fruit is nature’s energy-delivery system – offering delicious sweetness in a formula that sustains us. ~ cameron diaz, the body book
We’ve all been to smoothie bars or made fruit smoothies at home and have more than likely picked fruit based on taste versus science. No judgment here! We’ve all done it. I love getting the most bang for my buck so today I wanted to go over some of the best fruits to nourish your body, keep your energy high and give you the nutrients your body craves. Fear not, I actually don’t love science so I promise this won’t be boring. Education is power and what is more important to be educated about than what we put in our body?!
If you’re looking for the best choice for simple everyday fruits reach for berries first – strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries. They have the most fiber which our stomach digests slower so it leaves you feeling fuller longer. You won’t get as much of a sugar crash which none of us have time for!
Apples are also high in fiber so my next choice would be an apple. They’re also easy to take on the go so I like having apples around for a quick easy snack. If you’re looking for additional protein or to stay fuller longer think about adding some nut butter (like almond butter).
A Granny Smith apple is even better than a Macintosh because Granny Smith apples have more antioxidants. Think about if you left an apple sitting out on your counter cut open. The Granny Smith apple will not brown as quick as a Macintosh because of those antioxidants.
Fruits that are firm on the outside are also higher in fiber, think peaches and nectarines!
Manga and papaya are also good sources of fiber. Pineapple is also a great option because of the bromelain. Bromelain is a proteolytic enzyme that breaks down protein. This is why your mouth gets sore when you eat too much pineapple. The pineapple is trying to digest your mouth! When the protein is broken down you absorb it better! This is also great for any inflammation.
We all know bananas are loaded with potassium so they are great for us in that sense, however, they break down into sugar very quickly in our bodies so if you’re looking for something that will stick with you a little longer again add a nut butter or opt for a fruit with more fiber.
Nut butters, or anything with fats, help slow down the rate that the fruit will leave the stomach. Nutrients are absorbed through the intestines, not the stomach, so if we slow down the rate our food leaves the stomach and is absorbed we will obviously feel fuller longer. The amino acids from the protein inhibit the sugars from breaking down so quickly so they don’t turn to liquid as rapidly and fly through the intestines. Think about soda having such a high concentration of sugar and doing nothing to fill you up or nourish your body, it just passes right through the stomach and intestines.
If you’re like me and science gets overwhelming think about whatever fruit you can crush and turn to liquid more easily. The quicker something turns to liquid the quicker it will pass through the stomach with less absorption. Let’s use an apple versus an orange for example. An orange will turn to liquid much faster so opt for an apple if you’re looking for more fiber and to stay fuller longer.
There are endless amounts of information about food, ways to clean eat, you name it. It can be overwhelming! Instead of being overwhelmed, try to focus on education and making small changes. I can promise you that all of these little changes will add up to a lot!
The Takeaway: The sugar contained in fruit, fructose, is a healthy sugar when you’re eating the WHOLE fruit (usually including the skin) and getting all of the fiber and vitamins and minerals of the fruit. But when sugar is extracted from sweet plants and added to another food (like bread or cereal), you’re not getting any nutritional benefits. That sugar is nothing but an ADDED SUGAR, and it offers nothing but empty calories. So dig in, but in whole, natural way.
CAT GOLDEN started Nine Lives Health and Wellness to help others feel like the absolute best version of themselves. She has a background in pediatric nursing and now does her wellness business full time. She does this through working with individuals and groups conducting weight loss programs, help with athletic performance, increased energy and mindset training. She has been a fitness enthusiast for the last decade and believes that where focus goes energy flows. Focus on gratitude and moving your body and watch how your life can change!