Magical Health Benefits Of Fruits!Dr. Nitin Gupte
Fruits Are A Fountain Of Health, Eat them Amply!
Few people in India eat enough fruits, most do not eat them at all, even amongst those who can afford them! Few people realize that fruits are not only a treasure of nutrition giving you excellent health but they actually prevent or reverse numerous severe and chronic diseases. Thus very few people have fruits as an integral part of their daily food intake.
Bananas, mangoes, papaya, apples, pears, guavas, pomegranates, oranges, sweet limes, sapota or chikkoo, grapes, cherries and berries like blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, in fact all fruits are wonderfully nutritious.
All fruits and vegetables are rich in a variety of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants along with carbohydrates and some amino acids. They are also rich in dietary fibre.
They provide us with beta-carotene, a precursor of vitamin A, vitamin C, B vitamins, folate, vitamin E, minerals like iron, calcium, copper, magnesium, manganese and potassium.
They also provide us with a group of vital nutrients called antioxidants. These include phenolic flavonoids, lycopene, carotenoids and glucosinolates.
Vitamins and minerals are essential to every sphere of our health. They have a vital role to play in the health and functioning of every organ and component of our body, from the water content of our body to the blood and the blood pressure, from the skin to the hair, from the teeth to the bones, from the eyes to the the kidneys, from the brain to the nerves, from the muscles to the joints, from the heart to the lungs, from the liver to the stomach and the intestines, from the hormonal system to the reproductive system; nothing in your body can function normally without them.
Antioxidants are essential to neutralize the destructive effect of the free radicals that are formed in our body during oxidative processes. These free radicals are atoms or group of atoms that have odd or unpaired electrons. They attach themselves to healthy cells of different tissues and react with vital elements of the cells like the DNA or cell membrane. The cell dies or starts malfunctioning.
Our body has several enzyme systems to neutralize the destructive chain reaction unleashed by these free radicals. Vitamins C and E also are included in the list of antioxidants along with the above compounds.
The destruction triggered by these free radicals leads to many diseases like hypertension, raised cholesterol, diabetes, heart disease, strokes, many cancers, cataract, arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease and obstructive pulmonary disease.
Antioxidants help us prevent or fight these diseases. They also slow down ageing and boost our immune system.
Fruits are also a rich source of potassium. Potassium helps relax arterial walls, excretes sodium, thus helping lower blood pressure and preventing heart disease.
Thus adequate consumption of a variety of fruits and vegetables helps keep us healthy and prevent the above disease.
Fruits and vegetables are also rich in fibre. The insoluble fibre in fruits helps in keeping our bowel movement regular while the soluble fibre helps lower the bad low density cholesterol. It also helps stabilize blood sugar and decreases the need to keep snacking.
Digestive enzymes like papain, bromelain, esters and terpenes present in fruits like papaya, pineapple and mango help us digest our food better.
You must consume at least five servings of fruits and vegetables a day. Even more servings are beneficial.
All fruits turn alkaline in our system. To get the full health benefits of the goodness of fruits, they are best eaten on empty stomach. Eaten on empty stomach fruits are digested quickly, release easy to use burst of energy and all the nutrients and antioxidants get fully absorbed in our intestines and the fibre in the fruits facilitate easy bowel movement. Only when eaten like this will the fruits help you get a radiant glow, excellent skin and hair health and all the disease fighting abilities that fruits confer on us!
Many people complain of an irresistible desire to eat sweets after each meal, or any time they see sweets, which prevents them from losing weight. Such people can easily become obese and diabetic. Eating fruits daily also helps eliminate this irresistible desire to eat sweets, helping you lose weight easier and protects you against diabetes.
Never eat fruits after a snack or a meal. When eaten with other foods, the whole mass of food stays longer in stomach, ferments and turns acidic, destroying much of the health benefits of fruits. Fermentation causes gas formation and bloating, exactly contrary to what happens when fruits are eaten on empty stomach. Thus eating fruits during or after a meal or snack negates the health benefits of fruits, and in fact invites ill health!
If fruits are not a part of your food culture, include them now! Every one who has done it after consulting me, including those who were avowed fruit haters, will vouch for dramatic improvement in their sense of well being, improved digestion and bowel movement, freedom from the symptoms of hyperacidity and improved skin and complexion!
People who consume ample fruits and vegetables have a much lower risk of developing the above diseases than those who don’t.
People who are looking to lose weight also can easily eat ample fruits, without worrying about gaining weight. Replacing the rubbish, high fat, high sugar snacks from your food culture with fruits will immensely help you lose weight healthily!
We can get the widest possible range of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants by eating a variety of fruits and vegetables. So don’t limit yourself to a few fruits and vegetables, eat all fresh fruits and vegetables available. And choose them from the widest range of colours, to ensure that you get the widest range of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
Waxing of fruits:
Most of the foreign fruit manufacturers coat their produce with wax, to help preserve them longer and give them glossy look to attract buyers! Many fruits like apples, pears, oranges are waxed.
Most often the wax is said to be food source wax and the layer is thin.
But many expect that the wax is harmful to us and hence eat fruits like apples and pears only after peeling them.
Eating apples and pears without skin is a bad idea!
Apple skin contains nearly half the fibre in the apple, almost three fourth of its Vitamin K, fair bit of its potassium and Vitamins A and C!
It also includes an antioxidant that helps keep the heart healthy and prevents many cancers.
Soaking apples in warm water with baking soda or vinegar and lime juice and rinsing them thoroughly and scrubbing with a napkin can remove wax from the apple skin.
Fruits like oranges is no problem because we don’t consume the skin anyway.
Luckily Indian fruit producers mostly don’t wax their produce. So our best option is to buy Indian seasonal fruits and avoid imported fruits altogether.