It’s hard to argue with the health benefits of a diet rich in mouth-watering fruit treats.
According to the USDA, the amount of produce a person should have daily is based on their age, gender and physical activity level. On average, adults should have about 2 cups per day and a person cannot go wrong with choosing one particular kind of fruit over another. Healthy eating of these kinds of foods can help reduce developing conditions such as stroke, coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, bone loss, many different kinds of cancers, anemia, gout, fatigue, osteoarthritis, kidney stones, respiratory-related diseases such as asthma, wheezing, shortness of breath and coughing and so many other common ailments.
Our bodies need a variety of proteins, calories, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins, trace elements, enzymes, and antioxidants to help in metabolism and more importantly to enhance the immune system against diseases, make us feel energized and strong. To get the optimum health benefits, experts recommend we eat a variety of fresh (organic if possible) fruits on a daily basis in order to furnish our bodies with the essential nutrients required for the most advantageous functioning.
Top 10 highly nutrient rich fruits:
- Apples: High in flavanoids, antioxidants
- Apricots: Excellent source of vitamin A, C, E, potassium, iron, beta-carotene, and lycopene.
- Bananas: High in potassium, fiber and tryptophan (a type of protein)
- Blackberries: Great sources of pectin (soluble fiber), vitamin B1, B2, E and C and more than ten types of amino acids.
- Blueberries: Rich in antioxidant properties, anthocyanins and protocatechuic acid.
- Cantaloupe: Rich in protein, carbohydrate, citric acid, fiber, folate, beta-carotene, and vitamin A, B, B3 (niacin), B6, C, and potassium.
- Cherries: High amounts of iron, the highest levels of disease-fighting antioxidants compared to other fruits, beta-carotene (20 times more than blueberries and strawberries), potassium, magnesium, iron, fiber, folate, vitamin C and E.
- Kiwi: Packed with vitamin C (more than an equivalent amount of orange), antioxidant, enzymes, fiber, vitamin A and E, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, copper, flavoniods and carotenoids.
- Grapefruit: Rich in natural pectin (a soluble fiber), potassium, folate, calcium, beta-carotene, lycopene, bioflavonoids, phytochemicals, fiber, phenolic acid, limonoids, and terpenes.
- Purple Grapes: Large amounts of antioxidant compounds, iron, potassium, and fiber.
Experts tell us that eating five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables every day is very important for maintaining our good health. Some ways to help ensure we eat enough of what we need each day are to keep the foods in a convenient place for easy access, have them pre-washed and ready for consumption, eat salads full of ingredients, or buy a blender or juicer and make deliciously fresh juices or smoothies.
When choosing fruits at the store, a good rule of thumb is to choose the darkest-colored fruit in the bunch, i.e. choose the reddest apple in the bunch of apples, the darkest plum in the group of plums, and the darkest strawberries. Happy eating!
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