Fruits and vegetables reduce the risk of CHD, stroke, and some cancers. They're low in calories, which helps prevent obesity, says Isabel Maples, RDN.
What is a superfood anyway?
The widespread praise enjoyed by this autumnal fruit is well-deserved, as it is loaded with the filling and digestive-friendly nutrient known as fibre. Additionally, you get quercetin, an antioxidant and cancer-fighting compound, according to Maples.
"Pears are an excellent source of fibre; one provides one-quarter of our daily needs," says Maples. A Harvard study of nearly 200,000 men and women found that anthocyanin-rich foods, like pears, lower the risk of diabetes. If a pear's neck is firm, it's ripe, says Maples.
Sweet potatoes fight chronic inflammation with vitamin A and iron. Maples recommends eating skin to boost fibre intake. After roasting, add them to a salad, grain bowl, or side dish.
You'll see pumpkin everything in the fall, but avoid pumpkin spice products. Fiber and beta-carotene are in fresh produce. Roast, purée, can, or eat fresh pumpkin. Cinnamon adds sweetness; curry powder adds savoriness.
Roast the root and sauté the leaves. Beet nitrates can lower blood pressure and help you recover from a workout, says Maples. One study found that beet juice can prevent fatigue in runners.
This juicy fruit is high in polyphenols that protect cells from free radicals, while also offering folate and vitamin C. Studies show the seeds or arils can help control blood pressure and offer better muscle recovery post-workout.