15 Best Fall Superfoods

October 29, 2014

  • Brussels sprouts contain sulfur-containing compounds called glucosinolates, which your body uses to make isothiocyanates. These activate cancer-fighting enzyme systems in your body.
  • Compared to other commonly consumed fruits in the US, apples rank second for highest antioxidant activity. However, they rank highest for the proportion of free phenolic compounds, which means they may be more easily absorbed into your bloodstream

  • Cauliflower contains sulforaphane, a sulfur compound that has been shown to kill cancer stem cells, thereby slowing tumor growth. Some researchers believe eliminating cancer stem cells may be key to controlling cancer.

  • Orange-colored sweet potatoes owe their appearance to the carotenoid beta-carotene. As an antioxidant, beta-carotene can help ward off free radicals that damage cells through oxidation, which can speed up aging and make you vulnerable against chronic diseases.

  • The primary source of pomegranate's benefits come from its antioxidant content, particularly ellagitannin compounds like punicalagins and punicalins, which account for about half of the pomegranate's antioxidant ability. It's also an excellent source of the antioxidant vitamin C, with one pomegranate providing about 40 percent of the daily requirement for this vitamin.

  • Turnips contain a type of phytonutrient known as indoles, which may help fight cancer. One type in particular, brassinin, has been shown to kill human colon cancer cells. Turnips are also rich in fiber. Just 100 calories' worth of turnips can give you 25-40 percent of your daily fiber requirement.

  • Rutabagas are rich in fiber and vitamin C (one cup contains 53% of the daily recommended value). Rutabagas are also members of the cruciferous family of vegetables, which are rich in antioxidants and anti-cancer phytonutrients. Rutabagas are also an excellent source of potassium, manganese, B vitamins, magnesium, and phosphorus.

  • Winter squash contains an impressive amount of vitamin K1 (not K2) – 457 percent of the daily value per serving. Vitamin A, a powerful antioxidant, is beneficial for your skin, vision, and mucous membranes and may protect against certain types of cancer. Squash is also rich in vitamin C, vitamin E, B vitamins, calcium, and magnesium.

  • Pumpkin is a type of winter squash but deserves special mention. It is an excellent source of carotenoids, including beta-carotene (which converts into vitamin A in your body). Pumpkin is also rich in fiber, with three grams in a one-cup serving, and you can consume the seeds, too, for additional benefits (like immune system and prostate support).

  • Parsnips are rich in nutrients like fiber, folate, potassium, and vitamin C. Eating foods rich in potassium is important because this nutrient helps offset the hypertensive effects of sodium. An imbalance in your sodium-potassium ratio can lead to high blood pressure and may also contribute to a number of other diseases, including heart disease and stroke.

  • Pears are rich in vitamin C and copper, and are on of the highest-fiber fruits (one medium pear contains about 5.5 grams of fiber). Fiber plays an essential role in your digestive, heart, and skin health, and may improve blood sugar control, weight management, and more.

  • Rich in phytonutrients that appear to protect human DNA from free-radical damage, kiwi is also an excellent source of antioxidant vitamins C and E, and beta-carotene. Kiwi is also a good source of fiber, potassium, magnesium, copper, and phosphorus

  • Grapefruits are an excellent source of vitamin C and also contain pantothenic acid, copper, vitamin A, fiber, potassium, biotin, and vitamin B1. Grapefruit is also a good source of the dietary fiber pectin and the carotenoid phytonutrient lycopene. Lycopene's antioxidant activity has long been suggested to be more powerful than other carotenoids such as beta-carotene.
  • Tangerines are rich in antioxidant flavonoids, vitamin C, vitamin A, folate, and potassium. They also contain the healthy fiber pectin and nobiletin, a citrus flavonoid that appears to prevent atherosclerosis and may also help prevent the buildup of fat in your liver.

  • Dates are a rich source of fiber and potassium, along with B vitamins, vitamins A and K, copper, magnesium, and manganese. There are also at least 15 minerals in dates, including selenium, along with protein, 23 types of amino acids and unsaturated fatty acids including palmitoleic, oleic, linoleic, and linolenic acids.

 

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October 29, 2014

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