When was the last time you consumed a fruit? Yes you, I am talking to you. Reason I am actually asking is because it has been recommended since time memorial for one to always make sure they eat or have a fruit in their diet at least once each day. Borrowing from the Welsh saying; “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” is a common proverb that literally suggests that Eating healthy foods will keep one from getting sick (and needing to see a doctor) more often than not. The variant proverb borrows its origin from the, “Eat an apple on going to bed, and you’ll keep the doctor from earning his bread” wording which was recorded as a Pembrokeshire saying in 1866; before being modified to the now modern current phrase; whose usage started at the end of the 19th century; as early as 1887. So, the actual question would be in the relevance of this assumption. Like; does an apple a day really keep the doctor away?
Well, whereas there may be no validity to the proverb that apple consumption reduces illnesses; we would however agree that consuming an apple a day does have significant health benefit(s)- and according to a 2015 study, it was found that the daily apple eaters in the study were more likely to successfully avoid prescription and medication use than people who did not eat apples.
The belief in apple health benefits seem rather to be beyond repute. One would ask; Is apple juice as good for you as a whole apple? Nutritionists strongly suggest you eat the whole apple. Juice does not have the fiber a whole apple does, and a good part of the beneficial nutrients are in the skin. Apple juice is not equal to a real apple. And besides apples as themselves are an easy go-to snack; since about 85% of an apple’s making is composed of water by weight; meaning they can help fill you up without a lot of calories.
However, we shouldn’t limit the discussion to just apples. The saying goes for all Fruits out there. They all have as many health benefits as can be and these can in summary include helping prevent complications like heart stroke, high blood pressure, heart disorders, and diabetes. They effectively fight skin disorders and promote healthy hair growth. It is always suggested to eat fresh and ripe fruits to get the maximum benefits from them. In detail; we would say:
Eating fruits regularly benefits your body as they are natural sources of vitamins and minerals, which are essential for the proper functioning of the body.
Being rich in dietary fiber, fruits help improve the functioning of the digestive tract, thereby reducing the chances of constipation and diverticulosis. The skin of some fruits is also rich in dietary fiber, which is a major contributing factor in proper digestion and the excretion process of your body, while simultaneously keeping you safe from related problems like gastritis.
Fruit and vegetables are a good source of vitamins and minerals, including folate, vitamin C and potassium which are an excellent source of dietary fibre, which can help to maintain a healthy gut and prevent constipation and other digestion problems. A diet high in fibre can also reduce your risk of bowel cancer. That potassium is also important to keep your blood pressure regulated.
Eating fruits and vegetables may promote emotional well-being among healthy young adults. Research suggests that good mood may lead to a greater preference for healthy foods overindulgent foods.
Bone Health. Fruits like grapefruit and orange are rich in calcium and vitamin K, both of which aid in maintaining healthy bones and also help improve the bone mineral density.
Prevent Diseases. The combination of powerful antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, phytochemicals, and the countless micro and macronutrients make fruits very advantageous for your health. The daily consumption of fresh fruits lowers the risk of strokes, high blood pressure, indigestion, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic diseases. Some fruits like bananas contain vital chemicals such as potassium, which helps prevent strokes, high blood pressure, and anxiety. Fruit consumption basically eliminates vitamin and mineral deficiencies and their associated symptoms. Fruits also have high quantities of water and fiber in them, which helps keep your digestive tract clean and your weight under control.
Fruits are composed of 90-95% water, having a powerful diuretic effect on your body, thereby flushing out the nitrogenous wastes and unwanted toxins from the body.
Healthy Hair. Just as fruits enhance the radiance of your skin, they also contribute greatly to long and healthy hair. Vitamin A brings luster to your hair and also softens its texture. If you have fruits on an empty stomach, it will prevent hair loss and premature graying. Citrus fruits are excellent hair stimulants. The vitamin C content in citrus fruits prevents hair loss and keeps your hair shiny and healthy. Fruits like pineapples are also known for aiding hair growth. Fruits even ensure healthy hair growth and keep your locks lustrous and soft. You can also make a paste of lemon juice and aloe vera and apply it to your hair. Keep the paste on for approximately 45 minutes and then thoroughly wash your hair with mild shampoo. These packs not only improve hair quality but also eliminate scalp disorders like dandruff and itching. Avocado has an impressive amount of vitamin E, which is widely known to be very good for hair. Avocado hair masks strengthen hair and delay premature graying of your hair. Coconuts are also very good for healthy hair growth.
Weight Loss. Once you start including a significant amount of fruits in your diet, you will begin to see that your weight is being controlled and your health is improving as there are many health problems that are associated with being overweight; to manage weight and improve overall health, doctors recommend a diet rich in fibre. Foods high in fibre — like apples; — will fill you up without costing you too many calories. However, fruits alone cannot reduce your weight. You also need to exercise regularly.
Detoxify your liver. Your liver is responsible for clearing these toxins out of your body. Many doctors are skeptical of fad detox diets, saying they have the potential to do more harm than good. Luckily, one of the best – and easiest – things you can eat to help detoxify your liver is fruits, like apples.
We should however not limit our fruit consumption to just Apples; there are other healthful fruits that could even serve a similar or related purpose and like earlier mentioned; the “apple” a day is just an expression to mean any other fruit/ vegetable. Let us shift our focus to other alternatives within that bracket; and this could include: Lemons, Strawberries, Oranges, Limes, Grapes, watermelons, Pineapple, Bananas, and Avocado. Asides being an excellent source of essential vitamins and minerals, and being high in fiber, and providing a wide range of healthy boosting antioxidants; each has its individual benefit that comes with consuming it as we shall see as we go over some of them. To start with:
Lemons. Lemons contain vitamin C and other antioxidants that benefit health. Lemons are a citrus fruit that contain vitamin C and other antioxidants; of which are essential for enhancing human health.
Oranges. Oranges are a sweet, round citrus fruit packed with vitamins and minerals. Oranges are among the richest sources of vitamin C, with one medium fruit providing 117 percent vitamin content; which acts as a powerful antioxidant in the body. This vitamin is also essential for immune system function. It boosts immune function by helping the body to absorb iron from plant-based foods.
The human body cannot make vitamin C itself, so people need to get this vitamin from their diet. Oranges also contain high levels of pectin, which is a fiber that can keep the colon healthy by binding to chemicals that can cause cancer and removing them from the colon. Oranges also provide vitamins A; a compound that is important for healthy skin and eyesight and Vitamin B, including thiamin and folate, which help keep the nervous and reproductive systems healthy and help create red blood cells.
Pineapple. Pineapple is an exotic fruit that may help reduce inflammation and promote healthy tissue growth. Pineapples too have potential health benefits like helping with reducing nasal inflammation, bone and tissue building.
Bananas. Bananas are super rich in potassium, which helps the body control heart rate and blood pressure. Bananas are well known for their high potassium content. A medium banana contains 422 mg of the adequate adult intake of 4,500 mg of potassium. Potassium helps the body control heart rate and blood pressure. Bananas are also a good source of energy, with one banana containing 105 calories and 26.95 g of carbohydrate. The 3.1 g of fiber in a regular banana can also help with regular bowel movements and stomach issues, such as ulcers and colitis.
As you consume fruit; here’s some important notes to bare in my mind:
Always endeavor to consume your fruits such as mangoes, peers, and apples with their peeling on them (cover). This is because of the beneficial nutrients they contain such as fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Whenever possible, people should consume the edible peels of fruits including apples, pears, and mangoes to take full advantage of all of the nutrients the whole fruit offers. Peeling them will only lower the fiber and overall nutrient content of the fruit. In fact, research has shown that although both the flesh and the peel are highly nutritious, the peel contains certain flavonoid antioxidants that the flesh does not. So, to get the most out of any fruit, eat the peel too. However, be sure to properly wash them before consumption; to reduce the chances of ingesting contaminants such as pesticides.
The maximum nutritional value in fruits are derived when eaten raw. Cooked or preserved fruits usually lose some of their important nutrients due to high heat and extended shelf life, respectively. Thus, fresh fruits are the most advantageous for your diet.
Never eat fruits along with your main meal; this can result in severe acidity and digestive problem because fruits are usually mildly acidic in nature. Always eat fruits before or after your meals, leaving an hour or two of separation.
It is always recommended to eat fruit on an empty stomach, or at least after a relatively light meal. Fruits on an empty stomach help to delay graying of hair, nervous outbursts, dark circles under the eyes, and balding.
Never drink water immediately after having fruits as it can result in high acidity.
Fruits should be eaten in the morning, as this helps in detoxification and also aids in weight loss. Although these benefits can be gained by eating fruits at any time during the day, morning is said to be the ideal time for them to have their greatest effect.
Otherwise remember to hydrate, eat wise, and have that “apple” (fruit) a day and keep the doc away.