If you are what you eat, then why not be super? Here are five superfoods, loaded with nutritional benefits, that are in season now. These foods are easy to find in the produce aisle of your neighborhood grocery store or local farmers market. Take a look to see why you should be putting these seasonal delights in your grocery basket and what to do with these fruits and veggies once you get them home.
Tasty raw or roasted, beets are loaded with nutrition. The colorful root veggie is high in folate, an important nutrient for expectant mothers to help prevent birth defects. Beets are also high in betaine, which works with folate to help reduce inflammatory compounds that can damage the arteries and increase risk of heart disease. Plus, the pigment that gives beets their crimson color has been identified as a potent cancer fighter.
A low-calorie (only 63 calories per cup), high-fiber food (almost 3g per cup), butternut squash ranks as one of our favorite foods of Fall. This Winter squash variety is quite high in vitamin A but also serves up a healthy dose of vitamin C and potassium.
Butternut squash can be cubed and steamed for a quick side dish, or can even be made into a delicious soup.
When in season, it seems a shame not to eat an apple a day. Recent studies show that daily apples can help lower LDL cholesterol levels and help with weight loss, too. Even though they add calories to your day (a medium apple is about 100 calories), apples help keep you full. The antioxidant quercetin helps to regulate blood sugar levels too.
Whether you like biting into a whole apple or, after slicing it, covering it with almond butter, make sure to eat the skin. The vitamin C content resides just under it. Try a baked apple for a warm and healthy dessert.
Brussels Sprouts are making a culinary comeback. It’s a low-calorie food (a half-cup contains 20 calories) and will also provide the recommended daily intake of vitamin K. It almost satisfies the daily requirement for vitamin C, and even contains some omega-3 fatty acids.
Brussels sprouts are great roasted with just a little bit of olive oil and make a wonderful side dish.
Although the flavor is considered tart, the pomegranate crosses the line of savory and sweet. Nutritionally speaking, the beautiful, juicy, and garnet-colored seeds inside are high in antioxidants that not only protect your blood lipids from the nasty act oxidation, but also help prevent plaque buildup on arteries. Pomegranates are also a great source of potassium. Studies at Duke found that the seedy fruit can prevent or alleviate heart disease, some cancers, and even Alzheimer’s.
Toss the seeds on your favorite greens and call it a salad, or add to a warm quinoa dish.