Fall Fare: The Healthiest Foods to Eat This Season

Autumn delivers some of the tastiest treats of the year, which can make staying healthy tough at times. But don’t you worry, because lucky for us, there’s plenty of fall fare to go around that doesn’t require stretchy pants and over-sized sweaters. That’s right, autumn is in full swing. And that means it’s high time you start taking advantage of all the edible goodies the season has to offer.

You’ve already been to the apple orchard and pumpkin patch (it is fall, after all). So if you’re ready to move past the quintessential classics and kick the season into high-flavored gear, look no further. Here are our top picks for the healthiest foods you can eat this fall.

1. Brussels sprouts

Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts | iStock.com

Brussels sprouts can be so good, even people with an aversion to anything green find them palatable. They’re also loaded with nutrition. Medline Plus explains they’re packed with vitamins C and K, and they can help support your immune system. The veggies even promote blood and bone health. And possibly one of the most appealing traits of these little suckers is their versatility. Brussels sprouts can be doctored up to deliver dishes high in flavor, but low in fat. And roasting them with a bit of bacon is always a good move.

2. Spaghetti squash

spaghetti squash with sauce on plate

Spaghetti squash | iStock.com

If you’re a pasta lover, you should know a bowl of spaghetti squash is every bit as good for calming a carb craving as a plate of noodles. Everyday Health says the squash has a fraction of the carbs and calories of regular pasta, allowing you to slurp up each and every stringy noodle guilt-free. The fruit is hard when raw, but its flesh easily falls away in spaghetti-like ribbons when cooked. And on the inside, you’ll find large seeds, which are great for roasting (much like pumpkin seeds).

Additionally, spaghetti squash is rich in folic acid, potassium, vitamin A, and beta carotene. If you’ve never tried it before, now’s the time. Simply cook it up, scrape it out, and toss with your favorite sauce, such as pesto, and you’ll be able to kick a carb craving in a seriously healthy way.

3. Parsnips

raw parsnips on cutting board with knife

Parsnips | iStock.com

Similar to carrots in size and shape, parsnips are a cream-colored root vegetable typically harvested after the first frost of the season. Their sweet-tasting nature makes  parsnips a great substitute for mashed potatoes. These root veggies, which are high in fiber, provide great health benefits in the way of digestion. According to SFGate, parsnips are chock-full of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. And because they have a low glycemic load, they’ll provide you with lasting energy.

4. Cauliflower

sauteed cauliflower in a skillet

Cast-iron skillet filled with cauliflower | iStock.com

As a member of the cruciferous vegetable family, cauliflower serves as yet another tasty, healthy side to any fall meal. Possibly the most impressive superpower of this veggie is its potential cancer-staving abilities. Studies have shown the protective effects of broccoli sprouts against cancer, thanks to a compound called sulforaphane, which is also found in cauliflower. Researchers think it may help fight cancer cells in a way that could prove useful in the future. Additionally, SFGate notes cauliflower is high is vitamin C and vitamin K. Roast it, simmer it in a soup, or just enjoy some raw florets dipped in hummus.

5. Beets

beets on table with knife

Beets | iStock.com

Unfortunately for them, it seems beets are sometimes considered a less-than-desirable food. And sure, when put up against the reigning fall favorite — pumpkin, of course — it’s no wonder beets don’t make a starring appearance all that often. But it’s time to take a stand, and start incorporating these bad boys into your weekly meals.

Beets come with some serious health benefits. They are high in antioxidants, fiber, and vitamin C. And, while this tidbit doesn’t exactly serve as a major health pro, beets have the highest sugar content of all vegetables. But this sweet flavor makes them super delicious. If you’re not too keen on chowing down on the whole food, give beet juice a try. Even in liquid form, beets have some serious power.