Tips From Our Dietitian: Fruit As Snacks

Our dietitian Alexa has shared some great tips for using your late summer fruit as a healthy snack for the summer and the early school year. We all know how difficult it can be to find good snacks for your kids when they get home from school. With these picks, the new school year will start off right!

Idaho Summer Fruits and their super powers!

Idaho grows a wide variety of fruits! Deliciously ripe fruits you can find during the super-hot summer season are; apricots, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, cherries, peaches, nectarines, plums, pluots, and melons! Not only are these fruits sweet and juicy, but are essential to include in our meals and snacks for healthy living!

The body is a war-zone against disease and infection. Regular body functions, such as breathing or physical activity, and other lifestyle habits produce substances in our bodies called free radicals that attack healthy cells. When these cells are weakened, they have a higher risk of developing certain types of cancers and diseases. Antioxidants are powerful substances that are found in fruits and vegetables that can help to protect healthy cells from damage caused by free radicals!

Below are some of the most researched antioxidants;

Carotenoids

Among the 600 or more carotenoids in foods, beta-carotene, lycopene, and lutein are well-known leaders in the fight to reduce the damage from free radicals.

Found in- red, orange, deep-yellow and some dark-green leafy vegetables; including; tomatoes, carrots, spinach, Brussel sprouts, sweet potatoes, winter squash, broccoli, berries, melons, and peaches.

Vitamin E

The main role of vitamin E is as an antioxidant. It helps protect your body from cell damage that can lead to cancer, heart disease, and cataracts as the body ages. Vitamin E works with other antioxidants such as vitamin C to offer protection from some chronic diseases.

Found in- Vegetable oils, salad dressings, margarine, wheat germ, whole-grain products, seeds, nuts and peanut butter.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C offers a wide-variety of health benefits including; protecting your body from infection and damage to body cells, helping produce collagen, and helping in the absorption of iron and folate.

Found in- citrus fruits (oranges, grapefruits, and tangerines), strawberries, sweet peppers, tomatoes, broccoli, and potatoes

The best way to build a healthful eating plan is to eat well-balanced meals and snacks each day and to enjoy a wide variety of foods. Eating at least 2 cups of fruits and 2½ cups of vegetables daily is a good start for healthful living.

 

Adapted from eatright.org