In the past several years, fruit has gotten a pretty bad reputation. Diet culture decided to focus in on the fact that fruits contain sugar, and since sugar is the enemy, fruit must be demonized. Except that the sugar in fruit is completely different than the white sugar in your cupboard, and this is because fruit provides a host of micro and macro nutrients along with it’s natural sugars.
Fruits are full of vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, antioxidants, fibres and prebiotics. Berries are to the fruit world what leafy greens are to the vegetable world…incredibly nutrient dense and nourishing for our bodies. Raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, etc. are packed with fibre, phytonutrients and powerful antioxidants to fight free-radical damage in our bodies. Cranberries have all the benefits of berries with the added ability to protect against the strains of bacteria that cause UTIs. Pomegranates contain up to 2-3 times more antioxidants than green tea, and they can help lower blood pressure, improve cholesterol levels, support cognitive function and protect against cancer. Many fruits like oranges, grapefruits, lemons and strawberries contain high levels of vitamin C, which our bodies use for the formation and synthesis of collagen (hello healthy hair, skin and nails!) and is super important for a healthy immune system. Apples and pears contain both soluble and insoluble fibre which help with gut health, cholesterol levels and digestion. Bananas and other tropical fruits like mangos and guavas are high in potassium which helps maintain healthy blood pressure and regulates fluid balance in the body.
Yes fruit contains sugar, but it is so much more than that. And if you choose to cut it out of your diet out of fear of sugar, then you’re depriving your body of all the whole food based nutrients that fruit contains. Blend frozen fruits into your smoothies, sprinkle berries on your oatmeal, add sliced banana to your almond butter toast, or snack on an apple with cinnamon or some orange slices. Fruit is full of benefits that we deserve to experience, and they can be a part of a healthy balanced diet. If the sugar worries you or you know eating fruit alone can leave you feeling a little shaky, then try pairing it with a fat and/or protein like a handful of nuts, nut butter or protein powder in a smoothie. A healthy diet shouldn’t start of the basis of restriction and elimination, but on adding an abundance of plant foods in. Simple, whole, unadulterated food like fruit is what our bodies intuitively want and thrive on.
Julia Gibson is a Certified Nutritional Practitioner, functional foods recipe developer, and write currently based in Toronto. She hopes to inspire and empower others by creating nourishing foods, living a sustainable life, promoting holistic healing and sharing thoughtful writing.
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