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Fall Foods That Leaf You Smiling

Fall is commonly known as the season for pumpkins, spices and other cozy treats. However, November comes with other nutritiously packed foods like mushrooms and sweet potatoes. These two superfoods may not be the prettiest, but they are packed with flavor and nutritional benefits.

As the second most popular pizza topping, next to pepperoni, mushrooms have become a favorite add-on to any meal. Edible fungi, like shiitake, oyster, and lion’s mane mushrooms, have been linked to boosting immune systems and improving treatment results in cases of cancer, high cholesterol, and neurological diseases. One study even showed that two common antioxidants in some mushrooms -ergothioneine and glutathione- have the potential to ward off diseases such as heart disease and Alzheimer’s.

There are over 70,000 types of mushrooms, but only around 250 species are edible. Be careful when finding mushrooms in the wild, they are likely not edible and could harm your health rather than boost it. Mushrooms should be stored unwashed in a paper bag in the fridge. If you buy them packaged in plastic, try transferring them to a paper bag or tray with a paper towel. To incorporate more mushrooms into your diet, here are 50 savory, satisfying mushroom recipes.

Although sweet potatoes are commonly called ‘potatoes,’ they are actually categorized in a different family. Botanically, the sweet potato belongs in the bindweed or morning glory family, while a regular potato sits in the nightshade family. Sweet potatoes are a fan favorite all year long, but are especially ap(peel)ing in the fall- as a side dish, soup, stew, or even pie. Don’t let their sugary name fool you, sweet potatoes are full of vitamins, antioxidants, and other nutrients that will keep you feeling healthful all of Fall. One cup of baked sweet potatoes provides nearly half of your daily vitamin c needs as well as 400% of your recommended vitamin a intake! These vitamins also function as antioxidants that support age and disease fighting cells. Last but not least, the same portion of sweet potatoes, delivers a third of your daily manganese intake, a mineral that promotes skin and bone health. If you’re already sweet potato fan, here are 4 ways to give your sweet potato fix an upgrade.