In order to improve your body’s health and well-being, there is one easily available solution: eat more fruit.
ASESORA MARTHA LUCÍA CALERO QUINTERO. Dietician, affiliated with Coomeva Medicina Prepagada.
The World Health Organization’s (WHO) data are conclusive: eating enough fruits and vegetables could save up to 1.7 million lives a year. And there is another interesting piece of data: the insufficient consumption of these pro- ducts is one of the top ten mortality risk factors worldwide.
However, including them in your daily diet should not be an obligatory, boring task. The universe of fruit is vast, interes- ting and above all, delicious. And what’s best, eating fruit will bring great benefits to your organism.
The WHO recommends that you eat at least five pieces or portions (400 grams) or fruit and vegetables a day in order to redu- ce the risk of developing non-communica- ble diseases, and help ensure a sufficient intake of dietary fiber. Impossible? No, if what you want to achieve is an adequate balance in your daily nutrition.
Nutritionist Martha Lucía Calero Quintero affirms that fruit, due to their high fiber content, can improve your bowel transit and alleviate constipation. “They ferment and by doing so they pro- duce fatty acids that inhibit the growth and proliferation of carcinogenic cells in the intestine, thus preventing colon can- cer”, she explained.
VITAMINS AND COLORS
PROVITAMIN A, such as beta-carotene (antioxidant). It is found in yellow or orange fruit. They prevent stomach and lung cancer. With regard to fruit containing beta-carote- ne, people should avoid consuming them in excess; otherwise they may suffer from caro- tenemia, a yellow pigmentation of the skin. “It’s not that they get intoxicated, but their skin can turn a little yellow”.
VITAMIN C. One of its functions is to help increase the immunological factor, i.e. your immune system. It helps absorb calcium and iron. Its deficiency produces hair loss and loss of appetite, among other consequen- ces. Vitamin-C rich fruits include guava and
citruses. There are also substances that can be found in fruits, such as flavonoids, which are found in apples and grapes, that boost the action of vitamin C and strengthen your immune system.
VITAMIN E. Produces regenerative changes in the cells of some tissues, such as the mus- cles and heart. It also helps eliminate toxic substances and improves the health of your skin. Avocado is rich in this vitamin.
LYCOPENE AND RED FRUIT. Lycopene is a chemical substance that exists naturally and is responsible for the red coloring of fruits and vegetables. It helps prevent cardiac disease and has anti-cancer properties, especially protecting the lungs, the gastric system and the prostate. This category of fruits includes cherries, raspberries, strawberries and blackberries.
THEY NOURISH THE BODY
As a source of fiber, it is best to consume them raw, “au naturel”. However, smoo- thies and juices have become increasingly popular. According to our specialist, “these are ways you can consume them to get their vitamins, but we mustn’t forget the fiber, which helps slow down the digestion and absorption of fats and car- bohydrates, preventing the increase of glu- cose and cholesterol in your blood”.
Fruit are also important because of substances they contain which act as antioxidants, and help detoxify the body. Thus, they help us avoid “cell inflamma- tion, thereby preventing cancer, and neu- tralizing the action of free radicals, which are molecules that are produced as a result of cellular oxidation”.
In order to improve your fruit con- sumption, the WHO recommends, even in the case of vegetables, to eat them raw and as an appetizer. Find those that are fresh and in season, and try to eat a variety of them.
Is there an appropriate time to consu- me them? Specialist Calero Quintero says that there are lots of myths regarding this topic. “Fruit can be eaten at any time during the day. Obviously, if you are a patient who suffers from heartburn or hyperacidity, you should avoid eating citruses at night. It’s about finding balan- ce, always including fruit in your brea- kfast, or making sure you include fruits and vegetables in your lunch”.
Obviously, under specific medical cir- cumstances, it is advisable that you con- sult with an expert. From the cardiac pers- pective, the nutritionist claims that coco- nut has a high saturated fat content. With regard to diabetes, there are fruits that have a higher carbohydrate content than others. But what’s important is that you don’t exclude them completely from your diet, but rather that you find a proper balance for your body.
BANANA. One of its strengths is that it contributes to the balance of fluids and electrolytes. Therefore, it can have a high impact on our energy levels and contribute to improve our physi- cal performance. It is highly recommended for people who experience cramps, as potassium aids muscle contraction and nerve impulses.
GRAPES. Due to their high resveratrol content, they can boost the immune system. They protect blood vessels by preventing atherosclerosis and coronary events.
GUAVA. It has a high vitamin C content and both immune and healing powers that can help pre- vent cancer. Due to its high pectin content, it can have a beneficial effect on blood cholesterol levels, decreasing its absorption and generating a cardio-protective factor.
CITRIC FRUITS. To boost your natural defenses, eat citrus fruits, which are high in vitamin C. Lemon has an effective healing power and is considered the star of antioxidants.
APPLE. Much like guava, it contains substances that can potentiate vitamin C, acti- vating its anticancer and cardioprotective effects.
PAPAYA. It’s high in fiber. As it contains provitamin A, it helps counteract intracellular inflammation and the actions of free radicals.
WATERMELON AND CANTALOUPE. High water and vitamin A content. Cantaloupe melon also contains beta-carotene.
AVOCADO. Rich in vitamin E. Due to its components, it can help adequa- tely control cholesterol levels.
MANGO. Rich in beta-carotene.