Though not as common in the United States, persimmons are Japan’s national fruit. They’re technically a berry but look more like orange tomatoes. They’re loaded with vitamin A, delivering more than half of your daily recommended intake, says Zeitlin. “They are also a great source of folate for women looking to get pregnant, and high in magnesium, which helps combat stress and anxiety.” While Zeitlin enjoys them in salad or oatmeal, she says they also hold up really well to being baked or broiled and served as a dessert.
These ruby red gems are another great source of potassium (8 ounces of the juice has more potassium than a banana). Plus, they contain antioxidants that may help muscle recovery after strength training. One UCLA study found that pomegranate juice has, on average, more antioxidant capacity than acai juice, grape juice, or green tea, says Elizabeth Shaw, RD. You can sprinkle the jewel-like red seeds (called arils) on yogurt, mix with grains or oatmeal, toss onto salads, or use the juice in smoothies. Check out this guide to what’s in season when.
Though mostly associated with Halloween, pies, and sugary coffee drinks, this fall squash is actually quite wholesome and nutrient dense. “They’ve got fiber, potassium, and a wealth of antioxidants including vitamin C, vitamin E, and beta-carotene,” says Todd. “Consuming foods rich in beta-carotene may reduce the risk of developing certain types of cancer, offer protection against asthma and heart disease, and delay aging and body degeneration.” You can puree pumpkin flesh into sauces or soups, or use it as a replacement for butter or oil in baking recipes. And pumpkin seeds are a good source of magnesium and zinc. Toast them in the oven and sprinkle on whatever strikes your fancy—salt, pepper, garlic powder, cayenne, cinnamon, etc.