The sensational nutritional power of fruit

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The sensational nutritional power of fruit

Anyone who believes fruits are a “lightweight” when it comes to nutritional power, have no idea how wrong they are.  Often underestimated and avoided as some people believe fruit are too high in sugar, nature’s naturally sweet produce can be enjoyed by everyone.  The health benefits far outweigh concerns over the natural sugar found within fruit.  Sweet, juicy, and delicious, grab-and-go fruit is packed with vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, and fiber associated with an impressively long list of health benefits.  These benefits include improvements to heart health, weight control, digestive health, and lowered risk of dementia and diabetes.

However, only around 13 percent of people in the United States actually meet the goal recommended by experts of at least 1 ½ to 2 cups of fruit a day.  Including more fruit to one’s diet can be one of the best nutritional decisions to make for upping a health boost. 

Eating more fruit is not hard to do.  Fruit can be easily added on cereal at breakfast, grilled as a delectable dessert as in grilled pineapple or peach halves, enjoyed as a quick, simple snack or added to any meal of the day.

All fruits are good for us and here are some well-researched standouts:

·      Apples – Apples are high in fiber, vitamin C, potassium, vitamin K, and some B vitamins.  They also have pectin, a prebiotic fiber that feeds beneficial gut bacteria.

·      Avocados – While often found in the vegetable category, botanically avocados are a fruit.  They are full of healthy monounsaturated fats linked to reduced inflammation and better heart health, and are high in vitamin C and K, folate, potassium, and fiber.

·      Bananas – High in fiber, potassium, manganese, and vitamins C and B6, their carb and mineral content makes bananas a great source of fuel before exercise. 

·      Blackberries/Raspberries – High in fiber (1 cup has 8 grams!) and vitamin C, these berries also are known for their antioxidant content.

·      Blueberries – Exceptionally rich in antioxidants, blueberries have been studied for protection against many conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, and dementia.

·      Citrus – All citrus fruits are high in healing vitamin C.  Grapefruit is especially high in vitamin A.

·      Cranberries – Rich in heart-protecting flavonols, cranberries also are being studied for possibly reducing frequency of urinary tract infections.

·      Pomegranate – With up to three times the antioxidants of green tea and red wine, pomegranates are also high in fiber, vitamins C and K, folate, and copper.

·      Red grapes – The phytochemicals quercetin and resveratrol in red and purple grapes may help ward off heart disease and high cholesterol.

·      Watermelon – High in vitamins A and C, and full of antioxidants, watermelon is also 92 percent water, which helps you feel full.