Health Happenings Nutrition — 31 March 2012
Favorite Fruits Now in Season: SPRING!

Strawberries: Strawberries are the first fruit to ripen in spring and early summer. A nutrient-rich fruit, they are very low in saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium. They are also a good source of folate and potassium, as well as dietary fiber and vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant. Consumption of fruits rich in vitamin C helps the body develop resistance against infectious agents, counter inflammation and scavenge harmful free radicals. Perfectly ripe strawberries are best eaten out of hand, but also make great additions to salads.  And what’s not to like about strawberry shortcake?

Apricots:  For a boost of beta-carotene, potassium, vitamin C and fiber, bring home apricots from the farmers’ market or grocery store. This fruit is small in stature but big in content—high copper and iron to increase the hemoglobin in the blood and lots of vitamin A to help improve eyesight.  Lycopene is also present in apricots, which helps in the prevention of cancer and protects the body from high cholesterol, thereby preventing heart disease. Apricots are perfect for jams and cobblers, or lightly grilled and served warm with a dollop of low-fat frozen yogurt!

Mangoes:  Also an excellent source of vitamins A and C, mangoes are a tropical fruit dream.  What other fruit can carry your imagination away to the islands and protect against colon, breast, leukemia and prostate cancers? Fresh mango is a very rich source of potassium, an important component of cell and body fluids that helps to control heart rate and blood pressure. Mangoes have a rich, exotic flavor that is best enjoyed in simple slices. They are also a wonderful addition to fruit salads and salsas.

Article by Janet Scherr © Style Media Group.

Article appears in the Spring 2012 Issue of Family Health & Wellness Magazine published by Style Media Group.

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