Bananas are a fascinating fruit in terms of their carbohydrate and sugar content. Even though bananas are a fruit that tastes quite sweet when ripe, containing 14-15 grams of total sugar, bananas receive a rating of low in their glycemic index (GI) value. The unique mix of vitamins, minerals, and low glycemic carbohydrates in bananas has made them a favorite fruit among endurance athletes. They portable, not expensive, and great taste (not to mention the cardiovascular and digestive benefits they help provide from the potassium and fiber!)
From the childhood classic of "ants on a log" to granola to carrot cake, raisins have been in most of our lives since our earliest years. So, are raisins good for you? Well, not only are raisins popular with all age groups and extremely versatile in the kitchen, but raisins nutrition includes being concentrated sources of energy, vitamins, minerals and electrolytes.Benefits of raisins include lowered blood pressure and better heart health. Studies have shown that daily consumption of raisins may significantly lower blood pressure, especially when compared to eating other common snacks, making them one of the best natural remedies for high blood pressure. Thompson seedless grapes, which were introduced to California in 1862 by William Thompson. To produce raisins, grapes are laid on brown craft paper trays between the vineyard rows and allowed to dry in the sun when harvested. This is the natural sun-drying process that turns grapes into raisins. Raisins are so quick and easy to consume, it?s really hard to find an excuse not to include them in your diet on a regular basis!
Pineapple is a delicious tasting, nutrient-dense tropical fruit that provides a ton of health benefits, yet it's still low in overall calories. It is used widely around the world as a natural remedy to treat everything from indigestion to being used as a natural allergy cure.The benefits of pineapple are due to its high supply of vitamin C, vitamin B1, potassium and manganese, in addition to other special antioxidants that help prevent disease formation. What most people don't realize about this tasty fruit is that its infinitely more useful to humans than just a garnish for tropical drinks.Pineapple is filled with phytonutrients that work as well as many medicines do to reduce symptoms of some of the most common illnesses and conditions we see today. Pineapple benefits include protection against cardiovascular disease, improved fertility, reduced inflammation and more. On top of the many health benefits of pineapple, its easy to find, inexpensive, versatile in recipes and, of course, its sweet, golden flesh tastes great too!
Red currants are small, round fruits that bear a resemblance to grapes. These sweet, juicy berries are commonly used in jams, sauces and various baked goods, or are simply eaten by hand as a snack. Akin to gooseberries, red currants come equipped with a plenitude of vitamins and minerals. Adding red currants to your diet plan will give you a boost of nutrient density. The potassium level in red currants is a heart-healthy mineral that plays an important role in cardiovascular health. It also helps prevent hypertension and lowers blood pressure. Potassium is also great for other body organs including the kidney and is known to reduce the risk of strokes as well.
Dried mango possesses a number of beneficial nutrients, including vitamin A that regulates metabolism, calcium, and iron, as well as a minimal amount of vitamin C. Despite the need for small servings, there are some important health benefits offered by these dried fruits, including a better skin appearance, regulated digestion, increased circulation, weight loss, and optimized heart health, among others. Enjoy them as is or rehydrate them and add to your favorite recipes.
It is not surprising to see a combination of both animal and human studies showing cardiovascular benefits from consumption of this popular fruit. Most of the phenolic phytonutrients have been shown to function as antioxidants in the body and to provide antioxidant protection within blood vessels. In one recent study, consumption of one apple per day over a period of 4 weeks resulted in significantly decreased blood levels of oxidized LDL cholesterol. Additionally, this decrease in oxidized LDL was associated with a lowered risk of atherosclerosis. Also of interest in recent studies has been the potential role of gut bacteria in enhancing the cardiovascular support provided to us by apples
Cantaloupes are members of the cucurbit family of plants (Cucurbitaceae) that also includes cucumbers, pumpkins, squashes, gourds, and a long list of melons. Researchers have shown that intake of cantaloupe phytonutrients can improve insulin and blood sugar metabolism. Cantaloupe's nutritional strong suit involves its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory nutrients, but many studies have suggested that increasing consumption of plant foods such as cantaloupe decreases the risk of obesity, overall mortality, diabetes, and heart disease while promoting a healthy complexion and hair, increased energy, and overall lower weight.
While cranberries have gotten less attention than other family members in the Ericaceae plant family (for example, blueberries), they more than earn their credentials as phytonutrient-rich foods. Over two dozen health-supportive phytonutrients have been identified in cranberries. Researchers believe that cranberries contain substances that prevent infection-causing bacteria from sticking to the urinary tract walls, an they are also an excellent source of many important vitamins and nutrients, including vitamin C, manganese and fiber. The health benefits of cranberries are incredible!Top Benefits of CranberriesThese are the top six cranberry benefits: prevents and treats urinary tract infections, decreases inflammation, may help prevent cancers, improves immune function, benefits the digestive track,and reduces risk of heart disease! The disease-fighting antioxidants found in cranberries outrank many other fruits and vegetables, including strawberries, spinach, broccoli and red grapes. This amazing fruit, which is sold fresh, frozen and dried, is commonly used in products like juices, sauces, jellies, baked goods and teas.
When it comes to raisins nutrition, they have a considerable concentration of phenolic compounds, which play a role in cancer prevention and treatment. Raisins contain the following phenolic compounds: quinic, gallic, chlorogenic and caffeic acids; catechin; and epicatechin. While many people like to avoid sulfur dioxide (especially those who have an allergy), golden raisins have more of some health-promoting compounds because the antioxidant effect of the sulfite used to produce golden raisins inhibits the loss of these compounds. Golden raisins have been shown to have the highest antioxidant capacity and phenolic content when compared to grapes and sun-dried raisins. Benefits of raisins include lowered blood pressure and better heart health. Studies have shown that daily consumption of raisins may significantly lower blood pressure, especially when compared to eating other common snacks, making them one of the best natural remedies for high blood pressure.
This powerful antioxidant fruit has significant amounts of over 20 vital nutrients. Kiwis are low in calories but high in energy, making them a great option for people trying to lose weight. Kiwi nutrition is super heart-healthy thanks to the high levels of potassium, fiber and vitamin K. Kiwis are proven to reduce symptoms associated with upper respiratory illnesses as well as digestive illnesses like irritable bowel syndrome.Kiwi nutrition has elements that help with bone growth and maintenance, eye and vision health, and can even help you sleep better. Kiwi nutrition benefits also include: providing powerful antioxidants like vitamin C and vitamin E, counteracting aging and improving skin health, improving respiratory health, protecting vision and preventing eye disease, aiding in digestion, improving the cardiovascular system, maintaining and repairing bone health, aiding sleep, fighting cancer, and providing antifungal and antibacterial capabilities.
Apricots are rich in antioxidants, including polyphenolic antioxidants like flavonoids. Apricots are a good source of dietary fiber. This overall fiber content should be helpful for most people in supporting digestive health. Within the total dietary fiber provided by apricots, about half consists of soluble fiber. Soluble fiber is one type of fiber that can help to control blood cholesterol levels. Diets rich in flavonoids and the other types of polyphenols found in apricots have been linked to reductions in heart disease in humans, as well as other potential health benefits. They are an excellent source of vitamin A, and a good source of vitamin C, copper, dietary fiber and potassium. Apricots contain phytochemicals called carotenoids, compounds that give red, orange and yellow colors to fruits and vegetables. The powerful antioxidant Lycopene is one of the carotenoids found in apricots.
Cheddar apple chips are sweet and salty with a tangy cheesy flavor. This snack has a wonderful flavor and is a healthy alternative to potato chips. These apple chips contain vitamin C, dietary fiber and calcium.
It's no secret cherries contain quite a bit of nutritional value. By consuming one cup of cherries, you?re reaping the benefits of natural melatonin, vitamin C, and antioxidants as well as eating a snack that is fat-, cholesterol-, and sodium-free. Cherries also contain anthocyanins, a group of antioxidants that help decrease inflammation, support the body?s heart and surrounding tissues, and may help prevent certain cancers. Anthocyanins also play a role in improving cognitive function and reduce pain from arthritis and gout. This group of antioxidants can be found in a number of fruits and vegetables, and are responsible for producing the deep red coloring of cherries. Try using these cherries in a Cherry-Butter recipe, add it to your cookies or oatmeal!
Strawberries are one of the most loved types of fruit for their sweet taste and versatility in recipes- but they also have an impressive amount of health benefits which may surprise you. Most of the health benefits associated with strawberry nutrition are due to the presence of anti-inflammatory antioxidants. Strawberries contain anti-aging flavonoid antioxidants called anthocyanin and catechin which have been associated with lowering the risk for chronic diseases including cancer and cardiovascular disease. (1)Studies also link strawberry consumption with eye health, neurological health, protection against skin damage, lower levels of inflammation, and even decreased arthritis pain, due to their ability to fight free radical damage. Today, strawberries are most grown in California, where they have been harvested since the early 1900?s. Over 25,000 acres of strawberries are planted each year in California! California produces over 80% of the strawberries grown in the United States, or about one billion pounds of strawberries a year!
Goji berries low in calories, fat-free, a good source of fiber and a high-antioxidant food, goji berry benefits include the ability to help you fight disease, effectively manage your weight and experience better digestion. The versatile goji berries contain a wide range of phytonutrients, vitamins and trace minerals, giving them the name ?superfood berries? by many health experts. Goji berries have a naturally sweet but slightly tart taste, very similar to cranberries. Some people also feel they have a slight ?herb-like? aftertaste, which makes them especially good for savory recipes as well as sweet.
Dried Nectarines are both delicious and healthy. They contain large amounts of fiber, vitamins and potassium. Their luscious flavor and chewy texture make for a great snack alone or mixed with other foods.
Dried peaches are tart yet very sweet and enjoyable snack. Peaches offer added nutritional benefits such as being a source of natural antioxidants, vitamins A and C and beta carotene. Mix these peaches with other foods such as nuts or eat them alone, either is sure to satisfy.
Dried angelino plums have a tangy and sweet flavor with a wonderful chewy texture. These plums are high in vitamin A, potassium and fiber. The dried plums can be eaten as a snack or used as an ingredient for baking.
Dried Turkish apricots are wholesome healthy and tasty snack. This snack is a good source of vitamin A, rich in fiber, good for your heart and contains several antioxidants. These apricots can be enjoyed as a snack alone or used in baked goods.