Apple, Pear, Kiwi, Melon & Pineapple

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Fruit is such a broad category that I decided to only concentrate on a few fruits per week rather than the entire fruit family. This week the fruits we are concentrating on contain specific qualities and nutrients that warrant fitting them into your diet. The recommendation for this group is 1 serving per day. Try not to get stuck on just one of these fruits, enjoy the variety.

Whenever possible eat the whole raw fruit or put in in a blender with other fruits and vegetables for a smoothie. Frozen fruit is excellent to use in a smoothie in order to give it a frozen dessert consistency. I would caution getting your fruit in a juice form. In doing so you lose the fiber, increase the speed at which it raises your blood sugar and you lose vital fiber and nutrients. When using fruit in juicing, it should be used to improve the taste of juiced vegetables; with the main ingredients being the vegetables.

When recommending fruit I am frequently asked about the sugar content and if fruit should be limited. Fruit does indeed have a higher sugar content than vegetables; however the body knows what to do with fruit in its whole form. The fiber in the whole fruit slows down the rise of blood sugar. Whole fruit also provides vital antioxidant nutrients and phytochemicals. Generally fruit is high in Vitamin C and the B Vitamins, carotenes, flavonoids, and polyphenols. Fruits are one of the richest sources of water-soluble vitamins (along with vegetables). Water-soluble vitamins cannot be stored by the body and must be provided through the foods we eat every day.

The sugar provided by fruit is fructose. In general because of the sugar content fruits should be limited to no more than approximately 3-4 servings per day. The fructose in fruits does not behave the same way in the body that other sugars do. Fructose must be turned into glucose in the liver; therefore blood sugars do not rise as quickly as it does when eating simple sugars or refined carbohydrates.

The issue of sugar content in fruit may be of more importance to those with diabetes, metabolic syndrome, or desiring significant weight loss. For these individuals fruit may still be incorporated into the diet, but perhaps less frequently. In this case it may be advantageous to learn about the glycemic index and eat fruits lower on the glycemic index (this will be addressed separately later).

Prepared for Move to Improve….…Total Woman Fitness……..Leigh Pozas.……

Apples – I am sure I don’t have to quote the old adage “an apple a day………….”! We all know this one like the back of our hand. It is certainly a simple statement that says a lot, and has been proven to be true. In an analysis of over 85 studies apples were indeed found to be associated with reduced risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer, and asthma. This protective property seems to come from their high content of quercetin. Apples are packed with vitamins, nutrients, phytochemicals, and fiber. They are delicious and come in so many varieties that there is one to satisfy every palate.

The soluble fiber in apples is called pectin. Pectin is a gel-forming fiber which can lower cholesterol and improve the intestines ability to push waste through the gastrointestinal tract. The apple is best eaten with the peal (I recommend using a dull knife to scrape the wax that is often applied to apples to make them more attractive) because a large portion of the fiber and nutrients are in the peal.

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