WHAT KIND OF FRUIT IS RIGHT FOR YOU?
As summer approaches, there are no more excuses to leave fruit out of your diet. It’s full of energy and vitamins and is a great source of hydration. Fruit is also a great refreshing snack on hot days. There are five types of fruit – acidic, semi-acidic, sweet, hyper-hydrating and nuts – and each has benefits for your body. Let’s have a closer look.
As their name suggests, acidic fruits feature strong acids, like citric acid in citrus fruit. They are rich in vitamin C and antioxidants, which makes them great for your immune system and helps prevent colds and flu. Although they are beneficial to the digestive system, they should be avoided by those who suffer from heartburn, acid reflux or gastritis because they can make these conditions worse. Because they stimulate the formation of digestive acids and encourage gastric emptying, they are also indicated to help control nausea during pregnancy.
Pineapple is great for your digestive system, has some laxative effect and helps maintain proper functioning of the urinary tract. Nutritionally speaking, it is rich in vitamin C, beta-carotene, potassium, magnesium and calcium.
Oranges strengthen the immune system and help prevent colds. They also help control cholesterol levels and are very rich in vitamin C, calcium, bioflavonoids and pectin. They contain over 150 phytonutrients.
Lemons are the citrus fruit with the greatest detoxifying power! They help prevent the formation of kidney stones, assist digestion, help prevent cardiovascular problems and contribute to the proper functioning of the gut. They are rich in vitamin C, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and potassium.
Besides strengthening the immune system, strawberries are excellent for lowering cholesterol. Studies have also suggested that strawberries can help in the prevention of certain types of cancer. They are a good source of vitamin C, iron, copper and manganese.
Semi-acid fruits are less acidic than citrus because their acids are weaker and simpler. Because they are not so acidic, they are less aggressive for those who suffer from digestive problems such as heartburn, acid reflux or gastritis and are excellent aids to the proper functioning of the digestive system. They help prevent and control various conditions, including high cholesterol.
“An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Apples help in the slimming process and can relieve constipation. They are good for controlling diabetes and can relieve the pain of gastritis. They are rich in vitamin C, magnesium, potassium, iron and phosphorus.
Mangos are rich in vitamin C, beta-carotene, calcium and potassium. They facilitate digestion, help control cholesterol levels and strengthen the immune system. They are effective in combating constipation and, thanks to their photoprotective qualities, improve skin health by protecting it from the action of the sun.
Blueberries are like an antioxidant shot. They neutralise the free radicals that damage our immune system and that can make us more susceptible to degenerative diseases and various types of cancer. They are rich in phytonutrients, vitamin C, vitamin K and iron.
Peaches are a good source of vitamin C, vitamin E, potassium, calcium and beta-carotene. They contribute to eye health, are diuretic (help cleanse the kidneys and bladder), reduce stress and anxiety and keep the skin healthy. They also have some laxative potential and facilitate digestion.
Sweet fruits have high fructose content, which is fruit’s natural sugar. When consumed in excess, they can increase the level of glucose in the blood. It is therefore advisable that these fruits are consumed with some source of fibre (like oats) or seeds (like chia or flaxseed).
Bananas are easy to digest and full of energy. They are ideal for those looking for a natural energy source and are excellent before a training session! They are also great at preventing cramps. Their only potential problem is that, because they are so rich in carbohydrates, they can cause hyperglycaemia in some people.
Rich in fibre and a natural laxative, figs are very satiating and help to stave off hunger, which can help in weight loss. Vitamins B and C, which are part of their composition, are antioxidants and help preserve beautiful skin. They help control blood pressure, diabetes and cholesterol levels.
Rich in beta-carotene, potassium, vitamin C, calcium and phosphorus, papaya is great for those who want to lose weight and helps facilitate the digestive process. Papaya also protects the cardiovascular system, helps to prevent colds, flu and muscle fatigue and reduces stress.
Dates are rich in B vitamins, potassium, copper, iron, magnesium and calcium and contain fibres that help the functioning of the gut. They are rich in carbohydrates (full of energy!) and are therefore a great pre-workout snack. They should be consumed in moderation, however, due to their high caloric content.
Hyper-hydrating fruit has more than 90% water content and there are only two sorts: watermelon and melon. Both are an excellent option on hot days because they help prevent dehydration. That said, they cannot replace water consumption, which should not be neglected. The only problem is that these fruits eliminate the acids released by the stomach to help digestion and can compromise it. For this reason, they should be consumed unaccompanied by other food.
Watermelon is a low-calorie fruit, great for those who want to lose weight. It helps to hydrate and cleanse the body, has diuretic properties and is a good source of beta-carotene, vitamin C and copper. Watermelon also helps reduce blood pressure.
Melons improve bowel function and prevent constipation. Like watermelon, they hydrate and cleanse the body. They are rich in copper, potassium, beta-carotene and vitamins A, C and B3. As vitamins A and C are important for collagen production, they help combat premature ageing.
Nuts have all the healthiest fats. They are very filling and should be consumed in moderation because they are high in calories. Their benefits include helping to prevent some cardiovascular diseases and controlling cholesterol. Their high omega-3 content helps improve brain function.
Avocados help control cholesterol and triglyceride levels. They have vitamin E, iron, copper, proteins and are a good source of omega-3, which improves brain function, stimulates memory and increases concentration capacity.
Almonds are rich in antioxidants, monounsaturated fats, vitamin B1, vitamin E and minerals. They are very effective in preventing various cardiovascular diseases, help regulate intestinal transit, improve brain function and can slow the progression of various diseases.
Because they are high in vitamin E, walnuts help protect blood vessels and control blood pressure. They’re also an excellent source of omega-3.
Cashews are very rich in zinc, which helps prevent anaemia. The various polyunsaturated fats in their composition also help to control cholesterol levels.