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Summer Fruit Frenzy

'Tis the season to savor fruit's fresh, healthy goodness

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Mango: 1 cup of sliced mango has 4.5 grams of fiber, 80% of the RDA for vitamin A, 14% for vitamin B-6, 17% for folic acid, 76% for vitamin C, and 23% for vitamin E. Mangos are rich in beta-carotene.

Peaches/Nectarines: 1 cup of nectarine slices contains 2 grams of fiber, 13% of the RDA for vitamin A, 10% for vitamin B-3, 12% for vitamin C, and 15% for vitamin E. A cup of peach slices has 3 grams of fiber, 11% of the RDA for vitamin A, 12% for vitamin B-3, 19% for vitamin C, and 15% for vitamin E.

Plums: 1 cup has 3 grams of fiber, 26% of the RDA for vitamin C, 15% for vitamin E, and 12% for riboflavin.

Strawberries: 1 cup has 2.5 grams of fiber, 16% of the RDA for folic acid, and 150% for vitamin C. Strawberries are also a great source of ellagic acid (a potent antioxidant), anthocyanosides, catechins (which help protect against cancer), and ferulic and caffeic acid.

Watermelon: 1 cup contains 26% of the RDA for vitamin C and 12% for vitamin B-1 and vitamin B-6.

How to Eat More Fruit

If you want to eat more fruit, have it available at every turn -- at work, at home, in your car or briefcase. Here are 10 simple ways to work more fruit into your day:

  • Fruit is much more exciting if it is cut, washed, and assembled into a colorful salad. Take time a couple of times a week to clean out your produce bin and make fruit salad.
  • For morning or afternoon snacks, wash whatever fresh fruit you have at the moment and set out a big bowl on your table or desk. As you pass by or talk on the phone, you'll find yourself munching on it.
  • Dress up a party or dinner plate with a fruit kabob: just string assorted pieces of fresh fruit onto a bamboo stick.
  • Certain fruits lend themselves to grilling (pineapple, mango, banana) and this is a fun and fancy way to get your fruit servings.
  • Add fresh or frozen fruit to your smoothie or shake.
  • Add fruit to green salads for a sweet twist on this dinner staple. Strawberries, pears, grapes, orange segments, mango, and papaya work well.
  • Add fruit to your hot or cold cereal.
  • Get in the habit of adding a fresh fruit garnish to your breakfast, lunch, or dinner plate. Try pineapple slices, melon wedges, a small bunch of grapes, a few strawberries or orange wedges, or pear slices shaped into a fan.
  • Add fresh or frozen fruit to your yogurt for extra color, flavor, and nutrition.
  • Enjoy fresh fruit with a little cheese for a nice dessert, picnic, or snack. Pears, apples, and grapes lend themselves to pairing with cheese.
  • Dried fruits don't go bad or get bruised, and you can store them in your briefcase, car, or desk for a quick pick-me-up. Try apricots, pears, peaches, nectarines, prunes, raisins, dates, cherries, and blueberries.

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