flowering plant isn’t used often in many households, but we can make an argument that it should be! Used like an herb in cooking, this item on our list of Fall superfoods offers a hardy, sweet flavor to your Fall dishes! Whether you shave the fennel into a salad or roast the bulb in chunks, this addition offers:
and even protein! You can’t go wrong with a little fennel in just about anything you’re preparing.
Try this recipe: Citrus + Fennel Salad
Winter squash includes all of our favorite fall gourds! From pumpkin to butternut + acorn to spaghetti, winter squashes are jam packed full of nutrients! Winter squash contains:
- Vitamin K1
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
- B Vitamins
- Vitamin E
and even contains plant-based omega-3 fats! Unlike summer squash, winter squash has a fine texture and a sweeter flavor which makes it a perfect pair for your other favorite Fall flavors like cinnamon and ginger!
Try this recipe: Wild Rice Stuffed Squash
How are you using these Fall superfoods to spruce up your favorite dishes?