Posted by Hannah Heredia, MS, RDN, CNSC on Dec 5th 2019
As part of an overall healthy diet, fruits are vital sources of nutrients and have many positive health benefits.
Fruits are sources of some of the most essential nutrients for proper energy utilization. They can protect the body against chronic diseases, boost your immune system, and can also help make you feel fuller longer.
Fruits are known to contain potassium, dietary fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, phytochemicals, manganese among other essential nutrients. Here are the quick facts on how important all these nutrients are:
- Potassium is one of the most important minerals in the body and helps to regulate fluid balance and works with muscle contractions and nerve signals.
- Dietary fiber can be found as either soluble or insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber is vital in lowering cholesterol. Insoluble fiber aids in digestion.
- Vitamin C helps to form collagen to hold muscles, bones, and tissues together. Vitamin C also protects against infections and bruising, aids in healing, keeps gums healthy, and helps absorb iron and folate, and acts as an antioxidant to prevent cell damage.
- Vitamin K helps to clot our blood and makes essential protein needed for our blood, bones, and kidneys.
- Folate helps tissue become healthy and grow as well as helps cells work to breakdown and use proteins, helps form red blood cells, and helps produce DNA.
- Manganese helps to form bone and convert macronutrients (carbohydrates, fats, proteins) into energy.
Many fruits also contain phytochemicals such as flavionoids, ellagitannins, and ellagic acid that act as antioxidants and reduce cell damage. Anthocyanidins are a flavonoid sub-group and may help maintain the brain and healthy immune function.
Research has shown there is a link between people who eat fruits as part of an overall healthy diet and the development of chronic diseases such as heart disease (including heart attack and stroke), cancers, obesity, type 2 Diabetes, and the development of kidney stones and bone loss. Look below for a breakdown of some popular fruits are see the potential benefits they have!
- Apples contain high amounts of vitamin C, fiber, and flavionoids.
- Apricots contain vitamin C, vitamin A, and copper.
- Bananas contain high amounts of vitamin B6, vitamin C, manganese, fiber, copper, biotin, and potassium.
- Blueberries contain vitamin K, manganese, vitamin C, fiber, phytochemicals, and copper.
- Coconuts contain fiber, vitamin C, vitamin E, and many B vitamins.
- Cherries are packed with fiber, vitamin C, and potassium.
- Dates are high in fiber, and biotin, pantothenic acid, potassium, copper, magnesium, and iron.
- Figs contain fiber, vitamin B6, copper, and pantothenic acid.
- Mangoes are high in vitamin A, vitamin C, and contain folate, B6, and iron.
- Pears contain vitamin C, fiber, vitamin K, potassium, and lutein.
- Pineapples contain vitamin C, manganese, copper, vitamin B6, vitamin B1, fiber, folate, pantothenic acid.
- Strawberries contain vitamin C, manganese, fiber, folate, iodine, copper, biotin, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, omega-3 fats, vitamin B6, flavionoids and anthocyanidins.
No matter what is in the fruit there is one thing that transcends – fruits are really important for your health and wellbeing!
I’m Hannah and I’m a Registered Dietitian in Arizona. I love hiking, exploring, cooking, and am a huge chips & salsa connoisseur. Follow all of my adventures on IG @hikesandhealth and for meal prepping and planning tips & tricks - follow my blog https://hikeshealth.com/.