While you might be hoping that candy and chocolate make the cut for Halloween superfoods, sorry they don’t. After eating all the high-sugar, empty calories from Halloween you might want to eat some real superfoods. So here are my picks for the top Halloween superfoods.
Pumpkins—Not just for jack-o-lanterns, pumpkins are a healthy food. They are packed with beta-carotene which is the phytonutrient that gives them their gorgeous orange color. Pumpkin is also a great source of complex carbohydrates that provide energy to the body. It can be roasted, baked, or mashed and added to soups, stews, bread, curries, and of course, pumpkin pie. Be sure to check out my recipe for Dairy-Free Pumpkin Pie. Most canned pumpkin is full of sugar and fat. Small pumpkins are easy to cook in a slow cooker with a bit of water or cut and roast them in an oven.
Garlic—Garlic is great for keeping vampires away but it also keeps a lot of other undesirables at bay, including: bacteria, viruses, and fungi. The National Cancer Institute is also investigating this herb’s anti-cancer properties. Over 1000 studies demonstrate its health benefits, particularly its chemical component allicin. Add freshly chopped garlic to most recipes or mellow it a bit by roasting garlic with a little olive oil in the oven and spread it like butter on bread, crackers, or other foods.
Beets—If garlic fails to keep the vampires and werewolves away and you find yourself in an altercation with these creatures, beets will help ensure your blood is strong. Beets are a great blood builder that also reduce inflammation in the body. The phytonutrients that stain your hands and lips the color of blood is also a potent cancer fighter. They can be eaten raw (grated), steamed, or boiled (although most of the nutrients are lost in the cooking water), or added to soups and stews.
Apples—Sorry caramel and candy apples are not superfoods even if they are delicious. On their own, however, apples contain plentiful amounts of pectin—a type of fiber that binds to heavy metals and toxins to eliminate them from the body. They also contain an important nutrient called malic acid which improves energy production to help you run from ghouls and goblins. Eat on their own to reap the best nutritional benefits, add to salads, or core and cook in a slow cooker with a little water to make apple sauce.
Pumpkin Seeds—Don’t throw out the seeds from carving your jack-o-lanterns. They are the healthiest part of this Halloween superfood. They are a good source of blood-building iron and protein to stabilize blood sugar levels. And they are high in tryptophan which helps you get a good night’s sleep after all the Halloween festivities are done.