Take advantage of the season by adding healthy fall foods to your diet. The following foods (and more!) are harvested in autumn–so you can use them in a variety of ways as the weather cools. To get your recommended daily serving of fruits and vegetables, consider recipes that include these foods:
Cranberries are a staple in holiday meals–and for good reason. Not only are they festive to look at, but they’re also nutritious. Cranberries are a great source of fiber, vitamin C, and anthocyanin. Anthocyanin, which gives the fruit its color, helps reduce harmful radicals from chemicals you encounter on a regular basis. Additionally, this heart-healthy food can lower your LDL cholesterol. And, according to a May 2022 study, cranberries can even improve memory! To incorporate cranberries into your cooking, you can use sweetened dried cranberries as well as raw cranberries. Looking for something faster? Then try an on-the-go snack like the Oatmeal Cranberry & Almond bar from Kate’s Real Food.
Winter squash (a fancy way of referring to squash harvested in the fall) is a versatile vegetable to cook with. So recipes that include spaghetti squash, acorn squash, and butternut squash can have numerous health benefits due to the addition of this colorful vegetable. Squash is packed with beta-carotene–which converts to vitamin A–fiber, potassium, and magnesium. These nutrients make squash good for eye health, organ health, and immunity. One way to incorporate squash into your cooking is through a hearty side dish.
Pumpkin doesn’t have to be just a decoration. Similar to squash, pumpkin contains beta-carotene (approximately 3,600 mcg in one cup of cubed pumpkin)–which makes pumpkin a great source of vitamin A (approximately 494 mcg). Pumpkin also contains vitamin C and fiber. But when you’re buying pumpkin for your next meal, make sure it doesn’t contain added sugar. When cooking with pumpkin, consider both raw pumpkin and pumpkin puree.
Let’s face it, sweet potatoes are delicious any time of year. They contain fiber, vitamin C, vitamin A, and other important nutrients. Here are nutrient highlights in one medium sweet potato:
- 3.6 g of fiber (13 percent of your DV)
- 1,150 mcg of vitamin A (over 100 percent of your DV)
- 18.2 mg of vitamin C (20 percent of your DV)
And sweet potato is also versatile to cook with. So think sweet potato fries, roasted sweet potato, mashed sweet potato–and more!
There are plenty of delicious autumn foods that are good for your health. And though we’ve named common ones, there are many others to keep your cooking interesting this fall season. Looking for more information on healthy eating? Then follow our blog to learn about The Organic Snack Company, quality food choices and more.