Fall is such an incredible time of year. The weather is beautiful, air is crisp and clean, and some of the season’s best foods can be found abundantly at every produce stand, farm, and supermarket nationwide. Fall produce can be used to create incredibly simple, yet such satisfying meals and even be done on a budget at that. Fall and winter foods also provide comfort and warmth to the body during the time of year we need it the most.

Fall foods are also incredibly healthy for you. They’re bursting with vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants, and some even contain a little protein on top of that! Next time you go grocery shopping, avoid buying seasonally flavored foods like pumpkin cookies or apple spice donut holes. While those might seem fun and they’ll surely be tasty, they won’t provide you with real nutrients that satisfy you or benefit you for the long haul. Eat more of these whole, healthy fall foods and add them to your grocery carts as much as possible all fall long!

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1. Pumpkin

No fall menu would be complete without a little pumpkin here and there, right? Pumpkin is a rich source of soluble fiber, which reduces cholesterol and is also a great source of water, iron, magnesium, Vitamin C, and potassium. It’s also rich in Vitamin A which has even been linked to breast cancer and heart disease prevention. Pumpkin is a fantastic digestive aid, mood enhancer, and natural anti-bloating food. Add pureed pumpkin to your meals or roast a whole pumpkin to add to your dishes. Don’t throw away the seeds though – they’re a fantastic source of protein, iron, magnesium, and B vitamins. Try some pumpkin and pumpkin seeds in a fall smoothie, a pumpkin veggie burger, or a delicious pumpkin soup.

2. Beets

Beets are rich in folate (Vitamin B9), which is a critical nutrient needed for healthy brain function and blood flow. Folate is especially important for healthy growth in children and for women who are pregnant. Beets are also packed with fiber, potassium, and magnesium. They’re excellent for cleansing the digestive tract, enhancing oxygen production in the body, and keeping the liver healthy. They’re commonly known as a detox food because they contain specific compounds that help fight toxins and prevent inflammation. You can pan roast beets whole or chopped, use them raw in salads and even smoothies, or pickle them and make fermented veggies. Try these 10 Simple Beet Recipes for Fall for even more ideas.

3. Kale

Kale is a superfood everyone knows and loves these days and fall is one of the best times to find fresh, organic kale at farmers markets nationwide. Kale is a rich source of magnesium, iron, protein, potassium, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, certain B vitamins, and chlorophyll. Check out all the awesome ways we like to eat kale and try one of our recipes!

4. Sweet Potatoes

These beautiful, bright-glowing tubers are some of the best foods on the planet! High in magnesium, Vitamin B6, potassium, Vitamin A, and Vitamin C, sweet potatoes are truly a phenomenal food. They help keep you full, stabilize the blood sugar, and contain three times the fiber found in white potatoes. Try this amazing Glow Bowl with Baked Sweet Potatoes with Pesto Pasta, Tomatoes, and Pumpkin Seeds. Nothing says fall better than that!

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5. Apples

We can’t have a fall-inspired grocery cart without some apples, now can we? Apples are some of the best fruits for you since they contain high amounts of soluble fiber known as pectin, which reduces cholesterol and keeps you full. Foods rich in pectin may also help you lose weight since they lower your blood sugar and ward off hunger. Apples also contain a good dose of Vitamin C, potassium, and antioxidants that keep your skin and heart healthy. Try these 24 apple-inspired recipes to add some natural sweetness to all your fall-inspired dishes! Just be sure to buy your apples organic however possible, since they’re one of the worst foods to contain pesticides in conventional form.

6. Celery

It may seem like a boring diet food, but celery is anything but boring when it comes to nutrition and versatility. Celery isn’t just low in calories or made for munching on raw. This superfood is packed with water, B vitamins, calcium, phosphorus, fiber, magnesium, natural electrolytes like sodium and potassium,  and contains specific compounds that enhance your bones.  Use celery in your morning green juice or smoothie, or dice it up and add it to an awesome vegan wrap with hummus.  Celery’s also not just for you, but even for your dog too!

7. Spinach

Spinach is also an amazing fall food to take advantage of. Though we’re accustomed to using it all-year round, there’s nothing like fresh, farm-grown spinach to enjoy during the fall season. Spinach is packed with protein, it tastes delicious, it’s rich in iron, B vitamins, magnesium, chlorophyll, and Vitamins  A and C. These nutrients keep your blood pressure and blood sugar healthy, provide energy to the body, and help prevent acidity and inflammation. Try these tasty 10 ways to cook with spinach if you’re looking for more ideas than smoothies and salads.

8. Pomegranates

Pomegranates are rich in antioxidants that protect your heart and increase oxygen in the body, which can help enhance arterial blood flow. The seeds in pomegranates are also packed with fiber and contain natural anti-inflammatory agents. This Pomegranate Quinoa Porridge is a great, gluten-free breakfast idea that’s full of fiber, antioxidants, and protein to help you start your morning off right.

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Pack your grocery cart out with some of fall’s finest foods! Other great options include: pears, squash, arugula, oranges, parsnips, carrots, turnips, and onions. Eating more whole, plant-based foods such as these will keep your body and brain happy all year long. Why not start with one of the best seasons of the year to kick things off?

Image Source: Pomegranate Seeds: Health Benefits, Tips, and Recipes

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