Even someone with the most basic knowledge of a healthy diet will know that eating fruit is highly recommended. No matter who you talk to, fruit will always be pushed as one of the best things to include in your diet. We all know this, but do you know why fruit is so good for you? Like many things in life – particularly relating to your health – you tend to just hear something and believe it. Experts say to eat five portions of fruit and veg a day, and you do it.
So, today’s article will provide some context behind all of this. Why do dieticians and health experts tell us to eat so much fruit? What are the benefits that the various fruits provide us? Find the answers to these questions, and many more, in the points below:
Fruits are full of vitamins and minerals
Vitamins and minerals are found throughout our bodies. They may not seem that important, but they’re actually crucial at helping the body function correctly. A lot of the vitamins we need will help other nutrients in the body to work properly. For example, vitamin D is known to help with calcium production, improving bone density. Then, you have things like vitamin C that boosts your immune system, vitamin E that’s good for your vision, and so on.
Pretty much all of the vitamins and minerals you need in your body can be found through fruit alone. What’s more, all fruits contain vitamins, and eating a broad selection will ensure you get a daily dose that’s far more potent than a multivitamin tablet.
Fruits contain dietary fiber
Fiber is arguably the most underrated nutrient in the human body. Too many people don’t get enough of it, yet it plays so many important roles. Primarily, it is very active in your digestive system. There are two types of fiber, and the one found in fruit takes a long time to digest. This is good, as it makes you feel fuller for longer.
Not only that, but eating a lot of fiber just helps your digestive system work more efficiently. If you ever suffer from bloating or constipation, the best thing you can do is increase your fiber intake. With fruit, you have a simple and healthy way to do just that.
Fruits are a good source of natural energy
Thirdly, fruits are a fantastic source of energy for the human body. As you are probably aware, they contain natural sugars, which are absorbed as carbohydrates by the body. A lot of athletes will eat things like bananas before or during events, as they provide them with an extra jolt of sustainable energy to keep on going.
If you eat a lot of fruit every day, you will have no need for things like caffeine or energy drinks. Your dentist will thank you as well, seeing as most energy drinks are absolutely packed full of sugar, damaging your teeth. While there is sugar in fruit, it won’t cause dental problems – as long as you eat the fruits whole. When you blend them up or have them as juice, it’s a different story. Blending up fruit will release more sugar and get rid of the insoluble fiber, so be aware of that! Don’t assume that drinking your five a day is the same as eating it.
Fruits have antioxidants
Another reason to eat fruit is that it can help lower the chances of developing diseases like cancer. This is thanks to the antioxidants present in fruit, which basically fight against the oxidation of cells in the body. Without making things too complicated, antioxidants protect your cells against free radicals, which tend to cause a lot of common diseases.
So, long story short, eating lots of fruit will boost your antioxidant intake. Of course, some fruits are higher in antioxidants than others, but your best bet is simply to eat a collection of different fruits. If you do this – and constantly add more variety – you’re bound to get all the antioxidants your body needs to remain healthy.
Fruit can be useful when losing weight
Finally, fruit can also help you lose weight by reducing hunger cravings and cutting down your calories. Thanks to the high-fiber content in fruit, you can snack on it throughout the day to stop yourself from feeling hungry. In turn, this prevents you from reaching for highly calorific snacks. Fruit is also very low in calories, so it’s hard to overeat!
As you can see, fruit is extremely beneficial for us in numerous ways. Hopefully, this piece has given more context to statements like ‘eat your five a day.’ Now, you understand why you’re being told to do this.