5 “Superfoods” to Try This Fall

5 Superfoods to Try This Fall

Despite the fact that it is blazing outside (at least here in LA), today is officially the first day of fall!

The weather tricked me last week with a brief spell of rain and cool breezes but it’s been back in the 80s/90s this week, and I am dying for things to chill out.

More than the weather though, I’m excited for fall food! While spring and summer usually take all the credit for flourishing food, fall has a ton of it’s own awesome produce to boast.

Before we jump into what those are though, I’d like to take a brief moment to talk about “superfoods.”

The term SUPERFOOD gets tossed around a lot. There’s no real definition for it, but it’s commonly used to describe nutrient-rich foods with possible health benefits. Nutrition “experts” often overuse the term and incorrectly claim certain “superfoods” can cure disease.

That’s totally far-fetched, but a lot fruits and vegetables do have tons of vitamins, minerals, and awesome little molecules in them that scientists know have beneficial properties. They’re called phytonutrients/phytochemicals.

A lot more research needs to be done on them, but for now we do know that most are antioxidants that can help prevent oxidative stress in the body (something experts believe is the cause of many chronic illnesses).

So now that we’re clear on what a so-called “superfood” actually is (basically any really nutritious food), here’s a list of my fall favorites, the benefits they bestow, and some great recipes to try them in!

PS – Stick around until the end of the post for an awesome health + fitness giveaway from the Institute for Vibrant Living!

1. Pears

pear-feta-croistinis-2

Despite lacking a significant amount of vitamins, pears are a great source of flavanols, an antioxidant also found in cocoa, green tea, and wine. Pears are typically harvested in summer and enjoyed in fall/winter.

Try them on some Honey-Glazed Pear Crostinis.

2. Butternut Squash

butternut-zucchini-sweet-potato-fritters

The pretty orange color of butternut squash is attributable to it’s high content of the Vitamin A precursor, beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is very important for eye health, especially as we age.

I can think of a million amazing recipes to try it in, but my favorite are these Butternut Squash, Zucchini + Sweet Potato Fritters.

3. Pumpkin

vegan-pumpkin-waffle-upclose

Also falling in the carotenoid family, pumpkin is chalk full of this orangey nutrient. In addition to eye health, carotenoids are also a potent antioxidant thought to be protective against oxidative damage to cells.

The best pumpkin recipe in my repertoire is my Vegan Pumpkin Waffles with Pumpkin “Ice Cream.”

4. Brussels Sprouts

brussels-butternut-beet-close-up

When you think of Vitamin C, you probably think of oranges — but tons of other fruits and vegetables (like brussels sprouts) are also very high in this nutrient. A half cup serving of the green vegetable provides half of your daily dose of the vitamin.

Vitamin C is required for many bodily functions, and one in particular that is important during cold season — immunity. While it can’t prevent or treat colds, it does strengthen the immune system and some studies have shown it to modestly decrease the duration of cold symptoms.

Try them in this Sweet & Savory Roasted Vegetables recipe.

5. Cranberries

cranberry-pear-crisp

This tiny tart fruit packs major protective properties in the form of phytochemicals known as flavonoids. These chemicals are found in cell membranes where they exhibit antioxidant activity, scavenging free radicals that can damage cells.

While you may not like your mom’s Thanksgiving cranberry sauce (lord knows I don’t – sorry mom), you’re guaranteed to love this Ginger-Spiced Cranberry Pear Crisp!

Another great way to get “superfood power” without the restraints of seasonality is with a supplement. I recently discovered one from the Institute for Vibrant Living called Go Ruby Go! and I’ve been adding it to things like smoothies, juices, and banana froyo on days when I feel my nutrient intake has been lacking.

Superfood Drink

This ruby red powder has 42 different concentrated forms of fruits and vegetables so you can reap all of their various phytochemical benefits without eating a truckload of food.

It also contains only three grams of sugar, so despite its sweet taste, it doesn’t add a ton of calories to your day.

IVL is actually hosting a Health & Beauty Giveaway this month where you can win a 3-month supply of Go Ruby Go!, along with a bunch of their other awesome products. And to sweeten the deal — the winner also gets a new Fitbit Charge HR (you know how much I love mine).

Superfood Supplement GoRubyGo

Enter to win here!

 

*This post is sponsored by IVL but all opinions and photographs are my own.

Weigh In: What’s your favorite fall “superfood?”

Comments

  1. It is still pretty hot here too! Those are some of my favorite foods year round. I am excited to start creating recipes with them this month.
    Deborah @ Confessions of a Mother Runner recently posted…The Husband Project-Month 2 UpdateMy Profile

  2. That cranberry-pear crisp looks great, as does the roasted vegetables dish! I will add them to my recipe box. Thanks, Whitney!

  3. AS you know… Butternut squash… Pumpkin = My lovers. BUT SADLY…. My stomach can no longer take them (I haven’t eaten any since August 1 thanks to a hospital episode – ugh). I will definitely eat them for Thanksgiving (duh, ha ha) but as of the moment, I have to opt out of their delicious health benefits!
    GiGi Eats recently posted…Put It In Your Mouth: Frozen Meal Taste TestMy Profile

    • Whitney English says:

      Oh my goodness! So sorry to hear that 🙁 I know they are/were your favorite! Hopefully you can work them back in in the future!

  4. YAY! They are all favourites. I think cranberries are amazing and so versatile. I often add them to salads as well as sweeter foods.
    My favourite superfood would have to be zucchini. I just love everything about it!
    Krissy @ Pretty Wee Things recently posted…Pin Worthy Wednesday Link Up and a question for youMy Profile

  5. LOVE Brussels sprouts. I have to limit the amount I buy because I could eat bagfulls in one sitting. Too much of a good thing lol.

    • Whitney English says:

      Do you eat them raw?! I also try not to eat too many at once…for digestive reasons. A lot of fiber – you know 🙂

  6. About to enjoy a pear for a snack! Thanks for giving me extra reason to enjoy it!

  7. Aside from cranberries – we can’t really find them around here – I like having all of these in my diet in abundance, too. Just looking at the picture makes me crave Brussels sprouts.
    It’s hard to believe you’re still experiencing heat while it’s been coooold for weeks already here. Wanna swap places ;)??
    Miss Polkadot recently posted…Honest blogging [what it means to me]My Profile

Mentioned Elsewhere:

  1. Joint Blog says:

    Go Ruby Go 1 Mo

    […] like brussels sprouts) are also very high in this nutrient. A half cup serving o […]

  2. Liver Blog says:

    Go Ruby Go 1 Mo

    […] ery high in this nutrient. A half cup serving of the green vegetable provides ha […]

  3. Liver Blog says:

    Go Ruby Go 1 Mo

    […] ably think of oranges — but tons of other fruits and vegetables (like brussel […]

  4. Joint Blog says:

    Go Ruby Go 1 Mo

    […] think of oranges — but tons of other fruits and vegetables (like brussels spr […]

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