Health

Eating the Rights Fruits Can Save Your Life

| by Mitzi Dulan

What isn’t there to love about summer? Beautiful sunny skies, long lazy
days spent out of doors, barbeques, the beach…and the anticipation of
getting to eat many of my favorite seasonal fruits!

Heading to
the farmer’s market is a mouth-watering way to spend a summer’s day,
exploring all the fruits the season has to offer. Buying your produce
in-season is also less expensive, helps to support local business, and
is environmentally friendly, reducing energy emissions that result from
the necessity of shipping distantly grown fruits.

But what I
love most about summer fruits (even more than their great taste) is
knowing that I am encouraging my family to eat fresh, organic,
unprocessed foods. Coming up with enticing recipes that incorporate
these delicious eats, or simply biting into a fresh, juicy peach on a
hot August day, just epitomizes the season for me.

My food
philosophy is simple: Power up your life with whole food energy. Eating
clean, real foods that are close to nature is the best way to fuel your
body.

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Here are some “get fresh” facts and tips for my favorite summer fruits:

Apples
-One apple provides 15% of the Daily Value for fiber which has been shown to lower “bad” LDL cholesterol
-Apples are the only fruit proven to reduce lung cancer in women
-Full of antioxidants and flavonoids that support heart health

Get fresh tip: Apples with peanut butter contain the ideal ratio of protein to carbs, making it a perfect, filling mid-day snack.

Berries

-Blueberries: A study by Tufts University ranked blueberries the #1 fruit to destroy free radicals in the body
-Strawberries:
One study found people who consumed a diet loaded with strawberries
were 3x less likely to develop cancer compared to those eating few or
no strawberries
-Rasberries: 50% of the Daily Value of Vitamin C in one serving

Get fresh tip:
Berries taste great paired with yogurt or sprinkled on top of morning oatmeal!

Kiwi
-Good
source of both water soluble Vitamin C, and fat soluble Vitamin E,
optimizing this fruit’s ability to fight against free radicals
-Studies show that eating 2-3 kiwis a day can help reduce harmful blood clotting and triglyceride levels
-Rich in minerals -- potassium, magnesium, copper and phosphorus

Get fresh tip:
Slice up some kiwis with other fruits and make fruit kabobs for a great healthy barbeque alternative!

Papaya

-Papain (digestive enzyme) found in papaya is widely used as a treatment for sports injuries
-High in folate, potassium and dietary fiber
-One serving provides 313% of the Daily Value of Vitamin C to prevent artherosclerosis and diabetic heart disease

Get fresh tip:
Dice up some papaya salsa -- a delicious addition to fish tacos.

Peaches & Nectarines

-Good source of iron and potassium
-Shown to aid in digestion
-Contains lutein and zeaxanthin, two components great for eye health

Get fresh tip:
Delicious on their own, or try my recipe for “Simple Summer-Glazed
Grilled Peaches”: Grill one halved peach sprinkled with 1 tbsp. brown
sugar and 1 tbsp. ground cinnamon, and serve with a scoop of light
vanilla ice cream!

Pineapple
-Bromelain, a compound found in pineapples, has been show to reduce inflammation, blood clotting, and tumor growth
-1
cup of mango provides 128% of the Daily Value of manganese, an
important mineral for antioxidant strength and energy production
-High in Vitamin C to help with healthy immune system function

Get fresh tip:
Try my Pineapple Lemon Bliss Smoothie: Blend 1/4 lemon (peeled), 3/4
cup of fresh pineapple, 1 cup almond, hemp or organic 1% milk, 3/4 cup
ice.

Red Grapes
-Flavonoids, which give grapes their dark color, have been shown to lower LDL levels and reduce the risk of heart disease
-Contains pterostilbene, a cholesterol lowering antioxidant
-Resveratrol, a polyphenol found in red grapes, has been shown to decrease the risk of Alzheimer’s disease

Get fresh tip:
Rinse your grapes and throw them in the freezer for a cool, sweet treat.

Watermelon
-Lycopene,
a carotenoid found in watermelon, has been proven to effectively fight
against various cancers including breast, lung, prostate, colorectal
and endometrial cancer
-Rich in B6 and B1 vitamins
-Contains beta-carotene and vitamins A and C to reduce symptoms of asthma and arthritis

Get fresh tip:

To reduce your risk of prostate cancer, have a cup of iced green tea
with your watermelon. One study found that men who combined these two
nutritional powerhouses lowered their risk of prostate cancer by 86%.