Here it is, another episode of “What I learned from reading Superfoods for Dummies.”
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.
- 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.
- 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!
- Avocado: One serving is about 2 tablespoons. Avocados are a great source of healthy fat and aides in absorption of vitamins A, E & K.
- 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!
(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?