We all know the importance of a healthy diet as we grow older. Maintaining an optimal body weight is also important for a healthy lifestyle. Eating foods low in calories and high in nutrients has long been a formula for healthy living, but recently science has been discovering that we can do more.
While counting calories can be helpful in maintaining a healthy weight, research has shown us that we can take it a step further. We’re going to delve into the topic of super fruits. These foods, as a part of an overall nutritious diet, may be even better for your health.
Each day our diet should include 5-9 servings of fruits and/or vegetables. It is a good idea to include super fruits every day. These are fruits that are high in antioxidants, fiber, vitamins and minerals. Antioxidants are substances that prevent and protect your body’s cells from the damaging effects of oxidation. This oxidative damage may increase risks for cancer, diabetes, heart disease and macular degeneration— a common cause for loss of vision among older adults.
It is best when these fruits are consumed whole to get all the beneficial fiber.
An Apple a Day …
Apples have a storied history of being an excellent source of nutrition. Along with the antioxidants and fiber that many super fruits have, apples contain antihistamines and anti-inflammatory capabilities for preventing heart disease and allergic reactions. Research has also shown that people who consume 5 or more apples on a weekly basis have better lung function.
Brain Boosting Blueberries
This super fruit is packed with manganese, which helps bolster efficient metabolism. Colorful blueberries are also high in flavonoids, which have been shown to increase brain function and memory. Eating blueberries on a regular basis may help keep your brain healthy.
Cheers for Cherries
Cherries may help you manage your weight, but that’s not their only health benefit. The antioxidant anthocyanin, which gives cherries their dark red color, can reduce inflammation, cholesterol and levels of triglycerides. This superpower makes cherries an excellent addition to your healthy diet as well as a delicious treat.
Both grapes and grape juice are rich sources of resveratrol, a typical natural phytochemical that belongs to a much larger group of phytochemicals called polyphenols. The skin of the grape contains the most resveratrol, so the fresh whole fruit is the better choice. Resveratrol has been shown to inhibit the formation of cancer cells in lymph, liver, stomach and breast tissue.
Let’s add one savory super fruit in our list of favorites. Creamy avocado contains healthy monounsaturated fats, which have been linked to reduced risk of cancer, diabetes and heart disease. Here’s an easy and tasty recipe for guacamole. For variety, try stirring in some chopped fresh tomato after mixing it all up.
Super fruits like these add nutrients, color, and delicious flavor to a healthy diet. Learn more by downloading our Guide to Nutrition After 50 today.