There’s a lot of discussion going on out there about raw food diets. But, if we’re being honest, most folks (myself included) like to cook their vegetables in some fashion – nothing quite whets my appetite like the smell of onions being sautéed in a some red wine.
However, fruits are on the other end of the spectrum: they tend to shine when raw. And by increasing your intake of fresh fruit, you satisfy both a natural need for some sweetness and the raw side of your diet.
There are even folks out there who eat almost exclusively fruit (the guys at Ultra Runner Podcast interviewed Michael Arnstein, who is known as the Fruititarian for good reason – he’s a great source of information). They swear by the health benefits, and it definitely provides some proof of the importance of making fruit a bigger portion of your diet.
Being a vegetarian (or just a healthy person in general) means finding balance in what you eat so that you can get all of your essential nutrients. Fruit can provide you with A LOT of nutrients on top of good, energizing calories to keep you going during the day. They also satiate your sweet tooth. If you can train yourself to replace your candy cravings with fruit cravings, you will take a huge step toward getting healthier. Apples, oranges, kiwis, bananas, apricots, plums, pears, nectarines, pineapple, and all of their friends are, after all, nature’s candy.
So how can you go about incorporating more fruit in your diet?
- Choose a fruit that becomes your snack of choice. Keep a good stash of them that is easily available. For example, if a sudden hunger pang hits me, I’ll reach for a banana, which provides me with about 100 calories and the natural sugars move quickly to my motor, keeping me going for a couple more hours.
- Don’t overwhelm yourself with choices. While there are plenty of delicious fruits out there that you should try, don’t keep too many in the house at a time. You want to familiarize yourself with one to three types at a time, which makes it easy to train yourself to just reach for it, rather than searching around for the right choice, which could lead to investigating the pantry. And that could turn a 100 calorie snack into an extra 500 calorie meal for the day.
- That being said, experiment with different fruits! Find yourself crashing too quickly after a kiwi? Maybe you need to change it out for a bigger fruit like a mango. Exhausted with cutting up cantaloupes? Take the burden away by keeping around easy-to-eat apples.
- Commit yourself to having one piece of fruit with every meal. A banana with breakfast, a handful of blueberries with lunch, and a slice of watermelon before dinner. They not only provide energy, but also fill you up on fewer calories with their high water content.
See! Getting more fruits is easy, and fruits are usually easy to prepare and eat. Some, like most berries, require no preparation at all! It’s an easy and very healthy way to get and stay healthy. Now, go out an stock up on nature’s treats!