Fruit - Nature’s Healthy Snack
Fruits are an integral part of every diet. Rather than reaching for the nearest processed and packaged snack when you’re hungry in between meals, it’s smart to snack on fruit instead. In general, fruits are a good source of vitamins, minerals, fibre and energy. Fruits are an excellent source of vitamins and minerals. They are recognized for their role in preventing vitamin C and vitamin A deficiencies. Eating fruit as a part of a balanced diet may reduce risk of chronic diseases.
Remember that you should incorporate a mix of fresh fruits as a part of your family’s healthy diet. You can add a bit of chaat masala, or use rock salt to make whole fruits more appetising. Here we’ve listed some of the benefits of commonly available fruit.
Mangoes are rich in vitamin C and soluble fibre. They are also an excellent source of potassium and other minerals like calcium, phosphorus and magnesium. Rich in polyphenols and carotenoids which have antioxidant and free radical scavenging properties, mangoes also contain phytochemicals which help fight inflammation. Mangoes are also a good source of vitamins E, A and some B vitamins. (1)
Containing vitamin C, E and A, chikoos or sapotas help keep the skin healthy. This fruit is also known to have diuretic properties and helps to reduce inflammation. Traditionally, it has also been used to treat fevers and diarrhoea.(2) The sapota fruit also has antifungal and anti-viral properties.(3)
Papaya is rich in phytochemicals like carotenoids, phenolics and glucosinolate which play a part in preventing degenerative diseases like cancer. It has excellent antimicrobial, anti-amoebic and anthelmintic properties. It contains high amount of vitamin C and A along with potassium and folate. The raw papaya fruit is rich in the enzyme, papain which aids digestion and can help to fight acid reflux and ease irritable bowel syndrome. (4)
An excellent source of potassium along with other minerals and vitamins, bananas also contain immunity boosting carotenoids and provitamin A carotenoids, which help with vitamin A deficiencies. They contain phenolics that work to fight inflammation and have antithrombotic, antibacterial and antiallergenic properties. Banana pulp is also a good source of catecholamines which boost mood, and contain phytosterols which reduce blood cholesterol levels. Studies have shown that the high-carb and mineral content of bananas makes them a great source of fuel before exercise. (5)
Guavas contain a host of antioxidants. They are rich in lycopene, a carotenoid which has anti-tumour properties. Guava is a good source of vitamin C, fibre, folate, vitamin A, potassium, copper and manganese. The phenolic compounds present in guava skin aid digestion while the glycosides and carotenoids in the seeds have antimicrobial properties. Guava extracts have also been shown to boost vision and hepatic health, alleviate high blood pressure, and help combat pain and inflammation. The antioxidants in guava may protect cells from oxidative damage, indicating that they may help reduce the risk of chronic disease. (6)
Fruit Serving Suggestions
While it’s best to have your fresh fruits whole, there are many ways to make them more enticing. Make a fruit salad by mixing together some chopped watermelon, papayas and apples, and halved orange wedges. Serve with a dollop of fresh cream or a sprinkle of Tata Sampann Chaat Masala. Fresh fruit juice popsicles are sure to be a hit with kids.
You could even try freezing and blending your favourite fruits along with a bit of Tata Rock Salt and some yogurt to make a yummy smoothie.
Eat healthy, stay happy!
- Multifaceted Health Benefits of Mangifera indica L. (Mango): The Inestimable Value of Orchards Recently Planted in Sicilian Rural Areas [NCBI]
- Sapota a wonderful fruit from nature: A review [IJFSN]
- A study on nutritional and health importance of “Sapotas” [IJFSN]
- Nutritional and Medicinal Value of Papaya [Researchgate]
- Bioactive compounds in banana fruits and their health benefits [Oxford]
- A short review on a Nutritional Fruit : Guava [Researchgate]
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