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Eight Fruits to Use as Substitute for Processed Sugary Snacks

May16th 2020

Our bodies utilize sugar as fuel for cellular energy. In the past, we had a high fiber diet which resulted in a slow-release of carbohydrates and sugars into the bloodstream over many hours. However, this has completely changed in the past few decades. Now we each consume almost 140 pounds of sugar per year, which is added into our diet in food processing. This represents 18% of our total calorie intake, causing a massive spike in blood sugar which leads to diabetes and autoimmune and cardiovascular disease. Let’s be honest- we love and are addicted to sugar! This raises a very important question: What is a healthy option available to us? The following are the first 8 fruits that can serve as a healthy and delicious substitute for your processed sugary snacks. 

Apples

WHY THEY’RE GOOD FOR YOU

Eating an apple a day may, in fact, help keep the doctor away. A recent study found that regular apple eaters used fewer prescription medications than those who eat them less often, perhaps due to the naturally present antioxidants and gut-healthy fiber.

NUTRITION

Apples contain pectin, a compound that slows digestion and promotes fullness.

Blackberries

WHY THEY’RE GOOD FOR YOU

Nature often gives us nutrition cues with colors. Blackberries’ deep purple means they’re high in a kind of antioxidant that can help keep cells healthy. Like most berries, blackberries are also high in vitamin C, which is thought to have a role in caner prevention and healthy wound healing.

NUTRITION

Blackberries are especially high in satisfying fiber- that’s what makes them so filling. They’re also low in sugar. One cup has just 7 grams of the sweet stuff.

Blueberries

WHY THEY’RE GOOD FOR YOU

Purple foods are suspected to be a powerful weapon in fighting heart disease, since they’re a rich source of phytonutrients- naturally occurring plant chemicals that are thought to have disease-preventing capabilities. Berries are also a good source of vitamin C.

NUTRITION

Blueberries contain anthocyanins, which can help improve heart health by combatting plaque buildup. They’re also what give the berries their coloring.

Cherries

WHY THEY’RE GOOD FOR YOU

Cherries can be sweet or tarte, depending on the variety, and all are high in vitamin C. They’re also high in potassium, which keeps the heart and kidneys in tip-top shape. Cherries can also reduce inflammation by lowering the production of C-reactive protein produced by the body. Tart cherries may also improve sleep, since they contain the hormone melatonin.

NUTRITION

It’s all natural and balanced out with fiber, but keep in mind cherries have a high amount of sugar.

Currants

WHY THEY’RE GOOD FOR YOU

Currants come in red, pink, white and black and are a great source of both plant protein and fiber. Be sure to eat them as a garnish, though, as they are high in natural sugar.

NUTRITION

One cup of currants contains more than a quarter of daily recommended iron.

HOW TO EAT THEM

Currants are sour yet edible when raw. They taste much sweeter when they’re cooked, which releases their natural sugars.

Dates

WHY THEY’RE GOOD FOR YOU

One cup of chopped dates has nearly 50% of daily recommended fiber. Hough they are one of the more sugary fruits, they’re also high in potassium.

NUTRITION

Dates contain virtually no fat.

HOW TO EAT THEM

Dates are a delicious natural sweetener for smoothies and baked goods. They can also be eaten whole as a natural source of iron.

Figs

WHY THEY’RE GOOD FOR YOU

Figs are actually members of the mulberry family- are slightly sweet, but they are also high in fiber. That fiber slows the release of sugar into the bloodstream, which means figs won’t leave you with a sugar crash later in the day like other sugary foods will.

NUTRITION

Figs are a good source of vitamin C and calcium. They’re also an unlikely source of vitamin B6, which can be hard to get enough of from food alone.

HOW TO EAT THEM

Eat them on the go either raw or in dried form. Halve figs and pair them with other nutritional powerhouses like nuts or seeds.

Kiwi

WHY THEY’RE GOOD FOR YOU

It doesn’t look like it, but the kiwifruit is a member of the berry family. Like other berries, it’s full of antioxidants and other nutrients, including vitamin C and fiber, while also being naturally low in calories.

NUTRITION

Just one kiwi has all the vitamin C you need in a day.

Oranges

WHY THEY’RE GOOD FOR YOU

We all know oranges are high in vitamin C- just one fruit has 85% of your daily recommended intake- but oranges also contain fiber and a high amount of heart-healing potassium. Fiber in fruit is key- it prevents blood sugar spikes that come with juice

NUTRITION

Eating fruits like oranges on a regular basis can lower the risk of heart disease by up to 40%, a 2014 study found.

Next week we will finish the remainder of the fruits and vegetables that are essential for our health and immune system!