Written by: Cally Worden
Fruits are one of nature’s best-known non-secrets. They are packed with antioxidants, minerals, vitamins and a host of other good stuff. Even the simple act of placing some in your shopping basket makes you feel a little healthier. But, not all fruits are created equal. No sir-eee. There are some power fruits that deliver an extra boost to your body, and each little gem brings something a little different to the party.
This pocket of juicy seeds contains powerful antioxidants, which help to protect the body from free radicals, these can cause damage to cellular DNA. Arresting the onslaught of these molecular nasties is reason enough to burst open one of these delicious fruits whenever you get the chance.
The Humble Apple
Yawn. Nope, it’s not terribly exciting. Did you know that one single apple contains around 17% of the recommended daily amount of soluble fibre your body needs to stay healthy? Apples help keep your colon clear, are a good source of Vitamin C and help maintain stable blood sugar levels. They also contain quercetin, a chemical that has proven anti-allergy and anti-histamine properties. Apples are cheap and readily available. It just keeps getting better.
Now, I kind of prefer to get my grape-intake in the form of wine! I appreciate that this may degrade some of this juicy fruit’s health benefits. So, I do pick up the odd bunch from time to time – and with it I get a snack packed with vitamins A, C, B6 and folate along with a number of essential minerals. They are also a high-glycemic food which makes them great as a post-work-out snack. Guess I need to add the work-out part into my schedule to get the full benefit of that!
I’m so glad to include these on the list. I think they have to be one of my favourite all-time fruits, now I have the best excuse ever for eating them in large volumes. The more tart examples of these juicy little numbers contain one of the highest natural concentrations of anthocyanins 1 and 2, these are extremely effective at blocking enzymes that cause inflammation within the body. Inflammation can wreak havoc throughout the body – causing headaches, muscle weakness, swollen joints and too many other problems to list here.
Gentlemen in particular take note – blackberries are bursting with vitamin K, have incredible phytonutrient power that has been shown to lower the risk of prostate cancer. They are also high in manganese, a mineral that helps to regulate and support the perfect level of testosterone production. These wild and free berries are also packed with the antioxidant lutein, which helps to maintain good eye health. Helpful when you’re trying to spot brambles in the hedgerows.
Notoriously sour and refreshing, grapefruit has been awarded power-fruit status for its appetite suppression abilities. That has to be good, right? Grapefruit also contains a high concentration of pectin, a useful soluble fibre.
Following on the citrus theme, we’ve included lemon on our list. Because of the citric acid it contains, it is extremely effective at stimulating the digestive juices in your gut. It assists the body in processing food through the digestive system more effectively. When consumed regularly its internal cleansing properties can help to improve the function of your liver and gall bladder. As if that’s not reason enough, the aroma of lemon has also been shown to improve alertness and concentration levels, plus, suppressing fatigue and anxiety.
We all love a bit of the exotic, a little papaya will bring sunshine into your diet in abundance. Just one cup of this delicious fruit contains nearly 150% of your recommended daily dose of vitamin C. It’s enzyme papain also delivers relief from the gas caused by indigestion.
When I first researched this article I imagine that super-fruits were all going to be exotic and expensive. Not so at all. Apple, lemon, blackberry and so on … all these delicious and varied fruits can bring special things to your diet without great expense. Sounds good to me – fruit salad anyone?