More Reasons to Eat Fruit

Fruits are nature’s wonderful medicines packed with vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants and many phyto-nutrients (Plant derived micronutrients). They are absolute feast to our sight, not just because of their color and flavor but help body keep fit and healthy!

  1. Fruits are low in calories and fat and are a source of simple sugars, fiber, and vitamins, which are essential for optimizing our health.
  2. Fruits provide plenty of soluble dietary fiber, which helps to ward of cholesterol and fats from the body and to get relief from constipation as well.
  3. Fruits contain many anti-oxidants likepoly-phenolic flavonoids, vitamin-C, anthocyanins. These compounds,firstly, help body protect from oxidant stress, diseases, and cancers, andsecondly, help body develop capacity to fight against these ailments by boosting our immunity level. Many fruits, when compared to vegetables and cereals, have very high anti-oxidant values which is something measured by their “Oxygen Radical Absorbent Capacity” or ORAC.
  4. Anthocyanins are flavonoid category of poly-phenolic compounds found in some “blue fruits” like blue-black grapes, mulberries, acai berry, chokeberries, blueberries, blackberries, and in many vegetables featuring blue or deep purple color. Eating fruits rich in blue pigments offers many health benefits. These compounds have potent anti-oxidant properties, remove free radicals from the body, and thus offer protection against cancers, aging, infections etc. These pigments tend to concentrate just underneath the skin.
  5. Fruit’s health benefiting properties are because of their richness in vitamins, minerals, micro-nutrients, anti-oxidants which helps body prevent or at least prolong the natural changes of aging by protecting and rejuvenating cells, tissues and organs in the human body. The overall benefits are manifold! Fruit nutrition benefits are infinite! You are protecting yourself from minor problems like wrinkling of skin, hair fall, memory loss to major ailments like age related macular degeneration of retina in the eyes, Alzheimer’s disease, colon cancers, weak bones (osteoporosis)… and the list of fruit nutrition benefits never ends!

    How much fruit nutrition should be included in our daily diet?

    Research studies suggest that one may eat any servings of fruits daily. It is recommended to eat at least 2-3 servings of fresh fruits every day.

    The term one fruit serving is about 250 g of cleaned, edible-portion of the fruit, excluding discards like peel, seeds etc.

    Include seasonal fruits in the daily diet. Variety of fruit’s type, color, and flavor should be encouraged to get maximum health benefits. Yellow and orange color fruits are rich sources of α and β carotenes, zea-xanthins and crypto-xanthins, while blue, black colored like black or blueberries are good source of poly-phenolic anthocyanin anti-oxidants.

    Selection of fruits

    To avail maximum fruit nutrition benefits eat organic produce. Many “wild” varieties of berries and “tropical tree” fruits have still not treated with any kind of fertilizers or chemicals and can be readily purchased from local farm owners. Organic fruits tend to be smaller, however, they feature special flavor and richness in vitamins, minerals and stuffed with numerous anti-oxidants.

    In the store, however, choose fruits that feature freshness, bright in color and flavor and feel heavy in your hands. Look carefully for blemishes, spots, molds, and signs of insecticide spray. Buy whole fruits instead of section of them (for example, buy a small size watermelon instead of a section of big size melon).

    Dry fruits

    Dry fruits are rich source of nutrients such as vitamins and minerals. Consumption of some dry fruits daily enhances the overall bioavailability of nutrients. Try raisins (dried grapes), apricots, dates, figs, tamarind…etc which are indeed very good in iron, calcium, zinc, selenium andmanganese. In addition, mixing dry fruits with some fresh fruits would help you get vitamin C which in-turn favors absorption of iron inside the stomach.

    How to use fruits?

    Barring few fruits like berries, try to wash them soon after shopping. Rinse them in salt water for few minutes and then wash in cool running water until you are satisfied with complete cleanliness. This way you make sure that the fruit you eat is rid-off dust, sand and any residual chemical spray. Eat them while they are fresh because, certain fruits have very short shelf life and the health benefiting properties of fruit declines with time. If you need to store them, place them in plastic wrappings or in zip pouches to keep them fresh for short periods until you use them. Eat fruits as a whole without any additions to get their original flavor, taste, and to get maximum fruit nutrition benefits.

    If you need to store them, place them in plastic wrappings or in zip pouches to keep them fresh for short periods until you use them. Eat fruits as a whole without any additions to get their original flavor, taste, and to get maximum fruit nutrition benefits.

     

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