Greek and Mediterranean Recipes, Cocktails and Nutrition

Healthy Fruits to Eat (Superfood Fruits)

Healthy Fruits to Eat (Superfood Fruits)

Food fads come and food fads go. Remember the Atkins Diet? We were encouraged to subsist on bacon and steak, but later learned that creator Dr. Atkins had a history of heart attacks and congestive heart failure. How about the cabbage soup diet? Followers lost weight, but mostly through fluid loss and diarrhea.

One constant remains, though, and that’s a healthy diet which includes fruits and veggies. There are some healthy fruits to eat which will provide more benefits than others. Curious? Read on to learn about the best fruits to incorporate into your diet for optimal health.

Grapes

The lowly grape is actually one of the best fruits for your heart. They contain antioxidants which can help you beat heart disease, and they’ve also got a lot of potassium and iron. The nutrients in grapes can help prevent many types of cancer: endometrial, lung, prostate, colon and mouth cancer have all been studied.

In case you’re wondering, wine can be beneficial to your health, too. Moderate (ahem – moderate) consumption of red wine can help to benefit your cardiovascular system as well as help to prevent cancers. It can also help to slow weight gain and protect against dental disease!

Kiwi

Kiwi is another unexpected superfood fruit. These little fuzzy darlings are packed with Vitamin C and Vitamin E. You know about the benefits of Vitamin C – you need it for healthy teeth and gums, and it helps your body absorb other nutrients. But Vitamin E is often overlooked.

Vitamin E is another antioxidant, which can help rid your body of free radicals. Free radicals are the result of mismatched atoms in your body, and they can alter your cell makeup. In short, they’re bad for you and their presence in your body can promote cancers, Parkinson’s, and even alcoholism.

Vitamin E works to combat these free radicals, as it’s an antioxidant. High amounts of Vitamin E are found in kiwi, making it one of the most healthy fruits to eat.

Pomegranates

Superfood Fruits

There was a pomegranate craze a few years ago. In 2002, POM wonderful capitalized on this trend, and brought pomegranate juice to grocery stores. It was the right move at the right time for POM, as the company is now reportedly worth $4 billion.

As it would turn out, POM was on to something. Pomegranate is a superfood fruit, and it makes the list of the most healthy fruits to eat. Pomegranate contains from two to three times the antioxidant power of red wine, and offers a whole host of health benefits.

Pomegranate is said to improve heart health and control high blood pressure. Just ¼ each day can also help with erectile dysfunction. Can’t get to a bottle of pomegranate juice? Pomegranates are a winter fruit in the northern hemisphere. Pick one up at your local grocery store. Careful, though – the seeds do stain!

Acai

No doubt you’ve heard of acai. It’s one of the most recent food trends, and is marketed as a superfood fruit. Acai is a Brazilian berry, and is said to increase weight loss and to contain antioxidants. It’s also lauded as an anti-inflammatory, and is supposed to boost virility. Who wouldn’t want that?

The jury’s still out on whether the claims are true. It does, in fact, have high antioxidant properties. However, the beta carotene found in acai has actually been proven to increase the chance of lung cancer in smokers.

Only about 15% of the acai berry is edible, and the superfood itself is highly perishable. But if you’re curious about just what makes acai such a superfood, learn from the locals. Acai berry has been used as a treatment for diarrhea, ulcers, parasitic infections and hemorrhages.

Blueberries

If you’re looking for a superfood fruit that grows closer to home, just buy some blueberries! Blueberries not only contain those coveted antioxidants, but also help to decrease the probability of macular degeneration. Macular degeneration is what causes blindness in older adults.

Blueberries, albeit small, are a good source of potassium, of Vitamin C and of fiber. Anthocyanin is also found in high traces in blueberries, and studies have proven that this nutrient is good for the heart. In fact, a study concluded that anthocyanin reduced the risk of heart disease in women aged 25 to 42 – by 32%! That’s a huge decrease.

Add a scoop of blueberries to your oatmeal each morning for a boost of healthy vitamins and nutrients.

Bananas

Bananas are sometimes seen as a kids’ food. Heck, we mash them up and feed them to babies as a first food. After a while, bananas lose their power of attraction. (You thought we were going to say “a-peel.”)

But don’t totally discount bananas. They’re actually one of the most healthy fruits to eat. You know they’re great for your muscles; they’ve got a ton of potassium and can prevent muscle cramping. Bananas also contain a great deal of fiber, keeping your digestive tract healthy. That fiber also keeps you feeling full.

If you’re like some, you may not appreciate the texture of unadulterated bananas. Why not mix them in a smoothie with some of the other superfood fruits? You can also cut them into slices, drizzle chocolate over them, and place them in the freezer. Dark chocolate is a superfood, too!

Cranberries

Healthiest Fruits
A favorite of ours, cranberries are also an overlooked superfood. For a long time, the acidity of cranberries was credited with helping to clear up urinary tract infections. We’ve since found out that it’s not the acid at all.

Cranberries contain proanthocyanidins, just as some other berries, nuts and grapes do. But the unusual makeup of the proanthocyanidins in cranberries is what makes them so unique. They actually work as a barrier to bacteria, preventing it from attaching to the lining of the urinary tract. That means they stop UTIs before they start.

Prevention of UTIs isn’t the only way cranberries can contribute to your health. They contain antioxidants and anti-inflammatories. They help fight against cancers, and they boost your immune system. They’ll also help to improve your dental health and reduce risk of gum disease.

Next time you’re tempted to reach for the nearest fad diet manual, give it a second thought. By talking to your doctor about a healthy diet which incorporates superfood fruits, you can not only lose weight but enjoy dozens of other health benefits as well.



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