7 Fantastic Fall Foods You Should Be Eating

Autumn’s arrival signals a whole new lineup of produce that’s just waiting to be snacked on, cooked with, and baked. These fabulous fall foods create delightful dishes but also deserve praise for the many health benefits they provide. The antioxidants, nutrients, vitamins, and minerals found in these amazing autumn foods play a key role in bone and heart health while ensuring your immune and nervous systems function at an all-star level. Curious about which produce should be making your must-eat list? Here’s a look at 7 of fall’s finest foods.

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Apples

Autumn brings an array of amazing produce, but apples are arguably the best of the best. You can bake apples into almost any type of dessert, including pies, crisps, and tarts, and can easily incorporate them into cooked dinner dishes, as well. While you are using apples to create marvelous meals, sweet treats, and stunning snacks, you’re also ensuring your body gets a healthy dose of vitamins and nutrients.

According to Women’s Health, apples are rich in antioxidants, including vitamin C, which keeps your immune system running at its very best. Crisp and crunchy apples also help with weight loss and fighting heart disease. “Numerous epidemiological studies have associated apples with a decreased risk of chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease and asthma. Apples are also a good source of fiber, which can promote regularity and assist with weight loss,” Maxine Smith, a registered dietitian, told U.S. News & World Report.

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Pumpkin

Pumpkins are a fall must-have, and they’re not just for carving funny-looking faces. Pumpkin is extremely healthy. In fact, the low-calorie food can contribute to weight loss, per Shape. It embodies all things healthy: pumpkins are chock-full of fiber, vitamins, and minerals, and contain beta-carotene, an antioxidant.

If you’re ready to give pumpkin a shot, you can munch on it fresh or from a can and still reap the exact same benefits. Unsure of just what to do with it? Shape suggests mixing one-fourth cup of canned pumpkin with cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, and raw almonds for a super tasty and unbelievably healthy snack. You can also make mouth-watering soups, sides, and desserts, so be sure to take some time to experiment with palatable pumpkin recipes this fall.

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Grapes

Red and purple grapes are in their prime during fall. If you’re looking for a healthy snack, this sweet fruit is a great choice; its benefits are endless. According to U.S. News & World Report, grapes are full of flavonoid compounds, which help your blood vessels function properly while decreasing oxidative stress and inflammation. Simply put, the flavonoids in grapes are good for your heart and promote healthy aging, per U.S. News & World Report.

Like many of fall’s other fantastic foods, you can snack on grapes as they are, or you can easily put a few in a salad. If you’re looking for a simple grape recipe to prepare, try Real Simple‘s unbelievably easy dish for roasted grape and ricotta crostini. Toss some whole red grapes with olive oil, fresh thyme sprigs, salt, and pepper and roast at 450 degrees Fahrenheit until their skins burst, 7 to 9 minutes. Slather slices of grilled country bread with ricotta, top with the grapes, and drizzle with olive oil; season with salt and pepper. Just like that, you’ve got an elegant midday snack.

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Squash

Squash is exceptionally tasty and unbelievably nutritious. EatingWell states that one cup of cooked squash contains 214 percent of the recommended daily value for vitamin A and provides a third of your recommended daily dose of vitamin C. One cup only contains 80 calories, which is far better than most foods that are labeled as starchy. To compare, one cup of sweet potato would contain 180 calories. Looking for recommendations on a type of squash to try? Butternut squash is bursting with nutritional benefits.

According to Whole Living, butternut squash is low in fat, high in dietary fiber, and packed with nutrients. It also contains potassium, which is great for bone health, and vitamin B6, which is great for your nervous and immune systems. Additionally, squash’s bright coloring signals another key health indicator: Its colors show it is brimming with carotenoids, which can help to prevent heart disease, Whole Living explains. Feel free to sit down to a satisfying squash supper — it’s doing your body a world of good!

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Beets

Contrary to popular belief, beets are rich in flavor and are surprisingly scrumptious. They are bountiful in fall, making it the perfect time to give them a shot. Both red and yellow beets are in season, and there’s certainly plenty you can do with them in the kitchen. U.S. News & World Report writes that you can roast beets, put them over salads, or even turn them into a savory soup. If you’re really feeling creative, you can incorporate them into your baked goods. Using beets for baking can make a mean muffin!

While you’re experimenting with this tasty autumn food, you’re also delivering your body a hearty dose of several key nutrients. Beets are high in antioxidants and are filled with fiber and vitamin C. They also contain plenty of potassium and folate, according to U.S. News & World Report. Potassium plays a key role in ensuring your brain, nerves, heart, and muscles function normal and on a consistent basis, so don’t bypass that plate of beets!

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Brussels sprouts

Here’s another fall food you should be eating a lot of. According to Women’s Health, Brussels sprouts contain a noteworthy amount of iron, which helps your body form red blood cells. This vegetable is also great for your bone health, thanks to its vitamin K. If that isn’t enough to get you on board the Brussels sprouts bandwagon, then you should certainly eat it for the vitamin C, a nutrient that boosts your immune system, per Women’s Health.

There are tons of ways to cook with this green veggie, and it goes well with almost everything. For an easy start, toss a few on a salad. If you’re hoping for something that’s a little more creative, trying grilling, baking, or cooking with them. In fact, all you have to do is toss a few into a casserole, and no one will even know they’re eating it.

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Pears

Not only does biting into a satisfyingly sweet pear taste good, but it’s also really healthy for you. Health writes that pears are a solid source of Vitamin C and copper, which may help prevent some cancers, and include 4 grams of fiber per serving. The fruit is also packed with boron, a nutrient that helps your body retain calcium, in addition to cholesterol-lowering fiber, according to Women’s Health.

Pears taste even better when you cook with them, and you’ll be amazed at their fragrance and flavors when you bake or poach them. Nothing is off limits when it comes to preparing pears. Breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and desserts can all include this sweet fruit. If you’re looking for a basic recipe, whip up a salad that includes spinach, goat cheese, and pears, Health suggests. It’ll taste so good, you won’t be able to believe it’s healthy.

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