5 Fall Superfoods You Should Be Eating

A new season of disease-fighting food

5 Fall Superfoods You Should Be Eating

As the leaves hit the ground and the air becomes crisper, many of us mourn the end of the summer produce season. But fear not — a new season of fresh food is upon us. Fall is full of fruits and veggies that are as delicious as they are full of disease-fighting nutrients

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1. Pumpkin

Most of us associate pumpkins with Halloween, but studies have shown that this superfood may actually have antimicrobial properties. For example, a 2009 study found that pumpkin rind proteins put a scare in certain microbes, inhibiting the growth of Candida albicans, a fungus that causes vaginal yeast infections and diaper rash. Pumpkins are also loaded with superpower pigments called carotenoids. Found in many red and orange foods, these compounds have been shown to help improve health, including decreasing the overall risk for breast cancer.

2. Sweet potatoes

The orange flesh of sweet potatoes contains a powerful antioxidant called beta-carotene, known to help protect the body from oxidative damage, a major source of stress on the body. For example, oxidative damage is one of the main culprits in many types of cancer.

3. Pomegranates

Prostate cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer-related death among men. What if you could reduce your risk of developing prostate cancer by consuming a fall favorite? A 2010 study found that components in pomegranate juice actually helped to inhibit the movement of cancer cells by weakening their attraction to a chemical signal that promotes the spread of cancer.

4. Apples

An apple a day may help keep heart attacks away. A 2012 study showed that consumption of an apple a day for a period of four weeks lowered lousy LDL cholesterol, the type of “bad” cholesterol that has been linked to increased risk of heart attack and stroke.

5. Brussels sprouts

Don’t let their small size fool you — these cruciferous veggies pack a big punch against several forms of cancers. Consumption of cruciferous vegetables has been linked to increased survival in breast cancer patients and even may help with treatment for patients with Leukemia.

Alyssa Tyler contributed to this post.

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Kristin Kirkpatrick, MS, RD, LD

Kristin Kirkpatrick, MS, RD, LD, is a registered dietitian and wellness manager for the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute.
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