IMPORTANCE OF FRUITS IN OUR DAILY DIET
Often you must have read or heard that "An apple a day, keeps the doctor away”, yes! This is often quite true as fruits play a really vital role in our lives. History also state that during the early man days, humans would usually search and go on nature’s wonderful gifts like fruits and vegetables. Fruits have always been very essential within the growth and development of human life. Fruits are naturally sweet to taste, low in calories, fat, sodium and cholesterol.
Fruit make up a large portion of our diets. Did you know many foods that we consider to be vegetables are actually fruits? The botanical definition of fruit is a seed-bearing a part of a flowering plant or tree that can be eaten as food. By those standards, foods like avocados, cucumbers, squash, and yes, even tomatoes are all fruits.
Fruits are available in a variety of flavors, as well as sweet, sour, bittersweet, and lots of more. They’re good sources of many nutrients needed by our body. Fruits have several health advantages that facilitate to prevent complications like heat stroke, high blood pressure, cancer, heart disorders, and diabetes. They effectively fight skin disorders and promote healthy hair growth. It is always suggested to eat fresh and ripe fruits to get the maximum benefits from them.
Nutrition Facts of fruits
- Eating fruits regularly benefits your body as they’re natural sources of vitamins and minerals, which are essential for the right functioning of the body.
- Rich in dietary fiber, fruits helps to improve the functioning of the digestive tract, thereby reducing the possibilities of constipation and diverticulosis.
- Fruits are a crucial part of a healthy diet as they provide ample energy while not adding any unnecessary calories.
- Fruits contain nominal sodium and harmful fats, so they are healthy for your heart.
- Fruits are rich in potassium, which is important to keep your blood pressure regulated.
- Vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant, is abundantly found in fruits, precisely citrus fruits. They’re consumed widely for the common cold, wound healing, healthy skin, teeth, gums, and to keep the lymphatic system healthy.
- Dry fruits are wonderful laxatives and that they are a good natural remedy for anemic conditions, acidosis, fever, and sexual weakness. They help in healthy weight gain and promote eye, teeth, and bone health.
- Fruits are a rich source of folic acids, which is the most important nutrient for pregnant women. Folate is known to reduce the risk of neural tube defects, anencephaly, and spina bifida occurring during fetal development.
Health benefits of Fruits
Boost Energy: When you eat fruits, your supply of energy will increase in no time; this is one of the prime advantages of fruits that we will utilize in our busy schedules. That’s why athletes often eat fruit during and after exercise and why diets for pregnant mothers almost always involve fruits.
Heart Health: Fruits contain vitamins like vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, and folate, all of which aid in regulating cholesterol levels and preventing diseases like stroke, atherosclerosis, and heart attack. Fruits like apricot, apple, banana, cantaloupe, berries, grapefruit, and orange are great for protecting your heart as they’re rich in flavonoids, carotenoids, fiber, potassium, and magnesium.
Diabetes: Fruits like apple, avocado, cherry, banana, orange, peach, plum, etc., have a low glycemic index (GI) less than 55, and they help in controlling the blood sugar levels. Also, processed and canned fruits don’t seem to be healthy as they contain artificial sweeteners, therefore always eat fresh fruits to reap maximum benefits.
Cancer: Vitamin-rich fruits are great for prevention and treatment of many types of cancer like liver cancer and carcinoma. These include citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, grapefruits, etc.
Blood Pressure: Potassium-rich fruits like banana, apple, melons, plums, pear, apricots, and mango help in lowering hypertension.
Bone Health: Fruits like grapefruit and orange are rich in calcium and vitamin K, both of which aid in maintaining healthy bones and also helps improve the bone mineral density.
Weight Loss: Once you start including a significant amount of fruits in your diet, you will begin to see that your weight is being controlled and your health is improving. However, fruits alone cannot reduce your weight. You also need to exercise regularly.
Skin care: Fruits keep your skin supple and hydrated, and nourish it with essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants; thereby retaining your radiant skin for a long period of time. In fact, if you are tired of using the commercial anti-pimple creams, just try including fruits like berries, apples, or bananas into your daily diet and see the acne disappear quite quickly.
- MARYAM WARIS