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15 Healthiest Fall Flavors

The glorious season of soup pots, slow cookers and casseroles is upon us and we are all for packing autumnal flavor into every mouthwatering bite. From the main course and side dishes, to desserts and hot sips—autumn has its own menu indeed! 

On full display is the color palette of red, orange, yellow and brown, not only in foliage, but in the in-season selection of foods and spices we look forward to most. Sure, many fall ingredients are available year-round, but they’re pure magic this time of year.

Fall’s favorite flavors also happen to be loaded with nutrients that do a body good, such as fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, and in some cases, even protein and good-for-you fats.

So, get to know 15 of autumn’s healthiest flavors and dish up, friend. Because with so many flavors and textures to work with, you’ll want to incorporate as many of them as you can into your weekly menu rotation.

Fall’s most iconic flavors are health powerhouses

This festive staple is not just for carving or decorating. It’s also great for roasting, baking or whipping up delectable soups and side dishes.

Pumpkins are extraordinarily high in beta-carotene, a yellow-orange carotenoid that your body converts to vitamin A, making it the perfect food for skin and eyes. It’s also a good source of vitamin B2, C and E, and minerals including iron, copper, manganese and potassium.

Part gourd and part melon due to its large seeds, pumpkins have low perishability, making it a practical cooking ingredient. Instead of dumping the seeds, roast them to add protein, fiber and good fat crunch to soups, salads, breads and muffins. The rich, fresh flavor will beat store-bought seeds any day!

To get started, try our delicious Spiced Pumpkin Muffins packed with all the good stuff. They freeze perfectly, so make a double batch! 

If you’re lucky enough to live in northern states in the east or west, then you know that apples—and apple-picking—are an autumn experience. Every region offers its own unique varieties that vary in sweetness and acidity to fit any recipe or taste preference. 

Apples are high in immune-boosting vitamin C, which is absolutely essential during the cold and flu season. Vitamin C is also a powerful antioxidant that fights free radicals, and is a co-factor in collagen production.

In addition to vitamin C, apples contain potassium to support healthy muscle function and blood pressure balance, as well as pectin, a fermentable fiber that helps lower cholesterol and supports weight management by naturally suppressing appetite.

This sweet and zesty spice comes from the dried, curled inner bark of various evergreen trees. So much more than a bakery favorite, cinnamon adds deep flavor to savory dishes, such as chili and meat stews. A sprinkle of ground cinnamon is an easy way to dress up fruit, toast, yogurt, smoothies and coffee.   

Cinnamon also possesses some powerful health properties. This multi-faceted spice is an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial shown to help reduce the risk of cardiovascular and neurological issues.

Butternut squash
Roasted, mashed or pureed, this popular winter squash offers a creamy, nutty, mildly sweet flavor we look forward to every fall. It’s a perfect main dish companion and makes a tasty vegetarian alternative in ravioli. And a steaming bowl of butternut squash soup beats the chill in the air.

Like pumpkin, butternut squash owes its appetizing orange-yellow color to beta-carotene, a potent plant pigment that supports healthy skin, vision and heart function. Carotenoids also have the ability to support lung and respiratory health.     

And, butternut squash is filled with fiber to support healthy digestion and detoxification, as well as cardiovascular health and blood sugar balance.

If your consumption of cranberries is limited to Thanksgiving dinner, it’s time to rediscover this native North American fruit. Fall is peak harvest season to collect the bright-red berries to be used in tangy products that fill your grocery aisles, from juice and canned sauce to dried fruit.

A close cousin of blueberries, cranberries have a signature tartness that’s the secret to their incredible health benefits. They’re brimming with proanthocyanidins (PACs), a red-purple plant chemical that’s different in composition than those found in other fruits. Cranberry PACs have been shown to support urinary health by blocking bacteria from sticking to cells walls. 

Cranberries have plenty more antioxidants, such as quercetin, to support age-accelerating free radicals. Cranberries are an excellent source of vitamin C along with vitamins A, B-complex, E and K, manganese and copper, and fiber.

But these five iconic flavors are only the tip of the iceberg. While they may be considered seasonal dining staples, your shopping list would be incomplete without this additional array of fall favorites:


Contains antioxidants and other compounds that support heart heath, brain health and sleep quality.


High in muscle-building protein, B-vitamins and minerals including selenium, iron phosphorus and zinc.


Extraordinary source of fiber, especially gut-friendly pectin, as well as copper; high in vitamin C and vitamin K.


Good source of bone-friendly calcium and magnesium, and blood-building iron and potassium for muscle and nerve health.


Contains aromatic phenols including quercetin and gallic acid; used in home remedies for colds, period relief and congestion.

 Maple syrup

Contains potassium and calcium, plus up to 24 age-fighting antioxidants; used topically to soothe skin and fight irritation.


Contains diosgenin, a compound that supports neural growth, memory and brain function.

Brussels sprouts

High in vitamin C and prebiotic fiber to nourish gut health, and rich in vitamin K and antioxidants.


High in resveratrol to support cardiovascular and immune function. Rich source of vitamin E, insoluble fiber and melatonin.



Whether you’re preparing everyday comfort foods for the family or planning your Thanksgiving feast, there’s are endless combinations for making a flavorful and nutritious November so you can kick-off your holiday season healthy and strong.

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