Grapes have always been associated with health, and with good reason. They are packed with antioxidants and phytonutrients. One of their renowned phytonutrients, resveratrol, is said to increase the expression of three genes related to longevity. Even though they’re sweet, grapes are also good for diabetics, since they promote a better blood sugar balance and increased insulin sensitivity. And of course the skin is packed with fiber, which helps to promote good bowel health.
At this time of year, the local grapes are particularly fresh and delicious, so it’s a great time to enjoy them. Their unique texture and sweetness makes them a perfect addition to salads and desserts, but also a handy snack throughout the day. Just wash them and put them in a bowl in the fridge to keep them fresh and ready for whenever a hunger pang strikes.
Fresh strawberries are the sweet red fruit of the strawberry plant. They are at their best fresh in the summer months, although imported strawberries can be found year round. Frozen strawberries are always available and work very well in smoothies or desserts where a fresh texture is not so important.
Strawberries contain natural sugars and some dietary fiber, with plenty of vitamin C. Fresh strawberries are delicious but they don’t keep for long, so be sure to wash and trim them, then eat them as soon as possible.
It’s well worth the investment in organic strawberries. Non-organic strawberries are grown with a large selection of pesticides, making them some of the most toxin-laden produce available. Organic strawberries on the other hand, are allowed to ripen slowly in the sun, absorbing the nutrients of the soil. The result is a firmer fruit, with less water content and much more flavor.
The following is an excerpt from our book “Say No to Meat“, by Amanda Strombom and Stewart Rose, published by Healthy Living Publications. This book includes answers to all the questions you may have about becoming a vegetarian, and is invaluable to new and existing vegetarians alike!
How can I include more fruits and vegetables in my diet?
Take veggies seriously. Vegetables are an important component of your diet, and most of us don’t eat enough of them. The American Cancer Society advises us all to eat at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables every day, and many researchers suggest 8 to 10 servings per day would be optimal. The only way to achieve this is to plan each meal to include several servings of fruit or vegetables.