We all know fruit is good for us and why we should eat more of it…but sometimes we just need those few reminders:
- Most fruits are naturally low in fat, sodium, and calories. None have cholesterol.
- Fruit consists for the largest part of water. Just like the human body does.
- Fruit is the most natural food.
- Dietary fiber from fruits, as part of an overall healthy diet, helps reduce blood cholesterol levels and may lower risk of heart disease. Fiber-containing foods such as fruits help provide a feeling of fullness with fewer calories. (Whole or cut-up fruits are sources of dietary fiber; fruit juices contain littler or no fiber.)
- Vitamin C is important for growth and repair of all body tissues, helps heal cuts and wounds, and keeps teeth and gums healthy.
- Eating a diet rich in fruits (and vegetables) as part of an overall healthy diet may protect certain cancers such as mouth, stomach, and colon-rectum cancer.
- Fruits are important sources of many nutrients, including potassium, dietary fiber, vitamin C, and folate (folic acid).
- Diets rich in potassium may help maintain healthy blood pressure, and also may help to decrease bone loss. Fruit sources of potassium include bananas, prunes and prune juice, peaches and apricots, cantaloupe, honeydew melon, and oranges.
- Fruit is not as expensive as you may think. Take a good look at how much money you spend on other processed foods (per serving), it could be worth something to replace some of those with fruit.
- Fruit stimulates our memories. Fruit is the ultimate brain food, having a positive effect on our brains and making recall of information easier and faster…
The Top 10 Fruits
Ever wonder which fruit is healthiest? Blueberries rank the highest, according to USDA scientists. They contain more disease-fighting antioxidants per 1-cup serving than any other fruit. Check out the rest of the top 10, and note one additional measurement: total antioxidants per calorie. Cranberries have the highest score in this category, containing the most antioxidants for fewer calories.
Support Your Local Farms
For the freshest, tastiest fruits and vegetables, skip the grocery store and hit a farmers’ market. Thanks to rising demand (75% of consumers in a survey said they preferred to buy fod from nearby growers), the number of farmers’ markets has increased 111% over the past decade.
Call it back-to-basics backlash. With all the processed and soulless foods in stores, cooks long for food with roots. “People want stories about their food—where and how it’s produced, and how it tastes,” says Rick Pirog at the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University. “Local farmers know that.”
To find a market near you, visit local harvest.org, or follow the farmers’ market links form the USDA (www.ams.usda.gov).