Fruit: What’s the point?

picFruit is in season! There is nothing that tastes better than sweet, juicy, cold fruit when it is super hot outside. The question is though, is fruit healthy for you? So I decided to research into a few of my favorite fruits to see what I am gaining in nutrients when consumed. Here are my top 4 favorite fruits:

Apples: We all know that phrase “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” The antioxidants in apples promote health and prevent disease in the human body. They are low in calories and contain zero grams of saturated fat and cholesterol. Apples also carry a small amount of minerals like potassium, phosphorus, and calcium. Apples are a good fruit, so stick to that phrase and try and eat one everyday!

Bananas: They are a good source of potassium, an essential mineral for maintaining normal blood pressure and heart function. Bananas are an intriguing fruit in terms of their carbohydrate and sugar content. Even though bananas are a fruit that tastes quite sweet when ripe, they only contain about 14-15 grams of sugar per banana. They are also a great quick carb after working out to help your muscles from cramping. Moral of the story, bananas are a good fruit!

Watermelon: It is the perfect fruit for a hot summer day. Although it does lack a lot of nutritional value, but the amount of water it contains helps keep your body hydrated. Watermelon is the top fruit source of the carotenoid antioxidant lycopene, which is important for your cardiovascular health. The hardest part when it comes to watermelon is finding a ripe one that is ready to eat. Some tips: choose a dull color, make sure the surface is firm/hard, and make sure it has a uniform shape. Typically when I make sure those three tips are followed, I always find the best one!

Raspberries: They are a rich source of nutrients, minerals and vitamins. When included in your daily diet, they can help lower your risk of cancer, obesity, and cardiovascular diseases. Raspberries have also been known to enhance fertility. The sweet taste and the soft texture make them the most craved fruit, especially for me. They are also low in fat and calories but very high in fiber. This makes them a great treat for someone that is trying to lose weight. One of the greatest facts about raspberries is that the antioxidants in the berries help aid in treating depression. So a raspberry is a fruit that makes you happy? Eat away!

Although there are many health benefits of consuming different fruits, there is also one big thing to consider. Many fruits are high in sugar. Yes, that sugar is natural, but either way it packs additional calories into your diet. What I like to do is save my fruit for after a meal. I treat it sort of like a dessert, because not only is it sweet and delicious, but it should also be consumed in moderation!

Are my favorite fruits not the same as yours? The article 31 Favorite Fruits and the Nutrients they Contain gives you the nutritional value of every fruit you have probably consumed. Take a look and see what you are gaining from eating your favorite fruits!

 

“Always remember that it doesn’t matter how slow you go, as long as you keep on going”

~Kenzi Weidman

The PERKS of Coffee

Coffee photoAre you one of those people that can’t go a day without their morning “cup of Joe?” Well I sure am! Coffee keeps me normal and allows me to function. Am I addicted? Possibly. There are the myths out there that “coffee will stunt your growth” or “it causes heart disease and cancer.” With these risks at hand, I thought maybe I should quit drinking it and find a new morning pick-me-up. Then I researched the health benefits of coffee and thought again. Here is what I found:

  • Coffee helps protect your brain. Coffee drinkers have a lower risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.  Studies show that even just the smell of coffee can stimulate the brain and reduce stress caused from lack of sleep.
  • Coffee helps your skin glow. It also helps your skin from developing skin cancer. Coffee gives you energy, which makes your body more rejuvenated causing you to look more fresh and ready for your day.
  • Coffee helps clean out your body. Those that drink coffee have a lower risk of prostate cancer because the caffeine in coffee is a stimulant that forces the toxins and stool out of your system. The antioxidants in coffee also help prevent liver disease.
  • Coffee helps keeps you slim. The caffeine in coffee is known to speed up your metabolism and allow the process of fat burning to quicken. This allows a person to lower their risk of type 2 diabetes and also obesity. If you stay away from all the creamer, sugar, sweeteners, and flavorings, then coffee is one of the lowest-calorie drinks around.

Now that you read all of the positive facts when it comes to consuming coffee, here are some not so pleasant things to remember.

  • Those people that drink four or more cups of coffee per day could start to become restless, irritable, and can cause great anxiety when it comes to daily life tasks. High consumption of unfiltered coffee is associated with elevations in individuals’ cholesterol levels.
  • Keep your coffee drinking to 1-4 cups per day and you may experience some positive benefits. Anything beyond that can cause you to become addicted and dependent, making those days without caffeine absolutely miserable! Remember, “1” cup of coffee means 8 oz. So filling up your thermos four times is definitely more than you should be consuming, so be mindful!

Keep in mind the motto “everything is good for you in moderation” and you will have no problems. So whether you drink coffee now, or you have thought about giving it a try, do it! The benefits are great and the TASTE is even better.

“Always remember that it doesn’t matter how slow you go, as long as you keep on going”
~Kenzi Weidman

Sources: EatingWell Coffee Benefits Coffee and Health Big Perks of Coffee