Tailor Your Diet To Be Extra Healthy With These Five Fruits
By Joy Stephenson-Laws, JD, Founder
If you are not sure about making healthy food choices, remember that one good rule of thumb is to eat an adequate amount of fresh fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables are unprocessed and very rich in nutrients such as vitamins and minerals. Vitamins and minerals are key to our overall health and wellbeing, and, unfortunately, the American diet usually does not place enough emphasis on how important natural, nutrient-dense foods are.
I recently came across this scientific report which suggested “the top five fruits to add to your diet.” These five fruits are particularly nutrient-rich and researchers ranked these fruits as “powerhouse fruits,” meaning “those most strongly associated with reducing the risk of chronic diseases.”
I love that lemons made the list. These citrus fruits are packed with vitamin C, potassium and many other nutrients. What is so great about lemons is that, in my opinion, lemons are one of the easiest fruits to fit into your daily eating. Simply squeeze lemon into your water or tea, make a simple salad dressing with olive oil, lemon and a little bit of honey or squeeze lemon over steamed broccoli and other vegetables at dinner time.
Don’t forget the peel.
The peel is full of beneficial nutrients. You can zest a lemon and use the peel. I zest (the zest is the colorful part of the peel - not the bitter white part) and sprinkle lemon peel on rice, lentils, salads and even in a cup of tea.
You can eat strawberries by the handful or add them to Greek yogurt, oatmeal, smoothies, cereal and even salads.
As you probably already know, these citrus fruits are rich in vitamin C. They are also good sources of potassium and folate.
Squeeze your own fresh orange juice or eat orange slices as a snack or dessert. You can also use fresh oranges to make dressings and marinades.
Limes are often overlooked, but these citrus fruits are another vitamin C powerhouse. Limes also may help fight cardiovascular disease.
Squeeze lime juice into your water or use limes to make dressings and marinades. I would also highly suggest making some limeade ( a fun alternative to lemonade).
- Pink and red grapefruit
Noticing the citrus theme here?
Citrus fruits are packed with powerful antioxidants and vitamin C. Grapefruit also contains magnesium, phosphorus, folate, potassium and other nutrients.
Make your own fresh grapefruit juice or eat slices of grapefruit for a quick snack. Grapefruit is also great in salads. You can even make grapefruit popsicles.
This isn’t all to say that other fruits are not good for us.
Fruits such as blueberries, apples, raspberries, blackberries and watermelon are also good. I think it’s just important to see that these fruits listed above may be very beneficial yet they are often overlooked. For example, so many of us don’t even think of lemons and limes as fruits. For many of us, they are simply a garnish or afterthought.
It is also important to pay attention to fruit ripeness.
“Studies show that ripe fruits, including all berries, offer more antioxidants than fruits that are not quite ready. Based on that criteria, strawberries topped the list, followed by black raspberries, blackberries and red raspberries in that order,” according to the report.
If you do not food restrictions or allergies, make an effort to get these highly rated fruits into your daily diet. Be aware that grapefruit may interact with medications. It is always best to speak with a competent healthcare professional about what foods you are including in your diet, especially if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, are taking any medications or have any existing health issues.
It is also important to eat fruit in moderation, because it does contain sugar.
Last but certainly not least, be sure to take routine nutrient tests in order to identify any nutrient imbalances or deficiencies that you may have. If you have deficiencies, a competent healthcare professional can work with you on making the necessary dietary changes and recommend quality supplements if necessary.
Enjoy your healthy life!
Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice. Please consult with your doctor or another competent healthcare practitioner to get specific medical advice for your situation.
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