Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

It's a fig, it's a guava, it's... Superfruit!

These tasty -- and some not-so-tasty -- treats are packed with healthy powers

  • Print

While the word "superfruit" is based more in marketing than science -- no single exotic juice blend is a magic bullet for better health -- some fruits have more disease-fighting compounds than others. Superfruits are typically those richer in vitamins, minerals, fibre and unique plant chemicals, and consuming a variety of them may lower your risk for cancer, diabetes and heart disease.

Paul Gross, author of Superfruits and also known as the "Berry Doctor," suggests these antioxidant-packed wonders and offers suggestions for how to incorporate them into your diet.

Mango

Brimming with vitamins A and C, the tropical fruit -- as suggested by its yellow-orange hue -- adds a healthy dose of beta-carotene, which promotes eye health and may help fend off cancer and heart disease.

Try it: Top a bowl of oatmeal with cubes of fresh mango and low-fat vanilla yogurt; steam slices of fresh mango in a stir-fry (the heat will soften the fruit's thick skin); add frozen mango to a smoothie; or grab dried mango pieces for a sweet on-the-go snack.

 

Seaberries

Also known as seabuckthorn, these berries are packed with vitamins A, C, and E, a powerful trio that's a rare find in a single fruit and may help reduce your risk for cancer, cardiovascular disease and inflammation-related conditions.

Try it: Seaberries have an acidic, lemon-like flavour that makes them unpleasant to eat raw. Your best bet is to blend seaberry juice or powder into a smoothie so that other ingredients mask the superfruit's bitter taste.

 

Blackcurrants

Similar in taste and appearance to raisins, though a bit smaller and less sweet, blackcurrants contain 300 per cent of your daily recommend vitamin C. They're popular in Europe, where the dried variety is used to make hot cross buns and blackcurrant juice is added to Guinness to heighten the stout's taste.

Try it: Reap the anti-inflammatory and cancer-fighting benefits a healthier way by whipping up a superfruit breakfast pita, suggests Gross. Combine half of a sliced banana, two diced and pitted dates and 1 tbsp dried blackcurrants in a bowl. Spread 2 tbsp peanut butter inside a toasted wholegrain pita and stuff with the fruit mixture.

 

Acai

Grown in the rainforests of Brazil and Panama, aßai berries are like extra tart blueberries, but have a much higher concentration of antioxidants than the purple fruit. While fresh aßai isn't available in North America, powders, juice concentrates, and packs of frozen pulp can be found nationwide.

Try it: Juice blends typically contain added sugars to mask the superfruit's unpleasant taste, so a better way to add aßai to your diet is by whipping up a smoothie. Gross suggests an aßai Brazilian blast: blend a half-cup low-fat or nonfat vanilla yogurt, a half-cup mango chunks and a half-cup aßai juice in a blender until smooth.

 

Guava

Like tomatoes, red guavas contain high concentrations of the cancer-fighting antioxidant lycopene. The tropical fruit is also a great source of potassium and vitamin C. Guavas and guava juice are popular in Central American and Caribbean cuisine, so you can find them in Latin grocery stores or at specialty supermarkets.

Try it: Sprinkle halved guavas with chopped walnuts, brown sugar, grated orange peel, and allspice, and bake or grill them for a warm dessert.

 

Figs

Unless you're whipping up batches of figgy pudding or gobbling down fig newtons, this Mediterranean diet staple can help you stay slim. Unlike the way that the insoluble fibre found in fruit and vegetable skins gets flushed out of the body without being digested, the pulp inside figs contains plenty of soluble fibre. This compound binds to liquids in the stomach to form a gummy gel that makes you feel full.

Try it: Snack on whole or dried figs or mix them into homemade trail mix.

 

Goji berries

Goji berries, or wolfberries, have one of the highest ORAC ratings, a method of measuring antioxidant activity, of any fruit, according to researchers at Tufts University. They're grown in China where they have been used for centuries in traditional medicine to boost eye health, but they're not exported fresh.

Try it: Like a cross between a cranberry and a cherry, dried gojis can be eaten as-is, stirred into yogurt, sprinkled on cereal or baked into goodies such as muffins and scones.

 

Papaya

This tropical fruit is high in vitamins A and C, and may aid digestion. Along with a hefty amount of fibre, papayas contain two compounds, chymopapain and papain, which help the body produce enzymes necessary for breaking down protein and harmful waste, according to researchers at Cornell University.

Try it: Toss pieces of fresh papaya into a smoothie or use them to add colour and sweetness to a summer stir-fry.

 

Tart cherries

The antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds in sour cherries make them the perfect pre- or post-workout food. When students in a University of Vermont study drank 12 ounces of tart cherry juice before and after strenuous exercise, they experienced a four per cent reduction in muscle strength the next day compared with students who were given a placebo -- those participants suffered a 22 per cent loss in muscle strength.

Try it: Toss fresh or frozen tart cherries into smoothies, stir them into yogurt, or eat them on top of a bowl of cereal.

 

Blackberries

When you see red, blue, or purple in the produce department, think polyphenols -- compounds in fruit's skin that can lower cancer risk and help reduce chronic inflammation. Although blackberries look identical to black raspberries, the larger, more bitter blackberry is the superior superfruit, as it has more antioxidants.

Try it: Eat blackberries raw and chew the seeds for added nutrients, like omega-3 fatty acids, suggests Gross. If you can't find blackberries in the supermarket, opt for a premade smoothie, such as Bolthouse Farms' Berry Boost, a blend of blackberries, boysenberries, raspberries, strawberries and blueberries.

 

-- FITBIE.com

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 15, 2013 D1

History

Updated on Monday, July 15, 2013 at 6:23 AM CDT: Replaces photo

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

OT Glenn January and RB Nic Grigsby disappointed in loss to Riders

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A  young goose stuffed with bread from  St Vital park passers-by takes a nap in the shade Thursday near lunch  –see Bryksa’s 30 day goose challenge Day 29-June 28, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • An American White Pelican takes flight from the banks of the Red River in Lockport, MB. A group of pelicans is referred to as a ‘pod’ and the American White Pelican is the only pelican species to have a horn on its bill. May 16, 2012. SARAH O. SWENSON / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

What do you think of the new Blue Bombers uniforms?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google