10 reasons to eat fruit every day Fruit helps prevent disease! Eating fruit (and vegetables) regularly is associated with a lower risk of cancer, heart disease, stroke, Alzheimers disease, cataracts, and functional decline associated with aging, according to a 2004 study in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Eating fruit is an enjoyable way to increase your intake of raw foods with all the benefits that they bring. Eating fruit helps keep your skin young because it provides vitamin C, which is necessary for building collagen. Collagen is also used to keep blood vessels strong and supple, which is why sailors gums used to bleed when they were suffering from scurvy (vitamin C deficiency). If your gums bleed when you brush your teeth, you probably need more vitamin C.
10 reasons to eat fruit every day Eating fruit is a great way to get a range of antioxidant vitamins and other phytochemicals. These work synergistically, which means that the vitamins in fruit are likely to have a far more powerful effect than those in vitamin supplements. For instance, Cornell researchers showed that eating 100g of apple provides the equivalent antioxidant power of 1,500mg of vitamin C. Buy organic and eat the skin, since this is where most of the antioxidants are. Fruit helps create alkaline and anti-inflammatory conditions in the body, which helps reverse the acidic, pro-inflammatory conditions in the body which frequently underlie chronic disease such as cancer and heart disease.
10 reasons to eat fruit every day Fruit is a good source of potassium, which helps keep blood pressure down and maintains the water balance in cells. Eating a piece of fruit can satisfy a sweet craving without any detrimental effects. Fruit contains anti-stress potassium, magnesium and vitamin C, which support our adrenal glands and helps them respond to stress. Fruit with its skin contains both soluble and insoluble fiber, the mop and broom which help keep your colon free of toxins. Some fruit, such as berries, can actually make you brainier, since they contain proanthocyanidins which enhance neuronal pathways and help regenerate nerve cells.
How much fruit? A good amount to aim for is around three pieces of fruit daily, or more for smaller fruits such as berries. Keep a bowl of fruit at home where you can see it. When you feel like a snack, instead of reaching for a bag of chips or a donut, try picking fruit instead. If you feel like something sweet, have a piece of fruit. It is not a good idea to overdose on fruit, especially dried fruit, due to the fruit sugar content. If you are having mainly fruit rather than vegetable smoothies, you may be getting enough fruit. If you are having mainly vegetable smoothies, or if you miss your chance to have a smoothie, then eat some fruit daily.
What about juice? Fruit juice has been found to raise the risk of diabetes – just one glass of orange juice can increase the risk, according to Harvard Medical School research. Juice contains concentrated fruit sugars which can raise blood sugar levels too high. Whole fruit is better because it contains fiber to slow down the release of sugar. Juice can also damage tooth enamel.
What about juice? Keep juice to a minimum, and dilute it with water. If you are going to drink juice, bear the following in mind: – Fresh juices are higher in antioxidant vitamins than long-life brands and should contain live enzymes. – Having a glass of grapefruit juice has a negative calorie effectit takes more energy to digest than it provides, so it can aid in weight loss. If you are taking medication, consult your doctor before drinking grapefruit juice because it can interfere with medication metabolism and lead to adverse effects.
Which fruit? Try to eat a range of fruit. Try browsing the fruit aisles of your local grocery store, visiting local farmers markets, or picking your own at fruit farms. Try to buy local fruit rather than fruit flown in from the other side of the world. Try to get organic fruit so as to avoid pesticide content, and because organic fruit usually has a higher vitamin content. Raw fruit has much higher nutrient levels than cooked.
High in antioxidants Aid weight loss by speeding up the burning of fat Contain 500 times more vitamin C than oranges Extract of acai was found to kill cancer cells in a University of Florida study Acai berries
Studies show that an apple a day keeps cancer, heart disease, asthma, cholesterol and excess weight away. Plant chemicals in apples have been found to inhibit human colon, breast and liver cancer cells, while apple peel contains anti-tumor, anti-allergenic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-viral substances. Apples are a good source of pectin, a fiber which helps clean out toxins from the colon. Apples
High in immune-enhancing plant sterols, protein, fiber, antioxidants, and heart-friendly vitamin E. High in fructo-oligo-saccharides, the fibers which encourage friendly bacteria to flourish in our intestines – very important for health! Contain good fats which help us to absorb fat-soluble vitamins which are important for protection against cancer. Avocados
Bananas encourage good bacteria to flourish in the gut Can help prevent stomach ulcers as they act as a natural antacid A good source of folate, which keeps our DNA healthy (anti- cancer) High in potassium which lowers high blood pressure Bananas
Good source of vitamin C – wards off colds and anti-cancer The Health Benefits of Citrus Fruits 2003 Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research reviews 48 studies revealing protective effects against cancer, especially mouth, throat and stomach cancers High in potassium – good for lowering blood pressure Grapefruit aids weight loss due to content of naringenin, which helps break down fat Citrus fruits
A staple in Okinawa and Nicoya Contain types of fat (medium-chain fatty acids) which are anti- microbial, anti-fungal, anti-viral and even anti-parasitical. MCFAs kill Helicobacter Pylori, which is linked with stomach ulcers. Thought to relieve diabetes and pancreatitis and improve digestion Good for skin and hair – used by Pacific Islanders as a beauty product Coconuts
Very high in antioxidants Likely anti-cancer benefits: studies show that pomegranate extract destroys breast cancer cells, inhibits the metastasis of cancer cells, and slows the growth of lung and prostate cancer cells in mice Likely heart-protective benefits: lower LDL cholesterol and blood pressure Research suggests pomegranates help prevent formation of dental plaque Pomegranate
ACTIVITY: Make a chart and tick off every day that you eat 2-3 fruits. Notice if it affects mood, energy levels, bowel habits, sweet cravings or any other symptoms.