Fruit for You: Easy Ideas for Eating Fresh Produce

Look no farther than your local supermarket to see the global economy in action. There grapes from South America meet kiwis from New Zealand and pineapples from Hawaii — in February.
Today’s produce section is definitely not your grandmother’s fruit stand. And with all this variety, fresh fruit in season every season, there’s no excuse not to stock up.

You know the drill — for optimal health you’re supposed to get four or five servings of fruit a day. It needn’t be overwhelming; not with these clever tips.

1. Make it a rule: Every breakfast includes a piece of fruit. It’s the perfect morning food, filled with natural, complex sugars for slow-release energy, fiber, and nutrients galore. Cantaloupe, an orange, berries — all are perfect with whole wheat toast, cereal, or an egg.

2. Make another rule: Fruit for dessert at least three nights per week. A slice of watermelon, a peach, a bowl of blueberries — they’re the perfect ending to a meal, and are so much healthier than cookies or cake. Like your desserts fancier? How does chocolate-covered strawberries, poached pears in red wine, peach and blueberry crisp, or frozen fresh raspberry yogurt sound? They count too.

3. Every Monday, start your week with a fruit slushie. Add one cup fresh fruit, 1/2 cup fruit juice, and one cup ice to a blender and liquefy. That’s two servings of fruit before 8 a.m.! If you’d prefer a creamier smoothie, toss in 1/2 cup plain nonfat yogurt.

4. Substitute fruit sorbet for ice cream. One scoop (1/4 cup) contains up to one serving of fruit, says Carolyn Lammersfeld, R.D., who leads the nutrition team at Cancer Treatment Centers of America at Midwestern Regional Medical Center in Chicago. To whip up your own, try freezing peaches packed in their own juice for 24 hours, then submerge the can in hot water for one minute. Cut the fruit into chunks and puree until smooth.

5. Or substitute frozen fruit bars for ice cream. Buy pure-fruit versions that don’t add extra corn syrup or sugar. Feel free to have one every single day.

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