We’ve all heard the phrase, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away!” and in actuality, that statement really is true. A good dose of fruits each day can ensure your diet is packed with the nutrients and vitamins needed to help combat heart disease, high blood pressure and obesity. Once known as the nectar of the gods, fruit has been a staple in the human diet since the earliest of times. Talked about in the Bible and found on Egyptian hieroglyphics, fruit has been a powerful resource for as long as we can remember. Let’s take an in-depth look at the special power of fruit and how you can make healthy changes to your diet by incorporating more fruits each day.
The Draw of Fruits
It’s important to get a variety of different fruits in each day because different fruits contain various types of vitamins and minerals. The majority of fruits contain cancer-fighting antioxidants, vitamin A and C to help boost your immunity and a ton of other nutrients, like fiber, phytochemicals and flavonoids. Each of these nutrients helps you control your weight and fight heart disease. Fruits also help you curb your appetite, ward off mental disease and can even help you clean your teeth and fight gum disease. The benefits of eating fruit have been proven in scientific studies time and time again and the data is too important to ignore.
What’s the deal with fruit juice?
There’s no doubt that fruit juice is available everywhere on the planet and at the ready. But that doesn’t mean it’s the healthiest way to intake your fruit. Sure, big name brands do use some fresh fruit in their processing but they also add a ton of extra sugar which can actually lead to weight gain and other disorders that affect your health. For the best results, buy a juicer or blender and mix your fruit up yourself. That way, you know that you are getting the pure nutrients and carbohydrates straight from the fruit and without added ingredients that may be hidden on the label. The only thing that you want to look out for while juicing is the possibility of added calories. Blending allows you to add in three oranges as opposed to one and that may mean you’re taking in triple the amount of calories.
Top 10 Health Benefits of Eating Fruits
Fruits are so important to your daily life and longevity and we’ve already touched upon a few ways that they can help you be as healthy as possible. Now, let’s dig deeper into the powerful effects of these wonder fruits. Here are 10 ways your body can benefit from getting a few servings of fruit each day:
Reduces your Cancer Risk
Fruits, like blackberries, pomegranates, cherries and blueberries, contain a huge amount of antioxidants that help prevent free radicals from harming the body and causing cancer. Cantaloupe contains beta-carotene which can help with eye development, as well as, help to prevent cataracts and certain types of eye cancers.
Prevents Heart Disease
Fruits, especially bananas and avocados, are high in potassium. And getting enough potassium in your diet is important for reducing your risk of having a heart attack or heart disease. Potassium can ward off high blood pressure and help reduce problems with blood flow.
Lowers the Risk of Obesity
Consuming a diet that is high in fruits and balanced with vegetables can help curb your appetite and keep you feeling fuller for longer. Healthy carbohydrates and fiber help you have more energy which allows you to burn more calories throughout the day. Your body may eventually learn to crave fruits instead of sugary treats.
Controls Blood Pressure
Fruits are high in potassium and low in sodium. Because of this, they help control blood flow and keep your blood pressure at a steady, healthy pace. Getting too much sodium in your diet can be a catalyst for high blood pressure and ultimately, stroke or heart disease. Pineapples actually help to rid your body of blood clots as well.
Eating fruits along with vegetables can help keep your blood sugar stable which can reduce the risk of diabetes. Fruits can also keep you fuller longer and give you more energy which helps prevent the chronic disease by keeping your weight in check.
Fights Alzheimers Disease
Certain antioxidants, like the ones found in blueberries, can help fight diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s as you begin to age.
Fruits, like apples and oranges, are high in fiber and work to help lower your cholesterol. Some even contain special lipids and triglycerides that help to keep cholesterol levels down.
Important for Females and Infants
Packed with vitamin A, C and E, as well as, folate, vitamins are imperative for female health, especially during the reproductive years. Having enough folate is essential for protecting against neuro-tube defects while a baby is forming in the womb.
Boosts your Immunity
Vitamin C and other nutrients can help keep your immune system functioning properly. This will help to ward-off sickness and help you recover from sickness easier and more quickly. Cranberries also help to clear out your uterine track to prevent infections of the urinary system and kidneys.
Helps Dental Care
Did you know apples and cranberries can be used for dental care? They help clean your teeth and keep breath fresh! Really, they’re as good as mouth wash!
The Importance of Buying Organic
During the growing process, some fruits are treated with pesticides to help kill insects and help the fruit grow. That’s why you’ll sometimes notice a large strawberry in the store is about three times bigger than a strawberry that grows naturally. Studies are currently underway to see if humans reap any harmful effects when consuming these pesticides. To help reduce your chances of ingesting harmful pesticides, you can familiarize yourself with the dirty dozen, a list of 12 fruits and vegetables that tested with the highest amount of pesticide residue. Try to buy the following fruits in the organic section: Peaches, Apples, Nectarines, Strawberries, Cherries, Pears, and Imported Grapes. For another healthy alternative, try making your own fruit wash and rinse off your fruits before eating. To do so, simply mix distilled white vinegar and water and shake. Then spray on veggies and let sit before scrubbing off with a brush. This process will greatly reduce the amount of pesticides you find on your fruits and you can use it for veggies too.
Tips to Help you Gain Rewards
It’s vitally important to get several different types of fruits on your plate throughout the day. The daily recommended intake of fruits for a healthy adult is at least 2 cups per day. You may need to try to eat your fruit mixed in with other foods or as a dessert to your meals. If you know it’s important to eat your fruits each day but you’re having a hard time actually fitting it in, these tips can help you add a little more yummy to your plate each day:
- Blend it in. Mixing your fruits in a smoothie is a great way to keep your health and your child’s health on track. Sneak them into your breakfast cereal and yogurt as well. The good thing is that almost every fruit tastes delicious.
- Try the Frozen Section. When fruits are picked, they actually start losing nutritious elements right away. By buying frozen fruits, you’re actually getting the fruits at the peak of freshness. Just defrost and eat plain or mix them in your desserts or breakfast.
- Plant a Tree. Having an apple or cherry tree can be a fun way to have some nutrition right at your fingertips. Lining a road with blackberries can also yield beautiful summer results.
- Try new options. Don’t get stuck with the same apples and oranges routine, try eating some kiwis, papayas and mangoes as a fun alternative to your usual fare.
- Replace dessert. Using fruit as an alternative to other sugary delights can be just as tasty and so much better for your health.
Fruits are so important to your health and vitality. Just looking for the beautiful textures and colors of fruit can take your mind to a healthier level. The antioxidants, anti-inflammatory properties are so beneficial for preventing diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and other diseases. By incorporating just a few cups of fruit into your daily diet, you can make a big difference in your longevity and your overall well-being. You’ll have more energy, get more things done and your skin will look beautiful and more radiant while you’re doing it.