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Fall is a glorious season, bringing with it changing colors and back-to-school, but also, unfortunately, cold and flu season. To stay healthy, we can pump up our immune systems, especially with antioxidants, through the foods that we choose.

Antioxidants (Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and beta-carotene) are essential nutrients that help build a strong immune system. Here's how: When our bodies are stressed or are sick, we create extra free radicals (molecules that disrupt regular workings of cells). Antioxidants come in and destroy those free radicals, helping keep a healthy balance in our bodies.

Quick tips for Autumn eating:

  • Eat between 5 and 9 servings of fresh fruits and vegetables a day
  • Choose vegetables that are rich in colors (think deep reds and oranges, and dark leafy greens)

5 Antioxidant-Rich Recipes

Amp up your antioxidant game - and arm yourself against cold and flu season - with these nutrient-rich foods.

The pumpkin in this soup provides a great source of beta-carotene and will keep you warm on cold days.

Photo by KrystaB.

Get your Vitamin C from the kale in this smoothie... the greenness will add a pep to your step. The avocado will give you a good amount of Vitamin E.

Photo by LilSnoo

Kale and red bell peppers give a nice Vitamin C and beta-carotene boost. This salad is a great hearty lunch or dinner!

Photo by ScandoGirl

Sweet potatoes will give you beta-carotene in this very fall-friendly recipe.

Photo by Jessica

The bell peppers are loaded with Vitamin C and beta-carotene. Choose any color pepper and serve as a side or main dish!

Photo by LilSnoo

Sources of Vitamin C:

  • Bell peppers (red, green, yellow)
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Kale
  • Orange
  • Pineapple
  • Grapefruit
  • Kiwi
  • Papaya

Sources of Vitamin E:

  • Sunflower seeds
  • Almonds
  • Cooked spinach
  • Safflower oil
  • Cooked pumpkin
  • Red bell pepper
  • Avocado

Sources of beta carotene:

  • Carrots
  • Spinach
  • Tomatoes
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Broccoli
  • Cantaloupe
  • Apricots
  • Red and orange bell peppers