Fruits should be an important part of your daily diet. They are naturally good and contain vitamins and minerals that can help to keep you healthy. They can also help protect against some diseases. Most Indians will benefit from eating more fruits as part of a well-balanced, regular diet and a healthy, active lifestyle.
Vitamins and minerals in fruits
Fruits contain many vitamins and minerals that are good for your health. These include vitamins A (beta-carotene), C and E, magnesium, zinc, phosphorous and folic acid. Folic acid may reduce blood levels of homocysteine, a substance that may be a risk factor for coronary heart disease.
Fruit for good health
Fruits are low in fat, salt and sugar. They are a good source of dietary fiber. As part of a well-balanced, regular diet and a healthy, active lifestyle, a high intake of fruit and vegetables can help you to:
Reduce obesity and maintain a healthy weight
Lower your cholesterol & blood pressure.
Fruits Protection against diseases
Fruits contain phytochemicals or plant chemicals. These biologically active substances can help to protect you from some diseases. Scientific research shows that if you regularly eat lots of fruit and vegetables, you have a lower risk of
* Type 2 diabetes & Stroke
* Heart (cardiovascular) disease – when fruits eaten as food, not taken as supplements
* Cancer – some forms of cancer, later in life
High blood pressure (hypertension)
Types of Fruits
Fruit is the sweet, fleshy, edible part of a plant. It generally contains seeds. Fruits are usually eaten raw, although some varieties can be cooked. They come in a wide variety of colors, shapes and flavors. Common types of fruits that are readily available include:
Apples, pears and avocados.
Citrus – oranges, grapefruits, mandarins and limes
Stone fruit – nectarines, apricots, peaches and plums
Tropical and exotic – bananas and mangoes
Berries – strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, kiwifruit and passionfruit
Melons – Muskmelons, watermelons, rockmelons and honeydew melons
Colors of Fruits
You will get the most health benefits and protection against disease if you eat a wide variety of fruits. Adults eat at least two kinds of fruit every day is recommended.
To maximize nutrients and appeal, buy and serve different types of fruits. Try to buy fruits that are in season, and choose for freshness and quality. You should:
Eat with the seasons – this is nature’s way of making sure our bodies get a healthy mix of nutrients and plant chemicals
Try something new – try new recipes and buy new fruits as part of your weekly shopping
Let colors guide you – get different combinations of nutrients by putting a ‘rainbow’ of colors (green, white, yellow–orange, blue–purple, red) on your plate.
Our ingredients profiles provide more information on fruits compounds
Fruits serving suggestions for your family’s health
Fruits are a handy snack food and easily carried to work or school. Include them in everyone’s meals and snacks for a healthy, well-balanced diet. Some suggestions include:
Keep snack-size fruits portions easily accessible in your fridge.
Keep fresh fruit on the bench or table.
Add fruits to your favorite family recipes or as additions to your usual menus.
Use the color and texture of a variety of fruits to add interest to your meals.
Think up new ways to serve fruits.
Some simple ways to serve fruits include:
Fruit and vegetable salads
Fruits mixed with chat masala.
Snack pack, stewed or canned fruits or dried fruits.
Fruit stick or Fruit kebab
Limit fruit juice, as it does not contain the same amount of nutrients as fresh fruit. It also contains many sugars. These sugars are not necessarily good for your health, even though they are ‘natural’. Instead, have a drink of water and a serve of fruit.
Preparation of Fruits
Eat raw fruits if possible.
Try fruit pureed into smoothies.
Use a sharp knife to cut fresh fruits to avoid bruising.
Cut off only the inedible parts of fruits – sometimes the best nutrients found in the skin, just below the skin or in the leaves.
Once you have prepared fruit, spend some time on presentation. People are more likely to enjoy a meal if it is full of variety and visually appealing, as well as tasty. Sit at the table to eat and enjoy your food without distractions like television.
Daily Allowances of fruits
Different fruits contain different nutrients. Children have a smaller stomach capacity and higher energy needs than adults. They cannot eat the same serving sizes as adults. However, you should encourage your children to eat a variety of fruits. By eating well, your children will have the energy they need to play, concentrate better, learn, sleep better and build stronger teeth and bones. Building good habits in their early years can also provide the protection of a healthy diet throughout their lives.