Turns out an apple a day (and an orange, kiwi, and banana)
can keep the doctor away. Your healthy bowl of fruit should look like this.
Keep the Doctor Away: Blueberries, oranges, bananas, apples, kiwis, grapes, strawberries, and papayas — take your pick and take a bite, because these fruits are superfoods for your health.
Blueberries: Blueberries are rich in antioxidants, which help fight cancer and prevent macular degeneration. Like cranberries, they contain compounds that can protect against urinary tract infections.
Drinking fruit smoothies can help you reach the recommended intake of fiber, which is 25 grams for women and 38 grams for men. One serving of fruit typically contains two to four grams of fiber with blackberries, pears and apples having the highest concentration of five to seven grams per serving. The soluble fiber found in fruit helps slow digestion and may help control blood sugar and lower cholesterol. Source: Laura Michele Oliver, Healthy Eating
1. Load up on lycopene
The antioxidant properties of lycopene may protect our immune cells from destructive free radicals, molecules that can harm cells and damage DNA. The best way to get lycopene—which is in the skin, and gives red tomatoes their rich colour—is through cooked or processed tomatoes (juice, sauce and paste). Cook tomatoes with a little healthy oil (e.g., olive or canola), which helps carry the lycopene into the bloodstream.
2. Care for your heart
Tomatoes are rich in vitamin C, which, like lycopene, is linked to reducing the risk of heart disease. Most of the vitamin C is concentrated in the jelly-like substance that encases the seeds. Tomatoes are also high in salicylates, which have an anti-clotting effect on the blood, and may be partially responsible for tomatoes’ protective effect against heart disease. Many recipes advise removing the seeds to prevent a bitter flavour. But to conserve nutrients, use plum tomatoes, which have less-bitter seeds.
3. Help control asthma
A new Australian study found that adequate intake of lycopene and vitamin A helped reduce exercise-induced asthma symptoms.
4. Feed your bones
Tomatoes contain vitamin K, which plays a key role in clotting blood and maintaining strong bones. And, research from Boston University found that vitamin K deficiency is linked to a higher prevalence of hand and knee osteoarthritis.
5. Add vitamin A
Vitamin A helps maintain healthy skin, hair, mucous membrances, bones and teeth. One cup (250 mL) of chopped tomatoes provides over half of the recommended daily amount of vitamin A for women.
Source: Best Health
Packed with more vitamin C than an equivalent amount of orange, the bright green flesh of the kiwifruit speckled with tiny black seeds adds a dramatic tropical flair to any fruit salad. California kiwifruit is available November through May, while the New Zealand crop hits the market June through October making fresh kiwis available year round.
The kiwifruit is a small fruit approximately 3 inches long and weighing about four ounces. Its green flesh is almost creamy in consistency with an invigorating taste reminiscent of strawberries, melons and bananas, yet with its own unique sweet flavor.
Kiwifruit can offer a great deal more than an exotic tropical flair in your fruit salad. These emerald delights contain numerous phytonutrients as well as well known vitamins and minerals that promote your health.
Kiwi’s Phytonutrients Protect DNA
In the world of phytonutrient research, kiwifruit has fascinated researchers for its ability to protect DNA in the nucleus of human cells from oxygen-related damage. Researchers are not yet certain which compounds in kiwi give it this protective antioxidant capacity, but they are sure that this healing property is not limited to those nutrients most commonly associated with kiwifruit, including its vitamin C or beta-carotene content. Since kiwi contains a variety of flavonoids and carotenoids that have demonstrated antioxidant activity, these phytonutrients in kiwi may be responsible for this DNA protection.
The protective properties of kiwi have been demonstrated in a study with 6- and 7-year-old children in northern and central Italy. The more kiwi or citrus fruit these children consumed, the less likely they were to have respiratory-related health problems including wheezing, shortness of breath, or night coughing. These same antioxidant protective properties may have been involved in providing protection for these children.
Premier Antioxidant Protection
Kiwifruit emerged from our food ranking system as an excellent source of vitamin C. This nutrient is the primary water-soluble antioxidant in the body, neutralizing free radicals that can cause damage to cells and lead to problems such as inflammation and cancer. In fact, adequate intake of vitamin C has been shown to be helpful in reducing the severity of conditions like osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and asthma, and for preventing conditions such as colon cancer, atherosclerosis, and diabetic heart disease. And since vitamin C is necessary for the healthy function of the immune system, it may be useful for preventing recurrent ear infections in people who suffer from them. Owing to the multitude of vitamin C’s health benefits, it is not surprising that research has shown that consumption of vegetables and fruits high in this nutrient is associated with a reduced risk of death from all causes including heart disease, stroke and cancer.
Fiber for Blood Sugar Control Plus Cardiovascular and Colon Health
Our food ranking system also qualified kiwifruit as a very good source of dietary fiber. The fiber in kiwifruit has also been shown to be useful for a number of conditions. Researchers have found that diets that contain plenty of fiber can reduce high cholesterol levels, which may reduce the risk of heart disease and heart attack. Fiber is also good for binding and removing toxins from the colon, which is helpful for preventing colon cancer. In addition, fiber-rich foods, like kiwifruit, are good for keeping the blood sugar levels of diabetic patients under control.
By Sara Ipatenco, Livestrong, Feb 06, 2014
If eating a juicy red apple involves stripping the peel away first, you might be doing yourself a nutritional disservice. Yes, an apple is still nutritious without the peel, but chomp the exterior of an apple, and you’ll reap even more nutritional and health benefits than eating just the flesh alone.
An Apple With the Peel
One large apple with the peel supplies 116 calories, no fat and 5.4 grams of fiber. That same apple delivers 239 milligrams of potassium, a mineral that’s essential to heart and muscle health, as well as 10.3 milligrams of vitamin C. You’ll also get 120 international units of vitamin A and 4.9 micrograms of vitamin K when you eat a large apple with the skin.
Under the Skin
An apple without the peel is still a healthy food, but you do lose out on some of the nutrients you would get if you ate the skin. A large apple without the skin contains 104 calories and 2.8 grams of fiber. That’s a significant fiber loss compared to an apple with the skin, and eating plenty of fiber keeps your digestive system working right. That same apple without the skin contains 194 milligrams of potassium and 8.6 milligrams of vitamin C. There are 82 international units of vitamin A and 1.3 micrograms of vitamin K in an apple without skin.
You Might Want to Eat the Skin Because …
In addition to the higher doses of certain nutrients, the apple skin offers several other health advantages. Eating the apple skin might reduce your risk of certain types of cancer, including liver, breast and colon cancers, according to Cornell University. The peel contains compounds called triterpenoids that have the power to destroy cancer cells, as well as prevent new cancerous cells from growing, Cornell University reports. A 2009 article published in the “Journal of Food Science” reports that the antioxidants in apple peels can help protect your heart health by preventing the oxidation of polyunsaturated fats. Oxidation of fats increases your risk of heart disease.