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Health Food Store Tour: Fruits

March 22, 2012

Hi there! I’m Christy Goldfeder, Health Coach and IIN Graduate, Class of 2006Join me on IIN’s virtual Health Food Store Tour, where I’ll give you weekly tips on how to shop healthfully. Come back each week as we stroll through the aisles to discover which foods are the healthiest.

Fruits

Most people get some fruit if not veggies in their diet. Some of the same rules apply when shopping for fruit – you want to choose new and fresh looking pieces, and make sure that you buy them organic if they’re at the top of the Dirty Dozen.

What else to look for:

  • What’s in season – It will be fresher and less expensive. Check your calendar – if it’s April, skip the apples and go for strawberries.
  • Sugar content – Stick with the berries, cherries, apples and pears if you’re concerned about how much sugar you eat. Choose fresh fruit over dried fruit – the sugars are less concentrated in fresh fruits.

Here are a few of our favorite fruits, and a few recipes for you!

blueberries

Blueberries: With one of the highest antioxidant capacities among both fruits and vegetables, blueberries can actually increase your blood's ability to absorb antioxidants in the first place! And if that's not cool enough, one cup has 35% of your daily value of vitamin K—a nutrient that’s vital to bone and blood health. Studies also suggest that they can lower cholesterol and even improve memory, so try out this Blueberry Superfood Recipe from Coach Julia's blog!

mango

Mango: Mangos are high in phenols and fiber, which are both associated with a lower risk of cancer. The high iron content in mangos makes them a perfect food for expectant mothers. Mangos are also great for digestion,  healthy skin, and sex drive. Cutting them can be a little tricky, so check out this tutorial from Simply Recipes. Then give this Mango Salsa from graduate Terry Walters' blog!

kiwi

Kiwi: Just one of these green superfruits contain 120% of your daily vitamin C needs. And get this—kiwifruit has been proven to protect your very DNA from oxygen-related damage. If you need any more reasons to love kiwi, it’s known to significantly reduce symptoms in children with asthma. When choosing a kiwi, gently squeeze the fruit; a ripe kiwi will give just slightly. Toss some sliced kiwi into your next fruit salad for a tropical twist!

tomato

Tomato: Yup, they're a fruit - at least botanically speaking. A member of the nightshade family, tomatoes are best known as a great source of lycopene, which is shown to significantly reduce osteoporosis in women and risks for certain kinds of cancer. The versatile fruit is known for lowering cholesterol, improving heart health, and in some studies, preventing neurological diseases like Alzheimer's. Choose tomatoes with rich colors and a smooth, tight skin, and remember that canned tomatoes have plenty of health benefits, too! Slice up your favorite fresh-off-the-vine tomatoes and toss with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and a pinch of sea salt for a refreshing summer salad.

watermelon

Watermelon: Summer is closer than you think, and this sweet and crunchy treat is a perfect complement to the increasingly warm weather. Watermelon is a great source of vitamins A, C, B6, and B1. (And since the refreshing taste is best enjoyed outdoors, it might help you get some sunny vitamin D, too!) When buying cut watermelon, look for deep color with no white streaks. If buying whole, look for a heavy fruit and a smooth rind. For a different and delicious way to prepare watermelon, toss a few cups into your juicer along with a some mint leaves. Sip, sigh, and relax.

What're your favorite ways to enjoy these healthy fruits? Take a look at other Health Food Store Tour posts here!