Fruits have long been known as a good source of vitamins and minerals and fore their role in preventing vitamin A and vitamin C deficiencies. Fruits are important sources of many nutrients, including potassium, fiber, vitamin Cand folate ( folic acid ) which are beneficial to our health. People who eat fruits as part of an overall healthy diet generally have a reduced risk of chronic diseases. The United States Department of Agriculture.( USDA’s ) ‘My Plate’ encourages making half your plate fruits and vegetables for a healthy eating. Incorporating blueberries, citrus fruits, cranberries or strawberries which contain phyto-chemicals that are being studied for added health benefits.
However, not every fruit qualifies to be a super fruit. Those that are super fruits according to nutrition scientist, Amanda MacMilan are packed with antioxidants, fiber, vitamins and minerals and other nutrients that can help you live longer, look better and even prevent diseases.Fruits are best consumed whole, not processed. While the list of good fruits is long, we will examine ten super fruits and their health benefits;
1. Acai Berries
Acai berries actually deserves some of the praises it gets, thanks to its weapon-grade antioxidant levels. This tiny fruit is not easy to be found fresh because it comes from Brazil. “I recommend powdered Acai berry, which can be added into a smoothie” says Glassman. “Not only is this an easy way to get the super fruit into your diet but it also helps to mask the tart and sometimes the bitter taste” says Benjamin Plackett.
Apple is a secret super fruit, thanks in part to its red or green colour. Apples are a great fiber source, but the skin contain quercetin, an antioxidant that packs anti-hitamine and anti-inflammatory power and consequently may help protect you from heart disease and allergic reactions. A study from St. George’s Hospital Medical School in London found out that people who eat five or more apples in a week have better lung function than those who do not eat apples.
Banana is a super fruit that is loaded with potassium which can lower your blood pressure and it is one of the sources of Resistant Starch. Resistant Starch is a healthy carbohydrate that fills you up and helps to boost your metabolism.
4. Grape Fruits
The grape fruit is a great fruit that is more for your heart than for your weight. Grape fruit can help you keep heart disease at bay by lowering cholesterol. The redder the grape fruit, the better they contain higher levels of antioxidants called resveratrol. The malic acid in grapes naturally breaks down stains and discolorations on your teeth says Elisa Mello, clinical professor at the New York University.
Eating blueberries enhances your brain function and memory. Many scientific studies have linked high flavonoids levels in blueberries with good memory. Regular consumption of blueberries may also help keep your brain functioning well as you age. Also see my previous article on this website, ” Mediterranean diet for aging brain”. Blueberries are also rich in manganese which plays an important role in your metabolism that can help keep you slim and energized.
Make cantaloupe your secret weapon for smooth, younger looking skin. Cantaloupe is a super fruit because it is rich in vitamin A and its derivatives which boosts cell reproduction, making it a natural exfoliator of the skin according to Glassman.
Cherries are deep red in color.Cherries are one of Glassman’s fruit heroes. The y owe their deep red color to an antioxidant called anthocyanin which can reduce inflammation of the blood vessels and lower triglyceride and cholesterol levels. Cherry eaters are also known to have a healthy weight and have big drops in cholesterol.
8. Citrus Fruits
Every type of citrus from lime to tangerines are packed full of vitamin C, fiber and small amounts of other nutrients and disease-fighting chemicals. Vitamin C counters the effects of sun damage, regulates oil glands and can prevent age spots. Use lemon-, lime-, orange-infused recipes for a tangy take on dinner ( and dessert ) without any added fat, calories or cholesterol.
These little berries are super fruits especially for women. Scientific researches have shown that cranberries can prevent urinary-tract infections and may help fight ovarian cancer. According to a new Rutgers University study, people who drink a glass of unsweetened cranberry juice each day tend to have good cholesterol by 10 percent.
10. Dragon Fruit
The name and the vibrant color of this super fruit skin tells you that it is something special. The dragon fruit is grown mainly in Asia and you might be able to find it at one of your local China towns or farmers market. Five years ago, researchers from Malaysia’s Universiti Putra analyzed the seed and found there to be a bounty essential fatty acids, which we need but can not be made by our body. In fact, half of the seeds were made up of an essential fatty acid, oleic acid which helps lower bad cholesterol and raise good cholesterol.