3 Halloween Superfoods

With all the candy given out to trick-or-treaters, Halloween probably doesn’t spring to mind as a time you’d associate with healthy foods. However, several traditional Halloween foods are rich in nutrients that can benefit your day-to-day well-being and reduce your risk of health problems. If you want to make the most of these nutritious goodies, read on to discover three superfoods to include on your Halloween menu.


Halloween isn’t the same without carving a Jack-O’-Lantern, but do you always use the orange flesh in cooking? So many people discard the pumpkin flesh without realizing what they’re missing, as although pumpkin alone is bland, this squash takes up spice well and is a versatile ingredient. Whether you roast pumpkin, serve it in a warm salad or make pumpkin soup, bread, pie, cake, cheesecake or even Halloween cocktails, you’ll get a good helping of beta-carotene, which your body converts to vitamin A. Just 3.5oz of pumpkin provides 100% of the daily value for vitamin A, which is essential for normal vision, fighting infections and healthy skin.

Even if you save the flesh from pumpkin, what about pumpkin seeds? An ounce of seeds from a pumpkin gives you close to 20% of your daily requirement for magnesium and zinc. Magnesium plays a vital role in nerve, muscle and cardiac function, as well as maintaining strong bones. Meanwhile, zinc aids immunity, healing and fertility. To prepare the seeds from pumpkins, scoop them out, wash off any remaining flesh, boil for ten minutes to soften and dry on kitchen paper. You can then roast pumpkin seeds using a little oil in an oven at 250°F for 45 minutes.


Although the syrup, caramel or chocolate coating of candy apples makes them a very sugary treat, the apple beneath is packed with fiber and provides antioxidants such as vitamin C, quercetin and catechin. A small apple gives you 4g of fiber, a useful contribution to the daily recommendation of at least 25g for adults. Besides aiding digestive transit and preventing digestive problems, such as constipation, diverticular disease and colorectal cancer, getting enough dietary fiber can also reduce your risk of obesity, diabetes and heart disease. Additionally, you obtain more than 10% of your daily requirement for vitamin C, which in addition to neutralizing disease-causing free radicals, is essential for wound healing and absorbing iron from food. To limit your intake of added sugars, try bobbing for apples at your Halloween party.


Corn cobs are a popular addition to any Halloween spread, but their naturally sweet kernels aren’t just delicious, they are rich in several health-boosting nutrients. On top of helping you achieve recommendations for fiber and vitamin C, corn on the cob is a useful source of B vitamins, including folate. This natural version of folic acid not only helps to prevent spina bifida in babies but may also protect adults against heart disease, strokes and dementia. You’ll get a helpful serving of the mineral manganese as well, which keeps up your energy levels, aids hormone production, contributes to antioxidant activity and protects your bones, soft tissues and nerves. Further antioxidants found in sweetcorn are lutein and zeaxanthin, which promote good eye health by reducing your likelihood of age-related macular degeneration and cataracts, and may also protect your cardiovascular system from damage. Although you might usually hold the butter or oil, as lutein and zeaxanthin are fat-soluble vitamins, your body absorbs them most efficiently when they are served alongside a source of fat.


Halloween is just one night, so there’s no harm in indulging in what you fancy. However, make sure you balance out the sweet treats with nutrient-dense offerings, such as pumpkin, apples and sweetcorn, and try to include these nutritious foods throughout the fall.

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