cranberries

3 Fall Foods with the Most Nutritional Benefits

Dr. Shaun Kennedy, ND, assistant professor of nutrition at Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine in Tempe, outlines which fresh, seasonal foods to add into your diet with the new season. While everyone is excited for all things pumpkin spice, consider picking up one of these nutritious fall foods on your next shopping trip.

Sprouted Pumpkin Seeds

You may already enjoy toasted pumpkin seeds as a fall snack, but sprouted pumpkin seeds are even better for you. Pumpkin seeds, like other nuts and seeds, contain phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors which can’t be digested and even block your body from absorbing minerals. Sprouting reduces the levels of enzyme inhibitors which makes the seeds better to digest and easier for the body to absorb the many nutrients including zinc, magnesium and fiber. You can find sprouted pumpkin seeds at many natural food stores.

Fresh Cranberries

Not only do cranberries pack a flavorful punch, they’re packed with nutrients, too. They have a tremendous antioxidant capacity, even more than raspberries and blackberries, with vitamin C being one of the most predominant antioxidants. In addition, they’re a rich source of manganese, vitamin E, vitamin K1 and copper. Raw cranberries also have a very low glycemic load, a measure of impact on our blood sugar, which means that they’re slowly digested and absorbed, resulting in a slower and smaller rise in blood sugar levels. They can be tart on their own, so try incorporating them into other foods like oatmeal for a nutritious and tasty meal.

Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti squash may be known for being a lower carbohydrate alternative to pasta, but it also has a variety of important nutrients. It’s low in calories and high in fiber, vitamin C, manganese and vitamin B6. In addition, spaghetti squash also has a good ratio of omega 3 to omega 6 fatty acids. It’s extremely versatile and can be used as a simple swap for your favorite pasta recipe, incorporated into casseroles and much more.

There are many more seasonal fruits and vegetables that are great for our bodies, but consider this list as starting point to find nutrient-dense foods that you love and are easy to incorporate into your life.

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