As we head into the fall season, many of us are looking forward to changing leaves and cooler weather, but one of the most exciting parts of autumn is a whole new range of superfoods coming back into season. Just as we anxiously awaited the arrival of strawberries and summer squash back in May, here are six delicious fall favorites to add to your grocery list.
- Eggplant. These purple power foods are rich in nasunin, which protects your brain cells from oxidation and cholesterol-lowering chlorogenic acid. Try roasting them with a drizzle of olive oil for a hearty snack or side!
- Butternut squash. Move over zucchini, there’s a new squash in season. This beautiful gourd is loaded with beta-carotene, vitamin C, and fiber. Try this versatile veggie roasted, in a soup, or even in a salad.
- Pomegranate. Studies have shown consuming pomegranates helps fight the buildup of fat in your arteries, so try this delicious fruit with yogurt, as a garnish, or all on its own.
- Cranberries. This classic Thanksgiving ingredient is full of antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties. It can improve bladder health and has been shown to defend against breast, colon, lung, and prostate cancer. Skip some of the sugar and try making your own cranberry sauce at home!
- Broccoli rabe. Despite its name, this veggie is actually not related to broccoli, but it is loaded with about twice the amount of zinc. It’s an immune system booster and full of fiber so try it sauteed or roasted for an exciting broccoli substitute.
- Leeks. Along with other onions and garlic, leeks contain polyphenols, which protect blood vessels from oxidative damage and prevent atherosclerosis. These versatile veggies are also high in vitamin K and can be used in soups, scrambles, or on their own as a braised side.
If you’re sad to see summer go, try one of these delicious fall superfoods to get excited about the new season and fuel your body with healthy fruits and veggies. As an added bonus, eating locally grown, in-season foods helps reduce your carbon footprint and supports local growers!
From the archive: This popular healthy living story was originally published on The Optimist Daily September 15, 2020.