Healthy eating habits/The Importance of Fruit

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Red Apple

Fruit plays a key part in keeping every person fit and healthy. This is because it provides people with healthy nutrients needed to help the body function through the day. Fruit is one of the most important things to eat daily and is part of a well-balanced and healthy diet.

What is a fruit?[edit]

A fruit is any product of a plant or tree that contains seeds and is edible. Fruits are often sweet and fleshy, but come in a variety of different tastes and texture’s. Thousands of types of fruits exist all over the globe, some rare and others common in certain societies.

Why is eating fruit important?[edit]

Fruit has within it many important things that help the body to function normally. They contain a wide range of vitamins and nutrients. Some of these cannot be made by the body itself, and therefore need to be eaten in order to be used. These nutrients are important for keeping the body in a healthy shape. Fruits are also low in bad fats and salt. Combining with this they also lower the risks of a person having high blood pressure and other heart and health related diseases. Fruits contain a large and varying range of different nutrients that may be hard to get from other areas of a diet, and without these the body is at an increased risk of getting diseases or functioning poorly.

Fruit Market

How much fruit should people eat?[edit]

The amount of fruit a person should be having is two serves per day. This recommendation implies that these serves would be had daily and every day of the week. To achieve this fruit should be incorporated into an average healthy diet that takes into account all other food groups.

Serving sizes[edit]

There are a few ways to define a serve of fruit. First of all, in weight terms, one serve of fruit is roughly 150 grams. Another way to decide what one serve of fruit is 350 kilojoules. A kilojoule is a unit to measure the energy content of a piece of fruit.

However, a serve of fruit can also be measured by the specific size. One serve of a medium sized piece of fruit such as an apple, banana, orange or a pear. Two smaller types of fruit also count as one serve. The types of fruits that fit into this category are things such as apricots or kiwi fruits. If the fruit is diced or canned, one cup would be around a singular serve. Fruit juice also contains the same vitamins that a normal piece of fruit would contain, and therefore half a glass of that would be considered one serve. However, fruit juice also has a lot of sugar in it, and from this shouldn’t be consumed as a fruit replacement every day.

Fruit being apart of a balanced diet[edit]

It is important to remember to eat a well-balanced diet that includes the four other food groups as well as fruit. These are: grains and cereals, dairy, meat and poultry, and vegetables. By itself fruit is not enough to maintain a healthy body, however it is a key element of this. Fruit can be eaten as part of a meal containing other members of food groups, or simply on its own as a snack.

Different nutrients in fruit[edit]

As the type of fruit varies so to do the nutrients within the fruit. These differences are not a bad thing; however the types of fruit a person eats affects what type of nutritional benefit they are getting. If a person needs a particular type of nutrient, they would have to choose the appropriate fruit to allow for this.

Common Fruit Nutrient
Apple Fibre
Banana Potassium
Orange Vitamin C
Grapes Antioxidants
Avocado Monounsaturated Fatty Acids

The above table shows how some common fruits may be particularly high in a certain nutrient. It is important to note this does not mean they don't contain other nutrients, however they do have a large amount of this individual type of nutrient in a single serve.

References[edit]

Awad, M., Jager, A. (2002). Relationships Between Fruit Nutrients and Concentrations of Flavonoids and Chlorogenic Acid in “Elstar” Apple Skin . ELSEVIER, 923-4), p265-76. DOI: 10.1016/S0304-4238(01)00290-4

Mayo Clinic. (2014). Nutrition and healthy eating. Retrieved from http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/expert-blog/fruit-vegetable-difference/bgp-20056141

NHMRC. (2013). Australian Guide to Healthy Eating. Retrieved from http://www.eatforhealth.gov.au/guidelines/australian-guide-healthy-eating

NHMRC. (2013). Serve Sizes. Retrieved from http://www.eatforhealth.gov.au/food-essentials/how-much-do-we-need-each-day/serve-sizes