Fruit has all sorts of magical properties that help keep people healthy and strong. DF’s got the scoop…
Why we love ’em: There’s a reason bananas are the most popular fruit in the United States — they’re delicious! They’re sweet, but not too sweet, and they’re soft, but not too soft. And bananas are fun to eat. Weeee!
The Magic ingredient: Potassium. Bananas are one of the best sources of this essential mineral. Potassium helps us to maintain normal blood pressure and heart function and helps prevent cardiovascular disease and stroke.
How to enjoy them: With a drizzle of honey, chopped up and mixed into a Jell-O SF pudding cup, or frozen with a touch of Hershey’s Lite Chocolate Syrup.
Why we love ’em: These hairy, brown babies may not be much to look at, but cut one open and you’ll find that the outside is much different from its gorgeous inside, which is a lovely, brilliant, bright green. And they taste great, too.
Magical Properties: Studies show that kiwi may protect against respiratory symptoms associated with asthma, such as wheezing and shortness of breath. Kiwi has long fascinated researchers because of its amazing ability to protect DNA in the nucleus of human cells. It’s also loaded with vitamin C, and a good source of vitamin E, vitamin A and fiber.
How to enjoy ’em: Top sliced kiwi and strawberries with nonfat plain yogurt, make a tropical fruit salad or salsa, or simply peel, slice and eat plain.
Why we love ’em: Apples are sweet, crunchy and refreshing. And, because apples are a good source of fiber, they not only keep the doctor away, but they keep hunger at bay as well.
The Magic ingredient: Many of the phytochemicals found in apples, including quercetin, catechin, phloridzin and chlorogenic acid, are strong antioxidants. These antioxidants serve to help prevent cancer, heart disease, asthma, and type 2 diabetes.
How to enjoy ’em: Sliced w/a Tbsp. of all natural peanut butter, baked using diet black cherry soda, or chopped up into a carton of Yoplait Light Apple Turnover Yogurt.
Why we love ’em: Blueberries are jam-packed with nutrients and great taste, yet are very low in calories. These tart ‘n tangy colorful circles of flavor are delicious in everything from pancakes to muffins to oatmeal and yogurt.
The Magic ingredient: Antioxidants. All fruits contain antioxidants, but studies show that blueberries contain the highest antioxidant content of all. This makes them great at destroying free radicals that cause disease and signs of aging.
How to enjoy ’em: In cold cereal, warmed up in a bowl of oatmeal, or as part of a BlueBran Vitalicious VitaTop.
Why we love ’em: Grapes are awesome. They’re fun to pop in your mouth, and have a great sweet, juicy crunch to them.
The Magic ingredient: Boron and flavonoids. All grapes are a great source of boron, a mineral that may help ward off osteoporosis. Grapes also contain beneficial compounds called flavonoids, which are phytochemicals that give red grapes their bright color (note: the more vibrant the color, the more rich the flavonoids). These flavonoids have been shown to decrease LDL (bad) cholesterol.
How to enjoy ’em: Frozen, in the form of a glass of wine, or straight off the vine.
Why we love ’em: These beauteous red friends are little bits of berry bliss. Sweet and refreshing, they’re one of the most delicious fruits ever. And lucky for us, they’re also super-low in calories.
The Magic ingredients: Vitamin C. Strawberries actually have more of the stuff than oranges. Strawberries also contain ellagic acid, a natural cancer-fighting chemical. Researchers have found that this compound is a potent inhibitor of such carcinogens as tobacco smoke and nitrosamines.
How to enjoy ’em: Dipped in Hershey’s Lite Chocolate Syrup, sliced in oatmeal, or on top of Dreyer’s Slowed Churned Ice Cream in Vanilla or Strawberry.
DF has some AWESOME salad ideas for you…
Whether you’re at your local salad joint or rummaging through the fridge and pantry, use these ideas to keep from getting caught in a boring salad rut!
Super Duper Southwest Salad:
(Entire salad: Approx. 275 calories, 4.5g fat, 800mg sodium, 35g carbs, 8g fiber, 13g sugars, 30g protein = 5 Points)
3 cups romaine lettuce + 1/2 cup tomatoes + 1/2 cup red pepper strips + 1/4 cup corn niblets + 1/4 cup black beans + 1/2 cup plain chunk-style chicken + 2 tbsp. salsa + 2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
This salad will satisfy your craving for a giant honkin’ Mexican-inspired meal. And feel free to zazzle it up a little more with some shredded fat-free cheese and/or some crushed baked tortilla chips. Your nutritionals will vary, of course, but this one’s so low-cal that even with the extra goodies, it’ll still clock in with staggeringly low stats.
California Veggie Heaven:
(Entire salad: Approx. 260 calories, 6.5g fat, 1,050mg sodium, 40g carbs, 7.5g fiber, 17g sugars, 11g protein = 5 Points)
3 cups mixed baby greens + 1/2 cup cucumbers + 1/2 cup mushrooms + 1/2 cup alfalfa sprouts + 1/4 cup sweet peppers + 1/4 cup garbanzo beans + 1 tbsp. raisins + 2 tbsp. feta cheese + 1 tsp. sunflower seeds + 2 tbsp. fat-free honey mustard dressing
The combo of veggies, feta, raisins, sunflower seeds and more makes this a decadent treat that tastes super-high-cal but isn’t. Hate sprouts? Feel free to garnish with a handful of shredded carrots, instead (but please, don’t actually use your hand if you’re at a salad bar)! Mmmmmm!
Cobby-licious Salad Supreme:
(Entire salad: Approx. 290 calories, 8g fat, 800mg sodium, 30g carbs, 8g fiber, 9g sugars, 24g protein = 6 Points)
3 cups romaine lettuce + 1/2 cup tomatoes + 1/2 cup cucumbers + 1/4 cup chopped eggs + 2 tbsp. imitation bacon bits + 1/4 cup red kidney beans + 1/4 cup plain chunk-style chicken + 2 tbsp. fat-free blue cheese dressing
This Cobb-inspired salad ROCKS! With eggs, bacon bits and blue cheese flavor in every bite, it’s hard to believe that this one averages under 300 calories, but it does. Fat-Saving Tip: Use only egg whites and no yolks, and you’ll shave 3.5 fat grams and 1 Point off this salad’s total tally. Yay!
Enjoy these fruits and salads for a summer of eating to good health, with love from your Forum Super Administrator- Lindsay!