The Nutritional Benefits of Fruit
Good nutrition is key to living a long and healthy life. Increasingly we are receiving poor nutrition from ready-meals, fast food and processed foods. These foods contain little, or no nutritional value, and are usually loaded with salt, hydrogenated fats, and sugar. Poor nutrition can lead to various health problems in the short and long term, and make you feel tired, lethargic, and miserable too.
Nutritional Value of FruitMost fruit is naturally low in fat, sodium, and calories. What’s more, they don’t contain cholesterol, but are packed full of vitamins and minerals – the right nutrients your body needs. These nutrients include: potassium, dietary fibre, vitamin C, and folate (folic acid).
PotassiumDiets rich in potassium will contribute to a healthy blood pressure and reduced risk of developing kidney stones. Fruits that contain potassium include bananas, plums, prunes, peaches, apricots, and oranges.
Dietary FibreRegular amounts of dietary fibre help reduce blood cholesterol levels and may lower risk of heart disease. It is also important in maintaining regular bowel movements. Fibre helps reduce constipation and therefore reduce the amount of toxins exposed to the bowel for any length of time. All fruits contain dietary fibre, but fruit juice doesn’t, so you will need to eat the whole fruit to get this nutritional benefit.
Vitamin CVitamin C is essential for the growth and repair of body tissues. It helps heal cuts and wounds, and keeps teeth and gums healthy. It is also a powerful antioxidant that neutralises free radicals in the body. Fruits that contain vitamin C include oranges, mangoes, apples and grapes.
Folate (folic acid)Folate helps the body form red blood cells. It is especially important for pregnant women, as folate has been proven to help prevent foetal defects from developing, such as spina bifida. Fruits that contain folate include oranges, bananas and kiwi fruit.
Fruitarian DietFruit is so nutritious, that human beings can actually live off it entirely. A diet that consists of 100% fruit and nuts will be rich in protein, calcium and vitamins essential for a healthy lifestyle. What’s more, fruitarian diets are low in fat, sodium and cholesterol.
Protein From FruitThe body makes proteins to create muscles, tendons, ligaments, hair and nails. Proteins are also important in the make-up of enzymes, genes and hormones. Fruits that contain protein include: dates, avocados, figs, peanuts, almonds, Brazil nuts, and walnuts.
Fats From FruitMost of the fat in the Western diet is bad fat, saturated and hydrogenated fats that increase our risk of developing heart disease and cancers. Some fat is good fat, however, and these fats contain essential fatty acids and vitamins that help our bodies stay healthy. Fat improves the body’s absorption of vitamins A, D and E. Fruits that contain essential fatty acids include olives, avocados, and nuts and seeds.
While most people will find a diet that consists exclusively of fruit and nuts a little extreme, it proves that fruit contains everything we need to live a healthy, and happy life. Fruits are packed full of vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids and proteins, and don’t contain all the bad nutrition that leads to obesity, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and cancer. Adding fruit to your diet won’t just make you feel better; it could save your life.