Some people shy away from fruits because of their sugar content, but in fact a healthy diet should include 4-5 servings of fruits and vegetables daily. While they do contain sugar, fruits also will give you a wealth of nutrients including vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber and cancer-fighting antioxidants, just to name a few. Below are five new “superfruits” that could be included in any healthy diet.
This small dark fruit, also called chokecherry, is used widely in Europe in jams and jellies and is also found in teas, sauces, syrups and as an extract. It is becoming more popular in America, however – and for good reason. It has nearly three times the antioxidant content of blueberries, mostly in the form of anthocyanin. This phytochemical can boost your immune system so that it can fight off disease and infection more easily and also reduces your chances of developing some forms of cancer.
This berry-growing shrub is found on many Native American reservations but can be found throughout the continent and has a wide habitat range. Access to these berries might be somewhat limited, though wine made from them can be purchased from Strawbale Winery. These small red fruits are rich in lycopene, the antioxidant also found in tomatoes and have other phenols as well, thus lowering the chances of cancer.
This berry, a native of the Peruvian highlands, has become more popular in Europe and several companies are experimenting with its use in trail mixes and bars, juices and teas to help it become more mainstream. These berries, which tasters say are like a cross between cherry tomatoes and passion fruit, provide high levels of Vitamin D, anti-oxidants, Vitamin B and compounds called withanolides which have proven anti-cancer properties.
This large, melon-shaped fruit from Southeast Asia has large, fleshy edible seeds and can be hard to come by due to a short harvest season. However, their flavor is good (melon with a hint of carrot), and their antioxidant content is nothing short of amazing. Gac has been shown to have 70 times the lycopene of tomatoes and 10 times the beta-carotene of carrots. This can help reduce the risk of macular degeneration, cardiac disease and some forms of cancer.
This fruit, native to the Andean region, is a great one for those with a sweet tooth, as its flavor has been described as a cross between maple syrup and butterscotch; this taste makes it an excellent choice for fruit-based, healthy desserts. It is a nutritional powerhouse, providing high levels of beta-carotene, minerals like calcium and magnesium, as well as protein.
These may not be fruits that you have heard much about, but it is well worth looking down the aisle of your local health food store or even online for them. They are all rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants and can fit into any health-conscious diet.