Fruits and their benefits

1) Apple

Key benefits of apples
Apples, known as a cleansing food, contain fibre, antioxidants and fruit flavonoids. The most important of the flavonoids contained in apples is quercetin, which has anti-inflammatory as well as anti-cancer actions. Apples contain vitamin C as well – more so in green apples than in red ones. Apples can reduce blood cholesterol levels, counter constipation and diarrhoea, help joint problems and help prevent diseases in general.

How much apples should you eat?
Apples can be eaten freely, but more than two or three a day does not increase the health benefits. Large quantities of apple juice can encourage tooth decay and diarrhoea.

Maximising the benefits of apples
Apples are best eaten raw, as cooking them can reduce the flavonoids by as much as 70 percent into the cooking water. It is also a good idea to eat the apple unpeeled as flavonoids are contained in or near the skin.
Nutritional values of apple

Calories 57
Fibre 1,8 g
Potassium 120 mg
Vitamin C 10 mg
Vitamin E 0,6 mg
Quantities per 100 g

2) Apricot

An apricot, with its fat, juicy, bright-coloured flesh, is rich in the antioxidant beta-carotene as well as iron and potassium.

Key benefits of apricots
Apricots are rich in the antioxidant beta-carotene and rich in iron and potassium. It can help regulate blood pressure and is also high in soluble fibre, which helps maintain regular bowel function.

How much apricots should you eat?
Dried or fresh apricots can be eaten freely. A handful of dried apricots supplies one fifth of an adult’s daily potassium needs and between 10 and 20 percent of an adult’s iron needs.

Maximizing the benefits of apricots
Dried apricots should be eaten with foods that are rich in Vitamin C so that iron absorption can be increased.
Nutritional values of apricots

Calories 188
Carotenes 323 mcg
Fat 1 g
Fibre 8 g
Iron 4 mg
Potassium 1880 mg
Carbohydrates 37 g
Starch 0
Sugars 37 g
Protein 4 g
Glycaemic index high
Quantities per 100 g Dried apricots

 

3) Avocado

The avo is a natural source of monounsaturated fat, which makes it a heart-healthy food package. And it’s delicious!

Key benefits of avocado
Avocados reduce cholesterol and so reduce the risk of atherosclerosis. They also have antioxidant ability and contain both vitamins E, C and B6, as well as potassium.

How much avocado should you eat?
Intake of avocados should be moderate, as they are high in calories. A whole avocado weighs about 130g and has about 240 calories.

Maximising the benefits fo avocado
Avocado is a natural source of monounsaturated fat, which makes it a heart-healthy food package. Alpha-carotene is best absorbed with some fat, as is vitamin E.

Nutritional values of avocado

Calories 190
Potassium 450 mg
Fibre 3,4g
Vitamin E 3,2mg
Per 100 g raw

 

4) Banana

Bananas are great, no-fuss snacks. They’re also packed with goodness and are great sources of potassium and vitamin B6.

Key benefits of bananas
Bananas are a good source of both potassium and vitamin B6. They not only help to maintain bowel health, but are also good energy-boosting snacks. As bananas ripen, their starch is converted into sugar. Bananas help to maintain blood sugar levels and it is also a fruit which is easily digested.

How much banana should you eat?
Bananas can be eaten freely, within limits. A banana weighing 100 g contains about 62 calories. It must be remembered that dried bananas are a more concentrated source of nutrients than plain bananas.

Maximising the benefits of banana
Fresh, ripe bananas are a very good source of fruit sugars and can give a quick energy boost.
Nutritional values of banana

Calories 62
Potassium 270 mg
Vitamin B6 0.19 mg
Vitamin C 7 mg
Niacin 0.5 g
Per 100g ready-to-eat, weighed with the skin

5) BlackBerry

Blackberries are a good, low-fat source of vitamin E. These sexy berries also make fantastic, healthy dessert treats.

Key benefits of blackberries
Blackberries are a good low fat source of vitamin E and it helps to fight infection. It also contains salcylate, which is thought to lower the chance of heart risk. It also contains vitamin C, phenolic acids and folate.

How much blackberries should you eat?
Blackberries can be eaten in many forms, from juice to desert or just fresh.

Maximising the benefits of blackberries
Blackberries are best eaten fresh, but the cooked variety still contains high quantities of vitamin E.

Nutritional values of blackberries

Calories 25
Fibre 3,1 g
Folate 34 g
Vitamin E 2,4 mg
Per 100g serving

 

6) Blackcurrants

Did you know that blackcurrants have a high vitamin C content – 4 times as much as oranges of equivalent weight?

Key benefits of blackcurrants
Blackcurrants have a high vitamin C content – four times as much as oranges of an equivalent weight. They are rich in antioxidants and flavonoids and help to relieve inflammation as well as urinary tract infections. It is also a good source of potassium.
How much blackcurrants should you eat?

Blackcurrants can be eaten freely, either raw, or cooked. Blackcurrant juice often contains very little fruit.

Maximising the benefits of blackcurrants
Blackcurrants in all forms work as antioxidants, as anti-inflammatory and theanthocyanin flavonoids counter the bacteria that cause food poisoning and urinary tract infections.

Nutritional values of blackcurrants

Calories 28
Carotenes 100 mcg
Fiber 3,6 g
Iron 1,3 mg
Potassium 370 mg
Vitamin C 200 mg
Vitamin E 1 mg
Per 100g uncooked serving

 

7) Blueberry

Blueberries have many health benefits, including the highest antioxidant ability of all fresh fruit. And they’re great in puddings.

Key benefits of blueberries
Blueberries have many health benefits, including the highest antioxidant ability of all fresh fruit. They also have effective anti-inflammatory, anti-blood clotting and antibacterial effects. In the past they were often used to combat diarrhea and food poisoning. They are also thought to have anti-ageing properties.

How much blueberries should you eat
About thirty berries per day (65 g) is considered beneficial.

Maximizing the benefits of blueberries
Blueberries are not sour and can be eaten raw, so preserving their vitamin C content. Lightly cooked fruit retain their therapeutic properties.
Nutritional values of blueberries

Calories 30
B vitamins Good range
Fiber 1,8 g
Vitamin C 17 mg
Per 100g uncooked serving

 

8) Cherry

Suffer from gout? Cherries are believed to relieve this painful condition if eaten daily. But that’s not all they’re good for.

Key benefits of cherries
Cherries contain the powerful antioxidant anthocyadin. Cherries are believed to relieve gout if at least 225 g are eaten daily. They are also thought to have a mild laxative action.

Maximizing the benefits of cherries
Although fresh cherries have a very short season, cherries that have been bottled, canned or cooked seem to retain their beneficial qualities.

Nutritional values of cherries

Calories 39
Potassium 170 mg
Vitamin C 9 mg
Carbohydrates 12 g
Starch 0
Sugars 12 g
Protein 1 g
Fat < 1 g
Glycaemic index low
Per 100g fresh

 

9) Cranberry

The cranberry can be considered a “super food”, because of its strong anti-inflammatory mechanism in the body.

Key benefits of cranberries
Cranberries may reduce bladder infections. They also help to maintain a healthy heart and also may have anti-inflammatory benefits, as they have anti-fungal and antiviral properties. It is also thought that small amounts of cranberries may benefit kidney stone sufferers. The condensed tannins in cranberries have strong antioxidant properties.

How much cranberries should you eat?
To combat urinary tract infections, 300 ml of cranberry juice can be drunk daily.

Maximizing the benefits of cranberries
Condensed tannins which are found in cranberries are not destroyed in cooking. These tannins are powerful antioxidants.
Nutritional values of cranberries

Calories 15
Fiber 3
Iron 0,7 mg
Vitamin C 13 g
Per 100g raw

 

 

10) Figs

Nothing like a sweet, ripe fig in summer, right? Find out why these decadent fruits are also fantastic health boosters.

Key benefits of figs
Dried or semi-dried figs are a good snack with which to increase energy and raise blood sugar levels quickly. They are also known for their laxative properties. It is thought that they also have cancer-discouraging action.
How much figs should you eat?
As figs are very high in sugar content, not too many of them should be eaten.

Maximizing the benefits of figs
Figs can be eaten fresh, dried or semi-dried. Figs are a source of potassium, calcium, iron and magnesium.

Nutritional values of figs

Carbohydrate 53 g
Starch 0
Sugars 53 g
Protein 4 g
Fat 2 g
Glycaemic index high
Per 100g raw

 

 

11) Grapefruit

Did you know that grapefruit is best eaten when fresh and chilled as this maximises its vitamin C content? Learn more.
 
Key benefits of grapefruit
All citrus fruit are excellent sources of Vitamin C, which helps to maintain the body’s defenses. The flavonoid narigenin is found in grapefruit. It is thought to reduce the risk of some cancers. Grapefruit can improve blood circulation and lower blood cholesterol levels.

How much grapefruit should you eat?
Citrus fruit can be eaten freely. Two or three citrus fruits can provide the body with 20 percent of its potassium requirements.

Maximising the benefits of grapefruit
Grapefruit is best eaten peeled and raw. This is more beneficial than grapefruit juice. It is important also to eat the skin around the segments. Grapefruit is best eaten when fresh and chilled as this maximizes its vitamin C content.
Nutritional values of grapefruit

Calories 20
Vitamin C 24 mg
Fiber 0,9 mg
Foliate 18 mcg
Carbohydrate 9 g
Starch 0
Sugars 9 g
Glycaemic Index high
Per 100g

 

 

12) Grapes

Grapes are not only good for wine making. Both red and black grapes also contain powerful antioxidants.

Grapes are not only good for wine making. Both red and black grapes also contain powerful antioxidants.
 Key benefits of grapes
Both red and black grapes contain powerful antioxidants and resveratrol, which helps to prevent both the narrowing and hardening of the arteries. Ellagic acid, which has anti-cancer properties, is also contained in grapes. They do, however, have very high sugar content.
How much grapes should you eat?
Grapes have many health benefits, but have a high sugar content and should therefore be eaten in moderation.
Maximizing the benefits of grapes
Grapes are a good source of potassium.
Nutritional values of grapes

Calories 60
Carbohydrate 15 g
Starch 0
Sugars 15 g
Protein <1g
Fat <1 g
Glycaemic Index medium
Per 100g

 

 

13) Kiwifruit

Kiwis are cute and quirky. However, they’re also an excellent way to give your vitamin C and potassium intake a boost.

Key benefits of kiwifruit
Kiwifruit is one of the world’s most nutritious fruit and it contains very high levels of vitamin C, potassium and chlorphyll. It contains a wealth of nutrients and antioxidants. It has anti-cancer effects.

How much kiwifruit should you eat?
An average kiwifruit weighs 75 g. It is a very healthy fruit and can be eaten in many different ways.

Maximizing the benefits of kiwifruit
Kiwifruit should be eaten as soon as they are ripe, and sliced just before being eaten, as leaving them standing could decrease their vitamin C levels.

Nutritional values of kiwifruit

Calories 42
Fiber 1,6 g
Potassium 250 mg
Vitamin C 51 mg
Glycaemic Index medium
Per 100g

 

 

14) Lemons

Don’t be shy when you sprinkle your fish with lemon. You’ll just be kick-starting your immune system in a healthy way.

Key benefits of lemons
Lemons have a very high vitamin C content. Lemons help to lower cholesterol levels and also have anti-cancer effects, because of lemons’ limonoid phytochemicals.

How much lemons should you eat?
Lemons are low in calories, but because they are generally quite sour, they tend to be eaten in dressings, sauces or drinks, rather than on their own. A daily portion of citrus fruit is recommended.

Maximizing the benefits of lemons
Limonoids and limonene are found in the whole lemon – pith and peel included. It is therefore best to make use of the whole lemon.
Nutritional values of lemons

Calories 7
Fiber 0,1 g
Potassium 130 mg
Vitamin C 36 mg
Per 100g juice

 

Also check : Green tea: Health benefits and side effects

15) Mango

Sweet, funky and oh-so-irresistible. Find out why mangoes are a great, healthy fruit to be addicted to.

Key benefits of Mango
Mango is thought to bring about a reduced risk of colon and cervical cancer. It is a rich source of beta-carotene, which the body can convert to vitamin A. It also contains beta-cryptoxanthin.

How much mango should you eat?
An average mango weighs about 150 g. They can be eaten just as is, or mixed into fruit salads.

Maximizing the benefits of mango
As beta- cryptoxanthin is best absorbed by the body when eaten with fat, it is a good idea to eat mangoes as part of a meal, rather than on their own.

Nutritional values of mango

Calories 57
Fibre 2,6 g
Vitamin C 37 mg
Vitamin E 1 mg
Glycaemic Index medium
Per 100g

 

 

16) Melons

Lower your risk for cancer and heart disease – simply make a point of snacking more often on a tasty slice of melon.

Key benefits of melons
Melons are good sources of beat-carotene and vitamin C. They may have an anti-clotting action on the blood. Melons are also thought to lower cancer and heart disease risk.

How much melon should you eat?
Melons are reasonably low in calories and can be eaten freely. They also have very high water content.

Maximizing the benefits of melons
Melons with a lighter yellow or green colour as well as watermelons contain less vitamin C and beta-carotene than orange melons do.
Nutritional values of melons

Calories 35
Per 100g

 

 

17) Orange

Right, so you know oranges are great for vitamin C. But did you know that citrus fruits can improve blood circulation?

 Key benefits of oranges
All citrus fruit are excellent sources of Vitamin C, which helps to  improve blood circulation and your immune system

 

 

 

 

 

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