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Nutrition

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Health Benefits of Fruit

Health Benefits of FruitFruit has been recognized as a good source of vitamins and minerals, and for their role in preventing vitamin C and vitamin A deficiencies. People who eat fruit as part of an overall healthy diet generally have a reduced risk of chronic diseases. USDA's MyPlate encourages making half your plate fruits and vegetables for healthy eating.

Fruit are important sources of many nutrients, including potassium, fiber, vitamin C and folate (folic acid). Try incorporating blueberries,citrus fruitcranberries or strawberries which contain phytochemicals that are being studied for added health benefits. 

Eating Fruit Provides Health Benefits

The nutrients in fruit are vital for health and maintenance of your body. The potassium in fruit can reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke. Potassium may also reduce the risk of developing kidney stones and help to decrease bone loss as you age.

Folate (folic acid) helps the body form red blood cells. Women of childbearing age who may become pregnant and those in the first trimester of pregnancy need adequate folate. Folate helps prevent neural tube birth defects, such as spina bifida.

More Health Benefits of Fruit:

  • Eating a diet rich in fruit may reduce risk for stroke, other cardiovascular diseases and type-2 diabetes.
  • A fruit containing eating pattern is part of an overall healthy diet and may protect against certain cancers.
  • Fruit helps maintain optimum health due to the health promoting phytochemicals it contains – many of which are still being identified.
  • One to 2-1/2 cups of fruit are recommended each day, depending on how many calories you need. To find out how much fruit you need, try the Healthy Eating Planner.

References:

1. U.S. Department of Agriculture. ChooseMyPlate.gov Website. Washington DC. Why is it Important to Eat Fruit? http://www.choosemyplate.gov/food-groups/fruits-why.html. Accessed March 8, 2015. 

2. Benzie IF, Choi SW. Antioxidants in food: content, measurement, significance, action, cautions, caveats, and research needs. Adv Food Nutr Res. 2014;71:1-5

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