The Health Benefits Of Fruit
Fruit is extremely healthy for you & science proves it! Fruit contains vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fibre and phytochemicals that not only nourish your body, but are essential for living a healthy life. In fact, scientific research has shown that fruit consumption can:
- aid weight loss
- reduce chronic disease risk
- assist immune function
- reduce your risk of some cancers including colorectal cancer
- reduce cardiovascular conditions
- lower blood pressure
- improve over all health and well being
Now I know that some of you may be thinking, “but what about all the sugar in fruit?”
Sugar & Fruit
There is a common public misconception that fruit contains “too much sugar”, but this is a simply a misconception. The key with fruit, is that the sugar is naturally occurring, not added, and is not linked to the negative impacts that added sugar has. This is due to the way your body processes them. When sugar comes in it’s natural form in fruits, it is accompanied by other nutrients like fibre, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytochemicals & other beneficial nutrients. These change the way the body breaks down and absorbs these sugars. The harmful effects of fructose, for example, don’t apply to the natural sugars found in fruits. It’s only when sugars are added to processed foods that these negative effects occur. It’s important to remember that without naturally occurring sugar in healthy foods like vegetables & fruits, we can not function because sugar is the fuel for our brain and muscles. Sugar naturally present in whole foods = good, sugar added to food = not good.
So knowing that you don’t need to worry about the sugar in fruit and all the health benefits of fruit, how much fruit should you aim to eat?
How Much Fruit Should You Really Be Eating?
The following are the minimum recommended servings of fruit you should aim for each day, based on age:
- 4-7 years – 1 serve of fruit
- 8-11 years – 1 serve of fruit
- 12-18 years – 3 serves of fruit
- 19 years & over – 2 serves of fruit
Note – these are minimum serving recommendations and may increase depending on appetite, activity level, health status etc.
What Is A Serve Of Fruit?
Easy Ways to Get More Fruit In Your Day
Here are some simple ways you can get more fruit in your day:
- Eat Fruit Fresh – ensure fresh fruit is readily available & accessible. Think a big fruit bowl, bunches of grapes, a fruit salad & chopped up fruit in containers in the fridge.
- Make Fruit Smoothies – smoothies are the perfect way to get more fruit into your day, especially for kids & busy adults on the go! They can be enjoyed for a breakfast (including when you’re heading to work), snacks for kids after school, as a pre or post training snack or as a delicious dessert. A brand new range of frozen smoothie pouches from Serious Smoothies have just launched in Australia and are perfect for quickly blitzing up healthy fruit smoothie. They are packed with whole fruit pieces, nuts and superfoods & simply need to be blended with water or milk! There is no leftover mess & they are so simple that kids & teens can make their own smoothies! They are available from Coles in three varieties:
1) Immunity – Blueberries, Dates, Almonds, Bananas, Linseeds
2) Fighting Fit – Strawberries, Banana, Chia seeds & Goji berry
3) Bodyguard – Pineapple, Blueberries, Apple, Strawberries & Raspberries
- Add fruit to your cereal, porridge & toast – think sliced banana, berries & dates
- Make fruit a key ingredient in baking – you can try my banana bread, strawberry & pancakes & fruit muffins
- Add fruit to your salads – think pear, peaches, mangoes & cranberries. Try my Mango & Avocado Pasta here & my Pear & Pomegranate Salad here.
- Add fruit to your snacks & desserts – think fruit crumbles, nicecream, fruit with yoghurt, smoothie bowls etc. Note that you can use the Serious Smoothies I mentioned above in your snacks and dessert too! Below is a smoothie bowl that I made using the Bodyguard Serious Smoothie pack and topped it with passionfruit, dragonfruit & fresh mint.
Editor’s Note: This blog post is proudly sponsored by Serious Smoothies. All opinions are my own and not influenced in any way.