Written by Desireeh Chevere | Reviewed by Adiana Castro, MS, RDN, CDN, CLT
Fruits contain the fruit sugar called fructose and certain fruits have higher amounts of fructose; however fruits provide many nutritional benefits that aid in overall health and weight management. USDA states that people who incorporate fruit into their daily diet can have a reduced risk of chronic diseases, such as heart disease or stroke. This is because fruit actually has been recognized to have good sources of vitamins and minerals in addition to having dietary fiber and water. They provide vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, folate, calcium and are also high in dietary fiber. USDA’s MyPlate encourages us to keep servings of fruit to two per day and recommends getting it from whole fruits rather than from juices.
A variety of fruits of different colors should be consumed. Seasonal fruits tend to be high in nutrition quality and offer many health benefits. Fruits are low in fat, sodium, and don’t contain cholesterol. They provide necessary calories (not too much), potassium, protein, and magnesium. Potassium and magnesium are important minerals that help maintain normal body growth, promote heart health, and also maintain healthy blood pressure. Protein is also vital for normal body growth and development, it helps your body repair cells and make new ones. Fruits also provide a good amount of dietary fiber. Fiber makes you stay full longer, maintains consistent blood sugar levels, aids in a healthy digestive tract and promotes satiety that can help with weight management. Vitamin C is an important nutrient that promotes healing, boosts immunity, maintains the health of teeth and gums and also positively impacts skin and bones.
Incorporating fruit into your diet not only has health benefits but it can be fun as well! Eating whole fruits for breakfast or for snacks is one way to add it to your daily diet. Another way to incorporate fruit is adding it into your actual meal. For instance, you can add sliced fruit and frozen berries to yogurt or cereal, strawberries to a salad, or even blueberries to pancakes and oatmeal. Little by little it will become easier to add fruits into your daily diet. Once you start you may never go back!