Reps! has found the top eight fruits and vegetables that you’ve likely never heard of. Here’s why you should add them to your grocery list.
By Glen Peterson
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends that you eat two to four servings of fruit daily; four is ideal. But you have to dig a little deeper to discover just what a “serving” is—would it be a single fruit or a measurement by weight or volume? Before your head explodes trying to sort it out, here’s a simple rule: According to the USDA, one “serving” of sliced fruit is equal to half a cup, but a single piece of fruit, such as an apple, an orange or a banana, counts as one serving. Of course, you can always have too much of a good thing. An excess of fruit in your diet can have negative health effects. Terese Scollard, MBA, RD, LD, a regional clinical nutrition manager for Providence Nutrition Services, says that, because fruits are loaded with natural sugars, they can add on those sneaky pounds (and can turn you into Mr. Lardgut quickly).
Scollard also cautions: “If you go overboard on one kind of food—even one as terrific as fruit—you’ll miss out on the valuable properties of other healthy foods.”
“The best way to ensure that your body is getting what it needs is to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables,” says Toby Smithson, an Illinois-based dietitian and national spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association. . “Half of your plate should be filled with fruits and vegetables,” adds Smithson. Challenge yourself to refocus your meals and put fruits and veggies first and meat second—don’t worry you’ll still get enough protein to grow muscle.
As Charlie Sheen said while chugging Tiger Blood and banging seven-gram rocks, “Everything in moderation, trolls!” So be like Charlie and… On second thought, don’t be like Charlie at all—you’ll live longer. Here are some exotic fruits you should consider if you want to power up your workouts, add a few more years to your lifespan odometer, and simply for a change of pace.