SMART Goals for Healthy Living
YMCA OF GREATER WAUKESHA COUNTY
THE BOUNTIFUL BENEFITS OF FRUITS
Friday, April 2, 2021
Eating fruit provides a host of health benefits. People who eat more fruits and vegetables as part of an overall healthy diet are likely to have a reduced risk of some chronic diseases. Fruits provide nutrients vital for health and maintenance of your body.
As part of an overall healthy diet, eating foods such as fruits that are lower in calories per cup (instead of some other higher-calorie food) may be useful in helping to lower calorie intake. Eating a diet rich in vegetables and fruits may reduce your risk for heart disease, including heart attack and stroke, and may also protect against certain types of cancers. Adding fruit can help increase intake of fiber and potassium which are important nutrients that many Americans do not get enough of in their diet.
- Most fruits are naturally low in fat, sodium, and calories. None have cholesterol.
- Fruits are sources of many essential nutrients that many people don't get enough of, including potassium, dietary fiber, vitamin C, and folate.
- Diets rich in potassium may help to maintain healthy blood pressure. Fruit sources of potassium include bananas, prunes and prune juice, dried peaches and apricots, cantaloupe, honeydew melon, orange juice, sapote, jackfruit, guava, and kiwi.
- Dietary fiber from fruits, as part of an overall healthy diet, helps reduce blood cholesterol levels and may lower risk of heart disease. Fiber is important for proper bowel function. Whole or cut-up fruits are sources of dietary fiber; fruit juices contain little or no fiber.
- Vitamin C is important for growth and repair of all body tissues, helps heal cuts and wounds, keeps teeth and gums healthy. Vitamin C helps your body absorb iron more easily.
FROZEN YOGURT FRUIT BARK
Frozen yogurt bark studded with fruit is a fun treat for kids and adults alike. Just be sure to eat it as soon as pieces are removed from the freezer!
APPLE CRANBERRY SALAD
For the Salad:
- 4 cups fresh spinach
- 4 cups fresh kale
- 2 apples, chopped
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup pecans, chopped
- 1/2 cup feta cheese crumbles
For the Dressing:
- 3/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
- 2 Tbsp. honey
- 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Combine the dressing ingredients and whisk together. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- Add kale and spinach to large salad bowl and top with remaining salad ingredients.
- Drizzle salad with dressing and toss gently.
BERRY GOOD SMOOTHIE
- 1 ripe banana
- 1 cup fresh or frozen mixed berries
- 1/2 cup low fat vanilla yogurt
- 1 cup milk of choice
- Handful of baby spinach or kale with ribs removed
- 2-3 ice cubes (if using fresh fruit)
- Add all ingredients to a blender.
- Blend at high speed until thick and creamy.
- Thin if desired with additional milk or water.
- Drink immediately. Refrigerate leftovers.
NOTES: Overripe bananas can be peeled and placed in a baggie in the freezer for making smoothies. Substitute a ripe peach or mango for the berries when in season. Makes 2 servings.
WINTER FRUIT SALAD
- 5 kiwis, peeled and sliced into rounds
- 3 Clementine or mandarin oranges, peeled and separated into sections
- 2 bananas, peeled and sliced into rounds
- 2 pears, cored and diced
- 2 yellow apples, cored and diced
- 2 Tbs. finely chopped fresh mint
- 1 Tbs. fresh lime juice
- 1 Tbs. honey or agave
- Combine kiwi, oranges, bananas, pears, apples, and mint in a large bowl.
- In a separate small bowl, whisk together honey and lime juice.
- Pour the juice mixture over the fruit, then gently toss to combine.
- Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate for up to 2 hours.
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