Guest Author - Chris McBeath
If you’re staying at a resort spa, chances are that spa snacks are part of the refreshment scene in the relaxation lounge. Walnuts and almonds, while healthy, contain a fair amount of fat, so I try to limit my intake, and in the mood of quiet time, the crunch of a fresh apple disturbs my peace. But I do get the munchies post-spa-treatment so was please to see these choices at the ‘bar’ at the Golden Door Spa at the Boulders, Arizona. Better still, there was information on their nutritional content that I’m delighted to share.
Dried Apples (3oz=233 calories)
Fossils show that apples were gathered and stored more than 5,000 years ago. The Egyptians grew them invading Romans took them to Britain, and early American colonists established orchards. About 80% of the fiber in apples is pectin, a soluble fiber which helps lower cholesterol. Dried apples also provide potassium, sodium, iron and vitamin C, making them a great snack for exercise enthusiasts.
Dried Bananas (3oz=290 calories)
Known as an ‘ideal food’, bananas are shipped from tropical regions of Central and South America. they’re highly nutritious, easily digestible, and help replenish the body’s store of carbohydrates. Bananas are also full of potassium, which regulates heartbeat and blood pressure, as well as magnesium, calcium, carotenoids, folate, vitamin C and pectin, which helps lower ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol levels.
Mangos ( (3oz=300 calories) )
For thousands of years, mangos have been grown on the Indian subcontinent, and today they’re the most widely consumed fruit in the world … fragrant, juicy, low in calories and rich in nutrients. Mangos are an excellent source of beta carotene and also supply an ample amount of soluble fiber including pectin, which helps reduce the amount of cholesterol in the blood.
Papaya ( (3oz=220 calories) )
Found in profusion throughout the world’s tropical regions, the papaya can grow from a seed to a 20-foot, fruit-bearing tree in about 18 months. Sweet and refreshing, it’s an excellent source of vitamin C … and also provides fiber, folate, potassium, carotenoids, calcium and magnesium. Papaya contains an enzyme called papain that breaks down protein, making the fruit a great digestive aid.
Raspberry Cherries ( (3oz=214 calories) )
Developed in Oregon just over 100 years ago, Bing cherries are the most popular sweet cherries. They contain pectin, which helps lower cholesterol, and are also low in calories, rich in flavor and nutrients. Combined with the juice of fresh raspberries, they provide vitamin A, carotenoids, potassium, magnesium and vitamin C. Because they require hardly any preparation, cherries are a perfect snack.
Turkish Apricots ( (3oz=220 calories) )
About 4,000 years ago fragrant, delicate apricots were grown in China, and spread through Asia and Europe. Brought to California in the late 1700s for the gardens of Spanish missions, the Turkish apricots are smaller and sweeter than other varieties. In their dried form, they become a concentrated source of iron, potassium, carotene, calcium and fiber … a superb, nutrient-rich food.