My mother just turned 89 years old. She is in a fairly late stage of Altzheimer’s Disease but she is otherwise healthy and strong as an ox. She has eaten at least one banana every day for as long as I can remember. Anecdotal correlations are not generally my standard form of argument, but this one has always stood out to me. There is no doubt that the steady intake of potassium, vitamin A, C and E, Calcium and vitamin B6 along with fiber has served my mother well. She also loves them and remembers to eat them. The daily banana may not be prolonging her life but it certainly isn’t curtailing it.
Fruit is what I eat when I have a craving for something sweet. It has just enough sugar to satisfy my sweet tooth and it very sneakily has really great things for my body and brain. Nature is very clever that way. It is a common nutritional guideline to eat fruit as part of a healthy diet. The greatest thing about fruit is that there is never much preparation. All you have to do is to remember to buy it. The way I remember is that every time I go to a market I buy at least a little bit of fruit. I look for what is inexpensive as that is usually what is fresh and local.
Be careful not to confuse fruit with fruit juice. There are huge market forces at work to convince us that fruit juices are good for you. Unfortunately, this in not correct. Even if the juice is unadulterated and not from concentrate, it is still considered a sugary drink. Regardless of the type of sugar, it is still sugar. Eating whole fruit provides a relatively small amount of sugar along with dietary fiber and a host of vitamins and other nutrients. In a glass of juice, you get 8-10 times the amount of sugar and none of the fiber. You would never sit down and eat 10 oranges so skip the juice.
Fruit is also the perfect barometer for hunger. In Michael Pollan’s “Food Rules” he features one of my favorite sayings:
“If you are not hungry enough to eat an apple, then you are not hungry.”
- Any other fruit that is in season and you like
- Lemon or Orange
- Fresh Mint
- Chef’s Knife
- Cut fruit into bite sized pieces. For the apples and bananas make sure to squeeze a little lemon or orange on them right away to keep them from browning.
- Toss in a bowl.
- Add a little more orange juice. Not too much.
- Garnish with a sprig of fresh mint.