- A diet rich in fruits and vegetables may reduce risk of stroke and perhaps other cardiovascular diseases.
- A diet rich in fruits and vegetables may reduce risk for type 2 diabetes.
- A diet rich in fruits and vegetables may protect against certain cancers, such as mouth, stomach, and colon-rectum cancer.
- Eating fruits that are low in calories per cup instead of some other higher-calorie food may be useful in helping to lower calorie intake.
- Most fruits are naturally low in fat, sodium, and calories. None have cholesterol.
- Fruits are important sources of many nutrients, including potassium, dietary fiber, vitamin C, and folate (folic acid).
- Diets rich in potassium may help to maintain healthy blood pressure. Fruit sources of potassium include bananas, prunes and prune juice, dried peaches and apricots, cantaloupe, honeydew melon, and orange juice.
- Eating fruits and vegetables rich in potassium may reduce the risk of developing kidney stones and may help to decrease bone loss.
- Dietary fiber from fruits, as part of an overall healthy diet, helps reduce blood cholesterol levels. Fiber is important for proper bowel function. It helps reduce constipation and diverticulosis. Fiber-containing foods such as fruits help provide a feeling of fullness with fewer calories. Whole or cut-up fruits are sources of dietary fiber; fruit juices contain little or no fiber.
- Vitamin C is important for growth and repair of all body tissues, helps heal cuts and wounds, and keeps teeth and gums healthy.
- Folate (folic acid) helps the body form red blood cells. Women in their first trimester of pregnancy should consume adequate folate to reduce the risk of complications during during fetal development.
(As reported on MyPyramid.org of the USDA)
[Photo taken today during strawberry-picking at Lychee Valley in Hong Kong]