I think it’s safe to say you would have to be living under a rock to not know by now that sugar has been deemed the new enemy to public health. A simple Google search for “how to quit sugar” yields over 25 million results, and it seems all the cool kids are quitting sugar these days.
While I don’t dispute that added and excess sugar is incredibly detrimental to our health, fruit, sadly, has been villainized alongside processed sugars, leading to confusion for those of us who would like to lose weight and/or improve our health.
Yes, fruit contains sugar. But fruit also contains fiber, vitamins and minerals, and phytochemicals and antioxidants, all of which are critical to maintaining good health.Fruit is nature's candy. Click To Tweet
The truth is, there’s no reason to fear fruit!
Unprocessed whole fruit intake offers a variety of amazing health benefits, including:
- Prevent chronic disease: fruit intake has been linked to a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and certain cancers.
- Help with weight loss: many fruits are high in fiber which make them excellent for helping us stay fuller longer and eat less overall. Their sweet flavor and slower digestion can also help to stabilize blood sugar and keep cravings under control.
- Improve complexion: fruits contain nutrients and antioxidants which can create a healthy complexion from the inside out, plus many fruits have a high water content, helping our skin stay hydrated, resilient, and wrinkle-free.
How much fruit should we eat each day?
The current recommendation by the USDA is that half of each meal should be made up of fruits and vegetables, with slightly more consumption of vegetables than fruits. However, debate exists between health and nutrition professionals as to exactly how many servings we ought to eat each day (and even what constitutes a serving). Truthfully, most of us simply are not eating enough fruits (or veggies), and, in my opinion, when it comes to plants, the more the better!
That being said, be sure to follow my guidelines for selecting the best fruit for your health:
- Choose organic fruits when you will be eating the skin (berries, apples, peaches, pears, etc) to reduce pesticide exposure.
- Eat fruit in its whole form to maximize fiber intake.
- Look for fruits that are lower on the glycemic index (apples, berries, bananas, grapes, oranges, plums, prunes, etc) to keep your blood sugar stable.
Make the day a bit sweeter, and more nutritious, by throwing a handful of berries on top of your morning cereal, eating a piece of fruit with a handful of nuts for a snack, or incorporating orange slices or pomegranate seeds in your dinner salad ♥