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Folasade Onadiji
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fonadiji@houstonmethodist.org
 

4 superfoods for the fall season

Houston, TX - 9/23/2013

Autumn is approaching fast and that means a new crop of seasonal nutrient-dense fruit and vegetable "superfoods" will soon be harvested. Superfoods increase our overall wellness and nutrition, and help support a healthy lifestyle.

"Superfoods are brimming with nutrients and antioxidants," said Kari Kooi, registered dietician at Houston Methodist Hospital. "The benefits of adding them into your everyday meals are numerous. A nutritious diet can really have a positive impact on both your physical and mental health.

4 superfoods for the fall season
4 superfoods for the fall season

Here are Kooi's top four superfoods to incorporate into your daily meals:

  • Pumpkins: Pumpkins earn superfood status because they are rich in beta-carotene (the same nutrient found in carrots) which turns into vitamin A, also known as the vision vitamin. They are versatile and can be added into just about anything. If you like pumpkin pie, stir a little pumpkin puree into your oatmeal and add some pumpkin pie spice for a healthier alternative. Pureed pumpkin mixed with vanilla Greek yogurt also makes a tasty pumpkin pudding.
  • Pumpkin Seeds: The seeds of a pumpkin are a superfood powerhouse all on their own. They have heart healthy fat, protein, and fiber. They also have a lot of minerals like magnesium, which aids in bone health, and iron, which helps deliver oxygen to our cells. Try roasted pumpkin seeds, which can be eaten shell and all, for a healthy snack during the day. 
  • Pomegranates: Pomegranates have been celebrated for centuries for a reason - they are extremely rich in antioxidants. However, many people don't buy them because they don't know how to eat them. Get around this tricky fruit by simply cutting it in half and submerging it in water. Allow the pith to float to the top and the arils to pop out and enjoy.
  • Kiwis: Kiwis have a "tutti fruity" taste, with flavors reminiscent of different fruits like strawberries, melons, pineapples, bananas, and citrus. They also have a lot of fiber and a whopping amount of Vitamin C, which makes them a great superfood. To enjoy a kiwi on-the-go, try cutting it in half and scooping the flesh out with a spoon.
  • To speak with Kooi, contact Folasade Onadiji at fonadaiji@houstonmethodist.org or 832.667.5886. For more information on Houston Methodist, call 713.790.3333 or visit www.HoustonMethodist.org. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.