There’s so much to love about fall, which we’ve gone on and on about recently. Sorry to sound like a broken record, but it’s true—there is a lot of enjoy this time of year. In addition to leaf peeping, apple picking, and a general feeling of coziness, one big win for fall is all the amazing foods that are begging to be eaten this time of year. Whether you’re a pumpkin spice evangelist, butternut squash’s number one fan, or a firm believer that apple should be in every dish, there’s pretty much something in season for every palate. Personally, I consider myself a summer-all-the-time-please type of person, but even I can be swayed by roasted veggies, a bowl of hearty soup, and apple crisp.
And fall is great for healthy eating, too—think of all those in-season veggies, which are rich in superfoods. “They are ‘super’ because of the amount of health benefits from various nutrients and phytochemicals (non-nutritive plant compounds) that they provide,” says Yasi Ansari, MS, RD, CSSD, a national spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “There is evidence that shows a diet rich in phytochemicals can decrease chronic disease risk and support longevity.”
Amy Shapiro, MS, RD, CDN, founder and director of Real Nutrition, also sees fall as good time to rethink how you’re preparing your food. You might have craved crisp and cooling salads during the summer, but when the weather gets cooler, you might gravitate toward warmer, comforting dishes. “Roast your vegetables and season with turmeric, rosemary, pepper, garlic, cumin etc.,” she recommends. “I like to refer to seasonings as nature’s sprinkles! Seasonings and spices have a warming effect in our bodies, not to mention, the more flavor your meal has from seasonings, the more satiating and satisfying it is.”
So what exactly should you be adding to your cart this fall? Take a look below for the healthiest picks of the season.