Incredible Benefits of Fruits
From an early age, we are encouraged to eat plenty of fruit to positively fuel our bodies. Nutritional guidelines have long recommended hitting the five-a-day target. Fruits are an excellent source of vital vitamins and minerals. They are loaded with soluble fiber, antioxidants, potassium, and folate. All of which are essential for maintaining good health inside and out.
Fiber is important for a healthy diet. Fruits are full of soluble fiber. It slows down the absorption of sugar and keeps the gut running smoothly. A well-run digestive system prevents constipation and reduces the likelihood of developing colon cancer. Soluble fiber also makes us feel satiated for long periods, which stops overeating. This can aid weight loss and help reduce junk food cravings.
Vitamins, Minerals, and Antioxidants
Essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants hydrate the skin and keep it looking firm. The skin-care industry wants you to treat acne by investing in expensive dermatological treatments. Simply adding more fruit to your diet can have dramatic results. For example, apples. The skin of an apple contains high levels of pectin. Pectin is a starch that is full of vitamins A, C, and potassium. All of which promote skin cell growth, reverse sun damage and restore collagen cells. Similarly, this can work miracles for rejuvenating your hair and nails.
Potassium regulates our fluid balances, helps control the electrical activity of the heart and other muscles. In other words, it is crucial for optimal health. Potassium especially helps the body avoid high blood pressure. This can reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Potassium is also great for avoiding kidney stones and osteoporosis. Therefore, fruits high in potassium are an excellent investment in our future health.
Folate is a form of vitamin B. Without folate, the body cannot make red and white blood cells. High levels of folate are extremely vital during periods of rapid bodily change, for example, pregnancy. Consuming adequate amounts of folate during pregnancy is important for reducing the risk of congenital deformities. For example, spina bifida, neural tube defects, and anencephaly. Fruits, animal livers, and green leafy vegetables are packed with folate. However, there is a 50-90% chance of the nutrient being lost during preparation or storage. Therefore, many foods are fortified with this essential nutrient in North America.
Powerful Nutritious Fruits
Clearly, fruits are amazing and beyond beneficial for our health. With many different varieties, tastes, and colors on offer, it is difficult to narrow down which ones can boost our health the most.
Lemons are an incredible source of vitamin C, antioxidants, and flavonoids. Being mindful of what we first consume each morning can have major effects on our health. A freshly squeezed glass of lemon water on an empty stomach is a great start to the day. This helps maintain delicate pH balances and regulates natural bowel movements. Citrus fruits, such as lemons and limes, are essential for our immune system to thrive.
Cherries are bursting with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds. The humble cherry is a super fruit. They can slow down the effects of aging and fight off chronic diseases. Active people benefit from adding cherries to their post-exercise routine. A glass of sour cherry juice can boost energy levels and protect against muscle strain and general wear and tear. Additionally, the high melatonin content found in tart cherry juice is believed to enhance sleep quality and duration.
Blueberries contain a type of flavonoid called anthocyanin. Anthocyanin is responsible for their blue hue and many of their brilliant health benefits. They can be eaten fresh or incorporated into many different recipes, especially breakfast meals. Adding highly nutritious blueberries to your daily diet can help prevent the many lifestyle-related conditions rampant in the Western world. For example, bone marrow disease, obesity, and diabetes. It should be noted, that consuming frozen blueberries is not recommended by experts. The freezing process diminishes the quality of the fruit and reduces all associated advantages.
Durian is widely consumed and celebrated as the ‘King of Fruits’ in Southeast Asia. Although it is loaded with nutrients, many people can’t stand the strong scent. Durian has been banned on public transport in certain Asian nations. It is also known for its extremely high-fat content. Similarly to the avocado, it is not recommended to consume too much. However, durian is full of antioxidants. It can actively reduce the number of free radicals in your system. If you are concerned with wrinkles, age spots, and hair loss, durian might offer you a healthy solution.
Pomegranates contain punicalagins which are highly potent antioxidants. In fact, pomegranate juice and pomegranate peel provide three times the antioxidant content of red wine and green tea. This explains why you will often find pomegranate extract added to skincare products. Studies have also shown that the plant compounds in pomegranates can prevent and cure bacterial and fungal infections. For example, gingivitis, periodontitis and denture stomatitis. Pomegranates can be eaten raw or juiced. Select the heaviest, unblemished shiny fruit for best results.
Things To Consider
Contrary to popular belief, it is not enough to eat an apple a day to keep the doctor away. There are certain things to remember when incorporating fruit into your diet.
Variety is key. Ensure that your vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants come from all different kinds of fruits. No single fruit contains every essential nutrient. Also, try to select fresh seasonal fruit, full of maximum nutritional goodness. Seasonal fruit can effectively combat seasonal disorders.
If the skin is edible, eat it. The skin usually contains the highest concentration of antioxidants and soluble fiber. Discarding the skin means throwing away most of the nutritional benefit. Another way to diminish the goodness is to incorporate preservatives and high heat. Raw fruit is much better for the body than canned fruit.
Likewise, don’t be fooled by fruit juice. Fruit juice contains a high amount of sugar and a low amount of fiber. This cancels out all the benefits. The same goes for dried fruit. Although delicious, fruit juices and dried fruits are unhealthy and an unwitting way to send your sugar levels through the roof.