Earlier this week, we shared a common health myth that all fruit is healthy. In fact, many fruit products contain added sugar and other undesirable ingredients, and some fruits can also trigger high blood sugar (which research shows disrupts your immune system). If you’re have diabetes or are worried about your blood sugar, low-glycemic fruit is the answer. The glycemic index is a measurement of how quickly a specific food impacts your blood sugar levels. The GI breaks down as follows:
- Low GI: A score of 55 or less
- Moderate GI: 56-69
- High GI: 70+
The lower the GI score, the slower the rate a specific food will raise your blood sugar. The following three recipes are delicious, easy to make, and are high in antioxidants to boost your immunity. And they all focus on exceptionally low-GI fruit, making them a smart choice for those who are watching their carbohydrate intake. Let’s dig in!
BREAKFAST: Grapefruit Goddess Smoothie
Not only does grapefruit have an exceptionally low GI score of 25, but the fruit also contains compounds that may actually lower your blood sugar and support healthy weight loss or weight maintenance. Plus, it’s high in immune system-boosting vitamin C, as well as plant compounds that may boost your cardiovascular health by reducing your cholesterol.
Yet many people find grapefruit to be a bit too tangy for their liking. This filling, healthy breakfast shake pairs this amazing fruit with high-fiber greens, inflammation-fighting ginger root, and the natural sweetness of bananas. It’ll keep you full all morning long, while doing some goddess-level magic in your body.
1 pink grapefruit, peeled and cubed
1 apple, cored
2 cups frozen spinach or kale
1 frozen banana (or skip if you have blood sugar issues)
1/2 cup unsweetened oat milk
1-inch fresh ginger root, peeled
1 scoop of vanilla protein powder
Add all the ingredients to a blender and blend until creamy. Enjoy!
LUNCH: Balsamic Pear and Walnut Salad
Pears, with a GI score of only 48, are a surprising source of fiber. In fact, a single medium-sized pear has nearly a quarter of your daily needs of fiber. Specifically, it’s a type of fiber that builds your gut health by feeding the beneficial bacteria in your digestive system. As we know, gut health is intricately linked to your immune system.
The natural sweetness of the pears pairs (pun intended) delightfully with the gentle “bite” of balsamic vinegar, balancing out these different flavors and creating a tantalizing, elevated palate. And this is no ordinary salad, either. The fennel root adds a surprising twist (plus immunity-enhancing flavonoids) while the nuts offer extra protein and healthy fats, ensuring this salad won’t leave you hungry.
4 cups mixed salad greens, ideally local and organic
2 ripe Bartlett pears, sliced thinly
1 fennel bulb, sliced thinly
1 tbsp chopped pecans
1 tbsp chopped walnuts
1 tbsp chopped almonds
1/4 cup shaved Pecorino Romano (a hard, salty cheese available in most delis)
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup Balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
In a jar or a bowl, combine the olive oil, vinegar and mustard. Shake or stir vigorously, then set aside.
In a salad bowl, add the mixed greens. Garnish with the pears and fennel, then sprinkle the cheese and nuts on top of the salad. Toss with the dressing you just made and enjoy!
DINNER: Orange-Glazed Baked Salmon
Oranges, which have a GI score of only 40, add natural sweetness and zest to this easy salmon dinner. It’ll emerge from your oven smelling and looking like a chef-prepared gourmet dish, but it takes just minutes to prepare so it is perfect for busy weeknight evenings. The oranges don’t just pair perfectly with the fish, but they also add a lot of vitamin C for your immunity. Plus, salmon is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are critical for immune strength, brain health, and so much more.
1 salmon filet with the skin on
Juice from two fresh oranges
Zest from one fresh orange
4 tbsp gluten-free tamari sauce
2 tbsp maple syrup or honey (both which have a significantly lower impact on your blood sugar than actual sugar does)
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. While the oven is heating up, grease a baking sheet or line it with parchment paper.
In a bowl, combine the orange juice, zest, tamari sauce, and honey or maple syrup. Whisk vigorously to combine.
Place the salmon filet on your baking sheet with the skin-side facing down. Generously coat with the sauce and bake for 20 minutes or until the salmon flakes easily. Enjoy with a salad, or with a healthy low-GI grain side dish like quinoa.