Consider the top five fruits when planning next year’s garden
Winter is a good time to plan your seasonal garden, and adding some fruits to the bounty is a good idea. However, too much of the wrong fruit can add fat to your diet. If you are fortunate enough to reside in a climate that supports fruit trees, or have the space, an orange tree would be a good fruit to add.
An apple a day just doesn’t cut it anymore and too many apples could make you fat.
That’s the advice of Iva Young, a nutritional expert who warns that the wrong kinds of fruits can actually do more harm than good.
“We really should be smart about the fruits we consume,” said Young, author of Healthy Mom (www.ivayoung.com). “After all, remember that fruits are very similar to breads, pastas, rice, and other high carbohydrate-rich foods in that fruits are high in carbs. That is one reason why we should consume only a certain amount, and we should choose the fruits that are lower in sugar. If you pick the right fruits and eat the proper portions, you will give your body what it needs and it will benefit greatly from your efforts.”
“Sugar intake is also something that you should monitor because it affects the health of your teeth and the functioning of your hormones, specifically leptin,” she added. “Leptin is the important hormone responsible for telling the body that you should stop eating. With excess amounts of sugar in your body, the amount of leptin is diminished, which causes you to overeat. Excess sugar also has been known to cause intestinal issues increasing the chances of bloating, which causes the look of having extra fat. Consuming too many sugar-rich fruits can actually make you feel less healthy than if you didn’t eat any fruits at all.”
So, which fruits offer the biggest health boost? Young named the following fruits, all of which are comparatively low in sugar, as her top five:
Raspberries are an excellent source of fiber, offering 30 percent of our recommended daily value, eight grams per serving. Raspberries are also a rich source of vitamin C, with about 50 percent of our daily value. In addition, they are a rich source of manganese, delivering 60 percent of what we should have each day. Raspberries rank near the top of all fruits for antioxidant strength and contain many anti-disease properties if consumed regularly, helping to fight against inflammation, chronic pain, cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, allergies, age-related cognitive decline, and eyesight degeneration associated with aging.
Kiwi is a rich source of vitamin C and vitamin K, which is a natural blood thinner. It’s also a good source of potassium, just slightly less than that of a banana. Potassium is one of those nutrients that’s essential for heart health, yet many people don’t get nearly enough. Kiwi also delivers a mild laxative effect, possibly because of the high level of dietary fiber.
Blackberries are notable for their high nutritional contents of dietary fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, folic acid, and manganese. Blackberries are ranked high for having strong antioxidant levels, and they contain copious amounts of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
Strawberries are low in calories compared to many other fruits, and are a good source of fiber. They are also an excellent source of vitamin C and flavonoids, promoting lots of antioxidant activity in the body.
Oranges are an excellent source of vitamin A and C, along with powerful antioxidants. Oranges also provide a good source of fiber when the pulp is consumed. The white pith of the orange also contains flavonoids, and some doctors are even using extracts from the pith to help fight certain types of cancer.
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"Consider the top five fruits when planning next year’s garden"
Iva Young was born in Munich, Germany, so she grew up eating traditional high-fat Croatian and German meals. That upbringing helped spark her passion for nutrition and natural health. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology and health promotion ...