Easy tips for your next trip down the fruit aisle
Eating fruit is an easy and tasty way to get the important nutrients you need to function well and lead a healthy life. Add them to yogurt, blend them into a smoothie or simply take them on the go.
Even if you’re already incorporating fruit into your diet, Jennifer Steele, a registered dietitian at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center in Chicago, offers up a few often overlooked tips to help you make the most out of your next trip to the grocery store.
- Remember: Fiber is king. Fiber offers a bevy of amazing benefits, such as more regular bowel movements, a healthier colon, slower absorption of sugar into the bloodstream and a longer feeling of fullness. Keep an eye out for berries, like strawberries and blueberries, which are great sources of fiber, Steele says. Also, remember the skin is packed with fiber, so consider leaving it on when you’re ready to eat.
- Make your selection bright and colorful. Steele recommends hauling away a variety of fruits with different colors because it will help you get a better mixed combination of nutrients and minerals. For instance, bananas are a great source of potassium, which is good for blood pressure; oranges are well-known for their vitamin C-packing powers, which boost immune systems; and grapes carry riboflavin, which is good for heart health. And the brighter the skin, the more nutrients there are, Steele adds.
- Plan for portion control. While eating too much fruit isn’t necessarily dangerous, it could signal that you’re not getting other important nutrients like protein. A good rule of thumb is to portion your fruit into about the size of your hand, like one apple or one orange. “Also keep in mind the concentration of the fruit,” Steele adds. “One apple fits into the palm of your hand, but eat a smaller portion of dried fruit, which have a higher concentration of calories.”
- Don’t discriminate. There is no such thing as a good fruit or a bad fruit. “Personal trainers may recommend not eating bananas because they pack a little bit more sugar than other fruits. But bananas offer other important nutrients, like potassium, which we still need for our bodies to function well,” Steele says.
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