Fruit is the perfect diet food. It is low in calories, rich in dietary fiber to boost satiety, and satisfies your sweet tooth without the danger of weight gain. It’s an ideal food choice for anyone interested in weight reduction or weight maintenance.
Nutritional Benefits of Fruit Fresh Fruits
Fresh fruit (or frozen fruit) is one of the richest sources of vitamins and some important minerals. To help prevent vitamin deficiency, the World Health organisation (WHO) recommends a minimum daily intake of five portions of fruit and vegetables. The most important micronutrient vitamin in fruit (especially citrus fruits) is the antioxidant vitamin C. In addition, fruit (eg. mango, cantaloupe, apricots, and red or pink grapefruit) may also contain useful amounts of vitamin A, as well as healthy phytochemicals like carotenoids and anthocyanosides. Fruit is also a rich source of dietary fiber. Oranges and orange juice also contain folate.
Fruit juice (eg. apple, blackberry, cranberry, grape, grapefruit, orange, pineapple juices) is a good source of vitamin C, although the high acidity levels and simple sugars in fruit juice can lead to an increased risk of tooth decay. Drinking fruit juice as part of a meal reduces this risk. “Freshly Squeezed” fruit juice is the only type of juice that can legitimately describe itself as “pure”, because it has undergone no processing except the extraction of the fruit. Cranberry juice is especially beneficial for urinary tract infections.
Dried fruit (eg. apricots, dates, figs, raisins) is not a particularly good source of vitamins, except some B-vitamins, although it does provide minerals (eg. iron and potassium) and dietary fiber. Dried fruit is high in energy (calories) and fruit sugar, which makes it an excellent energy-boosting snack. Dried apricots contain beta-carotene. Figs contain benzaldehyde, an anti-cancer agent.
How Much Fruit To Eat in a 1600 Calorie Weight Loss Diet
The latest Dietary Guidelines (2005) recommend 3-4 servings of fruit per day. According to the suggested diet plans, one serving is equivalent to:
– 6 oz fruit juice
– 1 medium fruit
– 1/4 cup dried fruit
– 1/2 cup fresh, frozen, or canned fruit
To ensure adequate fiber intake, consumption of whole fruits (fresh, frozen, canned, dried) rather than fruit juice for the majority of the total daily amount is recommended.
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