Fall is such a beautiful season, and there’s so much fun to look forward to on Halloween and Thanksgiving.
The change in temperature tells trees to shed their leaves, and luckily for us, it’s also time to bring in a harvest of autumn foods.
The fall is packed with superfoods that not only do you a world of good but taste amazing—who doesn’t love pumpkin pie?
Autumn Health Risks
As much as we all love the fall, there’s just one problem: it’s also cold and flu season!
Plenty of people come down with a cold or virus just as autumn gets underway, and we’re also still prone to hay fever from late-season pollen and mold spores that can affect breathing and trigger asthma.
What should be a glorious time of year can turn out to be a thoroughly miserable one, but all is not lost.
It’s possible to boost your body and mind naturally with healthy foods that fend off the autumn nasties.
Prevent Common Illnesses by Eating Fall Foods
Fall is the perfect time to up your intake of healthy foods.
Eating well at this time of year ensures that your immune system is in tip-top shape to fend off those cold and flu viruses before they destroy your Halloween plans and set you off on the wrong foot for winter.
Nature times these seasonal superfoods just as winter arrives, and that can’t be a coincidence. Many fall foods are packed with immune-system boosters and all the vitamins and minerals we need to keep well in winter.
Here are the top ten autumn healthy foods you need to start eating right now.
Eggplants are available for most of the year, but fall is when they’re in season and at their tastiest.
This cheerful purple veg is full of a compound called nasunin that protects brain cells and contains a chlorogenic acid that fights cancer, viruses, and helps lower cholesterol. Leave its skin on for a boost of immune-system-supporting magnesium, potassium, and antioxidants, too.
Eggplant is not always the most exciting food to eat, but its health properties mean you should try!
Add some to soups and stews, or slice and bake it in the oven. If you avoid oil and butter, then eggplants provide fiber without racking up calories.
Cranberries are a superfood and make a superdrink.
Those pretty little berries we string up as decorations are better off being eaten because they contain antioxidants, anti-inflammatories, and protect you against cancer.
Those of us who struggle with repeat bladder infections may find that consuming cranberries helps.
3. Butternut Squash
Butternut squash is loaded with beta-carotene, an essential nutritional element for healthy skin and eyes—both of which take a battering in the winter months.
Oranges and lemons get all the vitamin C credit, but butternut is actually full of vitamin C—plus, it keeps you feeling full due to the fiber content.
Butternut squash is great for your gut health, immune system, and good looks. Pop this inexpensive superfood in your shopping cart, eat the flesh and use the gourd to decorate. What a bargain.
These pretty little pink seeds are packed full of vitamin C, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatories that protect your heart health by preventing a buildup of fat in your arteries—something we’re all at risk of during autumn pie season.
Sprinkle some pomegranate seeds on cereal, yogurt, or oatmeal to keep those arteries clear and your immune system in top form.
It wouldn’t be fall without a pumpkin or two.
Pumpkin is an excellent source of vitamin A, which is essential for good eyesight and skin. Pumpkin also contains the immune-system boosters zinc, magnesium, iron, and the vitamin B complex. It’s packed with antioxidants and it has a low GI, so diabetics can indulge.
Really, we should eat pumpkin all year round because it’s so healthy. Don’t forget to eat the seeds, too!
6. Broccoli Rabe
Broccoli rabe is a delicious seasonal green with way more zinc and minerals than plain old broccoli.
Zinc has a beneficial effect on your immune system’s ability to fight off the germs and viruses that autumn brings. It’s also packed with fiber to boost your bowel health.
Onions and other similar veggies, such as leeks and garlic, strengthen your immune system because they are full of selenium, zinc, and vitamin C.
They also contain a compound called quercetin, which is an antioxidant, antiviral, and has a dampening effect on seasonal hay fever.
Bobbing for apples is a traditional fall game that you should encourage.
Apples are cheap, plentiful, and seasonally delicious in autumn—and they are so good for you. Apples are full of antioxidants as well as vitamin C that boosts your immune system. They also contain pectin that feeds gut bacteria and fights cholesterol.
9. Brussels Sprouts
They are the bane of childhood roast dinners, but grown-ups have nothing to fear from the humble Brussels sprout.
Brussel sprouts are mini cabbages packed full with iron that prevents anemia, vitamins C and K, and let’s not forget all that fiber.
Yes, they can give you gas and indigestion if you eat lots, so the best way is to eat a few several times a week.
Beets are underrated superfoods packed full of betalains that have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. They also have plenty of vitamins and minerals that boost your immune system.
Beets make an interesting change from potato-based dinners, and children enjoy staining their tongues red with the juice—perfect for Halloween vampires.
Try slicing boiled beets into a warm crusty roll.
Remember to Eat Healthy Foods This Fall
Don’t let common illnesses ruin all the fun this fall. Stock up on autumn’s healthy foods and fight off those seasonal nasties.
You can boost your chances of staying healthy by washing your hands regularly to dislodge germs, drinking plenty of water to flush out invaders, and getting as much fresh air as possible, too.
Staying well during autumn means you can enjoy those fun family moments and really get into the spirit of Halloween, Thanksgiving, and the run-up to Christmas.