According to this website, http://www.choosemyplate.gov/food-groups/fruits-why.html , here are some health benefits from including fruit in your diet:
o Most fruits are naturally low in fat, sodium, and calories. None have cholesterol.
o Fruits are sources of many essential nutrients that are underconsumed, including potassium, dietary fiber, vitamin C, and folate (folic acid).
o Diets rich in potassium may help to maintain healthy blood pressure. Fruit sources of potassium include bananas, prunes and prune juice, dried peaches and apricots, cantaloupe, honeydew melon, and orange juice.
o Dietary fiber from fruits, as part of an overall healthy diet, helps reduce blood cholesterol levels and may lower risk of heart disease. Fiber is important for proper bowel function. It helps reduce constipation and diverticulosis. Fiber-containing foods such as fruits help provide a feeling of fullness with fewer calories. Whole or cut-up fruits are sources of dietary fiber; fruit juices contain little or no fiber.
o Vitamin C is important for growth and repair of all body tissues, helps heal cuts and wounds, and keeps teeth and gums healthy.
o Folate (folic acid) helps the body form red blood cells. Women of childbearing age who may become pregnant should consume adequate folate from foods, and in addition 400 mcg of synthetic folic acid from fortified foods or supplements. This reduces the risk of neural tube defects, spina bifida, and anencephaly during fetal development.
According to this site, http://technorati.com/lifestyle/article/the-health-benefits-of-eating-fruit/ , fruit has particular benefits when eaten every day. With five portions a day of fruit and vegetables being the recommended minimum, there is plenty of room to incorporate fruit into your diet, as a breakfast, snack, dessert, or made into a juice or smoothie to drink. Here are some surprising benefits of eating fresh fruit:
• Raw Foods Contain More Nutrients--Usually, fruit is eaten raw, in a pretty natural state. This may not be the case in your apple pie, but most of the time you will be eating fruit that hasn’t been cooked. Raw foods are better for you because the enzymes and nutrients in fresh produce are broken down by the cooking process. This means you get more essential vitamins and other nutritional benefits from snacking on fruit in its natural state.
• Satisfies a Sweet Tooth without Empty Calories--If you enjoy or even crave something sweet from time to time, fruit can give you that sugary taste sensation with none of the drawbacks of candy, chocolate, cookies or cake. This can help you stay satisfied if you are prone to snacking on sweet foods and want to lose weight or simply switch to a healthier diet.
• High Vitamin Content--Many fruits are very rich in important vitamins. If you find yourself taking a vitamin C supplement to ward off colds and keep your energy levels high throughout the day, consider that just one cup of pineapple slices will give you 131% of your recommended daily amount of vitamin C, as well as providing you with a source of thiamine, B6, copper and manganese. Different fruits contain different proportions of different vitamins, so by consuming a rich mixture of fruit you can be sure you are getting a nicely balanced vitamin supply.
Fruit can also benefit many people wanting to lose weight. Energy consumption is thought to be mainly influenced by the palatability, fiber content, density of energy and the variety of foods. Eating fruit has the benefit of affecting some these factors. Fruit is also low in sodium so they help reduce the chance of gaining water weight. Providing you are eating about one-third of the diet as fruits and vegetables, you should notice rapid weight loss because the ample fruit consumption helps fill the stomach faster encouraging less high calorie foods to be consumed. The total calorie consumption will automatically reduce even if we are eating plenty of fruit and vegetables. There is such a variety of fruits available that many can be freely eaten without consuming too many calories thereby controlling weight more effectively, according to this site: http://www.weightlossforall.com/benefits-fruit-losing-weight.htm .
It can be quite easy to slip 5 pieces of fruit into the diet. Here are some tips:
1. Add dried fruit to breakfast cereal.
2. Prepare fruit salads to last few days.
3. Eat an apple before leaving for work.
4. Eat small pieces of fruits 30 minutes before/ after light workout.
5. Drink more fruit juices.
6. Find recipes that contain fruit.
7. Always have a bowl of fruit in or near TV.
8. Eating a piece of fruit before each meal can help reduce total energy intake!
As you strive to meet your individual fruit and vegetable consumption recommendations, remember that proper handling and preparation can reduce the risk of food contamination and food borne illness. You can also find much more info about this topic located at this website: http://www.cdc.gov/nutrition/everyone/fruitsvegetables/index.html .
Eating fruit daily is good for you. And because the variety of fruit is so great and so readily available just about anywhere you live, there is no excuse not to consume some of it on a regular basis as part of your everyday meal intake. When you eat fruit, your health has the potential to improve in most cases. And, as always, talk with your dietician, doctor, or health care provider as to what is best for you.
Until next time.