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By Nadene Seiters

5 of the best superfoods for autumn

Autumn is coming, and so are the delicious superfoods that accompany it.

Fall is the time of year most people struggle to maintain their weight loss and their healthy eating habits. The holidays, with their frantic schedules and overly abundant meals, are beginning to creep up on us. Adding to our dilemma is the disappearing sunlight and colder days. All of this makes us more depressed, leading to stress eating and unhealthy choices.

Arming yourself with a list of superfoods, readily found at the grocery store, will help you maintain your weight loss and healthy eating habits and make you feel better overall.

1. Brussels sprouts

Some people love them, and others hate them, but there is no denying Brussels sprouts are one of the top autumn foods. Packed full of antioxidants, just a handful of Brussels sprouts will give you your daily amount of vitamin K and vitamin C. Together, vitamins K and C help support your immune system and keep your bones, blood and the rest of you healthy.

2. Sweet potatoes

Sweet potatoes contain a high amount of vitamin A, which is one of the powerhouses of the antioxidant world and is being studied to determine if it is able to prevent cancer. These properties alone make it an essential addition to a healthy diet.

It turns out there is more than one color of sweet potatoes. There are purple, white, yellow and orange varieties sold across the globe; however, the orange variety is the one with the most vitamin A.

Sweet potatoes can help keep your heart healthy and assist with maintaining your blood sugar and energy levels. They will keep your immune system and digestive tract in top shape for the upcoming holiday seasons and, as an added bonus, they help keep your skin looking great.

3. Cauliflower

Thankfully, some of the foods you consumed in your salads and vegetable side dishes over the summer are still in season during the fall months! Cauliflower is full of antioxidants and phytonutrients such as beta-carotene, vitamin C, quercetin and cinnamic acid, just to name a few. These antioxidants keep the free radicals at bay, so your body remains youthful and healthy for as long as possible.

4. Pumpkin seeds

Pumpkin seeds are a delicious snack for those who are craving something salty or sweet. However, do not buy your pumpkin seeds at the store. The best way to get pumpkin seeds that retain most of their nutrients is to purchase a pumpkin and take out the seeds before you let your kids make a jack-o-lantern. You can then roast the seeds at 170 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 to 20 minutes and sprinkle them with some sea salt or Himalayan salt to add flavor.

Pumpkin seeds are an excellent source of minerals and the antioxidant vitamin E. They also have high amounts of the monounsaturated fatty acid oleic acid, which helps lower bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol levels in the blood.

5. Spaghetti squash

People often overlook this vegetable, but it should be on your fall menu when freshly picked squash is available at your local grocery store. When cooked, this squash resembles spaghetti when it is shredded with a fork, which makes it a healthy, delicious alternative to pasta.

When compared to pasta, spaghetti squash is lightweight with only 10 grams of carbohydrates and 42 calories per serving. It also has more vitamin A, C, E and K than pasta, making it an abundant source of antioxidants as well.

These five superfoods should be added to your weekly menu to increase your antioxidant consumption. Eating foods rich in antioxidants on a daily basis keeps your body clean and healthy by ridding it of oxidants, the pesky free radicals that damage your organs and make you age quicker.

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