Fruits are an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, fibre, and antioxidants like vitamins A (beta-carotene), C and E, magnesium, zinc, phosphorous, and folic acid— essential for a disease-free life.
A study observed that people who consume 8 or more servings of fruits and vegetables a day are 30% less likely to have a heart attack or stroke, compared to those who eat less than 3 servings per day.
Fruits are low in calories, fat, sodium and 100 percent free of bad cholesterol. As a result, fruits are also only good to taste and have numerous health benefits. Consumption of fruits can regulate the physiological functions of the body. Fruits are very essential for the growth and development of our body.
Fruits contain eighty percent water just like the human body. This means that extra water weight is easily disposed of and the body only absorbs the nutrients. Numerous studies show that fruits quench hunger, promote satiety, and improve the body’s ability to lose weight. Regular intake of fruits and vegetables can reduce blood cholesterol and the risk of cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and diabetes.
Fruits are also known to improve brain functions and are beneficial for mental health. Fruits contain carbohydrates, which are a quick source of energy and help our body to function properly. Hence experts recommend filling one-half of your plate with fruit and vegetables as far as possible in every meal.
The benefits of fruits and vegetables include:
Great source of essential nutrients: Fruits are an excellent source of many vital nutrients, including potassium, folate (folic acid), and antioxidants including polyphenols. Fruits are also low in fat and sodium and don’t contain cholesterol. Fruit such as blueberries, cranberries, strawberries, and citrus also contain phytochemicals that are vital for the overall health and maintenance of body systems and stimulate the energy level of the body. The potassium in fruit can reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. Potassium may also reduce the risk of kidney stones and help to decrease bone loss.
Boosts the immune system: Fruits are rich in calcium, magnesium and even essential vitamins like Vit K and Vit E. These can treat various chronic disorders and also improve our resistance against germs and diseases.
Regulates blood pressure: Fruits like bananas, oranges, avocado that are rich in potassium can help you maintain normal blood pressure. They are also low in carbs and fat; hence they naturally prove healthier than any other food substitute.
Also Read: 12 Fruits with medicinal properties: facts
Control body weight: Fruits that are rich in vitamin C prove beneficial in controlling body weight. Moreover, fruits do not contain any saturated fats or cholesterol that are harmful for cardiac health.
Aid in digestion: Fruits rich in fibre help in the smooth functioning of the digestive system. Roughage in the diet helps improve digestion and prevent constipation. Fruits with high-fibre content have laxative properties that ease the process of digestion in the human body. This also prevents the formation of kidney stones.
Reduced risk of chronic disease: Eating a diet rich in fruit may reduce the risk for stroke, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and even cancer. There is compelling evidence that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables can reduce the risk of blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. A cohort study found that a higher intake of fruits and vegetables is associated with a reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease, with an average reduction in risk of 4% for each additional serving per day of fruit and vegetables.
Protect against cell damage: A healthy diet provides antioxidants that help repair damage done by free radicals and may protect against certain cancers. Polyphenols are antioxidants that have been shown to alter gut microecology or the proportion of healthy versus harmful bacteria.
Managing hunger: Eating non-starchy vegetables and fruits like apples, pears, and green leafy vegetables prevent blood sugar spikes that can increase hunger.
Diabetes management: A diet rich in fruits and vegetables can help diabetics manage their blood sugar levels. The dietary fibre in fruits can keep the blood cholesterol level in check and reduce the risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes. Fibre-rich fruits such as strawberry, apple, banana and mango also possess anti-carcinogenic properties.
Strong bones and teeth: Calcium is the major ion that is associated with bone and tooth development and strengthening. This mineral is found in some fruits making it a good constituent of the diet of growing children and aged persons whose bones require additional nourishment to make them strong.
Excellent source of nutrition for pregnant women: Fruits contain folate (folic acid) that helps the body to form red blood cells. It is advisable for pregnant women to consume fruits (orange and grapefruit) in optimum amounts and enrich their body with folic acid. It helps reduce the risk of physical and mental deformities in the foetus.
Nourishing the skin and hair: They are high on anti-oxidants that help the skin to retain its radiance and glow. Fruits like papaya, coconut, etc. can fight various dermatological disorders. Fruits containing vitamin A give the hair a lustrous look.
Hydrates the body: Owing to the high amount of water in most of fruits, they are an easy and quick source of hydration. Their intake is equally important during summers and winters.
Healthy skin: Consumption of fruits helps maintain healthy, soft, and glowing skin. Fruits also contain minerals that activate the dermal glands and keep the skin moisturized. This is why many skin creams and body lotions contain fruit extracts.