It’s time to say goodbye to sweet summer berries and juicy watermelon but there are plenty of healthy superfoods to reach for in the fall. Skip the usual pumpkin spice lattes and choose real, whole foods full of vitamins and antioxidants. Fall superfoods are rich in color, so look for deep red like pomegranates or bright orange like sweet potatoes.
We’ve rounded up 7 of nutritionists’ favorite superfoods – check them out!
This year skip the artificial pumpkin spice craze and go for the real thing. Pumpkins are everyone’s favorite fall superfood and for good reason. “Providing more fiber per cup than kale, pumpkin can help to keep you feeling fuller, longer,” explains Samina Kalloo, RDN, CDN.
“It’s also an excellent source of lutein and zeaxanthin, two powerful antioxidants that are recognized for playing a critical role in eye health.” Try adding unsweetened pumpkin puree to your favorite smoothie or mixing it into a healthy yogurt parfait.
Whether roasted, steamed, or served fresh, broccoli is a delicious veggie loaded with health benefits. “Broccoli is a great source of vitamins K, C, and E, folate, potassium, calcium, and fiber,” says Ariana Kulinczenko, RD, LDN.
“It benefits digestion, cardiovascular health and contains anti-inflammatory properties.” Try steaming broccoli with fresh garlic and lemon juice for a nutritious side dish on busy nights.
Cauliflower may seem like a bland veggie at first glance but it’s a sneaky superfood that can turn into scrumptious comfort food with just a few tweaks. “It is high in fiber, B-vitamins, antioxidants, and choline,” says Kulinczenko.
“Cauliflower may promote weight loss, protect against cancer and improve learning and memory.” Use it in place of mashed potatoes or pizza crust for an easy swap no one will notice.
This tart superfood isn’t just for Thanksgiving anymore. Cranberries are known for preventing urinary tract infections but have benefits for your whole body. “Dried cranberries have been shown to improve gut health by altering the gut microbiota, as well as improve blood sugar regulation in type 2 diabetics,” says New York-based dietician Angela Goscilo.
“In addition, as a good source of vitamin C, cranberries can support oral health and immune function.” Goscilo recommends blending fresh cranberries with diced jalapeno, cilantro, lime juice and a dash of sugar for a tart salsa everyone will love.
Beets can add gorgeous color to your fall salads and side dishes while giving your brain a boost. “Beets have a good amount of folate and potassium,” says Amanda A. Kostro Miller, RD, LDN. “Try adding beets to your smoothie or baked goods like red velvet cake or pink-frosted cupcakes.”
Sweet potatoes make the perfect fall side dish and are rich in vitamin A for healthy eyes and fiber for a healthy gut. Miller recommends starting out your day with a nutrient-packed twist on breakfast toast. “Instead of bread, slice a sweet potato lengthwise into ¼ to ½ inch slices,” says Miller. “Pop them in the toaster to toast and then top with your favorite toppings.”
“Even beyond the known heart health benefits, walnuts have been researched for a variety of potential benefits including diabetes, cognitive function, mental health, cancer, weight, and gut and reproductive health.
A recent study even found that women who ate a Mediterranean diet including walnuts showed a lower risk for gestational diabetes and weight gain during pregnancy,” says, Stephanie Middleberg, MS, RD, CDN. Middleberg recommends using this nutty superfood to top oatmeal, baked sweet potatoes, or in your favorite pesto recipe.