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Here it is, another episode of “What I learned from reading Superfoods for Dummies.”

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Today, it’s all about the produce. While fresh fruits and vegetables are of course great for your health, choosing those considered superfoods can come with additional benefits.

FRUITS

  • Apples: Glad to see that they’re on the list because they are hands down one of my favorite fruits. Apples are a great source of fiber which can help you feel full for longer. In addition, they are a great source of vitamin C and have been shown to lower blood pressure.

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  • Bananas: High in fiber and potassium. They are also a great recovery food after a workout. Peel and eat 15-60 minutes after a run. The carbs will refuel and energize you and the high potassium content will replace all that you lost through sweat (source).
  • Blueberries: High in vitamin C and fiber, low in calories.
  • Cherries: High in vitamin C, potassium, fiber, low in calories. Cherries are a source of the cancer-fighting melatonin. Put over top of chicken for a cherry-filled dinner!
  • Cranberries: As opposed to other fruits they are low in sugar, which therefore make them pretty tart. Many times dried cranberries and cranberry juices in stores have a ton of added sugar to account for this, so tred cautiously. Cranberries themselves are low in calories and fat they have been proven to block bacterial growth.
  • Oranges: Eating a single one will provide you with all of your recommended vitamin C for the day, 4 grams of fiber and at only 80 calories.
  • Pomegranate: Although eating is a bit tricky (I have yet to learn how to “harvest” the seeds, knows as arils), pomegranate juice is a source of vitamin C and K.  For step by step instructions, visit Iowa Girl Eats to learn how to eat a pomegranate.

One serving of fruit is usually equivalent to 1/2 cup sliced. According to Michelle Obama and her myplate.gov, for a woman my age it’s recommended that I aim for 2 cups per day. I love fruit so this is no problem for me!

VEGETABLES

  • Avocado: One serving is about 2 tablespoons. Avocados are a great source of healthy fat and aides in absorption of vitamins A, E & K.

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  • Carrots: High in fiber, low in calories. Carrots are a source of vitamin A which sharpens eyesight (I’ve never seen a rabbit with glasses so it must be true). Vitamin A also creates white blood cells.
  • Spinach: One full cup is only 7 calories! Grab a few handfuls for your salad and get some vitamin A, E and K along with it. Throw some in the blender for a green smoothie!

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(Click here for the recipe for this “Tropical Green Monster Smoothie.”)

  • Tomatoes: Contain lycopenes which have been shown to reduced cardiovascular disease as well as cancer.

One serving of vegetables is equivalent to 1/2 cup sliced, or 1-2 cups of the leafy variety. Myplate.gov says I should aim for 2 1/2 cups each day. That’s a bit trickier to attain, but certainly can be done.

There you have it! Fruits and vegetables filled with good for you cancer-fighting, cell producing, vitamin rich, fiber filled nutrients.

Want a recipe with a bunch of superfoods all in one place? Kristin from Iowa Girl Eats created a “Superfoods Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette.” I cannot wait to try it for myself!

QUESTION OF THE DAY: Is it easier for you to get in the recommended amount of fruits or veggies in your day? What’s your favorite way to eat them?

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