Power Fruits for Spring

Okay, so you’ve read over and over again, eat more raw fruits and vegetables and now that beautiful spring has arrived, I bet you simply cannot wait to dig into the fresh, sweet natural goodness of raw fruit! Well, why don’t you get out of your comfort zone and check out more than the typical strawberry or apple (although strawberries and apples are fabulous, too)!  Check out these beautiful spring fruits and try to incorporate them into you daily life – in smoothies, in salads, in salsas and straight up!  Your taste buds and your bod will be pleasantly surprised!

Blueberries: With one of the highest antioxidant capacities among both fruits and vegetables, blueberries can actually increase your blood’s ability to absorb antioxidants in the first place! And if that’s not cool enough, one cup has 35% of your daily value of vitamin K—a nutrient that’s vital to bone and blood health. Studies also suggest that they can lower cholesterol and even improve memory.

Mango: Mangos are high in phenols and fiber, which are both associated with a lower risk of cancer. The high iron content in mangos makes them a perfect food for expectant mothers. Mangos are also great for digestion,  healthy skin, and sex drive. Cutting them can be a little tricky, so check out this tutorial from Simply Recipes. Check out this super easy mango salsa, too!

Kiwi: Just one of these green superfruits contain 120% of your daily vitamin C needs. And get this—kiwifruit has been proven to protect your very DNA from oxygen-related damage. If you need any more reasons to love kiwi, it’s known to significantly reduce asthma symptoms in children. When choosing a kiwi, gently squeeze the fruit; a ripe kiwi will give just slightly. Toss some sliced kiwi into your next fruit salad for a tropical twist!

Tomato: Yup, they’re a fruit – at least botanically speaking. A member of the nightshade family, tomatoes are best known as a great source of lycopene, which is shown to significantly reduce osteoporosis in women and risks for certain kinds of cancer. The versatile fruit is known for lowering cholesterol, improving heart health, and in some studies, preventing neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s. Choose tomatoes with rich colors and a smooth, tight skin! Slice up your favorite fresh-off-the-vine tomatoes and toss with olive oil, fresh basil, balsamic vinegar, sliced cucumber and a pinch of sea salt for a refreshing summer salad.

Watermelon: Summer is closer than you think, and this sweet and crunchy treat is a perfect complement to the increasingly warm weather. Watermelon is a great source of vitamins A, C, B6and B1. (And since the refreshing taste is best enjoyed outdoors, it might help you get some sunny vitamin D, too!) When buying cut watermelon, look for deep color with no white streaks. If buying whole, look for a heavy fruit and a smooth rind. For a different and delicious way to prepare watermelon, toss a few cups into your blender along with a some mint leaves. Sip, sigh, and relax.

Quick side note, always be aware of The Dirty Dozen. EWG (Environmental Working Group) maintains a running list of all those fruits and vegetables which retain the highest pesticide loads during conventional farming processes. If you cannot afford to go organic for all fruits and vegetables, make sure to at a minimum, go organic for those identified as The Dirty Dozen.

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