Health

15 best superfoods for fall

Updated 2006 GMT (0406 HKT) December 16, 2016
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The weather is getting cooler, but your produce choices are heating up. These amazing superfoods, picked by our friends at Health.com, are either hitting their peak in the garden or can easily be found in your local farmers market or grocery store. They're the perfect excuse to get cooking on cool nights! Verdina Anna/Getty images
Apples: Sweet or tart, apples are satisfying eaten raw or baked into a delicious dish. Just be sure to eat the skin; it contains heart-healthy flavonoids.

Health benefits include
• Full of antioxidants
• 4 grams of dietary fiber per serving

Harvest season: August to November
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Brussels sprouts: Made the correct way, these veggies taste divine. They have a mild, somewhat bitter taste, so combine them with tangy or savory sauces, like balsamic vinegar.

Health benefits include
• 1/2 cup contains more than your DRI of vitamin K
• Very good source of folate
• Good source of iron

Harvest season: September to March

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Parsnips: Though these veggies may resemble carrots, they have a lighter color and sweeter, almost nutty flavor. Use them to flavor rice and potatoes or puree them into soups and sauces.

Health benefits include
• Rich in potassium
• Good source of fiber
Harvest season: October to April
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Pears: The sweet and juicy taste makes this fruit a crowd-pleaser. Cooking can really bring out their fabulous flavor, so try them baked or poached.

Health benefits include
• Good source of vitamin C and copper
• 4 grams of fiber per serving

Harvest season: August to February

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Turnips: Tender and mild, these root vegetables are a great alternative to radishes and cabbage. To flavor these veggies, use fennel, bread crumbs or even brown sugar. Turnip leaves, which taste like mustard leaves, are easy to cook and dense in nutrients.

Health benefits include
• The roots are a good source of vitamin C
• Turnip leaves are an excellent source of vitamins A, K and folate

Harvest season: September to April
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Cauliflower: The sweet, slightly nutty flavor of cauliflower is perfect for winter side dishes. It's wonderful steamed, but it can also be blended to create a mashed potato-like texture or pureed into soup.

Health benefits include
• Compounds that may help to prevent cancer
• Phytonutrients may lower cholesterol
• Excellent source of vitamin C

Harvest season: September to June
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Squash: Unlike summer squash, winter squash has a fine texture and a slightly sweet flavor. Because of its thick skin, it can be stored for months. It tastes best with other fall flavorings, like cinnamon and ginger.

Health benefits include
• Contains omega-3 fatty acids
• Excellent source of vitamin A

Harvest season: October to February

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Pumpkin: A type of winter squash, pumpkin can be used for much more than jack-o'-lanterns. Its sweet taste and moist texture make it ideal for pies, cakes and even pudding!

Health benefits include
• Rich in potassium
• More than 20% of your DRI of fiber
• Good source of B vitamins
Harvest season: October to February
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Sweet potatoes: These veggies are for much more than Thanksgiving casseroles. They're more nutritionally dense than their white-potato counterparts. Try roasting them; they'll taste delicious, and you may maintain more vitamins than boiling.

Health benefits include
• Excellent source of vitamin A
• Good source of iron
• Anti-inflammatory benefits

Harvest season: September to December

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Rutabaga: A cross between a turnip and a cabbage, rutabagas are a popular Swedish dish. To utilize their earthy flavor, add them to casseroles, puree them with turnips and carrots to make a sweet soup or roast them with ginger, honey or lemon.
Health benefits include• Good source of fiber • Good source of vitamin C Harvest season: October to April
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Pomegranates: This slightly sour fruit has gotten a lot of press as an antioxidant powerhouse. The juice provides a tangy base for marinades, and the seeds can be tossed into salads to amp up the flavor.

Health benefits include
• A UCLA study showed pomegranate juice has higher antioxidant levels than red wine
• Good source of vitamin C and folate

Harvest season: August to December
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Dates: This Middle Eastern favorite is a sweet fruit that is perfect braised in stews, chopped up in desserts or stuffed with cream cheese or almonds.

Health benefits include
• Low in fat
• Good source of fiber
• Good source of potassium

Harvest season: September to December
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Kiwi: Use this sweet fruit to add a tropical flavor to your recipes. It's great mixed with strawberries, cantaloupe or oranges and can be combined with pineapple to make a tangy chutney.

Health benefits include• More vitamin C than an orange • Good source of potassium and copper
Harvest season: September to March

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Grapefruit: The signature tartness of grapefruit provides a contrast to other citrus fruit. Add it to mixed greens, combine it with avocado and shrimp or enjoy a fresh glass of its antioxidant-rich juice.

Health benefits include• More than 75% of your daily recommended intake of vitamin C • Good source of lycopene • Contains pectin, which has been shown to lower cholesterol
Harvest season: September to April
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Tangerines: The small and sweet citrus fruits are positively refreshing for fall recipes. Our favorite flavor combos include almonds, dates and honey. Juice them with oil, vinegar and ginger for a to-die-for dressing.

Health benefits include
• Good source of vitamin C
• Good source of beta-carotene

Harvest season: November to April
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