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The 4 Best Fruits for Athletes and Bodybuilders
Nature’s Candy: Fruit Doesn’t Need
to be Off-Limits!
Thanks to its natural sweetness and water content, fruit can be an enjoyable component of a meal plan. Even though its sweet taste is from natural sugars—hence the term “nature’s candy”—fruit is often eliminated from a diet when someone is trying to lose weight. Regardless of the fact that they’re naturally derived sugars, they can still spike insulin, which can hinder weight-loss progress, especially in extreme cases such as physique athletes. Does this have to be the case?
Fruit and vegetables make up one of the four traditional food groups, classified as carbohydrates for all you macro-trackers out there. Fruit is packed with a variety of vitamins, minerals, and fibre, which are imperative for overall health. To allow you to keep enjoying fruit and its positive health benefits as long as possible, even during a cutting phase, here are four low-sugar options to include.
These little gems are a great addition to your plan because of their low-calorie count, high fibre content, and sweet-and-sour flavour profile. An additional bonus to berries is that they’re rich in antioxidants—compounds that inhibit the process that can produce free radicals in your body. While each berry has its own nutritional profile, 100 grams of berries averages between 50 and 80 calories, with an average sugar content of 8 grams. Take your pick, from blueberries to raspberries, these jewels make a great addition to a meal.
This summertime staple is surprisingly low in sugar, even though some varieties taste incredibly sweet. With most melons containing around 9 grams of sugar per 100-gram serving and boasting a large water content, these fruits won’t cause a big insulin spike, and will also go a long way in improving your hydration level. Whether you prefer cantaloupe or watermelon, find your favourite and enjoy it, guilt-free!
3. Citrus fruits
These bright fruits are packed with healthful micronutrients. Topping the list are vitamin C, folate, and potassium, along with soluble fibre. An additional perk to citrus fruits is their beneficial role in digestion. Many gurus of health and well-being world recommend starting the day with a glass of water containing lemon or lime juice for its ability to kick-start the body’s digestive system.
That’s right, everyone’s beloved fat source is a fruit (with the pit as its tell-tale feature). With virtually no sugar, this fruit is abundant in fibre and vitamins B, C, E, and K, and provides more potassium than a banana. From a macronutrient standpoint, it’s loaded with monosaturated fats, which boost heart health. The smooth texture makes it a great base for dressings, sauce, or as a dip for all the guacamole lovers out there. Dice it up into a salad, or cut strips to use on a burger or sandwich—the options are endless, tasty, and healthy.
Is Fresh Better than Frozen?
Many people hesitate to buy frozen fruit, thinking it’s not as healthful as fresh. Frozen fruit has been shown to have the same, or better, nutritional content as its fresh counterparts. Because of the process of flash freezing as soon as its picked, it retains its nutrient profile better than fresh fruit, which can take a long time to get to your local store, and even longer for you to consume. Just make sure you buy an option with no added sugar and you’re still reaping the rewards.
The next time you head to the store or a local fruit stand, keep these four items in mind as healthy, nutrient-rich options. While they deliver great micronutrient profiles, they can also help satisfy your sweet tooth without adding refined sugars to your diet. With these suggestions, you can continue to enjoy nature’s candy all year long.
Photos: Getty Images and Alex Ardenti
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