Is Fruit Healthy Or Like Eating Candy?
List of how many calories in (& benefits of) the healthiest fruit and facts
You hear many people go on about how much calories (& sugar) are in fruit. But here are some facts about the benefits of eating fruit and why fruit is one of the healthiest foods you can eat.
What is a fruit – Did you know that fruit were once part of the flower?
Fruit is the sweet, fleshy edible part of the plant. Most of them contain seeds. Fruit is the most natural foods you can eat because it is not processed like most other foods are (with the exception of canned fruits, jams, jellies & juices). Eating fruit fresh is the best (& healthiest) way to consume fruit. Fruit is mother nature’s gift to us, all wrapped up in it’s own package, ready for fast consumption. Fruit is fast food!
List Of The Different Types Of Fruit
Common Types include:
- Apples and Pears
- Citrus Fruit – oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruit and mandarins
- Berries – strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, passion fruit and kiwi
- Stone Fruit – plums, peaches, apricots and nectarines
- Melons – honeydew melons, rock melon and watermelon
- Tropical and Exotic Fruit – mangoes, pineapple and banana
- Tomatoes and Avocado (even though considered vegetables by some)
Is Fruit Healthy?
Fruits provide essential nutrients vital for health and for preventing many chronic diseases.
Benefits Of Eating Fruit
Fruit is Low in calories and High in:
- Water – hydrates the body & necessary for healthy metabolism
- Fibre – good for healthy digestion & satiety
- Enzymes – needed for many functions & processes in the body
- Vitamins (like Vitamin C and folate)
- Minerals (like potassium)
- Phytochemicals – disease fighting plant chemicals
- Antioxidants (eg. lycopene in tomatoes can help fight prostate cancer & heart disease)
Fruit offers many healing properties. Regular consumption of fruit is associated with the reduced risk of certain cancers, cardiovascular disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s Disease, cataracts, and some functional declines associated with ageing.
9 Reasons To Eat Fruit
1. Low to Medium on Glycemic Index Scale
Low to medium GI Foods keep blood sugar levels stable & provides long lasting energy. Learn more about the Glycemic Index.
2. Packed with Essential Vitamins & Minerals
Fruit is nature’s Multi-vitamins and Multi-minerals.
3. Contain Enzymes
Enzymes are chemicals that your body requires in order to function and carry out everyday normal processes. They are beneficial for healthy metabolism & digestion.
4. Packed with Antioxidants
Antioxidants protect your cells from free radical damage and can repair damaged cells. Berries are especially high in antioxidants.
5. High in Fibre
Fibre promotes healthy bowel movements & weight loss.
6. Low in Calories
You would have to eat 20 and a half apples to equal the amount of calories in a Mc Donald’s Value Meal!
7. Help to Control Weight & Appetite
Because of the fibre & water content, it can help you feel full and satisfied by eating less food.
Fruit is easy to take with you anywhere and don’t require any preparation.
9. Fruit is a Natural part of the diet
Our bodies have adapted and evolved to eating raw, whole foods in their natural forms.
How Many Calories Are In Fruit?
- 1 Apple = 75 calories
- 1/2 Avocado = 114 calories
- 1 medium Banana = 105 calories
- 1/2 cup Blackberries = 31 calories
- 1/2 cup Blueberries = 41 calories
- 1/2 cup Cantaloupe = 25 calories
- 1 medium Cherry = 46 calories
- 1/2 cup Cranberries = 25 calories
- 2 Dried Figs = 42 calories
- 1/2 cup Goji Berries = 90 calories
- 1/2 cup Black Grapes = 53 calories
- 1/2 Grapefruit = 52 calories
- 1 large Kiwi = 56 calories
- 1/2 medium Mango = 54 calories
- 1 medium Orange = 62 calories
- 1/2 medium Papaya = 59 calories
- 1 medium Peach = 58 calories
- 1 medium Pear = 96 calories
- 1/2 cup Pineapple = 40 calories
- 3 Prunes (dried plums) = 60 calories
- 1/2 cup Raspberries = 32 calories
- 1/2 cup Strawberries = 23 calories
- 1 medium Tomato = 22 calories
- 1/2 cup Watermelon = 23 calories
Tips To Get More Fruit In Your Diet
1. Keep Visible Reminders
Keep a bowl of fresh fruit in the house.
2. Buy in Season
Eating a variety ensures you get the benefits of a wide variety of nutrients and plant chemicals. Buying in season is also less expensive and fruits are at their peak flavour.
3. Have A Variety
Vary the fruit you buy. Buy dried fruit (such as dried apricots or prunes), frozen fruit (like berries) and canned fruit (select fruit canned in water or lite versions rather than in syrup). Dried Fruit = 1/4 cup is equivalent to 1/2 cup fresh fruit.
4. Snack on Fruits
Always have a fresh fruit on hand for a handy snack. Refrigerate pre-cut packages of fruit (such as melon or pineapple chunks) – add some citrus from lemon or limes to keep them from turning brown.
5. Incorporate Fruit in to Meals, here’s some ideas:
– Add banana, peaches or berries to your breakfast cereal.
– Add peanut butter to banana or apple for a filling snack.
– Make a fruit salad for dessert.
– Make a smoothie by blending fruit with milk, yogurt & honey.
– Mix fruit with dairy or soy yogurt.
– Add grapes, apples or orange to salads, eg. make a Waldorf Salad with apples, celery, grapes, walnuts and a low-calorie dressing.
– Make fruit kebabs when having a BBQ.
– Melt some dark chocolate to enjoy with strawberries (or any other fruit) for a dessert or special occasion.
What Fruits To Buy
These fruits are prone to be higher in pesticides so when possible, buy the following fruits fresh:
We have learnt some interesting facts about fruit. They contain many vital nutrients necessary for good health, as well as being able to help fight against diseases such as heart disease & cancer. Eat a variety of different fruits to get a mix of various nutrients & disease fighting compounds.
Don’t be put off or avoid fruit just because of how many calories they contain or for having a “high sugar content” because fruit provides a host of beneficial qualities that you don’t want to be missing out on. Fruits are one of the most healthiest foods you can eat and should definitely be included in your diet
By Open Mind Nutrition