Fall in Love with Seasonal Superfoods

 What is a superfood? Superfoods—mostly fruits and vegetables—are rich in beneficial nutrients. While there may not be an official definition, many agree that superfoods are food with high levels of vitamins, nutrients, and many contain antioxidants that fight free radicals, which can harm your body, or are high in dietary fiber that helps reduce cholesterol.

Winter Superfoods
Buy superfoods in season when the quality is higher and prices are lower. Here are a few superfoods and why they they’re soooo good!

Cranberries: Contain resveratrol and proanthocyanidin, which contain antioxidants that may have anti-inflammatory agents and are show to help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Sweet Potatoes: Great source of vitamins A and C, fiber, and potassium
Winter Squash: High in fiber and a great source of vitamin A and carotenoids Carotenoids are yellow, orange, and red pigments synthesized by plants and are best absorbed by the body when combined with a fat in a meal. Chopping, puréeing, and cooking carotenoid-containing vegetables in oil generally increase the body’s ability to get the benefits from the nutrients. Beans: High in fiber and protein; also a good source of magnesium and potassium
Pumpkin: High in fiber and vitamin A
Kale: Low in calories and high in vitamins A, C, and K, plus manganese, potassium, and fiber
Parsnips: High in fiber, vitamin C, folate, and manganese
Pomegranates: High in flavonoids and tannins, and a good source of folate, potassium, and vitamin K

Superfood Nutrients
What nutrients make these foods super-duper? They contain the vitamins you need as part of a healthy diet.

  • Vitamin C: Helps heal wounds and aids in iron absorption
  • Vitamin K: Aids in digestion and blood clotting
  • Vitamin A: Protects against infections, as well as promotes eye and skin health

Ready to put all this nutrition into action? Try this recipe:

What’s up, Buttercup
Buttercup is a winter squash that is sweeter and creamier than other winter kinds and is a good source of fiber and vitamin C. This simple-to-make Baked Buttercup Squash recipe takes just minutes to prepare and 40 minutes to bake.

Baked Buttercup Squash
1 buttercup squash (approximately 2 lbs.)
1 tbsp. brown sugar
1 tbsp. butter
salt and pepper to taste

Cut squash in half and remove seeds. Place in baking dish cut side down in about 1 inch of water. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until tender. Remove from oven and fill each cavity with brown sugar, butter, and salt and pepper to taste. Continue to bake for 10 minutes. Other varieties of squash, such as acorn or delicata, can be substituted. Serves two.

PER SERVING: Calories–210, fat–3 g, saturated fat–2 g, calories from fat–9%, cholesterol–5 mg, protein–4 g, fiber–8 g, sodium–160 mg, carbohydrates–49 g

So remember, you can carve your pumpkin and eat it, too! How will you fall for these favorites this Autumn?

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