Luckily, right down the street from me is a little farmer's market where I can pick up some fresh grapes and strawberries to hit the spot on these hot days. Nothing beats the heat quite like some fresh fruit, and wouldn't you know it, here we have a blogpost on all things fruit. It's DESTINY!!!
We love to say that fruit is nature's candy. It's true, most fruit are naturally sweet with natural sugars, but unlike candy they kick you in the butt with lot of fiber, antioxidants, phytonutrients, vitamins, and minerals. Here's a quick reminder on some of those big words. Also be sure to check out last weeks Top 10 Vegetables for the Veggie addition
Phytonutrients - Natural nutrients in plant sources. Phyto is Greek for plant, and these nutrients can help with many different health issues and help prevent diseases. Some of the major phytonutrients for humans include - flavonoids, glucosinolates, resveratrol, caretonoids, ellagic acid, and phytoestrogens. Overall the more phytonutrients a food has the better it is for us.
Antioxidants - Antioxidants help protect and repair damage done by free radicals. Free radicals can cause damage to our body if they are not kept in check over time. Antioxidants assist in reducing the natural damage done by free radicals.
It's tough to make a better nutritional choice than grab a handful of fruit. Plus summer is prime season for most fruits, meaning they are extra fresh and less expensive. ESPECIALLY at your local farmer's market, that's the hotspot for fresh and cheap fruits - little secret for you. Ok let's take a look at some top choices of tuity fruity's
1. Berries - Aka Berrylicious
Blueberries - Now is the perfect time to take advantage of blueberries as summer is blueberry season! Blueberries pack an incredible punch of antioxidants, in fact they have one of the highest antioxidants contents of any food you can eat. It's no question blueberries are awesome for brain, heart, and cardiovascular health. Blueberries may also enhance memory and fight the onset of Alzheimer's.
Tummy Time - Skip out on the store and see if there is an orchard near where you live. It's a whole hell of a lot cheaper to pick them yourself, and it's a lot more fun. Plus you can freeze blueberries and they won't lose any of their nutritional value.
Strawberries - Strawberries are the most consumed berry, and it's easy to see why. First off, they are delicious; and second, they provide massive amounts of vitamin C (immune system booster), antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory's. Plus strawberries provide good amounts of fiber and can help control blood sugar, so even though they are super sweet, they don't wreck havoc on your blood sugar.
Tummy Time - Eat plain, or throw in a shake. Strawberry shake...mmmmmmm!
Blackberries - Blackberries are a overlooked for their antioxidant levels when compared to other berries. Blackberries can aid in preventing inflammation, can help prevent infection, and protect against cancers. Blackberries, when eating regularly, can help strengthen your blood vessels which is key in sport performance and recovery from exercise.
Tummy Time - Throw blackberries into a fruit salad
Raspberries - These little red, plump suckers aren't one of my favorites, but my mom loves them. For those trying to maintain or lose weight, raspberries might become a good friend. Recently they have been linked to reducing body fat through it's unique blend of phytonutrients. Let's not also forget about the vitamin C, manganese, and fiber.
Tummy Time - Toss some raspberries and some other berries in a bowl with greek yogurt and you got yourself an awesome little snack!
Cranberries - These tart guys may not be the most tasty, but they are great for cleansing your blood, urinary tract infections, and are packed with phytonutrients. Cranberries are an awesome anti-inflammatory, assist heart health, and can help prevent cancer.
Tummy Time - The tartness of cranberries can be a great addition to salads, shakes, and pies.
2. Pineapple - Aka Why is your mouth bleeding bro? I ate too much pineapple
It's also a great time to get your pineapple fix, and we're getting into the back end of their main season. This super sweet fruit will give you well over your daily's amount of vitamin C as well as a ton of manganese. It's also a great post-workout food as it's help muscle repair and inflammation.
Tummy Time - Plain ole Jane
3. Grapes - Aka Non-alcoholic wine
Grapes are my favorite fruit, nothing beats a fresh, firm purple grape! I'm in luck because grapes are incredible for antioxidants, anti-inflammatory's, and may increase longevity. We don't stop there either because grapes are a super fruit! They also fight cancer, are good for the brain, and help control blood sugar. How? It's unique combination of phytonutrients and antioxidants make grapes incredible for anybody.
Tummy Time - Sorry to be boring but nothing beats grapes just plain, but also in with greek yogurt is a close second.
4. Cherries - Aka Why is there a seed in these? Duh, nature's speed bump
The cherry is a must for any athlete's kitchen. Cherries are a potent anti-inflammatory and aid in muscular recovery as well as anything you could do. Cherries are a natural pain killer and they are high in melatonin, meaning they can aid in sleep.
Tummy Time - Cherry season is among the shortest of all produce, and right now they're in. So grab your cherries for the cheaper prices while you can.
5. Grapefruit - Aka Food with the most hassle to eat
This awesome breakfast fruit will kick start your day with tons of vitamin C, antioxidants, and may help on a weight-loss diet. Grapefruit ranks among the highest fruits in terms of antioxidant levels and is especially high in lypocene, which is shown to fight cancer.
Tummy Time - Half a grapefruit for breakfast and start your day off right
6. Avocado - Aka - Most confused food - Am I a fruit, vegetable, or alien
Avocado's are quickly becoming a staple in all health conscious people's kitchen, and for good reason. Avocado's are high in fiber, carotenoids, healthy fats, and are a great anti-inflammatory. Start adding in avocado's to your diet and receive the benefits to your heart, skin, and waistline.
Tummy Time - Nothing beats fresh, homemade guacamole! But adding in chunks of avocado to chicken salad is a close second.
7. Kiwi - Aka Tropical shiznit
These little buggers provide a big kick of Vitamin C, fiber, and are packed with antioxidants. Kiwi are a great summer time snack and the more you eat of these the more benefits you will see in cardiovascular health, colon health, and control of your blood sugar.
Tummy Time - Peel the skin with a knife and enjoy some delicious slices of kiwi!
8. Oranges - Aka Orange you glad your not a banana
Oranges are well known for their Vitamin C content and the immune system boost they provide. But they are also a great source of phytonutrients and antioxidants. Oranges have been linked with helping lower cholesterol, prevent ulcers, and support cardiovascular health. Plus because oranges have a high water content, they are very refreshing, especially on hot summer days.
Tummy Time - Peel and enjoy some oranges slices anytime you want.
9. Cantaloupe - Aka Muskmelon,
Cantaloupe pack a serious punch of Vitamins A and C. One serving of cantaloupe provides over your daily recommended value of both of these Vitamins. Cantaloupe is one of the most nutrient dense fruits and provides a good number of antioxidants and is a great anti-inflammatory.
Tummy Time - Throw some slices in greek yogurt and you're good to go.
10. Papaya - Aka What the french is papaya?
If you think oranges supply a lot of Vitamin C, then you haven't heard of papaya. These bad boys supply over 300% of the daily value in just one serving! Papaya is a fantastic post workout choice as is helps aid muscle recovery and decreases inflammation from exercise. Papaya also aids in prostate health, digestive health, heart health, and can help remedy arthritis.
Tummy Time - Throw some papaya slices into homemade salsa to get that sweet and spicy combination that rivals the great combination of Hall and Oates.
Fruit Juice - Most fruit juice's contain very small amounts of actual fruit, and high amounts of added sugar. Stay away from regular fruit juice's! If you can't live without fruit juice here are 3 options
1. POM - POM is a pomegranate drink that is 100% juice. Pomegranates are a nutritional power house, and POM is one of the few fruits drinks you should have.
2. Naked Juice - Naked juice are drinks that are 100% vegetable and juice. These are cool because on the side of the bottle it tells you exactly how many of each fruit and veggie are in it. No sugar is added because there is no need, fruit and veggies have enough natural sugar and sweetness to them.
3. Homemade - Have a juicer? Then make your own fruit juices. Don't have a juicer? Then use a blender with some water and blend up some soft fruits together. Delicious!
Dried Fruit - While dried fruit is a better option than other crappy snacks, just like fruit juice, most dried fruits are heavily saturated in added sugars when they don't need to be. Help clean this up and buy unsweetened dried fruits to ensure you're just getting the fruit and no added sugar.
All right you fruit cakes, now you got the know who on this summer's fruits. There isn't a better time to enjoy a bowl fresh, mouth watering fruits.
What's your favorite fruit? Did we include on the list or did we miss it? Leave us some feedback below! And until next time Go Get 'Em!