3 Reasons Why We Should Be Eating More Fruit

We grow a lot of our own fruit in our urban garden. I recently gave an interview on the benefits of eating more fruit. I can sum my thoughts up in 3 points.

  1. Fruits are full of goodness: They are chock full of vitamins (A, B, C, E, to name a few) and minerals (potassium, iron, manganese, and more), which are essential to life. They are rich in fiber, which is the crucial component of the diet that feeds our microbiome and what more than 95% of Americans don’t get enough of. They have many antioxidants and phytonutrients that help deal with chronic inflammation and decrease our risk of baddies like cancer (more of that below). And they are a source of nature-filtered water to keep us hydrated on these hot days. Oh, yeah, they also taste amazing and are great to eat for every meal of the day: before a meal (which actually leads to fewer calories consumed during the meal), incorporated into the meal like the fruit on my oatmeal above, or just as a simple dessert.
  2. Fruits prevent and help treat chronic illness: With all the goodness stuffed inside them mentioned in #1, you won’t be surprised to see that they help prevent and treat cardiovascular disease, which happens to be the number one killer of Americans and in most other countries. Eating fruit also helps people struggling to lose weight, as they are a naturally low calorie food (and a plant based diet has been shown to increase our after-meal calorie burn, a.k.a. post-meal metabolism). The American Institute For Cancer Research says that fruit is an essential part of a diet that aims to prevent cancer (and who doesn’t want to prevent cancer??). One example of this is that a diet high in fruit (and veggies) decreases risk for breast cancer recurrence and dying from breast cancer. When we eat more fruits, mood disorders and dementia risk decrease, and sleep and longevity increase. But what about all the sugar in fruit and those living with diabetes? Current scientific recommendations show that fruit intake should not be limited for people living with diabetes. A recent study of half a million people showed that the more fruit you eat, the less risk you have for being diagnosed with diabetes in the first place. The same study also showed that in those already diagnosed with diabetes, eating more fruit decreased risk for complications like kidney disease and death during the study! https://journals.plos.org/plosmedicine/article?id=10.1371/journal.pmed.1002279
  3. Eating fruit is good for the planet: Many of us are worried about what is happening with climate change and feel that we can’t do much to change its course. It turns out that one of the most powerful things we can do as individuals, 3 times a day, is to choose foods that are easy on the planet. Eating a whole food plant based diet, which is rich in fruits, veggies, whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds, herbs and spices, and mushrooms not only heals us but also helps heal the planet by reducing the amount of water, land, and fossil fuel use, and decreasing the amount of air, water, and ground pollution.

Amazingly, 80% of the US population doesn’t get the minimal USDA recommended 2 cups of fruit a day (the American Heart Association actually recommends 4-5 cups a day). I think it’s time for a change. With all the pro’s mentioned above, let’s spread the word on the benefits of this wonderful group of foods.

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