Tuesday, March 3, 2009
There are many benefits of eating fruit. Fruits are generally low in fats, calories, and sodium. They contain no cholesterol. Coupled with high amounts of dietary fiber, fruits are heart healthy. Some of the nutrients contained in fruits include potassium, dietary fiber, vitamin C, and folate (folic acid). Potassium helps to maintain a healthy blood pressure. Dietary fiber, obtained from eating fruits whole, helps reduce blood cholesterol levels and can lower risk of heart disease. Fiber is very important for elimination of wastes (proper bowel function). It helps to reduce constipation and diverticulosis. Vitamin C supports the immune system. It is also important for body tissue growth and repairs, helps to heal cuts and wounds, and keeps teeth and gums healthy. Folic acid helps the body to produce red blood cells and reduces the risk of neural defects in unborn children. The USDA recommends that we should consume a minimum of one to two cups of fruit daily depending on our respective ages and genders. Children should eat at least one to one and one-half cups of fruit per day, while adults should eat a minimum of one and one-half to two cups daily.
Are you getting enough?
Click the following link to see how much fruit you should eat everyday:
So what counts as a cup of fruit?
A cup is the equivalent of one small apple, one large banana, 8 large strawberries, or 8 ounces of 100% fruit juice. Be sure to note that drinking fresh juice is excellent for quick absorption, however, it will be necessary to compensate for the lack of fiber contained in it. My suggestion would be to take the remaining pulp and add it to a smoothie. For more examples of your favorite fruits, click this link:
A great way to ensure that you consume a variety of fruits everyday is to blend them into a smoothie. (I like to freeze my fresh cut fruits prior to blending because I like a slushy consistency.) The key to choosing fruits is to make sure that you eat as many colors of fruit every week. You should opt for pesticide-free, organically- grown fruits whenever possible and make sure that they are in-season. To learn more about locally-grown fruits in your state, visit the following link:
Here is a recipe for a great smoothie:
Raychelle’s Power Smoothie
1/2 cup strawberries; 2 cups unsweetened apple juice; 1 tbsp. ground flaxseed
1/2 cup pineapple; 1/4 cup aloe vera juice; 1 ripe banana
1/2 cup mango; 1 cup crushed ice; juice of 1 large lemon
2 tbsp. honey or agave nectar
Gradually combine all ingredients in a blender .
Use additional juice to achieve desired consistency.
Be good to yourself! More next time...