Superfoods aren’t foods dressed in spandex and capes, ready to save the day – although they are pretty powerful. Superfoods contain high amounts of important nutrients, which are essential to maintaining good health. By now, we probably all know that blueberries often top off superfood lists. But this list focuses specifically on fall superfoods. These superfoods are ones that you might already be eating because it’s fall, and if you’re not, then try some recipes with these nutrient-dense foods! You can carve your pumpkin and eat it, too!
The dark orange color of the sweet potato means that it’s high in vitamin A (beta-carotene) and vitamin C, both powerful antioxidants that work to protect our bodies’ cells from damage, such as heart disease and colon cancer. It’s also a good source of maganese, dietary fiber and vitamin B6.
Crucifers include veggies such as broccoli, cauliflower, kale, cabbage and Brussels sprouts. These veggies have high amounts of cancer-fighting alkaloids. They are also great sources of fiber, antioxidants and
vitamins and minerals. Studies are now showing that these delicious veggies may also help improve your memory.
Pumpkin is also rich in beta-carotene, reducing the risk of heart disease and certain cancers. Both the pumpkin and the pumpkin seeds are packed with nutrients. Pumpkins contain fiber, vitamins C and E, potassium, magnesium and vitmain B5 (pantothenic acid). Vitamin A helps maintain healthy vision and supports the immune system as well. Beta-cartonene may also act as an anti-inflammatory.
Pomegranates are famous for their extremely high amounts of antioxidants, which help protect the brain, reduce inflammation and fight many types of cancers. Research also shows that drinking pure pomegranate juice may reduce the risk of hardening of the arteries or atherosclorosis and even aids in reversing the progression of coronary heart disease.
Butternut Squash is also high in vitamin C and vitamin, like sweet potatoes and pumpkin. Squash has phytonutrients that help protect cells from damage. Some studies have shown that it is particularly effective at helping reduce the risk of suffering from lung cancer. The anti-inflammatory effects in squash may help reduce the severity of conditions such as asthma and osteoarthritis.
The same pigment that gives beets their deep purple color, betalains, is also the same thing that makes them amazing at helping prevent cancer. While beta-carotene has been the super-antioxidant in most of the fall superfoods listed, beets are different. They get their antioxidant power from lutein and zeaxanthin, other forms of carotenoids that are not found in many popularly eaten vegetables. In studies, beets have shown to be particularly great helping prevent colon cancer.