5 Power Fruits to Eat Everyday

grapesFruit is underused by so many people. It’s alsomisused. Some claim the sugar content is to high; others mistakenly believe that they’re getting all the benefits of fruit from the juice they drink. Wrong! There are so many great things about fruit that are lost when it is juiced. My son loves fruit. He’ll eat any kind of fruit I put in front of him. In fact, each night before he goes to bed he asks, “Mom? If I stay in bed can I have strawberries (or an apple, banana, etc) for breakfast?” 80% of the time he’ll choose fruit over fruit gummies or other sugary treats. It got me thinking that he could teach us all about how much we can get out of adding a few servings of fruit to our diet. Here is my list of the top 5 healthiest fruits and why.
• Berries. If I took the time to break them down, they would take up all five slots on my list. Blueberries top this “sublist” in that they contain 14 mg of Vitamin C in one cup and are filled with antioxidants. Then there’s strawberries, blackberries, cranberries, and the list goes on. Berries are extremely nutrient-dense. A one cup serving has less than 50 calories and packs a serious punch. Berries should always be purchased organic. Pesticides are not only very heavily used on berries to increase yield, but also have an ability to retain the chemicals which are used. Check out my article on buying organic if you’re interested in learning more.
• Cantaloupe. Cantaloupes have significant amounts of Vitamins A and C and are a good source of potassium and other minerals. In fact, a one cup serving will provide you with more than 100% of your daily requirement of Vitamins A and C, as well as good amounts of Vitamin B6, Folate and Dietary Fiber. It packs an extra bonus in that it is very sweet and juicy. When you’re fighting a big time sugar craving, this is the fruit to go to (and at roughly 60 calories per serving, you can’t go wrong)! It is primarily in season from June to August, but these days you can typically find it year-round at your local grocery store. Since we don’t eat the rind of this fruit, it is generally safe to buy non-organic.
• Grapes. Grapes are low calorie, sweet and wonderful in texture. Aside from providing a good amount of manganese, these gems are packed with flavonoids. Flavonoids have been found to protect blood vessels, enhance Vitamin C uptake, and even control inflammation. Generally, the more purple/red the grape is, the more flavonoids they contain. A one cup serving is just 60 calories… beat that snickers. Add this fruit to your must-eat-organic list.
• Apples. So yeah, there’s really something to “An apple an day keeps the Doctor away“. Besides being rich in antioxidants and Vitamin C, a group of chemicals in apples could protect the brain from the type of damage that triggers neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Studies done at Cornell University found that the apple phenolics, which are naturally occurring antioxidants found in fresh apples, can protect nerve cells from neurotoxicity induced by oxidative stress. Apples are another good sugar-buster, and studies have found that organic apples actually contain higher levels of phenolics than pesticide-laden alternatives. Why? The apples that have to defend pests on their own create more phenolics to defend themselves.
• Tropical Fruits. This might not have been the expected 5th choice for the list, but I think there are so many great benefits to nearly all fruit in this category not to mention how absolutely divine they taste. If you’re an athlete then you already know what a banana can do for you! While bananas are probably the most common tropical fruit there are many others to take advantage of. Here’s an article which boasts the benefits of pineapples, bananas, papayas, coconuts and more. While these fruits are generally higher in calorie content and fat, they make up for it in flavor and nutrients.
Here’s how you can make fruit work for you (besides all the healthy benefits they provide). For the next week, instead of your typical sugar fix… candy, soda, cookies, etc… eat a piece of fruit instead. Overtime, you body adjusts to crave what it has been given. If you replace your sugar craving with fruit instead of sweets, eventually you’ll find that what you crave is that piece of watermelon or pineapple… not the m&m’s. Experiment in your produce isle and find your own top 5 favorites. No matter what you choose you can’t go wrong.

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