Eating fruit provides health benefits — people who eat more as part of an overall healthy diet are likely to have a reduced risk of some chronic diseases. Fruits provide nutrients vital for health and maintenance of your body.

Health benefits of fruits:
Most fruits are naturally low in calories, fat and sodium.
Fruits are sources of essential nutrients that many people don’t get enough of, including potassium, dietary fiber, vitamin C and folate.
Dietary fiber from fruits, as part of an overall diet, helps reduce blood cholesterol levels and may lower risk of heart disease. Fiber is important for bowel functions. Whole or cut-up fruits are a source of dietary fiber, fruit juices contain little or no fiber. But we can get their maximum benefits only if we eat them at the right time and in the right manner.

Here are some basic rules to follow while eating fruits.

Add two fruits a day
Add 2 whole fruits or 4-5 servings every day. Two fruits per day is linked with skin glow and reduces the risk of diabetes and insulin resistance. Fruit is a great snacking option or even a re-workout option. Add fruits like bananas as a pre-workout with a spoon of homemade peanut butter. With breakfast, I have seasonal fruits such as apples and pear. A glass of pineapple, watermelon or orange juice will help you with hydration.

How much do I need?
The amount of fruit you need to eat depends on your age, sex, height, weight, and level of physical activity. For women, the amount can also depend on whether you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Portion control
Fruits are easy to overeat but controlling the portion size is important. Fruits contain fructose, a type of carbohydrate which when taken in excess can lead to weight gain and increased blood sugar levels. Stick to 2 fruits a day.

/100gm Calories/100gm Protein/ 100gm Carbohydrate/100gm Fats/100gm Portion Siz
Apple 62 0.29 13.1 0.64 150gm

Avocado 143 2.95 10.9 13.8 200gm (Half)
Banana 110 1.25 24 0.3 70gm (Medium
Mango 41 0.54 8.1 0.55 130gm (Medium)
Pineapple 180 0.52 9.4 0.16 40gm
(2 pieces)
Papaya 23 0.4 4.61 0.16 300gm
(1 medium plate)

How to calculate:
Above values are given in 100gm.
1 medium apple is 150gm, hence it will give 93 Calories, 0.4g protein, 19.5g carbohydrates and 0.96g fats.

Fruits juices can be part of diet
Fruit juices are a great way to add multiple fruits in your diet. Prefer homemade juices with fiber intact rather than packed one. Don’t store the juice. Drink the minute it is made.

Any fruit or 100% fruit juice counts as part of the Fruit Group. Fruits may be fresh, canned, frozen, or dried, and may be whole, cut-up, pureed, or cooked. At least half of the recommended amount of fruit should come from whole fruit, rather than 100% fruit juice.

Seasonal and grown in your country
Choose seasonal and the fruits grown in your area rather than exported. Seasonal fruits are rich in nutrients and budget friendly. Exported fruits are expensive and preserved for days. Few monsoon seasonal fruits: Pear, jamun, blueberry and pomegranate.

If you are looking for weight loss or sugar control, the best time to eat fruits is till lunch. In Evening or at dinner if you want to add fruits then have a bowl of papaya.

Fruits with milk
With trends of smoothies, there is a constant debate whether to mix fruits with milk or not. Fruits can be taken with milk, but avoid mixing them if you have any health conditions like diabetes, PCOS or even a minor health condition. Choose almond milk in your smoothies and shakes instead of dairy milk.

Mix with protein source
Add protein with fruits, if you are worried about the sugar content of fruits or limiting your carbohydrate intake due to health conditions like diabetes, obesity or PCOS.

Fruits + Coconut meat
Fruits + sprouts
Fruits + Paneer

– By Lakshita Jain, Certified Clinical Dietician, Lecturer, Diabetes Educator, Meat Technologist, and Founder of NUTR