Trendy superfoods like goji and acai may be great for your health, but that doesn’t mean that they’re easy to track down at your local grocery store—or, perhaps more importantly, that they’re kind to your wallet. Luckily, fall is the season of easily accessible (and yes, affordable) superfoods that can do everything from stave off colds to give you gorgeous glowing skin. ‘Tis the season to reap the benefits! It’s never been easier to incorporate these fall superfoods into your diet ASAP.
This crunchy fruit packs in some serious benefits: One medium-sized apple contains four grams of fiber and 14 percent of your recommended daily serving of immune system-boosting vitamin C. Apples can also help support your workouts—they contain the antioxidant quercetin, which helps make oxygen more available to your lungs. Keep a bowl of them on your coffee table to double as a DIY decoration and a quick snack.
Not a big fan of oranges? Reach for cauliflower instead. Just one serving of the vegetable has 77 percent of your recommended daily vitamin C intake. It’s also packed with wrinkle-fighting antioxidants and a cancer-fighting compound called sulforaphane. Keep it chopped up in your fridge for a quick raw snack, or sear it with a touch of butter for a tasty side dish with lunch or dinner.
Butternut squash is full of good nutrients, like free radical-fighting carotenoids, skin-repairing vitamin A, and beta-carotene, which has been linked to a lower risk of developing breast cancer. Try it in a soup, or broil it and top it with cinnamon and a hint of butter for a sweet and savory treat.
According to a UCLA study, pomegranate juice has higher antioxidant levels than a glass of red wine. The fruit’s seeds also contain high levels of wrinkle-fighting flavonoids and polyphenols, as well as folate, which has been correlated with a lower risk of depression. Sprinkle pomegranate seeds on your salad to add a sweet crunch, or just nibble on them alone for a healthy snack.
Kale is packed with vitamins A, C, and E, and it’s easy to “hide” it in certain dishes, which makes it perfect for people who hate vegetables but want to eat healthy. The leafy green also contains manganese, iron, calcium, potassium, and sulforaphane, which has been linked to a lower risk of developing cancer. Throw a handful into a smoothie (you won’t even know it’s in there) or substitute it for lettuce in your salad.
They may be teeny, but one tangerine contains nearly 40 percent of your recommended daily intake of vitamin C. They’re also a great source of beta-carotene, which can help give your skin a glow and may stave off wrinkles. Carry one around in your bag for a quick, satisfying snack when you’re on the go.
Whether you eat it in pie, bread, or puree form, pumpkin is packed with nutrients. One cup of the stuff contains more than 10 percent of your daily recommended intake of fiber as well as your full daily intake of immune system- and skin-boosting vitamin A. Add pureed pumpkin to a smoothie for a rich flavor boost, or nosh on some seeds sprinkled with salt.
A cross between a turnip and a cabbage, one cup of rutabaga provides your daily recommended vitamin C intake. It’s also a great source of fiber and metabolism-boosting zinc. Rutabaga subs well for potatoes—chop it up and cook it in soup, or slice it into wedges and bake it in the oven like French fries.
Not only are Brussels sprouts loaded with fiber and vitamin C, but they’re also a great source of vitamin A, protein (a half of a cup of sprouts has two grams of it), iron, and potassium. Chop them up and sauté them with a little olive oil or butter for a delicious side dish with a nutty finish.
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