Fruitsby John Meadows on April 18, 2014
My guess is that if someone where to ask you what fruit has the most Vitamin C, you would say an orange. The truth is the Kiwi fruit has even more vitamin C then oranges. It also has a decent dose of Vitamin E. Being a big supporter of antioxidants from whole foods, this food is certainly one of my favorites in terms of protecting the body from free radicals. There has a great deal of research that shows kiwi fruit protects the DNA of cells from oxygen related damage. I am sure having both water and fat soluble vitamins C and E are a major reason why.
There have been some really good studies on Kiwi reducing asthma type issues too. There was a study conducted with 18,000 children (ages 6 and 7) in Italy, where they found marked reductions in asthma symptoms, less wheezing, less coughing, etc. from eating around 1 serving of kiwi fruit a day. On a personal note, my twin boys get a serving of kiwi every single day. Also, wait until they are very ripe, the closer they get to spoilage, the more antioxidants they will have.
Kiwis also are a very good source of fiber. So again, you have better glucose management with this fruit. Many people fear a glucose spike with fruits, and I do think that you can go overboard with certain fruits and give yourself insulin resistance, but generally speaking fructose doesn’t spike insulin, and moderate intake of fruits provides a ton of healthy vitamins and minerals. I think you would be crazy to avoid fruits from some fear of getting fat or the natural occurring fructose in them.
Speaking of antioxidants, here is a powerful one. There is a scale that measures how strong the antioxidants work in a food called the ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbing Capacity) scale. Blueberries are always at the top or close to it when measured for being the best. Blueberries get their color from pigments called anthocyanins. This is their key in how good they are at preventing oxidation. You have probably heard about the cardio protective benefits of red wine as well. It is due to this class of compounds – anthocyanidins.
Blueberries are also very well known for the brain protecting effects. I have worked with a few doctors that always advise their stroke patients to consume a serving of blueberries everyday, as it helps the rehabilitative process in mental acuity. They also have been shown to help with dementia, and Alzheimer’s cases. Bottom line, is this a fruit you don’t want to leave out of your plan.
I love the taste of a big, juicy Granny Smith apple. Apples have always been thought of us being a very healthy food (An apple a day.), and rightfully so. The thing I like most about apples is probably the pectin content. Pectin is a natural fiber found in fruits, but is highest in apples. There are many health benefit claims out there such as reduced blood pressure, reduction in the chances of getting colon cancer, and even the possibility in the reduction of insulin requirements (which diabetics will be thrilled to know). Apples are also loaded with flavonoids which are a class of phytonutrient that defend your body against viruses, tumors, oxidation, etc. Another great nutrient in apples is quercetin. This is a flavanoid that is a sort of building block to other flavonoids. It does some very cool things like reducing cancer risk, controlling asthma, and even helping to manage Crohn’s disease.
There are certainly many other fruits that offer great health and well being benefits such as pineapple, strawberries, raspberries, etc. This is just a very small sampling of the good ones. We will also get into when is the best time (of the day) to eat them, and when is the best time (of the season to eat them), in your nutritional plan.