What do fruits contribute to our health?
Nowadays, processed foods are everywhere and easily accessible. They can be found in supermarkets, fast food restaurants, vending machines and so on. But just because they are available to everyone does not mean that they are beneficial to health.
If we want to start taking care of ourselves, we should think that fresh foods are the best for a varied and healthy diet. In the area that concerns us, which in our case is fruit, we must say that there is no doubt that fresh, seasonal fruit is always the best dessert for any lunch or dinner. And not only for dessert, it’s also perfect for mid-morning snacks, for adding colour to salads, for not having add sugar to yoghurts or homemade pastries…
Is it true?
The myths surrounding fruit have grown over time to unsuspected limits. You can hear some myths such as: fruit is fattening because it has a lot of sugar, you shouldn’t eat fruit after meals because it is indigestible, if you eat it at night you get fatter, if you eat a lot of fruit it can cause diabetes… and a long list of nonsense. If we let ourselves get carried away by them, we can end up not eating fruit for no good reason, which will have a negative impact on our diet.
As Dr. Ruiz points out in her book Alimenta tu salud con comida real (2020), fruit is a food with multiple health benefits because it has many vitamins, minerals, fibre, etc. Moreover, as it has a large amount of water, it has almost no calories and the simple fact of having sugar does not make fruit bad; the sugar in fruit has a very different meaning, behaviour and effects to free sugar.
Good for all
The best thing about fruit is that we can eat it at any time of the day. Whenever we want, whenever we feel like it or when it suits us best. You can even eat fruit in the evening at your leisure. But it is also important to remember that fruit should not replace other foods and main meals as a rule. It’s fine if you just want to have fruit for dinner one day, but it should not be a habit.
Gil (2010) points out that the daily consumption of fruits is essential for a balanced, nutritious and sufficient diet, giving us a feeling of satiety without exceeding the adequate energy value for a proper diet. Fruits provide significant amounts of certain vitamins that have antioxidant properties that protect cells against oxidative stress. Vitamin C, present in most fruits, can increase the absorption of iron, an essential element for avoiding anaemia.
What do ours offer?
Summer Fruit specializes in the wholesale of fresh seasonal fruit, specifically eight types: cherry, apricot, nectarine, flat peach, peach, plum, fig and pomegranate.
In this post we would like to introduce you to some of our fruits from a nutritional point of view so that we can appreciate all their benefits to our wellbeing.
The first fruit of the season: cherries
The first fruit to appear is the cherry, which arrives around the beginning of May and usually last until the end of July.
Cherries are rich in carbohydrates, especially fructose, so their caloric value is moderate. Its components include fibre, which helps to improve intestinal transit, and vitamins A and C, which act as antioxidants in our organism.
In smaller quantities, it also contains potassium, which is necessary for the transmission and generation of nerve impulses and for normal muscle activity; magnesium, which is related to the proper functioning of the intestine, nerves and muscles, enhances immunity and has a mild laxative effect; iron, which helps transport the oxygen necessary for cellular metabolism; phosphorus, which helps mineralise bones and teeth and is part of all cells; and calcium, although in this case it is not absorbed in the same way as from dairy foods or other food that are a good source of calcium.
The yellow that follows: apricots
The next of our fruits to be presented is the apricot, which can be enjoyed from the end of May until the beginning of September.
If we compare its energy intake with the other fruits, we can see that the apricot has a low intake, due to its large amount of water and moderate carbohydrate content. It is like the cherry in terms or other nutrients, such as a vitamin A and C, potassium and magnesium.
It’s a vitamin A content, which as mentioned above has antioxidant action, also reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases, degenerative diseases and cancer. However, there also various substances in apricots that are used to treat skin conditions.
The arrival of the big boys: peach, nectarine and flat peach
The peach is the third fruit that arrives at our facilities and the one that lasts the longest. In this section, we include the three big ones: peach, nectarine and flat peach because they belong to the same family, although they have different aspects.
The peach starts to be harvested in June and we can enjoy it until the beginning of October. It is characterized by its intense aroma and sweet flavour. The peach has on the skin small hairs that protect it and has a soft and juicy inner texture. Its flesh can be yellow or white, and Summer Fruit can offer you both.
The nectarine is a variety of peach that due to evolution has lost its fuzzy skin to give way to a smooth and soft reddish skin. Like the peach, it has a sweet taste and a juicy texture. Its flesh, like the peach, can be yellow or white and in Summer Fruit, we offer both types. It can be enjoyed in the same period as the peach, from June to the beginning of October.
The flat peach is also a cousin of the peach, which due to evolution has changed its shape to flattened, although it has kept the outer hair, unlike the nectarine. Its flavour and texture are very similar to those of the peach. It has a slightly shorter harvest than the rest, since it ends in September, but it also starts in June.
These three fruits, being from the same family, have similar nutritional characteristics: they have a moderate nutritional value due to their large amount of water; they are rich in fibre and also contain potassium, magnesium and iodine. In terms of vitamins, vitamin A stand out.
Because of all these properties, this type of fruit is ideal for all types of people and, above all, for those who suffer from high blood pressure or heart and blood vessel disorders.
The recomendations of the experts
The WHO recommends the consumption of a minimum of five pieces of fruits and vegetables a day, something that few people in the world do, as we mentioned at the beginning of the post, because of processed foods, rich in fats, sugar and other components that are not so beneficial for our health.
At Summer Fruit we want to help you learn more about the properties of the fruits we sell and encourage you to eat them to lead a much healthier lifestyle. For this reason, today we have introduced you to some of the fruits arriving at the beginning of the season and, in the coming weeks, we will be commenting on the rest, so stay tuned to our publications.
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We will be delighted to read you!
- Alimenta tu salud con comida real – Dra. Miriam Ruiz – 2020.
- Tratado de nutrición tomo II – Composición y calidad nutritiva de los alimentos – Ángel Gil Hernandez. Editorial panamericana. 2010.