Consuming fruit is an important part of an overall healthy diet. Fruits are packed with various nutrients that help maintain your health and body. Most people don’t get enough essential nutrients that many fruits contain, such as potassium, fiber, vitamin C, and Folate. These nutrients and much more help boost our immune system, improve digestion, lower blood pressure, and lower cholesterol levels. All these help lower your risk of developing heart disease and certain types of cancer. Eating fruit is also beneficial for maintaining weight because it is low in calories, low in sodium, contains no cholesterol, low in fat, high in fiber, and has water, which helps keep you feeling full throughout the day.
The recommendations for how much fruit you should consume each day depends on your age, sex, height, weight, and physical activity, and it can also vary for pregnant or breastfeeding women. The following daily recommendations for fruit consumption are from MyPlate.gov pictured below:
How do you know if you consume enough to meet the daily serving size recommendations? A Cup of fruit or serving size varies for each type of fruit. The Chart below is from MyPlate.gov and it lists what counts as a cup of fruit for different kinds of fruit:
Here are some tips to help incorporate fruit throughout your day:
- Use fruit as a snack. Apples and bananas are the perfect grab-and-go snack when you’re on the move.
- Add fruit as a side to a meal. Include berries, slices of apples, or other fruits with any meal on the side.
- Add fruit to your salads. Dice or slice fruits of your choice and add them to your salads.
- Add fruit to your cereal or oatmeal. Doing this will help you stay full longer throughout the day.
- Add fruit to your low-fat yogurt. Doing this will help you get more nutrients and stay full during the day.
Eating fruit has been proven beneficial for maintaining weight, preventing heart disease, and preventing certain types of cancer. Incorporating fruit into your daily nutrition doesn’t have to be difficult, and it can be as simple as grabbing an apple for a snack on your way out the door or adding sliced strawberries to the salad you are having for dinner. Wherever you decide to include it in your daily nutrition, have fun with it and keep it simple.
By, Coach Mariah