These top 10 reasons why you need to eat fruit will definitely inspire you to run to the supermarket asap! The health benefits of fruit are just truly amazing. Babies, kids, and adults should make it a habit to add more to their daily diet! Read on to learn more!
This Is Why You Need To Eat Fruit
Fresh fruits are a great option for breakfast, snacks, or dessert. Most fruits are sweet and ready for you to eat without cooking or preparing a recipe. Take an apple, a peach, or a banana, and just enjoy. Remember to always have fresh fruit available at home. If you have good choices available, you will make good choices.
Children are now eating highly processed snacks that are nutritionally poor and a threat to their future health. These products are loaded with artificial colors, flavors, and refined sugars and are super high in calories. Kids are eating more refined sugars than ever before. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s statistics are alarming. By 2050, 1 in 3 people will have diabetes. You can improve and change that by switching many of these unhealthy snack options for fruit and homemade recipes.
Eating more fresh fruit will help you stay away from processed food. Fruit comes from nature, not a factory. The closer to nature, the better for your health. Fruits are naturally low in fat, and calories, and have key nutrients that your child needs to grow. Fruit helps protect you from illnesses. If all of that isn’t enough to convince you, keep reading for the top 10 health benefits of eating it every day.
Top 10 Reasons Why You Need To Eat Fruit
While there are dozens- if not hundreds- of reasons why you need to eat fruit, these are definitely the top ten in my opinion.
1. Eating lots of fruit lowers the risk of developing disease
Eating fruit every day lowers the risk of so many diseases, it’s hard to list them all! For starters, a 2003 study found that eating fruit (and veggies) lowers your risk of developing heart disease. Since heart disease is the #1 killer in the US, that’s definitely a major benefit that helps us all.
In 2003, the Harvard School of Public Health also found that eating whole fruits may help lower the risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes. Fruit can also help control your blood pressure, reduce your risk of developing certain cancers, and so much more. Some smaller preliminary studies found that it may even help prevent certain eye diseases and stave off dementia.
If you don’t really want to read dozens of different research papers (I’m aware that not everyone finds this as entertaining as I do), you could just check out this “review” study instead. Researchers examined the results of multiple different fruit health studies and found enough evidence to conclude that eating plenty of fruits really does lead to a lower risk of chronic disease.
The bottom line, eat more fruit and you just may live a longer and healthier life!
2. Snacking on fruit makes you strong
As part of an overall healthy diet, fruit can really help make your bones and muscles stronger. A 2011 Florida State University study found that eating dried plums, in particular, can help prevent osteoporosis. Other fruits for healthy bones include avocados, cranberries, and tomatoes.
You’ll also want to snack on fruits rich in magnesium, as the mineral helps your body absorb calcium. These include bananas, most berries (black, blue, and strawberries), figs, grapefruit, and even watermelon.
As far as muscles go, a 2020 study done by the University of East Anglia found that vitamin C can help you retain muscle mass. I don’t think I have to remind you that fruits are just loaded with C!
Need more proof that snacking on fruit is good for your bones and muscles? A 2012 study done by Sun Yat-sen University found that higher fruit intake was associated with greater bone mass in Chinese women of different ages. The study concluded that consuming fruit regularly may help to maintain bone health.
Here’s another one: A 2019 study (or rather, a review of multiple studies) found that a higher intake of fruit and vegetables was associated with greater muscle strength and power in both young and elderly people. The results suggest that eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables could help to maintain muscle function and prevent age-related muscle loss.
3. Water content in fruit helps keep you hydrated
Certain fruits are super high in water content, which helps keep your whole body hydrated. While straight and plain water is always best, eating more fruit can help you reach your daily requirement, especially if you’re just not a fan of the plain stuff.
Watermelon is the obvious choice, as its name implies. Did you know that strawberries also have about 92% water content, though? Grapefruit and cantaloupe are also made up of about 90% water. Even apples are a good option, with about 86% water.
4. All fruit has antioxidants that combat free radicals
If you don’t know, free radicals are nasty little unstable atoms that make us age faster, damage our healthy cells, and even cause cancer. Antioxidants are substances that help fight them off. While all fruits have them to some degree, ripe fruits are especially loaded with antioxidants, according to this study.
5. Fruit is high in fiber, which helps keep you fit and healthy
One of the greatest benefits of fruit is all the healthy fiber in them. According to the USDA, it helps reduce blood cholesterol levels. That, in turn, goes back to the first point- it lowers your risk of heart disease. Fiber is also super important for healthy bowels. It helps keep you “regular,” which can prevent issues like constipation, hemorrhoids, and diverticulosis.
Foods high in fiber and low in calories can also help you lose weight (or keep it off) because they make you feel full longer. They also control your blood sugar, which again, helps you eat less junk throughout the day.
6. Fruit is nutrient-dense, and provides our bodies with vitamins and minerals
Our bodies need so many different vitamins and minerals to stay healthy and keep going. Some of those nutrients, like calcium and potassium, are absolutely vital to our survival. For example, our hearts need both sodium and potassium to keep pumping. Fruits like avocados, figs, peaches, and kiwi are loaded with potassium.
Pretty much the entire alphabet of vitamins can be found throughout various fruits. The same goes for minerals. That’s great news, considering people all over the US have at least one vitamin deficiency. According to the World Health Organization, iron is the number one mineral that we’re lacking. Citrus fruits are a great source of that mineral.
7. Fruit makes you glow!
Okay, so not in the “glow in the dark” sense. Boy, that would be freaky, wouldn’t it? By “glow,” I mean it helps make your skin look positively glorious. Remember those free radicals we just talked about a minute ago? Well, they play a major role in making us age less gracefully. The antioxidants in fruit help combat that, while the water content hydrates our skin from the inside out.
Beyond that, though, fruits with healthy fats, like avocados, can actually help prevent sun damage. Of course, you still need to wear sunscreen, but it’s always nice to have a little extra backup when it comes to fighting UV rays. Fruits rich in vitamin C are also great for your skin, as they help your body produce more collagen.
8. Fruit boosts brainpower
While all fruits are great brain boosters, a 2012 study found that berries are particularly beneficial. According to the researchers, “Strong scientific evidence exists that eating blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, and other berry fruits has beneficial effects on the brain and may help prevent age-related memory loss and other changes, scientists report.” I don’t know about you, but I could use all the help I can get in the memory department!
9. Fruit makes you feel energized
As mentioned earlier, fruit helps stabilize your blood sugar. When your blood sugar crashes, it takes your energy along with it. In other words, too little sugar can make you feel positively exhausted, which makes sense since every cell in our body uses it for energy. While processed sugars found in junk food do far more harm than good, a little bit of it combined with the other nutrients found in low-sugar fruit is a good energy booster.
So, when you start to feel that midday slump hit, grab a piece of fruit! Just stick with low-sugar options, like avocado, guavas, raspberries, papayas, cantaloupes and strawberries.
10. Fruit keeps your digestive system happy
Everything from the fiber and water content to the antioxidants combines to help keep your entire digestive system healthier and happier. If you want a really super digestion-support fruit, though, grab papaya. It contains papain, a fantastic little enzyme that helps break down certain types of food. Bonus, papayas also help slow the growth of some cancer cells.
Pineapple is another good one, thanks to the bromelain in it. Like papain, bromelain helps you digest certain types of food. It also reduces inflammation. Other great options include apples, bananas and strawberries.
Here is a picture of my son having a fruit salad for breakfast. There is nothing better than starting the day with fresh fruit straight from nature. Kiwi, mango and strawberries. Yummy!
Offer variety and please don’t give up if your child is picky with certain fruits. It takes time to accept a new flavor. My son did not like kiwi until the 10th or 11th time I offered it to him. It is now one of his favorite fruits. This fun Monsters Inc fruit tart is a great way to introduce kiwi to your kids!
Eating more fruit yourself will make you a good role model for your kids. I am now eating more fruit than ever before because I want to teach my kids healthy eating habits. You will have more credibility when you tell them to eat an apple instead of a cookie if you have an apple in your hand.
Remember children are great imitators. My kids both love fruit and I make sure they have 1-2 servings per day. Start early when they are babies and create healthy eating habits.
BONUS: Did you know that eating plenty of fresh fruit might also boost your child’s performance in school?
A 2008 study published in the “Journal of School Health” notes that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables results in higher test scores. A healthy diet that includes fruit can also increase your child’s focus in the classroom so he is able to learn new information, as well as retain what he’s learned. That’s really amazing!
Which Fruit is the Healthiest?
Now that we know all of the wonderful benefits of eating fruit, let’s talk about some of the best types to keep on hand. I’ll alphabetize them for you, rather than put them in any sort of ranking order. After all, one person’s “healthiest fruit” may be another person’s unhealthiest, depending on dietary needs and any preexisting medical conditions.
- Apples: There’s a reason why they say ,”An apple a day keeps the doctor away!” Rich in fiber, Vitamin C, and flavonoids, apples not only keep your gut healthier, but they can also lower your risk of heart disease, some cancers, and stroke.
- Avocado: This versatile fruit is rich in healthy fats that help keep your cholesterol in check. While it’s not exactly a low-cal fruit, studies show that it can actually help you lose weight because it makes you feel fuller after eating.
- Bananas: While this sweet fruit often makes its way onto many “unhealthiest fruits” lists due to its higher sugar content, it’s actually quite beneficial in moderation. It’s a good source of potassium, which is vital for everything from healthy muscles to proper heart function.
- Blueberries: One of my favorite healthy snack fruits, blueberries are an excellent source of antioxidants. The anthocyanins that give them their blue color can also help prevent Type 2 Diabetes.
- Dragon Fruit: This unique fruit isn’t just among the prettiest, it’s also one of the healthiest! Dragonfruit is a rich source of iron, fiber, Vitamins A & E, and carotenoids. Carotenoids- like beta carotin- can help stave off certain types of cancer.
- Grapes: Grapes are rich in potassium and vitamin K, both of which your heart needs to function properly. The antioxidants and other compounds found in grapes can also help prevent certain types of cancer. Plus, they’re so easy to take on the go, making them one of the best healthy fruit snacks!
- Mango: There’s a reason mangos are called the “king of fruits.” They’re loaded with everything from potassium and fiber to multiple vitamins (A, B6, C, E, and K). Some studies show that they can even help prevent Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
- Oranges: I’m sure you already know that oranges are a major source of vitamin C. Did you know, though, that when eaten whole (versus as a juice) they’re also rich in fiber? Oranges also pack a powerful punch when it comes to potassium, folate, and B1.
- Pineapple: A serving of this tropical fruit not only contains 88% of your daily Vitamin C requirement but also 73% of your manganese needs. The bromelain enzyme in pineapple can also help aid digestion.
- Watermelon: Eating watermelon during the summer isn’t just a tasty way to stay hydrated! It can also reduce your risk of sunburn, according to Healthline (but make sure you still wear sunscreen)! This tasty fruit is also a great source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Eating fruit provides many health benefits and people who eat more fruits are likely to have a reduced risk of some chronic diseases and cancer. Now that I eat more fruit I can see my skin glowing, I have more energy, and I feel better. Fruits provide nutrients that are vital for the health and maintenance of your body.
10 Delicious Ways to Eat More Fruit
Snacking on fruit is already about as easy as it gets. I mean, aside from maybe peeling or slicing, they’re pretty much just “grab and go” goodness! But if you want a bit more variety, here are a few yummy ideas to try:
- Fruit salad: Check out my Perfect Rainbow Summer Fruit Salad recipe for an idea your whole family will love.
- Smoothie: Try my tropical mango smoothie or my coconut water breakfast smoothie to help you start your day off on the right foot.
- Fruit skewers: Cut your favorite fruits into bite-sized pieces and thread them onto skewers for a fun and tasty snack.
- Fruit ice pops: Forget the sugary store-bought popsicles. Just make your own with your favorite fruits and fresh-squeezed juices.
- Fruit salsa: Chop up some fruit (anything goes) and mix it with lime juice, honey, and maybe some chopped herbs for a delicious and healthy dip.
- Fruit and yogurt parfait: Layer your favorite fruits with some yogurt and granola for a delicious and healthy breakfast or snack.
- Grilled fruit: Throw peaches, pineapple, or pretty much any other fruit on the grill for a few minutes on each side. It’s SOOO good!
- Apples and nut butter: Just spread some wholesome, healthy nut butter onto slices of apples and enjoy. You can also try it with other fruits.
- Fruit and cheese plate: Pair your favorite fruits with some really good cheese.
- Fruit chips: Slice your favorite fruits thinly and bake them in the oven until crispy for a healthy crunchy snack.
If you want more ideas for other healthy fruit options, please see my Fruit Pops ideas or an easy-to-make Homemade Healthy Gummies recipe. You can make your own healthy gummies and turn an unhealthy snack into a nutritious and perfect treat.
I also recommend checking out my tips on how to ripen all of your favorite fruits faster, so you don’t have to wait to enjoy these health benefits!
Remember that you are in charge of buying the groceries and your kids will eat what’s available in your kitchen. Always have fruits available for healthy snacks. If you have another great way to eat fruit more often, please share it with me. I am always looking for new creative and healthy fun fruit recipes.