As the cooler weather sets in, a new wave of seasonal and vibrant produce makes its way into our favorite hearty dishes, like casseroles, stews, and soups. There are a multitude of nutrient-rich options that fall offers, acting as powerful allies in our quest to shed weight. Here are 5 healthy fall foods that are perfect for your grocery list, alongside some suggestions on how to utilize them and tips to make prep a breeze to help you trim down this season.
5 Nutrient-Rich Healthy Fall Foods to Savor This Season
There’s nothing quite like a juicy pomegranate during the autumn months! You can buy just the arils to toss into salads, cereal bowls, stir-fries, yogurt, oatmeal, and more. An excellent source of fiber, pomegranates pack 4 grams of fiber per half-cup, along with antioxidants called polyphenols, which are primarily found in plants and linked to numerous health benefits. Moreover, pomegranate juice can be a fantastic mixer for fall beverages and a flavorful addition to your dressings, sauces, or syrups. Healthy fall foods like these are champions at fighting free radicals—unstable molecules that can cause harm to our bodies over time.
Sweet potatoes are the comfort food of choice for a healthy fall foods menu. Not only do they add a pop of color to your plate, but they’re also loaded with vitamins A and C, potassium, fiber, and antioxidants. Integrate some sweet potato puree into your meatballs, bake a pie, or whip up a casserole… The options are endless. For a quick cooking method, try microwaving your sweet potatoes for 6 to 8 minutes instead of baking them.
From butternut to zucchini, there’s a plethora of squash varieties, each with a unique flavor profile and culinary uses. When considering healthy fall foods rich in nutrients, swap out your regular bowl of spaghetti with spaghetti squash, or even combine the two. Roasted and caramelized butternut squash is delightful on its own, puréed into a soup, or tossed as a nutrient-rich topping over salads, savory oatmeal bowls, or yogurt.
Of course, our healthy fall foods list must have an earthy-tasting vegetable! Beyond its flavor, beets provide several antioxidants and micronutrients such as folate, manganese, potassium, and copper. They’re also heart-healthy, thanks to their dietary nitrates, which get converted into nitric oxide. Nitric oxide helps manage various vascular responses, including blood pressure. Moreover, the increased oxygen uptake makes beets a fabulous food for athletes. Blend beets into hummus, smoothies, sandwiches, or salads.
Cranberries are packed with a range of plant compounds and antioxidants, as well as fiber, manganese, vitamin E, and vitamin C. They’re the fruits most abundant in proanthocyanidins, which are thought to provide protection against microbial pathogens. Beyond crafting cranberry sauce, feel free to add fresh or frozen cranberries to the mix. These healthy fall foods also make a fantastic topping for your oatmeal porridge, smoothies, salads, or yogurt. These could greatly boost your meal—healthy and tangy!
Embrace these nutrient-dense, healthy fall foods this season for their exceptional benefits and flavors that define autumn’s culinary essence—your silhouette will thank you!