Thanks to Cheryl and Mercola for today’s guest post. I have turned to Mercola many times for information and tips on healthier living.
Could your health use a quick boost? Look no further than your local farmer’s market or organic produce section of your grocery store. Fruits and vegetables, especially when organic, are some of nature’s answers to our body’s demand for nutrients.
Just one caveat about fruit: Many varieties are high in fructose, so you do need to limit your numbers of servings. Consuming too much of any type of sugar, especially fructose, can add to your risk of type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome with unwanted consequences for your brain health and waistline.
Here are five of the healthiest fruits, many of which are lower in fructose:
Avocados are truly in a class by themselves when it comes to nutrition. Technically a fruit and not a vegetable, avocados are an outstanding source of healthy monounsaturated fats that are beneficial for heart health and cholesterol levels.
One of the best fruits you can eat, avocados also supply good amounts of fiber, vitamin K, folate, and B and C vitamins. And they have twice the potassium of bananas! Great for adding to salads raw, a study shows avocados might even help your body absorb important bioactive carotenoids from other fruits and vegetables.
These scarlet beauties contain more valuable antioxidant and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients than other fruits, including ellagitannins and ellagic acid. Unique to raspberries, the oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) value is one of the highest of all fruits.
If losing a few pounds is on your to-do list, you’ll appreciate the potential of the phytonutrient rheosmin (sometimes called raspberry ketones) found in raspberries. But don’t overdo it… raspberries have their share of fructose if you eat large enough quantities.
Tomatoes’ call to fame is for their lycopene content, a important flavonoid antioxidant. Lycopene helps protect cells, skin, and bone density. It may also help regulate heart rate and blood pressure levels.
Yet tomatoes supply a host of other nutrients, too, like fiber, vitamins A, E, C and K, as well as B vitamins, folate, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, potassium and manganese.
Just one warning about canned tomatoes: BPA is often found in the vinyl lining of cans, especially tomatoes, which can leach into the food and adversely affect your brain, hormones and more. Ideally, freeze your own from your garden or opt for fresh.
Lemons are real vitamin C powerhouses, providing 187% of the daily value, so reach for these golden gems whenever you feel an infection coming on. Make sure you grab the real thing – fresh lemons. Bottled lemon juice can’t compare.
When you consume food with lemon, especially freshly squeezed juice, its citric acid can aid in your body’s digestion, while lemon’s multiple antioxidants promote healthy mucus membranes, skin and vision, and help protect cellular DNA and regulate your immune function.
Known in ancient Chinese medicine as Yang Tao, kiwi fruit is a natural immune booster. Kiwi packs an abundance of vitamin C content – five times greater than that of an orange! And they’re a good source of vitamins K, A and E. Kiwis do contain a fair amount of sugar, so be sure not to overindulge.
Kiwis are one of the few foods rich in vitamin B6. The B6, copper and folate in kiwi is especially important for healthy fetuses, children and pregnant or breastfeeding women. These nutrients support bone growth and brain development, and help protect against birth defects and neutralizing damaging free radicals.
Fruits are easy to incorporate into your diet because they add both flavor and visual appeal. You can eat them raw, add small quantities to freshly squeezed vegetable juices or combine into a sumptuous fruit salad. Adding a limited amount of fruit to your diet, especially these ultra healthy varieties, is a great way to boost your health.
About the Author
Cheryl Malcham is a writer for Mercola.com. With a background in clinical nutrition and a driving passion for natural health, she’s always looking for ways to let nature be the guide towards a healthy lifestyle. Find out creative ways to use fresh fruits – Get your FREE Raw Food Recipes ebook here.