Hippocrates says and I quote, “Let food be thy medicine, thy medicine shall be thy food.” This saying is meaningful on a deeper level and I do not think that most of us follow a diet, which fulfills Hippocrates criteria. If we did, fruits would definitely be an integral part of our diet. Most of us do not add sufficient amount of fruits in our daily diet. We tend to forget that fruits and vegetables are essential for our physical well-being.
Why Do We Need Fruits?
Fruits are nature’s best gift to humankind. They are rich in vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, potassium and folate. They are also a source of dietary fiber, which is anti-constipation, promoting stomach contractions and causing peristalsis of the stomach contents, thus maintaining a healthy gut. Fruits are rich in antioxidant substances that clear free radicals from our body and prevent harmful diseases such as different types of cancer. People who eat more fruits on a regular basis have a reduced risk of chronic diseases.
Let us look at different fruits and how best to incorporate them in our daily life for maximum health benefit.
‘An apple a day, keeps the doctor away’, is a famous adage around the world. It implies that apples are highly beneficial. What makes apples so beneficial? Well, there is a list of benefits that our body can attain by adding apples to the diet.
1. Apples are often eaten as a snack. Apples promote weight loss by suppressing appetite and giving a feeling of fullness.
2. They are very nutritious and rich in antioxidants, nutrients and fiber. The antioxidants present in apples are known to help keep the heart healthier and lower the risk of Type 2 Diabetes, cancer and Alzheimer’s.
3. The prebiotic fiber called pectin present in apples feeds good bacteria in our gut, aids in improving digestion, and improves metabolic health.
4. Apples also contain high levels of flavonoids, which have anti-cancer properties.
1. Strawberries are a good source of many vitamins, especially vitamin C and folate (vitamin B9).
2. They are rich in flavonoids such as anthocyanin, which boost cardiac health.
3. They contain abundant amounts of antioxidants, which are beneficial for heart health and for blood sugar control. According to some studies, women who eat three or more servings of strawberries per week have lower risk of suffering from a heart attack than those with reduced intake or no intake at all.
4. Strawberries have anti-inflammatory properties since they contain another flavonoid, quercetin, which is an anti-inflammatory compound.
5. Other vitamins present in strawberries include thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B-6, vitamin A and K.
1. Lemons have high antioxidant properties since they have an abundance of vitamin C, which is a potent antioxidant and clears free radicals from our body preventing them from damaging our body cells.
2. Lemons are also known to be useful in promoting weight loss. The pectin fiber present in lemons is known to expand in the stomach giving you a feeling of fullness for a longer time.
3. Lemons help reduce the risk of heart diseases and strokes by promoting overall health of the heart.
4. Due to their antioxidant properties, lemons prevent chronic diseases such as cancer. Limonene and Naringenin are compounds found in lemons that have anti-cancer effects.
5. They help prevent kidney stones.
6. Lemons are also good for your skin. They help brighten and clear the skin. Applying lemon juice mixed with honey on the skin prevents irritation from sun and environmental pollution.
This citrus fruit is rich in vitamins and minerals.
1. Oranges are known to lower the level of blood sugar.
2. Oranges are said to help lower your blood pressure and keep your heart healthy.
3. They have a very high vitamin C content.
4. Oranges improve our immune system. They do so by making the body absorb iron content from foods that are plant-based.
5. Due to the presence of vitamin C, oranges have high antioxidant properties that prevent different types of cancer, especially colon cancer.
6. Oranges contain vitamin A, which is good for eyesight and for a healthy skin.
7. Vitamin Bs such as thiamin and folate are found in oranges and help maintain the reproductive and nervous systems. They are also involved in the formation of new red blood cells.
1. Pomegranates are packed with lots of antioxidant compounds.
2. Pomegranates are rich in polyphenols, which combat the oxidative stress and prevent different types of diseases.
3. It contains high amounts of vitamin K, which is known for keeping the bones strong and blood cells healthy.
4. Due to the presence of polyphenols, pomegranates help lower the risk of brain related diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
5. Pomegranates also help stop the growth of prostate cancer cells.
6. They are a good source of vitamin C and fiber.
1. This tropical and incredibly delicious fruit is full of nutrients such as thiamin, folate, niacin, pantothenic acid, iron, manganese and potassium. In addition, they are a source of antioxidants and enzymes that can fight against inflammation and disease.
2. They speed up recovery from surgery or hard exercise.
3. The compounds found in pineapples reduce cancer risk by minimizing oxidative stress and inflammation.
4. Bromelain present in pineapples has anti-inflammatory properties. It helps reduce the inflammation due to arthritis.
1. Peaches improve your health by reducing allergy symptoms.
2. When applied topically, they can reduce wrinkles, improve the texture of skin and fight skin damage.
3. Peaches offer protection from lung and oral cancer.
4. They improve digestive health.
All fruits are healthy, but some are healthier than others. All of the above-mentioned fruits are the most beneficial of fruits, which can improve overall health. You can incorporate them in your diet in the form of a fruit salad or fresh juices. By doing so, you can save yourself from many health related issues and enjoy a healthy lifestyle. HH
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