Fresh fruits are naturally sweet and pack huge nutritional benefits as well. Fruits act as cleansers for your body, give you energy and supply a vast array of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that promote good health.
Adding fruit to your diet is as simple as eating an apple with your lunch or slicing a banana onto your breakfast cereal. Aim to add at least two or three servings to your daily diet to get the numerous benefits fruits have to offer.
May Help Prevent Heart Disease
The vitamins, minerals and antioxidants in fruit may help keep your heart healthy so you can reduce your risk of problems as you get older. Walter Willett reports in his book "Eat, Drink and Be Healthy: The Harvard Medical School Guide to Eating Healthy" that individuals who eat five servings of fruits or vegetables are 15 percent less likely to have a heart attack.
Fruit may also promote the healthy circulation of your blood, which also reduces your risk of heart disease. Willett adds that citrus fruits, such as oranges and grapefruit, may be particularly beneficial at reducing your risk of heart disease.
May Cut Your Risk of Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes affects many people and is characterized by an inability to use insulin the proper way or your body not being able to produce sufficient amounts of insulin. Type 2 diabetes can be life-threatening if not diagnosed and treated.
A 2016 review article published in Journal of Diabetes Investigation found that fruit, especially berries, was linked to a decreased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Fruit contains fiber, which can improve how your body uses insulin. It can also make you feel full, which can keep you from eating unhealthy foods and may result in weight loss.
ChooseMyPlate.gov notes that eating a diet rich in fruit may reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Fruit contains many different nutrients that your body needs to maintain your health and eating several servings a day may cut your risk by providing you with the vitamins and minerals you need.
May Help Ward Off Cancer
There are many types of cancer that can occur if you do not take proper care of your body. According to Willett, you may be able to cut your risk of certain cancers simply by eating plenty of fruit each day.
Adding fruit to an overall plant-based diet may cut your risk for cancer even more. Fruits contain powerful antioxidants such as vitamin C, beta-carotene, and phytonutrients. According to Plant Based Diets: A Physician's Guide, published in The Permanente Journal in 2016, these nutrients in fruit offer protection against some forms of cancer.
Adding several servings of fruit to your daily diet may decrease your chances of developing esophageal, stomach and lung cancer. You may also be able to reduce your risk of mouth, throat, ovarian, bladder and colon cancer.
May Prevent Many Other Conditions
The protective benefits from vitamins, minerals and antioxidants in fruits can improve your health and quality of life. Their benefits span across many medical conditions.
ChooseMyPlate.gov notes that the potassium in fruit may reduce your chances of developing kidney stones and may help prevent bone loss. A diet rich in fruit can also help lower your blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Vitamin C in fruit can help keep gums and teeth healthy and fruit is naturally low in calories and sodium, which is good for everyone.
- Harvard Health Publications: Eat, Drink, and Be Healthy: The Harvard Medical School Guide to Healthy Eating
- ChooseMyPlate.gov: Why Is It Important to Eat Fruit?
- Hever J. Plant-Based Diets: A Physician’s Guide. The Permanente Journal. 2016;20(3):93-101.
- Wang P, Fang J, Gao Z, Zhang C, Xie S. Higher intake of fruits, vegetables or their fiber reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes: A meta‐analysis. Journal of Diabetes Investigation. 2016;7(1):56-69.