Fresh fruits offer benefits on so many levels. They’re not only beautiful to look at (an easy, inexpensive and edible centerpiece!), they’re refreshing and delicious — a perfect low-calorie, high-fiber treat on a warm spring or summer day. Nothing quenches and satisfies better than a slice of juicy, sweet watermelon.
The Nutritional Health Benefits of Fruit
Fruits like apples, bananas and oranges are also convenient and easy to pack in a snack bag or lunch box. But the real benefit of fresh fruit is nutritional: they pack vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients into your diet. Fruits can be high in sugar, so if you’re following a low-carb or low-glycemic diet, you may be limiting your fruit intake, but most people probably need to up their fruit consumption. Try adding some berries to your morning cereal or yogurt, or whip up a fruit smoothie for lunch or an afternoon pick-me-up (much healthier than that Starbucks drink!).
The 6 Super Fruits
And if you’re really looking to amp up the health and wellness benefits derived from fruit, make sure these six super fruits are on your grocery or farmer’s market list. While fresh fruits and berries are best (in flavor and nutrition), they can be pricey and have a short season. Tip: keep bags of frozen fruit on hand – they’re convenient, less expensive and available year round.
Another big deliverer of antioxidants that help reduce inflammation and prevent cancer. Some studies show blueberries may help memory and guard against dementia. They’re also lower in carbs and calories than many other fruits.
Packed with vitamin C, antioxidants and folic acid and very low on the glycemic index. Plus sweet delicious flavor!
High in fiber (eight grams per cup), antioxidants and ellagic acid, a phytochemical that helps prevent cancer.
An excellent source of vitamin C and fiber, but also of the anti-inflammatory antioxidant anthocyanin, helpful in reducing pain from arthritis or gout.
Always a favorite, especially with kids, apples deliver satisfying crunch and healthy fiber, as well as quercetin, an antioxidant with antihistamine and anti-inflammatory properties.
Loaded with vitamin A and C (and only 40 calories/cup), and also a heavy hitter on cancer-fighting lycopene. And don’t forget the wellness benefits from good old-fashioned fun: seed spitting contest, anyone?