The Health Benefits of … Fruit
One word you will always hear regarding a healthy diet is vitamins. Fruits are jam-packed with vitamins, which are an important part of muscle, bone, brain and organ function as well as many other biochemical processes. According to whfoods.org, apples contain vitamins A, C and K as well as folate. Surprisingly, watermelon, summer’s favorite fruit, contains 24 and 11 percent of the daily value for vitamins C and A, respectively. Kiwifruits contain more vitamin C than oranges, giving you 95 percent of your daily value. These vitamins can help boost your immune system and keep organs such as your eyes and liver working well. Try adding apples to your oatmeal or slice up some mango for dessert.
Fruits also contain basic minerals such as magnesium and calcium, which are needed for healthy bone structure. Unfortunately, a diet of meat and processed carbohydrates does not provide enough essential minerals. Blueberries are high in potassium and calcium in addition to their high vitamin content, says whfoods.org. They are a healthy addition to smoothies, cereals, pancakes and a variety of other treats. Kiwifruits also have a variety of minerals, giving you manganese, potassium, copper and magnesium, according to whfoods.org.
Another component to a healthy diet is fiber, which, as described by the UMMC website, helps promote digestion and can provide other health benefits. Soluble fiber can lower your cholesterol in addition to moving food through your digestive system. The website says fruit peels, such as those of apples, blueberries and grapes, contain insoluble fiber, while soluble fiber is found in the flesh of fruits such as apples, citrus fruits and black currants. Adding more fiber to your diet, by way of fruit, is a tasty way to keep your cholesterol down and your digestive system working.
As with all foods, variety is essential. Your body needs vitamins and minerals across the board, so just one or two types of fruit will not cover it all. Plus, you may get tired of eating bananas all the time. Try eating fruit seasonally; this strategy can help you look forward to watermelon in the summer or apples in the fall. Also, research which fruits are heavily sprayed with pesticides, as pesticides can have potentially harmful effects on the body. Choose organic, pesticide-free fruits, or fruits that are typically low in pesticide residue. Talk to your doctor about your health needs; he may be able to guide you in choosing fruits that are right for your health concerns.