Healthy Eating: Which fruit?

Healthy Eating: Which fruit?

People have asked me “Which is the one best fruit to eat?”, and I tend to tell them that any fruit is a good fruit. The truth, though, is that I really don’t know. But if you put a gun to my head, I’d narrow it down to three. This is just my opinion! I can’t decide between the following:

Apples - These fruits are jam-packed with natural juicy goodness. Not only are they a rich source of vitamins A and B1, and some essential minerals and trace elements, but they also contain a special kind of soluble fibre, pectin, in abundance. Pectin helps keep cholesterol levels down and can also be very helpful in controlling the sudden rises and drops in blood sugar levels experienced by dibetics. It also binds bile acids and various toxic materials, including lead, and promotes their efficient excretion and a healthier digestive tract. Eating apples or drinking apple juice can boost both one’s immunity and appetite, not to mention the excellent anti oxidant effects of vitamins A and B1. Whoever said that an apple a day keeps the doctor away was onto something!

Bananas – A banana in the morning and I’m good to go! Full of an instant source of oomph – glucose and fructose, which are a great source of energy. Bananas are also a great source of potassium and are usually recommended to those on diuretic medication to replace the potassium lost due to the diuresis. They are also a good source of vitamins A, B1, B6, B9 and C, as well as dietary fibre and other nutritional goodness. They are a tidy good all-rounder.

Berries – Here, there is a lot of variety and options including strawberries, and the so-called superberries. Jam-packed with fibre, essential minerals and trace elements and vitamins, most notably, of the antioxidant type, they are said to boost the immune system and to protect against the risk of some cancers and heart disease. They also contain substances that are really good for healthy eyes and are considered some of the healthiest fruits.

There you have it, my three best fruits! It would be interesting to hear your thoughts on which is the best fruit and why. I do appreciate that in life most people only want the best, and if something is the best, the’d want more of it. And, the best is certainly not, not by any means, the same for everybody. If one could find the ultimate best fruits, I think, it wouldn’t take too much to convice one to eat five a day and to stick with it. So, lets get eating and find that elusive best fruit. Who knows, I might, just might, be able to finally decide what my best fruit is!

The main thing, though, is not to find the best fruit, but to incorporate fruits into your diet and eat sufficient quantities, daily, to make it worth your while. If fruits (and vegetables) are not your thing, start small and gradually increase the amounts you eat till you are eating at least five portions daily. Why five? Research has shown that five portions is the minimum and optimum amount to give you the best benefits from fruits and vegetables.

Tips to improve fruit intake:

  • eat different fruits – variety is the spice of life
  • fruits in school or work bag – encourages you to snack on fruits rather than the unhealthy options
  • fruits on your work desk – encourages you to snack on fruits rather than the unhealthy options
  • smoothies - can easily achieve and maintain your five a day plan
  • fruit cocktails - can mask taste of the not-so-nice-tasting-but-nutricious fruits

Now, because the aim of this exercise is to help improve one’s health outcomes and maintain one’s body at optimum performance levels, one could do well to choose one’s fruits sensibly. Some fruits contain more calories than others, and may inadivertently be detrimental to those on calorie-watching diets like diabetics and those trying to lose weight.