All fruits are tasty and nutritious. And then there are the superfruit, which go above and beyond the normal in providing health benefits. Packed with anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients, they take the body's physical fitness and health to the next level. Whether you're a busy professional trying to find extra energy and focus or a dedicated gym rat pushing your body to the limits, they can support your efforts to attain your best physical condition.
Superfruit have a number of health benefits, which makes it a good idea to make them part of a balanced diet. The good news is that it's easy to add them to your weekly menu without a lot of effort. This category of fruit includes avocados, pomegranate, acai and gogi berries, strawberries, and dragon fruit.
They're all delicious and easy to add to salads and packed lunches. You can sprinkle them over cereal or yogurt, add them to smoothies and protein shakes, and use them as a substitute for jelly in your next peanut butter and blueberry sandwich.
What Are Superfruits?
We've all grown up hearing the saying, "An apple a day keeps the doctor away." So, we know that fruits are good for your health. Now, nutritionists are discovering the health benefits of other superfruit, besides apples, which may make it necessary to rewrite that saying. How about "Three kiwis a day keep high blood pressure away?" It lacks that zing, but points to the health benefits of adding superfruit to your diet.
From the familiar tomatoes and strawberries to exotic pomegranates, acai berries and dragon fruit; superfruit are packed with nutritional and health benefits. These nutrients include antioxidants, fiber, and the heart-healthy lycopene found in tomatoes. Not only are they delicious to eat, they have some stellar health benefits. They can improve your mental concentration and focus, build muscle, and enhance your workouts.
What Do Antioxidants Do?
Superfruit contain antioxidants, which are more commonly known as the familiar vitamins C and E. These antioxidants have been shown to reduce the harmful free radicals which cause cellular damage and aging. Other health benefits of superfruit include supplying necessary vitamins and nutrients, reducing blood pressure and building muscle. For athletes, they enhance workouts, prevent injuries due to stress and promote quicker healing of muscles.
Besides the more familiar varieties listed above, superfruit include berries like maqui berries, yumberries, chokeberries and lychees and baobabs, mangosteens, sea buckthorn, jujubes, cupuacus, and pitayas. While the research is still incomplete, many people believe that antioxidants can also play a role in reducing heart disease. Superfruit are easily available in many different forms, from farm-fresh blueberries at the local farmers market to fresh-frozen acai berries at the grocery store. In any form, they're easy to add to your diet.
How to Add Superfruit to Your Diet
Besides being healthy, superfruit are tasty, and it's no hardship to add them to your morning cereal or lunchtime yogurt. Fruit like kiwis, blueberries, strawberries, and pomegranates have a delightful appearance as well as taste. They're right at home in your healthy to salads, snacks, protein shakes, sandwiches, and more. It's also easy to find them on the go, because many protein and granola bars now add super fruit like acai berries and pomegranates.
Many superfruit like acai berry and pomegranate are now available in juice form. While superfruit have known health benefits, doctors and nutritionists also caution against overdoing it. Your health and physical condition won't improve dramatically if you start eating kiwis while neglecting to maintain a balanced diet or to get enough exercise. Superfruit are beneficial but they're not magic. They work best when added to a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle. As with everything, moderation and balance are the key.
Which Is the Best Superfruit?
Each type of fruit has its own benefits, so in general it's a good idea to add several different varieties in your diet. Using several different types of superfruits gives you the benefits of each without overdoing it. Besides the varieties listed above, more common types of fruit like cantaloupes, cherries, bananas, and watermelon are all part of a healthy diet. They add color and variety to your menu, and their bright appearance always lifts the spirits.
A good way to incorporate superfruit into your diet is to shop at your local farmers market, for whatever fruit are in season. But even in the winter when the farmers markets shut down for the season, you can carry on eating these natural nutritional powerhouses. While there's nothing like the taste of fresh-picked blueberries, you can eat fruit in many different forms. Whether you consume superfruit fresh or frozen, in juice form or powder, you can benefit from their nutritional and antioxidant power.
While it's easy to focus on the exotic super fruits, don't forget the regular workaday staples like apples, oranges, bananas, cantaloupes and cherries. They all have minerals and nutrients that your body needs. Fruits in general are natures own nutritional supplements, thoughtfully packaged in bright colors and usually in a handy portable size.
Superfruit like pomegranates are rich in antioxidants. People in Asia and the Middle East have always known about the heath benefits of these fruits. These have an anti-inflammatory effect and can help to improve workouts by reducing pain and soreness. Like other fruit, pomegranates are both tasty and portable, making it easy to add them to your diet. You can add them to a salad or just pop one in your bag for your lunch.
Vitamins are what your body needs to build up the immune system. Cheerful red strawberries are a great source of vitamin C, and so are tomatoes. Yes, you heard that right. Tomatoes are officially classified as fruit. They also have lycopene which is essential for heart health. Tomatoes retain their health benefits no matter what form they're in, so you can consume them raw or cooked, fresh from the farm or out of a can. Papayas too are full of vitamins A, C, and E.
Acai berries are highly versatile, full of antioxidants and nutrients. These nutrients include dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals, complex carbohydrates, amino acids and essential fats. They may also help to fight the effects of aging upon the body. Acai berries can be consumed in many different forms, from powders to frozen berries to protein bars. As with all other superfruits, they work best when added to a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle.
While we're talking about berries, it's important to mention blueberries, which can kick your metabolism into high gear. This enhances the benefits of your workouts.
Good for Muscle Building
It's difficult not to love avocados. They have that pretty green color and intriguing seeds. And they're delicious. Mushed into guacamole, sliced into avocado toast, and added to salads, they have a unique buttery taste that adds richness to any meal or snack. What most people may not know is that avocados are also superfruits, full of folates and folic acid.
Folic acid helps your body to hold on to protein, so when you exercise, a folate-rich diet helps you to build muscle. Folates also promote muscle repair for quicker recovery from sports injuries. As a bonus, avocados contain fats that can help to lower high cholesterol levels which are associated with a diet that is high in proteins.
Manage Blood Pressure
Kiwi fruits add a tart taste to just about any salad, smoothie or fruit tart. These little green fruit can also help to prevent high blood pressure, according to a study presented at the scientific meeting of the American Heart Association. Researchers found that subjects who ate three kiwi fruit a day had lower blood pressure compared to a group that ate an apple a day.
It's easy to add healthy superfruit to your diet, in a number of different ways, through salads, protein shakes and granola bars. However, doctors and nutritionists also caution against overdoing it. The best way to add them to your diet is to make them part of a healthy meal management plan and an active lifestyle.