Fruits besides being an ancient staple food of man and used as a medicine to heal various ailments, are thought sacred and offered to God. Eating fruits is a sweet way to improve the health status of the body. They are considered as a gift of nature which can never be underestimated. It is very important to include all the seasonal fruits in the diet to gain maximum nutritional benefits, as no one particular fruit can provide all the necessary nutrients. A healthy diet should contain at least 3-4 servings of fruits in a days diet where in variety should be the key.
Importance of fruits in the diet -
- Fruits are low in calories and have almost negligible fat content, thus very healthy for calorie counters.
- Guava, indian gooseberry, papaya and oranges are very good sources of vitamin C a water soluble antioxidant which helps to scavenge the free radicals and decrease the oxidative stress in the body.
- Fruit juice has a very hydrating effect on the body and supplies instant energy to a person.
A person on a liquid diet not only gets energy, but also benefits from other nutrients of the fruit.
- Many people go for a fruit diet for few days which can include all fruits or a particular fruit for example grapefruit diet for detoxification of the body.
- Anthocyanins found in kiwi, plums, cherries, blackberries, blueberries and resveratrol found in red grapes helps to reduce the risk of heart diseases and cancer.
- Fruits contain 90-95% water, which in turn has a diuretic effect on the body and helps eliminate the toxins and nitrogenous wastes from the body.
- Most of the fruits are low in sodium and high in potassium, thus are the best option for people with heart diseases or hypertension.
- Dried fruits like dried figs, dates, raisins and apricots are good source of energy, calcium, iron and other essential nutrients required for health.
- The fiber present in fruit not only have a laxative effect on the body to ease constipation but also gives a feeling of satiety by adding bulk to the diet which is beneficial in conditions like diabetes mellitus, heart diseases and obesity.
- Chewing a piece of fruit when you have a sweet tooth will help you to curb your craving for sweet foods.
- It is wise to eat fruits with skin as far as possible to gain all the nutrients and fiber from the fruit. Avoid combining fruits with meals, as when done they tend to decompose in the process of digestion and the vital nutrients present in them are then not available to the body.
- Fruit is one of the important type of food in weight loss process as it has low calorific value.
The best fruits for weight loss are the ones that have a high fiber and high water content as this helps to keep you satiated for prolonged periods.