Fruits

Fruits

Benefits of consuming fresh fruits have been established in countless studies. Still, the majority of Americans do not consume the recommended two cups of fruits per day.

Effect on your health

Why eat more fruit?

  • Fruits contain a wide range of vitamins and minerals.
  • Fruits contain fibre, which lowers cholesterol.
  • The water and fibre contents of fruits increase fullness and help in weight management.
  • Antioxidants contained in fruits help slow aging.
  • According to research, eating at least five servings of fruits and vegetables per day reduces the mortality, specifically from diabetes and heart diseases. 
  • Mortality from cancer is also decreased when an adequate amount of fruit is consumed. 

Ideal consumption

How much is the ideal consumption?

It is generally recommended to consume at least 400 grams per day (five servings of 80 grams, which is about the size of a tennis ball) fruits and vegetables. Recommendations about how to split these 5 servings into two categories differ, but half of this intake may come from fruits. 

But if you have diabetes, this changes. Although most dietary recommendations for diabetic patients suggest eating a moderate amount (2-4 servings per day) of fruit, you might want to consult your doctor. You may monitor your blood sugar levels after eating fruit to see where your boundary should lie. 

Eat the rainbow

Fruits and vegetables differ in color as their phytochemicals are different. Meaning, different fruits (and vegetables) contain different ingredients, which is why consuming a wide variety of produce is preferable. 

🔴 Red: Has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant (like lycopene in tomatoes) properties. It benefits heart health, may reduce skin damage caused by sun exposure, may lower the risk of cancer

🟠 Orange: High in carotenoids, which is converted to vitamin A when digested and absorbed, and keeps your eyes healthy

🟡 Yellow: Contain carotenoids, which is good for eye health 

🟢 Green: Chlorophyll gives this colour, but green fruits and vegetables have many more ingredients. 

🔵 Blue / Purple: Anthocyanins provide this color, which are antioxidants, protecting cells from damage. 

⚪ White / Beige: Anthoxanthins are the pigments that create white or cream colours. These may reduce the risk of CVD and inflammatory conditions. 

Increasing fruit consumption

How can fruit consumption be increased?

🍉 Add fruit to your main meals: You may try to add different types of fruits to your dishes. Combination of sweet and salty activates a taste bud (umami) in your tongue that substantially increases how tasty your meal feels. Umami is the main reason why Indian and Chinese cuisine tastes delicious!

🍎 Add fruit to your snacks: You may eat an apple alongside your usual almonds. Consuming a source of protein or fat when eating a fruit keeps you full for longer. A sprinkle of cinnamon on top a glass of milk and a banana—easy to prepare, delicious, and slow to digest! Here are some other suggestions:

    • Berries & yoghurt
    • Chocolate-covered fruit 
    • Frozen fruit
    • Nicecream
    • Sugar-free jam
    • Oat bars with fruit
    • Protein balls with fruit and nut butter
    • Acai bowls

🍌 Take fruit with you: You may take tangerine with you when heading out. Whenever you get hangry, you can just open your bag and have a healthy option to regulate your blood sugar.

🫐 Instead of juices, try to consume whole fruits. Different parts of the fruit, like the pulp, contain different ingredients that are essential to consume. 

🍍 Instead of canned fruit, try to choose fresh fruits in season. Canned products contain conservatives, which damages the overall benefit you receive from the fruit. 

Source: AHA Journals

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