5 Functional Foods to Enjoy This Fall

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Jovante White
  • 944th Medical Squadron diet technician

Grocery stores are filled with a wide variety of foods that provide optimal health and help to reduce the risk of disease. These special foods are called “functional foods”. Functional foods are foods that have a potentially positive effect on health beyond basic nutrition. Proponents of functional foods say they promote optimal health and help reduce the risk of disease. Don’t let this season pass by without trying these 5 fall functional foods:

Pumpkins: Pumpkins contain beta- carotene which is an antioxidant that neutralizes free radicals in the body. Vitamin A is also found in pumpkins which helps support the function of white blood cells, promote bone growth, and helps to regulate cell growth and division.

Apples: Apples have many health benefits such as reducing cholesterol, improving bowel function, and lowering the risk of type 2 diabetes.

Sweet Potatoes: sweet potatoes contain many vitamins and antioxidants that reduce the risk of many diseases.

Nuts: Research suggests that eating 1.5 ounces of most nuts per day as part of a low saturated fat diet may reduce the risk of heart disease.

Mushrooms: Mushrooms contain selenium which is a mineral that plays a role in liver enzyme function, and helps detoxify some cancer-causing compounds in the body.

Enjoy any of these fall fruits and vegetables in stews, soups, dishes, and desserts while also reaping the health benefits they provide. Happy Fall!