Looking to put your health back on track or keep it there? Fruit is one of the miracle foods we don’t eat enough. In fact, fruit makes up less than 6% of the typical American diet and that’s combined with our vegetable, bean, nut and seed consumption. Yet fruit, high in antioxidants, fiber, water content, and so much more, helps regulate our bodies to keep us healthy while fighting disease and sickness. With our busy lives and so much clamoring for our attention, it’s easy to forget to eat fruit daily. Here are 7 simple and delicious ways to eat more fruit and meet your optimal health needs.
#1 – Eat It at Breakfast
Fruit is easily eaten first thing in the morning for breakfast. Many of our breakfast meals either call for or can quickly accommodate fruit. Grapes with nuts and yogurt is a great way to start your day. So is any fruit bowl. You can top or mix cereal, oatmeal, cream of wheat, grits and yogurt with almost any fruit to add nutrition, taste and sweetness. Put fruit like berries or banana on or in your pancakes or waffles. On the go, a banana makes an easy light breakfast all by itself. Most fruit will make a good side to your first meal of the day. Why not start with breakfast to get in your favorite fruit?
#2 – Snack on It
Fruits like bananas, apples, pears, clementines and kiwis are easy snack foods but berries and most fruits make great snacks. Dried fruits work as snacks by themselves or mixed with granola or trial mix. Fruit cups and pre-sliced snack packs are convenient too. With dried or prepared fruits, just be careful to stay away from those with added sugars, syrups and other unhealthy ingredients.
Have fruit for a mid-morning pick me up or that 3pm perk instead of grabbing a donut or bagel, chips or cookie. Your body will like the sweetness but also the added hit of nutrition that will do more to energize you than a quick shot of sugar from junk food.
#3 – Blend It
Most health nuts love smoothies. Fruit goes great into these. You can also grab and go with smoothies. For those who can’t stay away from ice cream though, why not make milkshakes with fruit? If you were going to eat ice cream anyway, get in a daily serving of fruit along with it. Fruit also blends well with healthier desserts like yogurt parfaits and vegan ice creams made with coconut milk.
#4 – Freeze It or Buy It Frozen
One of the problems with fruit is how quickly it spoils or how expensive it can get in the off-season. If you don’t eat berries almost as soon as bought, they’re moldy in three days or less. To get around these issues, freeze fruits you won’t get around to eating immediately. Berries of all types and bananas freeze especially well. Put them in freezer bags divided into individual servings for easy access later. Or buy frozen fruit which makes great additions to cooked dishes, smoothies or shakes.
#5 – Take It to Work
Sometimes access is everything. We can mean well about our eating habits but sometimes we need to engineer our surroundings to help us out. Take fruit to work. Put berries and other fruit in the office fridge or have a fruit bowl on your desk so that you have these wholesome foods within easy reach. This will make snacking or prepping breakfast or lunch easier too.
#6 – Cook With It
While any fruit is great by itself, many fruits make excellent ingredients. As mentioned before, stirring berries into batter makes so-so waffles or pancakes that much better. If you’re always baking less than healthy breads and cakes, why not try banana bread or less sugary blueberry or raspberry muffins? Your bread needs and sweet tooth will get assuaged fast.
Fruits like cranberries, raisins and apples go well in many meals, starting with salads. Cooked and chilled medleys like cous cous or barley salads also benefit from these fruits but you can also add raisins to pastas for a wonderfully sweet pop of taste. Edamame salad with cranberries taste fantastic as well.
Think of fruit as an ingredient and you’ll start seeing the endless possibilities with them – from dressing up meat to making desserts.
#7 – Drink It
100% fruit juice is a quick and easy way to get vitamins for people in a hurry. Juices also work well to sweeten oatmeal or other dishes when substituted for water. If you’re wanting alcohol, why not make it a cocktail mixed with 100% fruit juice?
However you’re drinking your juice, make sure it’s actually juice. Fruit drinks and fruit cocktails in the juice aisle are actually more sugar water than actual juice and won’t do you any good. Make sure the contents read 100% fruit juice. Remember too that you’ll get more nutrition from the whole fruit as opposed to just the juice, particularly fiber which will help slow the digestion process to lessen the sugar hit but also to feed the good gut bugs that do so much for our immune, digestive, and metabolic systems, among others.
Make Fruit a Habit
So many fruits exist that most people can find at least a few they love and want to regularly eat. In the grocery store, usually some are on sale at any one time for a good deal but the availability of frozen fruit makes it easy to always have on hand. Use these 7 easy methods to make fruit part of your daily diet. Your health will thank you and so will your taste buds.
Like this article? Share it so that others can learn these health secrets and start living their best lives now.