Fruits: A Heart Healthy Dessert

Fruits: Nature's Candy

Most people have a sweet tooth. I have a mouthful of them. The average response to a nagging sweet tooth is to reach for a snack high in processed sugar and calories and low in nutritional value.

We fill our bodies with useless, and even harmful, calories and wonder why we have to keep going on those low carb fad diets. Not only is this bad for the waistline but it does nothing to promote heart health or any other kind of health. 

As you might have guessed the answer to the sweet tooth dilemma is fruit. It is not only sweet but it is…

  • Colorful
  • Satisfying
  • Full of healthy components

Our young children take chewable vitamins. They must have a good taste.

Eating fruit is one way to take your chewable vitamins.

Most are fat free and full of vitamins, minerals and fiber. In addition they are full of phytonutrients a group of compounds that work to prevent chronic diseases such as…

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Cancer
  • Diabetes

Many are also good sources of antioxidants. Antioxidants slow down oxidation which is a natural (and destructive) process that leads to cell and tissue damage. This cell damage affects us at every level from the appearance of the skin to the health of the heart.

Try A Little Variety

Many people eat bananas. They are handy for breakfast. Bananas are high in potassium. But if we limit ourselves to a few of our favorite varieties we are missing out. Not only are there many colors and flavors to choose, each fruit has its own profile of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. 

So go exotic. Experiment! Fresh is best. Frozen and dried are good alternatives. Leave fresh fruit where it can be seen as a reminder that it is there waiting to stave off that hunger and provide you with all kinds of good nutrition. 

Choose produce that is in season when possible. The closer you are to the growing source, the fresher your produce and the better it tastes. If you can grow your own all the better. Select fruits that feel heavy for their size. Heaviness is a good sign of juiciness. Smell for characteristic aromas. They should generally have their characteristic ripe scent but not smell overly ripe. 

Produce that is purchased while not quite ripe can be ripened at home by keeping it at room temperature. Placing it inside a paper sack can aid the ripening process. Once the fruit is ripe it can be placed in the refrigerator to help preserve it at its peak. Test the texture. It should not feel mushy to the touch. If it does it is probably too ripe and will spoil quickly. 

Buy dried varieties processed without added sugar. They are a concentrated source of dietary fiber but are also higher in calories than the fresh ones. Use dried fruits sparingly and buy ones that don't contain added sugar. They can be added to cereal (organic preferably) and homemade breads. Be creative. Look for recipes that feature fruits not cooked with sugar. They have their own sugar. 

The nutrition available in nature's candy can serve well to promote good heart health and general health as well. There are a few good whole food supplements available if you can't quite get enough of the fresh stuff. Combining fresh fruits and supplements on a daily basis is a part of a good game plan for heart health. 

Return from Fruits to Healthy Diet page.

A Challenge For You!

People are making great improvements in their heart health.

How... are they doing it? By challenging themselves to change the way they eat. Really!

I have a challenge for you. It is my double dog dare.

Click here to learn about the 30_Day Challenge.

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