All fruits are great for you but all fruits are not made equal so we've been doing some digging to find out what the very best top 5 fruits deserve the crown of super fruits and this is what we've come up with.
Whilst vegetables can sometimes feel like a chore, fruits are undeniably a delicacy and sweeter than most of your junk food faves, making them a super palatable choice to feed your sugar craving while also loading up on some vitamins and minerals – who said you can't kill two birds with one stone?
If for some reason you don't agree how versatile fruits can be then potentially you need an expansion of your fruit diversity instead of settling for the obvious easy buys like apples and bananas (two excellent choices by the way so not knocking them and well and truly deserve a place in your fruit bowl).
The 5-a-day rule has been drilled into all of us from earlier then we can remember but for many people it's 2 or 3 too many to fit in each day, for reasons of time and expense. So if you are finding it difficult to get your 5-a-day in maybe mixing up your variety of fruit could help fill the nutrient gap that you may be missing and potentially some fruits may be worth more than just one of your five a day whilst also being extra delicious.
Hopefully, you are unknowingly indulging in these super fruits already but here is an introduction to why these wonderful healthy fruits have unbelievable benefits for your body:
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Our top 5 super fruits
Mango - This is known to be an immune system booster and high in vitamin C, which promotes healthy hair and skin, so really good for the whole body. Mangos can be found literally everywhere these days and if you can't be bothered to carve one up (by far the best way to eat them), you can find ready peeled and cubed punnets in most good supermarkets. Tip! If you have a local street market, you should be able to find some exotic variations that supermarkets don't usually stock.
Grapefruit - Contains 50% of recommend vitamin C for the day and due to the high fibre content can even improve heart health. Grapefruits also have a special fat-burning ability and is said to contains certain enzymes that, when eaten before other foods, help burn off fat. In fact, the grapefruit diet is one of the longest surviving diets of all time with countless celebrities swearing by it and supporters of the diet claim you can lose as much as 10 pounds in 12 days. One of the reasons why it's such a popular diet is because it's really easy to do, simply incorporate grapefruit into every meal you have during the waking day. Super fruit status SEALED!
Blueberries - This one is for your brain as it boosts memory by protecting the nerve cells from oxygen damage (we no likey oxygen damage). We don't think this one needs a hard sell because who doesn't like every kind of berry and especially one that goes hand-in-hand with pancakes are yummy! But seriously though, of all the berries, blueberries are probably the most widely available and for good reason too. The reason why blueberries are so good for you is because they support your body's own immune system (our most effective prevention of disease and illness). Blueberries also strengthen metabolism, another one of the most important functions of your body which helps to reduce the risk of diabetes, obesity and heart diseases. All that goodness from a small handful of blueberries. True they're not cheap but if you think of it as a form of preventive medicine that you need to have once a month then a fiver is a small price to pay.
Acai Berry - not only have these become trendy on Instagram (social media seal of approval) but they also help reduce cholesterol levels, encourage weight loss and have 10 times as many antioxidants as a grape which has been linked to anti-ageing properties- yes the elixir of life (not quite but kind of). Who doesn't want youthful looking skin, nails and hair? Make antioxidants one of your best friends and you will show the signs of ageing much slower than most and these little powerful berries pack a way bigger punch than most other fruits. Instagram users may only have just heard of these but people in the Amazonian basin have been eating them for centuries where it's a staple food. Taste wise they are like a cross between blackberries and chocolate – what's not to like about that? However, they are not the most easy to eat because they mostly come in dried form and need to be soaked before they can be consumed, unless you've got the hardened teeth of a goat. Good news is, you can buy Acai berry in powder form to use in smoothies, frozen paste which you can keep for weeks in the freezer and break off small chunks to add to smoothies or porridge or even bake with and our least favourite option, in supplement form available from most good health food stores such as Holland & Barret. However you consume them, the benefits are huge and one not to be missed out on.
Pomegranate - Contains potent anti-inflammatory properties which therefore helps reduce risks in heart disease, cancer and type 2 diabetes. Rated by many a health food website, pomegranates are hailed as ‘among the healthiest fruits on Earth'! Enough said! Maybe not, so let's dive a bit deeper. Pomegranates are a hard to spell (thanks spell checker but will be referring to them from now on as 'they', 'them' and 'this') but when it comes to health benefits they are known to contain a range of beneficial plant compounds, unrivaled by other foods. They are actually categorized as berries which are lodged quite tightly into a hard inedible shell which looks a bit like a red apple. The two powerful plant compounds found in them are called Punicalagins and Punicic Acid and are famed for their super powerful medicinal properties which are beyond the scope of this blog post so click on those links and google will provide answers to any questions you might have. They also have incredible anti-inflammatory properties which can help to fight very serious disease. Unlike acai berries, this super fruits is delicious and so easy to use in things like savoury salads to add a sweet spin to your green leafy dish. They are equally great in fruit salads, sprinkled over porridge or even your favourite cereal.
So those are five of the best fruits you can incorporate into your diet that you may not already be consuming. If you are already then my bad and congratulations to you. If you're not then head down to your nearest supermarket or health food store and try and incorporate at least one of them into your regular diet – you won't regret it.
All fruits are amazing, packed with awesome vitamins, minerals and healthy sugars and fibre so make sure you always have at least one serving of fruit a day but no more than 2 or three servings because as you know, you can have too much of a good thing too and fruits do contain lots of sugar, which can be a problem for diabetics and can also lead to extra weight gain.
Don't forget also that not all fruits are sweet, such as avocados, tomatoes, cucumber, sweet bell peppers, olives and more. All very good for you and should also be part of your diet.
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How Big Is a Serving?
Generally, one serving of fruit is equal to about half a cup (sliced or chopped) or around 100 grams or about as much as you can hold in the palm of your hands. Fruits like apples, bananas, pears, oranges are a serving in their own right but things like water melons, pineapples and other larger fruit need to be sliced up into to at least 8 slices and each slice is a serving. Wrap the rest up in cling film and leave in the fridge to enjoy the following days.
Other ways to incorporate fruit in your diet
No joke, certain fruits go so well in sandwiches and must be tried such as sliced figs in a cheese sandwich. The two marry so well – trust me. Got some left over chicken from your Sunday roast? Shred some of it and add to a sandwich with a slice or diced up pineapple – hits the spot every time! Another great combination is thinly sliced red onion with slightly thicker slices of apple in a ham sandwich. Cream cheese and strawberries is also a winner. Really the combinations can go on forever, you just need to have a go at combining different fruits in your favourite sandwiches.
Just need to sign off with a disclaimer. Apart from a few small studies, there's no evidence to suggest there's any magical power found in grapefruit or any other ‘super fruit' other than the well known scientific studies that say they are beneficial to health. So, super fruits or any other fruit is no magic bullet for superior heath. They are just one tasty cog in the pursuit of living well and eating as healthy as possible.