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The Best Superfoods to Enjoy During Fall & Winter (and How to Use Them!)

Updated: Oct 31, 2023




With the onset of Autumn, we usher in "cozy seasons" — the holidays are coming up, we’re feeling that nippy chill in the air, and we’re about to enjoy some sensational seasonal produce.


This time of year, it's good to focus on seasonal superfoods!! Superfoods are those foods that offer a extreme host of healthy benefits, from immune support (always top of mind, lately) to heart health to brain-boosting powers and so much more.


If you’re ready to supercharge the next several months, here are 12 superfoods that’ll keep you feeling merry and bright, regardless of what holidays you’re celebrating.


1. Elderberry

You’ve heard of elderberry syrup and seen the elderberry gummies in the supplement aisle, but have you tried eating (or drinking!) this delicious superfood in other ways?

Health Benefits:

Studies suggest that anti-inflammatory elderberries may help support heart health, and support your immune system (perfect for sick season).

When It’s In Season:

August to September harvest, but stored and enjoyed through the winter months.

How to Eat It:

Warning: Elderberries must be cooked! Do not eat them raw.

That said, when properly cooked, they are nutritious and delicious

Use them in:

Baked goods, such as muffins, pies, or crumbles

Try an elderberry tea for a soothing hot drink in the chilly weather

Infuse them into a mocktail or cocktail

Make them into a jam or syrup


2. Garlic

You’ll ward off more than vampires with garlic — it’s a powerful anti-viral that can help your body ward off pathogens, too! Plus, there’s even more to love: in Ayurveda, garlic is considered a winter miracle food that can ignite your digestive fire to benefit digestion and ease an upset stomach.

Health Benefits:

Garlic is anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, anti-viral, and full of vitamins B6 and C, manganese, selenium, iron, potassium, and copper.

When It’s In Season:

June to August, but stored and enjoyed through the winter months

How to Eat It:

Mix it into marinades and salad dressings

Add it sautéed to sauces

Drizzle it with olive oil and enjoy it oven-baked or grilled

Add it raw to fresh juices or wellness shots

Blend it into savory dips and spreads like hummus or guacamole


3. Ginger

What we call “nature’s Pepto Bismol” is a celebrated flavor over the holiday season — and beyond! Not only is ginger a gut health superstar, but it adds a touch of health to so many recipes.

Health Benefits:

Like garlic, ginger can also help support the immune system thanks to antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties — it’s a natural antiemetic (meaning it may help with nausea), soothes an upset stomach, and aids digestion.

When It’s In Season:

Year round in warmer climates.

How to Eat It:

Add ginger to a fresh juice or smoothie

Slice the root and add to a stir fry or Asian-inspired dish

Blend it into your holiday baking

Enjoy it as a ‘tea’ by boiling fresh ginger with water and honey.


4. Pomegranate

This antioxidant-loaded super-fruit is a wonder to behold and provides a bevy of benefits. What’s more, is that it’s simply delicious and makes a wonderful flavor for the holiday season.

Health Benefits:

May support healthy skin (thanks to anthocyanins, polyphenols, and vitamin C) and may help with heart health, urinary health, exercise endurance, and inflammation.

When It’s In Season:

October through January.

How to Eat It:

Plain, on its own

As a topping on yogurt or smoothie bowls

Mixed into salads

Infused or juiced into a cocktail (or mocktail)

Blended into smoothies or fresh juices


5. Cranberries

Tart and tangy cranberries are antioxidant superstars, and they’re just so darn festive.

Health Benefits:

You may already be familiar with this tangy fruit’s ability to support urinary tract health (they’re antibacterial!); A research study also found that cranberries may come with some cardiovascular health benefits.

When It’s In Season:

October through December.

How to Eat It:

Add to a smoothie or salad

Cook down into a sauce or spread

Bake into your holiday treats

Try a cold-pressed cranberry juice or homemade holiday cocktail


6. Brussels Sprouts

Is it even the holiday season if you’re not roasting Brussels sprouts? This starlet cruciferous veg is a veritable superfood and definitely warrants the hype.

Health Benefits:

Loaded with fiber, Brussels sprouts can help support healthy digestion while providing a small amount of protein and a ton of antioxidants.

When It’s In Season:

August through March.

How to eat it:

Roasted with a balsamic glaze

Sautéed or baked with other veggies (such as cubed sweet potato and cauliflower)

Air fried

Shredded in salads


7. Cauliflower

If you couldn’t get enough cruciferous veggies with Brussels sprouts, don’t worry — cauliflower is also in season. The versatility of cauliflower cannot be underscored enough; from rice to a smoothie bolster to a side dish and so much more, this is a jack-of-all-trades veg.

Health Benefits:

Rich in immune-supportive vitamin C, blood-boosting vitamin K, and digestive-enhancing fiber, as well as antioxidants!

When It’s In Season:

September through January.

How to Eat It:

Use it in tacos as a meat alternative

Try cauliflower rice in lieu of rice (and make a protein bowl!)

Make a grain-free cauliflower oatmeal bowl

Blend it in smoothies as a low-sugar thickening agent

Roast as a side dish with a simple seasoning

Try a cauliflower pizza crust


8. Sweet Potato

From a Thanksgiving mash to a sweet potato pie, there’s nothing quite as cozy and comforting as this richly-hued root veggie in the wintertime. You can even find varieties like sweet Japanese sweet potatoes or purple-fleshed sweet potatoes in season at the farmer’s market!

Health Benefits:

Can regulate appetite and blood sugar, aid digestion (thanks to fiber!), aid in healthy weight maintenance, and support vital organ function thanks to an astronomical amount of vitamin A and antioxidants.

When It’s In Season:

August through November.

How to Eat It:

Roasted into wedges or fries

Sliced, toasted, and topped with avocado as an alternative to toast

Mashed as an alternative to traditional potato mash

Sprinkled with cinnamon and enjoyed with yogurt as a dessert

In a hearty grain or buddha bowl


9. Beets

While you can enjoy beets year round in the grocery store, they see peak season in the late fall and winter months. This versatile, jewel-toned root can support so many aspects of your health — even the greens sprouted at the top have benefits!

Health Benefits:

High in iron, fiber, vitamin C, and vitamin B. Plus, the greens are full of calcium!

When It’s In Season:

November through February/March.

How to Eat It:

Make a beet hummus

Toss sliced beets into your salads

Pickle them

Make easy-prep veggie chips


10. Pears

Pears provide some of the most fiber you can find in a fruit (so they can help with digestion), while also boasting a wonderful nutrient profile.

Health Benefits:

Pears are rich in healthy flavonoids that may help support healthy blood pressure and cholesterol. Baked pears also make a delicious healthy dessert when you’re craving a sweet treat!

When It’s In Season:

August through October.

How to Eat It:

Plain, on its own

Chopped into a salad

Roasted into a baked dessert like muffins or pies

Blended into a smoothie or banana nice cream

Sliced on a charcuterie board


11. Grapefruit

Winter citrus is such a treat, isn’t it? And this fat-burning, metabolism-boosting fruit is chock-full of nutrients you’ll need all season long.

Health Benefits:

Super high in immunity-fortifying vitamin C and heart-healthy nutrients like potassium and lycopene.

When It’s In Season:

Year round, peak season November through May.

How To Eat It:

Plain on its own,

Fresh-pressed in a fruit and veggie juice

Broiled with honey and cinnamon

Chopped with other fruits

Combined with greens, avocado, and lean protein in a salad


12. Cinnamon

Less of a superfood and more of a super-spice, this flavor finds its groove in the wintertime.

Health Benefits:

Cinnamon may help curb sugar cravings, help support blood sugar, and may even boost metabolism and lower cholesterol.

When it’s in season:

Year round (it’s a bark!)

How to eat it:

Sprinkle cinnamon into your coffee or yogurt

Add to your favorite healthy desserts (or your favorite indulgent desserts!)

Mix it into your oatmeal or breakfast bowl

Make some cinnamon apple muffins




Try This Superfood-Filled Cool Weather Recipe!


Roasted Cauliflower & Chickpea Bowl



Serves: 4

Ingredients:

2 tbsp lemon juice, divided

4 tbsp olive oil, divided

8 cups mixed greens

½ tsp salt

1 tbsp ginger, grated

1 garlic

20 oz chickpeas, drained

½ sweet onion, sliced

¼ cup cilantro, chopped

1 tbsp curry powder

½ tsp black pepper

1 cauliflower, cut into florets

1 cup Greek yogurt


Directions:

Step #1: Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Toss together the cauliflower, chickpeas, onion, ginger, half the olive oil, curry powder, salt, and pepper.

Step #2: Place on a large baking sheet. Roast for 30 minutes, tossing halfway through, until cauliflower is tender and golden brown.

Step #3: Meanwhile, use the back of your knife to smash the garlic and salt into a paste. Add to the yogurt along with the cilantro, pepper, and half the lemon juice.

Step #4: Toss the greens with olive oil and the remaining lemon juice. Serve the roasted cauliflower and chickpeas with yogurt sauce over the greens.

BE WELL THIS HOLIDAY SEASON!!



 

Make your November your "NOW-vember."

Why wait until January to do something about your nutrition, wellness, and fitness habits? You deserve to do the things that support your wellbeing, regardless of what month it is.

The holiday season is not something to "survive" or come out the other side feeling guilty, sluggish, or out of control of your own choices!







 










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