Five Fruits To Try This Summer

By Julie T. Chen, MD

Most of my patients in my integrative medicine clinic know that I am not always a big fan of fruits for patients of mine who have high triglycerides or pre-diabetes/diabetes and also for those trying to lose weight. But I don't want them and I don't want you to think that I don't like fruits in general.

For those people who are healthy and active and have no problems processing these wonderful tasty treats, fruits are good for you because of their many nutritious ingredients. But for those of you eating multiple servings per day and are trying to lose weight or are already pre-diabetic or diabetic, you need to watch your portion intake of fruits.

If you are a healthy active individual who eat fruits as an occasional treat or can limit your portion intake every day, then let us discuss my top five favorite fruits for my patients.

1. Berries: What can I say...they are yummy, prettily colorful, and altogether super useful in salads, smoothies, and desserts. They are high in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. They can provide a healthy dose of vitamin C, anthocyanins, and even minerals like magnesium and potassium.

2. Pineapples: Despite tasting like a treat, this fruit is high in levels of bromelain, a protein-digesting enzyme that helps with inflammation. Of course, let's not forget that it is also high in many vitamins and minerals.

3. Apples: Quercetin is an antioxidant that is found in apples to help with preventing the release of inflammatory chemicals from our allergy cells.

4. Citrus fruits: Aside from providing a good amount of vitamin C, the white stuff you see once you peel out your oranges contain an ingredient called pectin that has antioxidant activity to help with various disease concerns including inflammation and cancer. So, ask your doctor about this but in the meantime, go ahead and eat your citrus fruits but just remember not to throw away all the white peel material surrounding the fruit.

5. Papaya: Papain is another enzyme that is frequently used for digestion and inflammation issues. Besides tasting great, it'll help with digestion and help with post-summer time activity inflammatory concerns.

These are just five great fruits with health benefits. But as you probably already know, since Mother Nature is very good at creating natural remedies, many other fruits are also high in therapeutic properties.

The main thing to remember when indulging in fruits is that while it is good for you, too much of a good thing can still be bad. So, don't overeat fruits...I've seen many patients get into that situation and then all of a sudden they've got high sugar levels or triglycerides. So, all things in moderation should always be your motto.

So, this summer, instead of reaching for ice cream or non-nutritious sugary treats, eat fruits as desserts…and for all my patients reading this article, you know I would always have you eat fruits over pastries or ice cream any day of the week.

Dr. Julie T. Chen is board-certified in internal medicine and fellowship-trained and board-certified in integrative medicine. She has her own medical practice in San Jose, Calif. She is the medical director of corporation wellness at several Silicon Valley-based corporations, is on several medical expert panels of Web sites and nonprofit organizations, is a recurring monthly columnist for several national magazines, and has been featured in radio, newspaper, and magazine interviews. She incorporates various healing modalities into her practice including, but is not limited to, medical acupuncture, Chinese scalp acupuncture, clinical hypnotherapy, strain-counterstrain osteopathic manipulations, and biofeedback. To learn more, visit

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