We are told to eat our fruit and vegetables, but so many people are still worried about the sugar content in fruit. When we eat whole fruits, the generally small amount of fructose comes packaged with fibre, vitamins, minerals and other protective phytochemicals. Studies consistently show that those who eat more fruit have a lower risk of chronic diseases. It is truly nature’s perfect food – complete with biodegradable packing. Here are my best tips to enjoy fruit and get the most nutritional benefits from them.
1. Eat a Variety of Whole Fresh Fruits
Eat as much raw fruit as possible and opt for different types as they all have different micronutrients. Cooking fruit depletes its vitamin C content so while an apple crumble is nice on occasion, choose that whole apple 🍏 Buy organic if possible.
2. Eat the Seeds and Skin if you can
Eat the seeds and skins if they are edible (such as in grapes or guavas) as these are especially rich sources of fibre and phytochemicals 🍇 Remember that apple peel has 5x more antioxidants than the rest of it.
3. Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth
Forget the days of a fruit salad with watery melon. Create a veritable feast for the eyes by slicing fruits beautifully 🍍 Add cinnamon or chaat masala for an Indian style fruit salad. Enjoy with non-dairy yoghurt, vegan custard or chopped pecans. I love looking on Instagram for inspiration – parfaits that dreams are made of. If all else fails, just add pomegranate seeds! They make everything look beautiful.
4. Use Dried Fruits to Sweeten Foods Naturally
As these are a concentrated source of calories and naturally occuring sugars, it’s best to have just a few pieces daily (roughly 1/4 cup). Dates are a great source of iron while figs are rich in calcium. I like chopping them up finely and adding them to porridge or salad 😋 You can also make date paste for baking which is a good whole food sweetener.
5. Know a Portion Size
A portion is around 80g. Portions for children can be determined by what fits in their hand, generally speaking.
For adults, this might be:
🍌1 medium sized banana or pear
🍉 a chunky slice of watermelon
🍊 2 clementines or plums
✨ 2 handfuls of blueberries
What are your favourite fruits? Let me know in the comments below.