Health

Do It Ripe

It’s summertime, the easiest time of year to get our daily intake of fresh fruit. But it’s important to make sure the fruit is ripe.

We know fruits like apples and pears are chock-full of flavonoids. Now, research shows that when ripe, these fruits contain additional potent disease fighters: NCCs (short for nonfluorescent chlorophyll catabolites) As fruit ripens, chlorophyll breaks down and forms NCCs.

Eat the skin. And eat it whole, especially when it comes to apples vs. apple juice. Juices often are high in simple sugars and calories, which may promote weight gain. They also lack the fiber and full nutritional punch of whole fruits. For example, whole apples are high in phytochemicals that may help reduce the risk of certain types of cancer, asthma, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. They also are a good source of fiber. However, much of the fiber and phytochemicals resides in the peels. In fact, studies suggest apple peels contain two to six times more antioxidants than apple flesh and its juices. So get most of your fruit servings from whole fruits; use fruit juices to fill in the gaps.

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