Early medicine relied on the prescription of certain foods to treat specific disorders, with the evidence based on observation and experience. Today, the reasons certain foods are beneficial for your health are better understood, so dietary recommendations are scientifically based. Many future health problems can be avoided by maintaining a healthy diet that includes an ample supply of vegetables and several servings of fruit. Here are the top five reasons you should be including more fresh fruit into your eating plan every day.
FRUIT OFFERS WAY MORE THAN JUST A SWEET DELICIOUS TASTE
Helps Prevent Vitamin Deficiencies
The nutrients found in fruit sources are vital to good health. A fruit-rich diet will prevent you from becoming deficient in critical areas. Fruits are naturally high in the following nutrients:
• Vitamin C for iron absorption, collagen production and the health of your blood vessels
• Vitamin A for bone growth, regulation of the immune system and cell growth and division
• Potassium for blood pressure regulation, digestive balance and fluid regulation
• Folic Acid for the formation of red blood cells and to prevent neural tube defects during pregnancy
• Minerals and electrolytes to help your body absorb, balance and process fluids
Many fruits contain high concentrations of several nutrients. These nutrient-rich fruits are commonly referred to as superfruits. Superfruits provide an abundance of phytochemicals currently under investigation for their additional health benefits.
Reduces Your Risk of Chronic Illness
Eating fruit as part of your healthy diet plan will reduce your risk of chronic illness. That’s because fruit provides fantastic benefits to your health because of the phytochemicals they contain, compounds only found in plant sources. Phytochemicals can’t be duplicated and will not be found in any pill or vitamin supplement.
Maintaining a healthy balance of fruit in your diet will reduce the inflammation that increases your risk of heart attack and stroke, help protect you from many forms of cancer and strengthens your immune system.
Helps Reduce Your Consumption of Processed Sugar
People have a deep-rooted relationship with sugar. Way back in time, when food may have been scarce and meals were inconsistent, consuming sugar helped the body store fat. This was necessary for the species to survive.
Today, your relationship with sugar may reflect this survival mechanism. You may crave sugar when you are tired or stressed. Besides improving your ability to store fat, sugar initiates the release of serotonin and dopamine. For this reason, some scientists claim that sugar is an addictive drug. By eating sugar in a healthy form that also supplies vital nutrients, like fruit, you can satisfy your natural instincts without jeopardizing your health. Your body is not equipped to handle an overabundance of processed sugars. Fruit is a healthy alternative to high-calorie desserts and treats.
Enhances Your Hydration Efforts
You won’t survive long without water. That’s because it is essential to just about every system in your body. You may already know that you should be aiming for 64 ounces of fluids each day. You will want to add more fluids in hot weather or with strenuous exercise. There are many benefits to good hydration habits. Some of those benefits include:
• Improved cognitive function
• Reduced fatigue and increased energy levels
• Balances the vitamins and minerals from the foods you eat
• Removes toxins from your digestive tract
• Increases moisture levels in your skin
• Keeps joints lubricated and healthy
Fruits hold a lot of water, so eating fruit will boost your hydration levels. Oranges and cantaloupes are 90 percent water, strawberries are 91 percent, and apples are 80 percent water.
When you supplement your hydration requirements with fruit, you are also taking in important vitamins, electrolytes, minerals and fiber. Electrolytes help your body balance your fluid levels. You may even want to infuse your plain water with berries and fruit slices to improve the visual appeal, add flavor and provide your body with a dose of their vital nutrients.
Adds Much-Needed Fiber to Your Diet
Fiber is the indigestible substances found in the foods you eat, and is essential to a healthy digestive system . Fiber also helps protect your body from many diseases. When you eat fiber-rich foods, you will feel full longer and consume fewer calories throughout the day. Keep in mind that fruit juices and peeled fruit have less fiber than whole fruit.
Unfortunately, most people don’t get enough, averaging only 15 grams each day. You should aim for 25 grams of dietary fiber (based on a 2000 calorie per day diet). Including the recommended amount of fiber in your diet reduces your risk of coronary artery disease, heart attack and stroke.
Your goal should be to include 2-2 ½ cups of fruit into your daily diet depending on your caloric needs. That should not be too difficult. With their sweet flavor and extensive list of health benefits, most people do not find adding a few more servings of these naturally sweet treats too objectionable. Maintaining a healthy diet, a diet that includes fresh fruit can help you reduce your risk of future health complications.
ONE OF THE MOST DELICIOUS WAYS TO CONSUME YOUR FRUIT:
Fruit smoothies are an excellent way to consume your daily fruit and even better if you mix it with the plant based protein to boost your protein intake along with the nutrients and fiber from fruit. Click here for fun and delicious smoothie recipes!