Fruit Health Facts
Fruit Health Facts
When most people think of nutrition and a healthy diet, they often think of a diet that is the combination of carbohydrates, proteins and vegetables. In fact, a number of diets miss one critical component: fruits. Fruits are often referred to as nature’s medicines as they are packed with essential minerals and vitamins and are rich sources of antioxidants as well as many other phyto-nutrients. Not only are fruits tasty to eat, but their unique nutrient-profile is one of the key blocks to maintaining a healthy physique. Here are some interesting fruit health facts that you may or may not know
Contrary to popular myths, most fruits have a low calorie count. Moreover, fruits are also low in fat and are rich sources of simple sugars, fiber and vitamins; all of which are essential to optimal body health. Being rich sources of soluble fiber, consumption of fruits can help lower one’s cholesterol levels and are often recommended for constipation relief.
Fruits have also been found to be rich sources of antioxidants. These compounds include poly-phonelic flavonoids, vitamin C and anthocyanins. Known for their essential role in protecting the body from oxidant stresses, antioxidants play a crucial role in the prevention of diseases including cancer and inflammation. Moreover, antioxidants are also known for the immunity boosting properties. Compared to vegetables and cereals, fruits, especially blueberries, strawberries and cherries have a very high anti-oxidant value, also known as an ORAC value.
Anthocyanins are commonly found in numerous “blue” fruits such as black grapes, acai berry, blueberries, blackberries, etc. Eating fruits with these rich blue pigments has been known to offer numerous health benefits including protection against free radicals which often cause development of cancer cells within the body. Moreover, consumption of fruits rich in anthocyanins has been known to help ward off aging symptoms as well as protect an individual from common infections. Red pigments such as found in cherries are also very beneficial.
Some of the other little known fruit health facts include the fact that diets rich in potassium have been known to help manage an individual’s blood pressure while those rich in fiber may reduce one’s risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Fruits such as bananas are rich sources of potassium which has also been linked to a reduced risk of one developing kidney stones. Choosing a diet that has potassium rich fruits has also been known to lead to decreased bone loss.
Many studies show that fruit is a healthy source of folic acid, a key component in the formation of red blood cells. It is normally advised that pregnant women consume fruits such as kiwi fruits, bananas and oranges which are rich in folic acid. In this way, they can actively reduce the risk of defects such as neural tube defects and spina bifida which might occur during fetal development.
Hopefully by knowing the above fruit health facts you will be inclined to add them to your diet more often. After all, preventing sickness and disease with a healthy lifestyle and diet is much better than trying to cure an illness that may have been avoided.