Fruit! Everyone loves it, and everywhere you go there’s a local favorite.
One of the best parts of summer, I think, is the abundance of seasonal, fresh fruit. Among the classic watermelon and strawberries, many fruits become more available during the warmer weather. Can anyone say fruit salad?!
Fruit is not only refreshing, but actually very good for you and, in most cases provides quite a few necessary nutrients for optimum body function.
Fruits are great sources of many essential nutrients that are often under consumed in the standard american diet. Some of these include vitamin C, vitamin A, B vitamins, potassium, magnesium, dietary fiber, and folate – just to name a few!
Foe example, diets rich in potassium can help to support healthy blood pressure, while vitamin C is important for the growth and repair of all body tissues, helps to heal cuts and wounds, and keeps teeth and gums healthy.
According to an article in Healthline, the top 20 most nutritious fruits include:
Grapefruit, oranges, lemon, pineapple, avocado, guava, papaya, olive, blueberry, apple, pomegranate, mango, strawberry, cranberry, watermelon, blackberries, durain, bananas, grapes, and cherries.
Almost all diets include some sort of fruit, often berries.
Fruit is not only rich in vitamins but also contains a mostly low-calorie count per cup, than many other foods, and may be helpful when trying to lose weight or lower calorie intake.
While fruit does contain some amounts of fructose (sugar) they generally make up for it with the loaded number of vitamins, minerals and micro-nutrients that are abundantly present.
A few of my favorites to include are:
Citrus fruit; such as grapefruit, orange, lemon and limes. These are rich in vitamin C which help increase iron absorption, and may promote heart health, boost weight loss, reduce signs of aging and support kidney function.
Small fruits, berry fruits; like strawberry, blueberry, blackberry, and cherries are some of the most antioxidant packed for their size. These are filled with potassium, fiber ,vitamin C and include antioxidants such as anthocyanins and carotenoids, which reduce inflammation and may help prevent several diseases.
Tropical fruits; think pineapple, papaya and guava. These foods will boost your vitamin C – just one ounce of guava contains over 100% of the recommended daily intake! They are rich in fiber, folate, vitamin A, and potassium. Papaya has papain, while Pineapple contains bromelain, a mixture of enzymes with anti-inflammatory properties – both of which help to aide digestion, especially of protein. The antioxidants present in these fruits can protect against oxidative damage and even cancer.
Olives and Avocado; These may not seem like the typical fruits you think of, but none can argue the enormous nutrients that both contain. They are each a great source of oleic acid, which is a monounsaturated fat. Monounsaturated fat consumption has been associated with decreased low-density lipoprotein (LDL)cholesterol, and possibly increased high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol. Avocados, unlike most other fruit, are low in carbs and composed mainly of healthy fats.
Then there’s banana! These are so loaded with goodness, it’s no wonder they are so popular and a must-have ingredient for smoothies and shakes!
Bananas are a high carb fruit, mostly in the form of sugar. This can be great for fast-acting fuel (think pre or post workout), they also do contain a nice amount of fiber , which helps to fill you up and support good digestion. Eating slightly unripe banana provides a source of resistant starch which is also great for improving digestion. Because of the high sugar, be mindful, especially if you have any insulin resistance issues.
Many research studies done on apples suggest that they may actually be one of the most healthy foods for you to include on a daily basis.
So that old saying, “an apple a day” may very well be true!
One study published in the journal Experimental Biology and Medicine, reported that quercetin, one of the antioxidants found in apple was a compound that helped to reduce cellular death caused by oxidation and inflammation of neurons. While another study involving 9,208 men and women showed that eating apples over a 28-year period lowered the risk for stroke.
The higher the average daily intake of fruits and vegetables, the lower the chances of developing cardiovascular disease. The largest and longest study done, a Harvard-based Nurses’ Health Study included almost 110,000 men and women following their health and dietary habits for 14 years. Compared with the lowest intake of fruits and veggies, those who averaged 8 or more servings a day were 30 percent less likely to have heart related issues.
There are so many fruits that are really good for you! The biggest concerns really, come with the amount of sugar, or fructose, that each fruit contains. Personally, if you are reducing your intake of refined and processed sugars, then a moderate amount of fruit each day should actually enhance your health. If you do find that you cannot tolerate little to any sugars, please do respect your body and perhaps in time, more low glycemic fruit can be introduced.
Today’s Effort – Getting Fruity
One of the best times to eat fruit is in the afternoon. Consuming at this time of day is beneficial for a couple of reasons:
1. Most of us need/ want a little snack late afternoon – in fact some people crave carbs and sugar at this time.
2. Fruit containing good amounts of fiber, and high water content, help to hydrate and fill you up. The natural fructose present in fruit satisfies that sweet tooth, while the fats and fiber balance the release of sugars to the blood stream.
So, pack your piece of fruit and have it this afternoon! Maybe pair it with some nuts and seeds, or blend up a delicious smoothie by adding baby spinach, berries, and ice.
Check out the local and seasonal fruit choices next time at the market – pick something new and different to try!
If you are choosing not to eat any fruit, respect your body and it’s needs. We are all unique and bio-dynamic.
Be proud of yourself!
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The 20 Healthiest Fruits on the Planet
Why is it important to eat fruit?
Apples: Health benefits, facts, research
The Nutrition Source /Vegetables and Fruits
The information shared in this article is not intended to treat, cure, or prevent any form of illness or disease. The opinions are the author’s alone and are not to be used as a guide to follow for any health related conditions, but rather a sharing of perspective.
Today’s Effort, and it’s authors, take no responsibility for the choices of individuals and encourages you to work alongside a trusted physician and or doctor with any health related issues.