Health: Fruits and their Benefits

When it comes to eating more produce, you can’t go wrong. Long story short: Every single fruit (and vegetable!) is a great option. Research has shown eating a minimum of four to five servings per day helps to boost mood and reduce your risk of heart disease, obesity, and type-2 diabetes. Yet according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), only 10% of Americans eat enough fruit — about 1½ to 2 cups daily.

Many of us also miss sufficient dietary fiber, calcium, potassium, and magnesium, all of which are found in abundance in produce. Potassium, for example, helps maintain a healthy blood pressure and you will get it easily in bananas, prunes, and cantaloupe. The fiber in fruit also supports better digestion and fills you up for fewer calories, making it a smart choice if you are trying to lose weight.

Whether you choose fresh or frozen, make it your goal to get more fruit into every meal. Sprinkle mixed berries into morning oatmeal, carry a banana for a mid-afternoon snack, or toss avocado into a heart-healthy salad at dinner. No matter how you slice it, eating more fruit can benefit your body and your mind.

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Watermelon is 92% water, making it a great choice for hydration. Your food provides about 20% of your fluid intake, and eating water-packed fruits like watermelon can help you avoid subtle, headache-spurring dehydration. Because fruit is high in water, potassium, and magnesium, it helps to offset excess sodium in your diet, too.

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An apple a day may in fact keep your cardiologist away. Evidence has shown that frequent apple consumption may reduce total cholesterol, which can help reduce your risk of heart disease. That’s thanks to the phenolic compounds — antioxidant compounds that help to promote healthy cellular function and proper blood flow — found in apple skins. The combo of vitamin C, fiber (about 5 grams per medium apple), and phytochemicals makes them a smart household staple for your whole family.

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Munch on mango for a summery, delicious tropical treat filled with vitamin C, potassium-, and beta-carotene. We love making a big batch of mango-filled skewers and loxvzading up the fridge or freezer, so they are always on hand when you need a nosh. In addition, the prep gets your little ones involved in the kitchen, and that kabob adds an extra layer of fun!

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Rich in soluble fiber, bananas are an easy grab-and-go snack that can help lower cholesterol. For an extra heart-healthy boost, slice bananas on top of morning oats with a tablespoon of chia seeds and walnuts. It’s a heartier, energy-packed breakfast loaded with fiber, vitamin B6, potassium, magnesium, vitamin C, and manganese.

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You already know that oranges came packed with vitamin C, but get this: Citrus fruits have anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidative and anti-cancer properties, according to research published in Chemistry Central Journal.

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Grapes contain polyphenolic compounds with antioxidant properties, which may help reduce cellular damage. Adding grapes (about 1–2 cups per day) to your diet can help to protect your body’s tissues and decrease markers of inflammation.



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