Common Superfruits

CommonSuperFruitsApples are a great fiber source and the skin contains quercetin, an antioxidant that packs antihistamine and anti-inflammatory power, and therefore may help protect you from heart disease and possibly allergic reactions. A study from St. George’s Hospital Medical School in London found that people who eat five or more apples a week have better lung function than those who don’t.

Bananas are loaded with potassium, which can lower your blood pressure, and is one of the best sources of Resistant Starch, a healthy carb that fills you up and helps to boost your metabolism.

Blackberries are tart and tasty gems that rank in the top 10 for antioxidant power, according to the USDA, and they are specifically rich in polyphenols, the same family of antioxidants found in green tea, which may help prevent cardiovascular disease, cancers, and osteoporosis. Blackberries are also number one for fiber: One cup delivers one-third of your daily target of 25 to 35 grams a day. Blackberries are different from blueberries in that they can grow anywhere, while blueberries only grow in acidic soil.

Blueberries are said to support brain function and memory. Several studies link high flavonoid levels in blueberries with a better memory, and regular consumption may help keep your brain functioning well as you age, new research suggests. Blueberries are also rich in manganese, which plays an important role in your metabolism, which can help keep you slim and energized. Blueberries contain high levels of Fiber, Vitamins E & K, and Selenium. They are most notable for their antioxidant properties which battle free radicals that speed up aging and deteriorate the immune system. They are also rich in manganese, which plays an important role in bone development. Blueberries can aid in the prevention of cancer, cardiovascular disease and Alzheimers.

Cantaloupe can help you attain smooth, younger-looking skin. It gets its Superfruit status thanks to Vitamin A and its derivatives, which boosts cell reproduction, making it a natural exfoliator.

Cherries owe their deep red color to an antioxidant called anthocyanin, which can reduce inflammation and lower triglyceride and cholesterol levels. Cherries have also been said to reduce two common markers of blood vessel inflammation by up to 50%.

Cranberries are tart little berries that may prevent urinary-tract infections and might also help fight ovarian cancer. According to a new Rutgers University study, cranberries can boost the effectiveness of chemotherapy drugs used to fight ovarian cancer (at least in laboratory culture dishes) and may slow the growth of some cancer cells. Another study found that people who drink a glass of unsweetened cranberry juice each day raise their HDL, or good cholesterol, by 10%. Cranberries have high levels of Vitamin K and Selenium as well as have anti-viral properties, which are beneficial to cholesterol and may help prevent kidney stones and cancer.

Grapes have a powerful antioxidant called resveratrol, which promotes a healthy heart. Researchers have also found that compounds found in grape seed extract seem to help slow Alzheimer’s disease (at least in mice) and can clobber head and neck cancer cells grown in the laboratory. Studies have also shown that the malic acid in grapes naturally breaks down stains and discolorations on teeth.  Snack on grapes that are just ripe, because the acid declines as the fruit ripens.

Grapefruit, particularly the ruby variety (the redder the better), can help keep heart disease at bay by lowering cholesterol. Grapefruits are loaded with antioxidants and are high in Vitamin C. This juicy fruit also has the potential to aid in weight loss, lower cholesterol and significantly to increases the activity of liver detoxification enzymes.

Kiwi has been said to help with digestion issues. In one study, 41 people who had irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) consumed two kiwis a day for six weeks and reported a reduction of symptoms compared to those who didn’t. Kiwi, especially the skin, is high in fiber and pre-biotic complex carbohydrates.

Lemons highest nutritional content is Vitamin C and they are best known for their many health benefits. Lemons are potentially helpful for digestive health, skin care, dental care, weight loss, throat infection, and many more. To achieve all its benefits, squeeze half a lemon in a glass of water twice daily.

Oranges (one medium) contain the recommended daily intake of vitamin C, which keeps your immune system strong. This familiar sweet fruit is also a great source of fiber, potassium, calcium, folate, and other B vitamins, so take one with your everywhere you go. Orange is famous for its tangy taste and high Vitamin C content, but it also has substantial amounts of Calcium and Selenium. Oranges are great for possibly helping with asthma, bronchitis, tuberculosis, pneumonia, cholesterol, diabetes, arthritis, high blood pressure and more. It also has folic acid which is important for brain development and potassium for maintaining a healthy heart.

Pineapple not only adds juicy sweetness to your meals but it also contains bromelain, a digestive enzyme that helps break down food to reduce bloating.

Pomegranate, originally hailing from the Middle East and India, is highest in Vitamin K and Selenium. It is most notable and has become commercialized for its high antioxidant content, which can aid heart health, visual and brain function and aging. It is also one of the few fruits which aid in the possible prevention of Alzheimers and diabetes, among the blueberry and blackcurrant. Pomegranate juice is a very rich source of Vitamin C, potassium, polyphenols and a host of other beneficial antioxidants. Recent research supports the long-held belief that pomegranate juice is healthy for the heart.  In the Feb 2006 issue of the Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry, there is a description of components found in pomegranate, ellagitannins, and punicalagin, which suppress inflammatory cell signaling in colon cancer cells.

Strawberries are full of vitamin C and just one cup full and you’ve already reached your recommended daily intake. They are also an excellent source of folic acid, which can help protect your heart. Easiest of all, they whiten your teeth naturally! Crush a strawberry to a pulp, then mix with baking soda until blended. Spread the mixture onto your teeth and leave on for 5 minutes. Reapply once a week.

Avocados are packed with monounsaturated fat and fatty acids, which can help lower LDL (bad cholesterol) levels while raising the amount of good cholesterol in your body. The healthy fats in avocados also promote the absorption of other carotenoids,especially beta-carotene and lycopene, which are essential for heart health.

Tomatoes pack a sought-after antioxidant called lycopene, which is rarely found in other Superfruits, and they’re high in vitamin C, potassium, and fiber, and super-low in calories.

Papayas are a tropical fruit that is bursting with vitamin C and just one cup gives you more than you need each day. On top of this, papaya is also a good source of vitamins A and E, two powerful antioxidants that may help protect against heart disease and colon cancer.

Raspberries are loaded with fiber; just half a cup would give you 4 grams, as well as have Vitamins B2 & K, Calcium, Iron and Selenium. You’d also get 25% of your recommended intake for vitamin C and manganese too! Raspberry’s most unique nutrient is ellagic acid, an important antioxidant not sold as dietary supplements. Its antioxidant properties are linked to possible health benefits in reducing heart disease diabetes, and cancer, aiding in visual function, brain function, aging, and providing antibiotic properties.

Watermelon is packed with lycopene; in fact just one cup of the stuff has more than twice as much compared to fresh tomato. At just 40 calories per cup, it’s also a source of vitamins A and C. You needn’t limit yourself to eating watermelon alone since it is very high in sugar.

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