While there are dozens- if not hundreds- of reasons why you need to eat fruit, these are definitely the top ten in my opinion.
1. Eating lots of fruit lowers the risk of developing disease
Eating fruit every day lowers the risk of so many diseases, it’s hard to list them all! For starters, a 2003 study found that eating fruit (and veggies) lowers your risk of developing heart disease. Since heart disease is the #1 killer in the US, that’s definitely a major benefit that helps us all. In 2003, the Harvard School of Public Health also found that eating whole fruits may help lower the risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes.
Fruit can also help control your blood pressure, lowers your risk of developing certain cancers, and so much more. So, eat more fruit and you just may live a longer and healthier life.
2. Fruit makes you strong
As part of an overall healthy diet, fruit can really help make your bones and muscles stronger. A 2011 Florida State University study found that eating dried plums in particular can help prevent osteoporosis. Avocados are also fantastic for strong bones. Another study done by University of East Anglia just this year found that vitamin C can help you retain muscle mass. I don’t think I have to remind you that fruits are just loaded with C!.
3. Water content in fruit helps keep you hydrated
Certain fruits are super high in water content, which helps keep your whole body hydrated. While straight and plain water is always best, eating more fruit can help you reach your daily requirement, especially if you’re just not a fan of the plain stuff.
Watermelon is the obvious choice, as its name implies. Did you know that strawberries also have about 92% water content, though? Grapefruit and cantaloupe are also made up of about 90% water. Even apples are a good option, with about 86% water.
4. All fruit has antioxidants which combats free radicals
If you don’t know, free radicals are nasty little unstable atoms that make us age faster, damage our healthy cells, and even cause cancer. Antioxidants are substances that help fight them off. While all fruits have them to some degree, ripe fruits are especially loaded with antioxidants, according to this study.
5. Fruit is high in fiber, which helps keep you fit and healthy
One of the greatest benefits of fruit is all the healthy fiber in them. According to the USDA, it helps reduce blood cholesterol levels. That, in turn, goes back to the first point- it lowers your risk of heart disease. Fiber is also super important for healthy bowels. It helps keep you “regular,” which can prevent issues like constipation, hemorrhoids, and diverticulosis.
Foods high in fiber and low in calories can also help you lose weight (or keep it off) because they make you feel full longer. They also controls your blood sugar, which again, helps you eat less junk throughout the day.
6. Fruit is nutrient dense, and provide our bodies with vitamins and minerals
Our bodies need so many different vitamins and minerals to stay healthy and keep going. Some of those nutrients, like calcium and potassium, are absolutely vital to our survival. For example, our hearts need both sodium and potassium to keep pumping. Fruits like avocados, figs, peaches, and kiwi are loaded with potassium.
Pretty much the entire alphabet of vitamins can be found throughout various fruits. Same goes for minerals. That’s great news, considering people all over the US have at least one vitamin deficiency. According to the World Health Organization, iron is the number one mineral that we’re lacking. Citrus fruits are a great source of the mineral.
7. Fruit makes you glow!
Okay, so not in the “glow in the dark” sense. Boy, that would be freaky, wouldn’t it? By “glow,” I mean it helps make your skin look positively glorious. Remember those free radicals we just talked about a minute ago? Well, they play a major role in making us age less gracefully. The antioxidants in fruit help combat that, while the water content hydrates our skin from the inside out.
Beyond that, though, fruits with healthy fats, like avocados, can actually help prevent sun damage. Of course, you still need to wear sunscreen, but it’s always nice to have a little extra backup when it comes to fighting UV rays. Fruits rich in vitamin C are also great for your skin, as they help your body produce more collagen.
8. Fruit boosts brain power
While all fruits are great brain boosters, a 2012 study found that berries are particularly beneficial. According to the researchers, “Strong scientific evidence exists that eating blueberries, blackberries, strawberries and other berry fruits has beneficial effects on the brain and may help prevent age-related memory loss and other changes, scientists report.” I don’t know about you, but I could use all the help I can get in the memory department!.
9. Fruit makes you feel energized
As mentioned earlier, fruit helps stabilize your blood sugar. When your blood sugar crashes, it takes your energy along with it. In other words, too little sugar can make you feel positively exhausted, which makes sense since every cell in our body uses it for energy. While processed sugars found in junk food do far more harm than good, a little bit of it combined with the other nutrients found in low-sugar fruit is a good energy booster.
So, when you start to feel that midday slump hit, grab a piece of fruit! Just stick with low-sugar options, like avocado, guavas, raspberries, papayas, cantaloupes and strawberries.
10. Fruit keeps your digestive system happy
Everything from the fiber and water content to the antioxidants all combine to help keep your entire digestive system healthier and happier. If you want a really super digestion-support fruit, though, grab a papaya. It contains papain, a fantastic little enzyme that helps break down certain types of food. Bonus, papayas also help slow the growth of some cancer cells.
Pineapple is another good one, thanks to the bromelain in it. Like papain, bromelain helps you digest certain types of food. It also reduces inflammation. Other great options include apples, bananas and strawberries.
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