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Fruit Frenzy

As the days get warmer, bring on the cool refreshment of fruit.  Now is the time to delight in fruit’s tasty, healthy goodness.

Reduce Risk and Protect

A healthy diet that is rich in fruits may reduce risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and obesity, and may protect against certain types of cancers.

Healthy Nutrients

Nature brings most fruit to us low in fat, sodium, and calories, and always with zero cholesterol.  Fruits are a great source of many essential nutrients that most of us don’t get enough of.  These include:

  • Dietary fiber – helps to reduce blood cholesterol levels, is important for maintaining proper bowel function, helps reduce constipation, and provides a feeling of fullness without too many calories.
  • Potassium – helps to maintain healthy blood pressure.
  • Vitamin C – important for repairing all body tissues, healing cuts and wounds, and keeping teeth and gums healthy.
  • Folate (folic acid) – helps the body form red blood cells and reduces the risk of neural tube defects during fetal
    development.

    photo courtesy of UF/IFAS ICS

    photo courtesy of UF/IFAS ICS

The USDA MyPlate recommends making half your plate fruits and vegetables.  www.choosemyplate.gov

How Can You and Your Family Eat More Fruit?

  • For snacks, wash whatever fruits you have on hand and place them in a big attractive bowl or basket on your table or desk.  When you go by, you can grab one and start munching on it.
  • Make fruit more fun and interesting by cutting it up and making it into a colorful fruit salad.
  • Add fresh, frozen, or canned fruit to a smoothie or shake.  Add fruit to drinks like tea and lemonade.  Add some fruit to your water for a little kick of taste.
  • Make a habit of using fruit as a plate garnish for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
  • Add a variety of fruit chunks to bamboo skewers or craft sticks for kabobs.
  • Fruit added to yogurt provides more color, flavor, and nutrition.
  • Since dried fruits last a long time, you can store a package in your car, desk, or even your pockets for a quick pick-me-up.

Sweet, refreshing, good for you fruit – now is the time to savor and enjoy.

For more information, contact your county extension office.

Permanent link to this article: http://escambia.ifas.ufl.edu/fcs/2013/08/09/fruit-frenzy/