6 Diabetes-Friendly Fruits to Enjoy This Spring by Jackie Newgent, RDN, CDN

Fruit—it’s known as nature’s “candy.” That may be one reason why some people with diabetes are unsure how or whether to eat fruit. Luckily, fruit fits and should be part of your diabetes-friendly eating plan.

6 Diabetes-Friendly Fruits to Enjoy This Spring

Health Benefits of Fruit

Fruit is nutrient-rich and offers health promoting antioxidants, minerals, and fiber. A review of the research suggests that eating fruit regularly and as a part of a healthy eating plan is associated with lower fasting blood glucose (blood sugar) levels and a lower risk for developing type 2 diabetes. It offers protection against heart disease and certain cancers, too.
 
Fruits are considered a carbohydrate (carb) food, so keep in mind how many carbs and calories you’re eating. Learn about when which fruit is in season and at its peak of ripeness, nutritional value, flavor, and color—and at its lowest price!

Our Six Springtime Picks

Try these six springtime picks in recipes or simply as-is to keep your body healthy and taste buds delighted.
 
  1. Bowl of strawberriesStrawberries
Strawberries dazzle with their vivid red color, sweet juiciness, and burst of flavonoids and antioxidants.
   
  1. A group of avocados and one is cut openAvocados
These buttery-textured fruits contain healthy fats and act as “nutrient boosters,” helping enhance absorption of fat-soluble nutrients like vitamins D and E.
 
  • Mash avocado with a squirt of lemon to create a creamy condiment.
  • Savor avocado diced or sliced in chili, soup, savory oatmeal, or as a bean bowl topper.
  • Stuff avocado halves with toppings like beans, salsa, and cheese for a fun presentation.
 
  1. Bowl of cherriesSweet Cherries
The polyphenols in cherries may play a health protective role for people with type 2 diabetes.
 
  • Whirl pitted cherries into a chocolaty smoothie for added flavor.
  • Stir sliced cherries and toasted almonds into cooked grains for pilaf with pizzaz.
  • Create party-friendly fruit salad skewers starring cherries.
 
  1. A cut up mangoMangos
Tropical mangos feature more than 20 vitamins and minerals. They may help boost satiety (feeling full), which can be beneficial for managing weight.
 
  • Make a zippy mango slaw for shrimp, mango relish for halibut, or mango-tomato salsa for salmon.
  • Pair mango with black beans in Mexican dishes.
  • Blend a refreshing lassi (it’s like an Indian smoothie) featuring mango and plain Greek yogurt.

 
Golden kiwis that are cut openGolden Kiwifruit
With a triple whammy of vitamin C, fiber, and a low GI, kiwifruits are sweet picks for people with diabetes. One golden kiwi offers all the vitamin C needed daily. They have smoother skin than the green variety—it’s edible, nourishing, and full of fiber. Use golden kiwis in any recipe calling for green kiwis.

  • Create a fizzy spritzer featuring muddled golden kiwi and strawberries.
  • Upgrade your PB&J swapping golden kiwi in place of jam.
  • Peel and freeze kiwi slices then pulse in a food processor or blender with a squirt of lime to craft a scrumptious sorbet.
 
  1. Wood bowl of mandarin orangesMandarin Oranges
There are numerous types of mandarins, including clementines. They’re like petite easy-to-peel oranges packing a punch of vitamin C. Citrus polyphenols may play a protective role over time for people with type 2 diabetes. Use two mandarin oranges in recipes calling for one navel orange.
 
  • Stash one into your purse or backpack for an anytime snack.
  • Toss mandarin segments into a peppery green salad or spicy stir fry for sweet balance and color.
  • Swap in mandarins for this orange relish over salmon.
 
Fruit availability varies by region and season. When fresh fruit is unavailable, choose unsweetened frozen or canned fruit to still enjoy its benefits and taste. Sign up for the Diabetes Food Hub e-newsletter for more recipes ideas on how to include fruit in your diabetes-friendly eating plan.

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