6 Fruits and Veggies This Nutritionist Loves
It’s no secret fruits and vegetables are essential for a healthy body. Vitamin and nutrient-rich, a variety of fruits and vegetables reduce the risk for health problems, supply natural energy, and a rainbow of color and taste to any plate. From portable bananas to leafy spinach, here are the six favorite fruits and veggies from Curves Nutrition Specialist, Sarah V.
“I grow them organically in my garden and eat them fresh or dried,” says Sarah. Figs, although unique in flavor and texture, are nutritional super fruits and contain a healthy amount of fiber, as well as other vitamins and minerals, like B6, potassium, magnesium and calcium. If you’re hesitant to taste figs, one of the oldest fruits known to humans, try incorporating dried figs in your baking recipes to replace shortening, margarine, butter, or oil. If a recipe calls for 1 cup butter, simply use ½ cup butter and ½ cup dried fig puree.
The tasty raspberry is Sarah’s favorite because they’re high in polyphenols, fiber and vitamin C. Like other berries, such as strawberries and blueberries, raspberries are rich in antioxidants that help fight free radicals that can cause cancer, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s disease. Available in the produce section all-year long, raspberries are one of the easiest fruits to incorporate at breakfast or as a quick mid-afternoon snack.
Bananas are one of the most convenient and easiest fruit to eat while on-the-go. An excellent source of potassium, bananas are a perfectly packaged fruit to help manage blood pressure. Eating one banana a day can also make your tummy happy by providing 10 percent of your daily fiber and a dose of prebiotics, which is food for probiotics, the good bacteria found inside your digestive system. Go bananas by including them in your favorite smoothie or as a pre-workout pick-me-up.
Pick any color! “Bell peppers are high in Vitamin C and can add a variety of color to every plate,” Sarah said. “I love chopping up some sweet red, yellow, or orange peppers.” Instead of sodium-laden chips, bell peppers make delicious dippers. Roasted bell peppers also supply a rainbow of colors to stir fry, toss into pasta dishes, are a tasty addition to Latin food.
Raw or cooked, tomatoes contribute vibrant flavor to any dish, which is why they are a favorite of nutritionists. A healthy source of potassium, vitamin C and phytonutrient lycopene, tomatoes are an easy vegetable to grow yourself, even in a container on your porch! Add the versatile vegetable to a variety of dishes, including egg white omelets, salads or pasta dishes.
There’s a reason Popeye gulped spinach–the leafy, green vegetable is a nutrient powerhouse. “Spinach contains magnesium, potassium, iron and calcium, while also contributing beneficial amounts of vitamins A and K to your diet,” Sarah explains. Blend spinach into smoothies or use it as a bed for a vitamin-rich salad that includes strawberries and a light vinaigrette.