What can your 'average' fruit do for your health?

The VITL Nutrition Team / Sep 19, 2016

Everyone knows fruit and vegetables are good for you thanks to their impressive vitamin and mineral content, but it's also good to know that you don’t need to spend a fortune on exotic produce to get some goodness. Here are some of the UK’s most commonly eaten fruit and what benefits they can have for you.

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Bananas – this is one of the most widely eaten fruits globally, grown in more than 107 countries conveniently in its own packaging. They provide a good source of potassium that can help maintain blood pressure and provide a good carb hit if you’re doing some intensive exercise. A study by Imperial College London suggested that eating one banana a day could help decrease asthma symptoms in children.

Apples – everyone knows the well know phrase “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” and although this may not be entirely true, apples are a great addition to your day. Apples are an excellent source of fibre (and contain lots of the soluble fibre pectin), vitamin C and antioxidants, but they also contain phytonutrients (flavonoids and polyphenolics), which can help regulate blood sugar and protect the body from free radicals.

Oranges –best known for their Vitamin C content, which helps wound healing, the immune system and cell damage by free radicals. But that’s not all they offer, oranges contain potassium, which reduces blood pressure and folate, which lowers the levels of a cardiovascular risk factor. They also contain vitamin A and a variety of phytochemicals.

Grapes – are rich in antioxidants including resveratrol and flavonoids, which can help protect blood vessels and maintaining a healthy blood pressure. The vast majority of the nutritional value comes from the skin of red/purple grapes. Although they are said to help protect against

cancer, diabetes and acne, there is little rigorous scientific evidence to support any of these claims.

Tomatos – Tomatos are a great source of lycopene, which can help provide protection again UV-light- induced sunburn. It is also thought to help protect against prostate, stomach and lung cancers. Unlike most fruit and vegetables, cooking them is a good thing, as lycopene is absorbed better after heating. As well as lycopene, tomatoes also contain vitamin K, which helps to strengthen bones.

Strawberries – are a great source of vitamin K and C, while also providing fibre, folic acid, manganese and potassium. Their bright red colour comes from phytonutrients and flavonoids, in particular, anthocyanidin, which can help protect against inflammation, cancer and heart disease. A Harvard Study showed that regularly eating berries, which contain anthocyanins, can reduce heart attach risk by 32% in young and middle-aged women.

Blueberries – are full of anthocyanins, flavonoids and phenols, anti-inflammatories and antioxidants that protect against free radicals. This means eating blueberries might help protect against cancer, heart disease and degenerative diseases. They also contain vitamin C.

Bring forth the fruit salads...

 


References

http://www.freshplaza.com/article/123761/Convenience-singles- out-the- most-popular- fruit-and-vegetables- in-UK

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/271157.php

http://erj.ersjournals.com/content/29/6/1161

http://www.nutrition-and- you.com/apple-fruit.html

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/jan/13/why-oranges-are-good-for-you-citrus-health-benefits

http://www.quackwatch.com/01QuackeryRelatedTopics/DSH/resveratrol.html

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27095228

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sn/humanbody/truthaboutfood/young/tomatoes.shtml

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2013/oct/05/tinned-tomatoes-health-benefits-anti-cancer-strong-bones

http://www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/060113p16.shtml