Looking for a healthy alternative to all of the snacks? Try some fresh produce! Fruit benefits a healthy lifestyle by giving us the carbohydrates, fiber and micronutrients essential for our bodies to function properly. The carbohydrates that come from fruit are easier for our bodies to digest than those that come from grains and the fiber and micronutrients, which are vitamins and minerals, help support essential functions in the brain, nerves and muscles. The health benefits of fruit cannot be disputed and are recognized among natural health practitioners as well as the traditional medical community. Here are just some of the ways fruit promotes a healthy lifestyle:
- Apples contain substances that have protective and therapeutic values known as nutraceuticals.
- Apples contain a number of antioxidants that reduce damage from free radicals, which are naturally formed by the body during metabolism or when fighting off a virus or bacterial infection.
- Flavonoids, a group of plant pigments that determine the color of fruits and vegetables, help reduce the risk of stroke, coronary heart disease and heart attack mortality in humans.
- The pectin in Red Delicious Apples, also known as soluble fiber, has been found to help lower blood cholesterol levels. Pectin causes the cholesterol in foods to remain in the intestinal tract until it is eliminated from the body. It also binds carcinogens in the colon, which helps protect the body from certain types of cancer.
- Good source of fiber, magnesium, potassium, carbohydrates, vitamin C, and vitamin B6.
- Potassium is a vital mineral that can help replenish electrolytes and reduce stress
- Vitamin B6 is good for calming the nervous system and supporting vital body functions.
- Magnesium can help the body recover from the effects of nicotine withdrawal and also helps with the uptake of calcium.
- Also a good source of tryptophan, the protein that converts serotonin to the neurotransmitter once it enters the body. Serotonin is used for treating depression, so eating a banana can elevate your mood, help you relax and feel happier.
- The fruit benefits of grapefruit include vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin B5, potassium, lycopene, and fiber.
- An excellent source of vitamin C: the power-packed vitamin that is essential to the support of the immune system and helps prevent free-radical damage that can trigger inflammatory conditions such as asthma and rheumatoid arthritis.
- Lycopene, along with other phytonutrients found in grapefruit, inhibit tumor formation because they form glutathione-S-transferase, a detoxifying enzyme. Lycopene has the highest capacity of the common dietary carotenoids when it comes to fighting oxygen-free radicals.
- Mangos, one of the world’s most popular fruits, are an excellent source of beta carotene, pectin, vitamin C, vitamin E, niacin, potassium, fiber, and iron.
- One mango delivers almost twice the recommended daily allowance for adults of vitamin A, which is believed to help protect the body from heart disease, help prevent cancer and even eliminate acne.
- Iron-rich mangos are high in antioxidants, low in carbohydrates, depurative, diuretic, and can help combat stomach acidity.
- Oranges are noted for their vitamin C, fiber, folate, calcium, potassium, vitamin B1, and vitamin A.
- Another citrus with vitamin C: the body’s primary water-soluble antioxidant that helps disarm free radicals. This helps reduce the risk of cancer, inflammation and helps prevent the oxidation of cholesterol.
- Strawberries are an excellent source of vitamin C, folate, potassium, manganese, iodine, omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, copper, and vitamin K. They are also believed to contain anti-cancer bioflavonoids.
- When measured in ounces, strawberries contain more vitamin C than oranges and the seeds provide insoluble fiber that can help prevent constipation.
- Because of the pectin that strawberries contain, they help lower cholesterol.
- You can also use strawberries externally: Strawberry juice will remove tarter from teeth and help heal gums, while the flesh of fresh strawberries can make an excellent facial mask that rids the skin of dead cells and heals blemishes.
- Everything works best in moderation. An excess of strawberries in your diet may lead to reduced mineral absorption.
- You may already know that tomatoes are a good source of lycopene, an antioxidant that protects the body from some types of cancer, but did you know tomatoes are also a good source of vitamin A, vitamin C, folate, potassium, fiber, and iron?
- The vitamin A and vitamin C in tomatoes help neutralize free radicals
- Fiber helps lower high cholesterol levels as well as regulate blood sugar levels. Eating tomatoes, fresh or cooked, can help lower the risk of heart disease.
Enjoy the Health Benefits of Fruit in Other Forms
The health benefits of fruit can be found in dried fruit and juices. Dried fruit generally contains more nutrients than fresh fruit because it is in a concentrated form. Eating five servings a day of fruit will make sure your body receives the fruit benefits it needs to support a healthy, functioning system.
Thanks to Sheri Ann Richerson for this great information! Read the original article here.