I’m a dessert girl. After a savory meal or even a savory snack, my taste buds demand something sweet. Over the years, my taste buds have taught me an important lesson – sweet isn’t only synonymous with cookies, candy, and cake.
What about nature’s candy?
Fruit may not be the first thing that pops into your mind when your sweet tooth is nagging—but it can certainly satisfy even the worst craving for sweets!
Not only can fruits satisfy your cravings, but they’re also nutrient rich.
Raspberries weigh in at about 64 calories per cup and they’re fiberlicious too! They have significant amounts of polyphenol antioxidants and they provide a rich source of vitamin C, B vitamins, folic acid, copper, and iron.
Blueberries have about 80 calories per cup. Blueberries are rich in antioxidants, high in fiber, manganese, and Vitamin C—and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Berries are not only delicious and healthy, but they’re super versatile too! They can be easily frozen and blended into smoothies, used as a topping for oatmeal, thrown into your morning bowl of cereal, or enjoyed on their own.
Personally, I like to use them for all of the above!
Apples come in at roughly 95 calories (medium apple) and 4 grams of fiber! Most of the fiber is in the skin, so it’s best to leave the skin on! The fiber slows down digestion and keeps you satisfied for longer—score!
Apples are personally one of my favorite fruits. They may not be as sweet as other popular fruit varieties but they are delicious AND easily transportable! Easy transport is a huge plus for ladies on-the-go like myself.
They also have a myriad of other health benefits!
An interesting apple tidbit via Wikipedia: The apple was considered to be sacred to Aphrodite in Ancient Greece and to throw an apple at someone was to symbolically declare one's love; and similarly, to catch it was to symbolically show one's acceptance of that love.
Should we throw apples at our significant others to see if they catch them?
Why oh why did bananas ever get a bad rep? I can vividly remember being advised (by diet books and sites alike) to avoid bananas because they are high in calories. First of all, they only have about 100 calories per one medium banana.
Second of all, they are a whole natural food—in my book, if it grows on a tree or in the ground it’s acceptable!
Interestingly, as bananas ripen their sugar content increases making the bananas more caloric. Thus, it’s best to enjoy your bananas when they still have a little green rather than as they are turning brown.
Once my bananas start to turn, I chop them up and freeze them. Oh bananas, I could devote an entire post to your amazingness. You make my smoothies so creamy and my oatmeal so delicious. You fuel my runs and, just like apples, you’re perfect for my grab-and-go lifestyle.
One cup of diced cantaloupe has roughly 50 calories! This is good news considering I tend to eat half of a melon or more during one sitting! A perfectly ripe cantaloupe has no chance around me.
The health benefits aren’t too shabby either.
The only thing I don’t like about cantaloupe (and other melons alike)? Cutting it up! It always ends up being a super messy job!
Many of the health benefits of grapes have been shown to come from a category of phytonutrients called polyphenols. They are also rich sources of vitamins A, C, B6 and folate. In addition to that, they contain essential minerals like potassium, calcium, iron, phosphorus, magnesium and selenium.
At only 60 calories per cup, grapes are a great choice for a sweet snack!
There are so many more delicious fruits that I could mention—watermelon, peaches, pineapple, kiwis, tangerines, etc.—so many fruits, not enough time.
As always, it’s important to include a variety of fruits in your diet in order to maximize nutrition. No fruit left behind!
So tell me, what is your favorite fruit?
Do you ever choose fruit over other sweet snacks to satisfy your cravings?
Did you ever get it stuck in your head that bananas (or fruit in general) were off-limits? I definitely tried out the whole low-carb craze—and it skewed my views on fruit for a while. Luckily, I’ve realized that fruit is not the enemy. Thank goodness because it truly is nature’s candy!