Few things compare to the sweetness of fresh-picked strawberries or the luscious first bite of watermelon that leaves juice dripping down your chin.
Fruits are not only delicious but healthful too. Rich in vitamins A and C, plus foliate and other necessary nutrients, they may help prevent heart disease and stroke, control blood pressure and cholesterol, prevent some types of cancer and guard against vision loss.
If it’s the vitamins that promote good health, you may wonder if you can just pop supplements. Nope. Sun-drenched peaches and vine-ripened grapes contain more than just vitamins; they’re a complex combination of fibre, minerals, antioxidants and phytochemicals â€“ as well as the vitamins â€“ that work in combination to provide protective benefits. You can’t get all that from a pill.
One of the most nutritious foods available is the avocado. It contains Vitamin E and folate. Avocados contain healthy monounsaturated fats that can help lower cholesterol levels when eaten instead of cancer causing saturated fats. For a heart-healthy boost, replace butter with avocado on your favorite sandwich. Babies love avocadoes because they are easy to eat.
Bananas are also a significant source of folate and potassium. This helps lower blood pressure levels.
Blackberries are rich in fiber and antioxidants. Juicy blackberries get their deep purple colour from the powerful antioxidant anthocyanin, which may help reduce the risk of stroke and cancer.
All cherries are healthy for you but sour cherries are the best. Sour cherries contain more of the potent antioxidant anthocyanin than any other fruit. Anthocyanin may help reduce inflammation and ease the pain of arthritis and gout.
Cranberries are antibacterial and studies show that they can help treat and prevent urinary tract infections. Recent research has also linked cranberries to the prevention of kidney stones and ulcers.
Figs are high in fiber and calcium and help fight disease. They make an excellent substitute for butter or oil in baked goods.
Grapes contain resveratrol, an antioxidant that may help prevent heart disease by reducing blood pressure levels and lowering the risk of blood clots. Resveratrol may also help stop the spread of breast, stomach and colon cancer cells.
With more vitamin C than oranges, kiwis can help in the development and maintenance of bones, cartilage, teeth and gums. They can also help lower blood triglyceride levels (high triglycerides increase the risk of heart disease).
Mangoes are super- high in the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, which may help protect vision and reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration (the leading cause of blindness in adults).
Try snacking on peaches and pears for a nutritious snack. Much of the fibre found in pears is soluble, which can help prevent constipation. Soluble fibre may also help reduce blood cholesterol levels and prevent heart disease.
High in vitamin A, peaches help keep the immune system running well and can help fight off infections.
In the next blog I will discuss even more nutritious fruits that are fantastic choices for you and your kids to eat.