Fruits

As one of the five essential food groups, fruits are a necessary component to any healthy diet. Many people aren’t aware of the positive effects of consuming a diet with adequate fruit. They include, but are not limited to:

  • Protecting against some types of cancers
  • Decreasing blood pressure, risk of kidney stones and risk of bone loss due to being high in potassium
  • Reducing the risk of heart disease, obesity, and Type II diabetes from the high fiber content
  • Switching out a higher-calorie option food for fruits can lower one’s daily caloric intake
  • Containing several nutrients that are often under-consumed such as potassium, fiber, Vitamin        C, and folate

Choosing from a large variety of fruits and fruit products can be overwhelming. While fresh is usually best, other options include juices, smoothies, yogurts, popsicles, frozen or canned. Try buying a mixture of fresh, canned (in water or 100% juice for the healthiest option), as well as dried and frozen so you always have a supply of fruit on hand. Varying your options also gives you the greatest chance of getting the recommended intake of vitamins and minerals in your day!

Buying fresh fruits that are in season can also save some costs in your budget. For fresh produce, here’s a list of when various fruits are at their peak:

Fall:  (Sept. – Oct.)

–              Asian Pears

–              Cranberries

–              Grapes

–              Key Limes

–              Pineapple

–              Pomegranate

–              Pumpkin

Winter:  (Dec. – Feb.)

–              Clementines

–              Dates

–              Grapefruit

–              Kiwi

–              Mandarin Oranges

–              Pomegranate

–              Tangerines

Spring:  (Mar. – May)

–              Apricots

–              Honeydew

–              Limes

–              Mango

–              Oranges

–              Pineapple

–              Strawberries

Summer (Jun. – Aug.)

–              Apricots

–              Asian Pears

–              Blackberries

–              Blueberries

–              Cantaloupe

–              Cherries

–              Grapefruit

–              Grapes

–              Honeydew

–              Key Limes

–              Limes

–              Nectarines

–              Peaches

–              Plums

–              Raspberries

–              Strawberries

–              Watermelon

Year-Round

–              Apples

–              Bananas

–              Lemons

–              Papayas

–              Dried Cranberries and Apricots

fruits

It’s also a good idea to choose fruits that can be used differently throughout the week in order to get the greatest use out of them – as snacks, a meal side, part of a salad, etc. When fruits are featured specials at the grocery store, buy more and freeze the excess for later! The chart below demonstrates how you truly get more out of your money buying healthy options like fruits instead of those higher-calorie snack options that don’t do much for your body.

What You Get for $1.00 Nutrition Value for Your Money
4 oz. bag chips Calories from fat, salt
1 ¼ pound carrots Vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants
2 small cookies Calories from fat, sugar
3 small apples Vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants
2 liters soda Calories from sugar
64 oz. 100% orange juice Vitamins, minerals, antioxidants

 

  • Prices approximate and vary depending on location, sales, coupons, and other factors

How Much is Enough?

It is recommended that individuals age 19-30 get on average two cups a day from fruits. One cup of fruit can look like:

–              1 small apple, ½ large apple, 1 cup sliced

–              1 cup applesauce

–              1 large banana or 1 cup sliced

–              32 seedless grapes, 1 cup whole or cut up

–              1 medium grapefruit, 1 cup sections

–              1 cup of fruit cocktail

–              1 large orange, 1 cup sections

–              1 large peach, 2 halved canned, 1 cup sliced

–              1 medium pear, 1 cup sliced

–              1 cup pineapple chunks

–              3 medium or 2 large plums, 1 cup sliced

–              8 large strawberries, 1 cup whole

–              1 cup diced watermelon or 1 small wedge (1” thick)

–              ½ cup dried fruit

–              1 cup 100% fruit juice

Having a bowl of fresh fruit in your kitchen is a great method to have fresh fruit as a readily available option in your day. Hop on the fruit frenzy today and pack some into your diet!

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References:

Produce for Better Health Foundation

United States Department of Agriculture

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