Monday, October 22, 2018

Food Medicine

Seven Key Nutrient-Rich Fruits

Most people know that calcium is good for bones, fiber is beneficial for the digestive system, and iron makes up part of the hemoglobin, a protein needed to transport oxygen from the lungs to our body tissues is found in spinach, beans, and broccoli. So let me take you beyond the basics. When I was in school, college to be exact, it seems that every time information was about to be dispensed that was worth remembering, or bound to show up on a test, was always followed by the words "there will be a quiz." The information in this post is about some of the key fruits we eat that are healthy steps to looking and feeling better and in my opinion, worth remembering and worth taking note, information so useful I feel like using the words, there will be a quiz!

Fruit is a great way to start eating more nutrition and eating at least five to nine servings can make a big difference in the way you feel. We'll take a look at some of the most nutritious fruits and why they are so good for you starting with the apple.  A is for Apple and that's good enough for me remembering the old Sesame Street days. We have all heard the expression, "an apple a day keeps the doctor away". This might not be entirely true, but eating apples is a great way for you to get the fiber we all need in our diet. Apples are delicious and available all year around. This fruit also contains pectin and that aids in lowering bad cholesterol. They are also known to contain flavonoids that are beneficial in fighting cancer. It is better to eat a fresh apple rather than drink apple juice. The reason behind this is that some of the nutrients and important minerals may be lost during the apple juice processing.

Apricots also start with the letter "A" but there was no Sesame Street song about this one so let's move on. The apricot is loaded with zinc, folic acid, vitamins A and K, calcium and protein. They are also very high in beta-carotene, potassium, and fiber. Apricots are often found on the top ten lists for fruits and you can find them freshly picked, canned or dried. Eating dried apricots will provide you with an excellent source of essential nutrients. Use caution when purchasing dried apricots, it is good to read the label to avoid those dried apricots that are laden with chemicals and preservatives. The best place to purchase dried apricots or any other dried fruit is from a health food store or a natural market. Apricots can provide you with the valuable nutrients you need in order for your body to perform in peak condition.

What makes a fruit a fruit are their seeds so you'd be surprised at how many people mistakenly think of avocados as a vegetable when in reality they are a fruit too. In fact, an avocado is considered a "super fruit" and is loaded with zinc, riboflavin, thiamin, and niacin to name just a few of the important nutrients that an avocado has. Avocados are great for growing kids. Those who are conscious of their weight may want to forgo avocados because of their high-calorie content. They also have a high fat count, but it is the heart-healthy monounsaturated fats such as the Omega 3 fatty acid, an important brain food. Avocados can be eaten fresh after they have been peeled or can be made into guacamole, just add a little garlic, onions, and tomatoes.

Bananas make great food medicine because are high in potassium and can help those of us who take such medications as diuretics which are known to deplete the potassium from your body. They are easily mashed for easy consumption for babies and toddlers and because you have to peel one before you eat it, they will not contain the pesticides that many other fruits are vulnerable to. A banana is a handy snack for eating on the go and keeping a supply of them in your home will make snack time a snap.

For many years, blueberries have been thought of as a tasty summertime treat. We now know that blueberries can pack a lot of punch because of the anthocyanin, a cancer-fighting antioxidant that can be found in the skin. They are a tasty addition to any health-conscious person's diet and can make many other foods even tastier with their addition. You can add blueberries to a salad, cereal or ice cream or use them to make your fruit smoothie even more delicious. Adding blueberries to your diet whether fresh or frozen is a great nutritional step for you to take.

Cantaloupes are not only juicy and delicious; they are high in potassium, vitamin C and beta-carotene. Melon that is fresh can be enjoyed in a variety of ways and is nutrition that is tasty as well as good for you. There are other varieties of melon, but cantaloupe is a melon that you can trust to give you the healthy nutrients you need.

Eating grapefruit has long been a staple of dieters. It is a fruit that is high in fiber yet low in calories. The best grapefruit for you is the red or pink type. So if you have a choice, opt for these instead of the white variety. There is a lot of fiber packed into the strings that attach the grapefruit segments, so do yourself a favor and don’t use a spoon to scoop out the tasty flesh.

I suppose if there was a quiz, from me to you about these food medicines it would simply be to find out which of these fantastic fruits best suits your personal body chemistry? Listening for any sign of allergy and if there are none say try to incorporate each of these nutrient-rich fruits listed above into your diet. Should you need more information about the fruits listed above today's technology even makes quizzing me unnecessary and okay to cheat. Google it.  :-)

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