Paul Gauguin (1848-1903) - Still Life With Fruit And Peppers
Fruits have lots of surprises to offer to our lives. Beyond the beneficial contributions of minerals, vitamins and fibres related to the consumption of fruits, recent studies revealed other less known but equally important wonders. Fruits are extraordinary sources of phytochemicals, molecules that have the capacity to interfere with processes associated with cancers development.
Carotenoids are naturally occurring pigments, usually orange, yellow and red. Present in significant concentrations in all fruits, they have an antioxidant effect protecting skin from aging of cells. They help to maintain a healthier and younger appearance while being associated with reduced risk of several chronic health disorders such as eye degeneration, heart diseases and cancers.
Fructose or fruit sugar is a complex sugar which has a regulating role in glycemia when it hits the bloodstream. It also participates to better control sensations of hunger.
Fruits’ most virtuous health advantage lie in their natural anti-inflammatory power. As alkalinizing nutritious substances, they tend to reduce the acidifying effect of physical activities and most other types of food on the body. They contribute in that way to decrease inflammation and tendinitis soaring our body.
Fruits are filled with water and regulate satiety: most of them can contain more than 80% of water. Pineapples contain on average 87% of water by weight while watermelons or strawberries usually reach 92% of water content. Their refreshing and moisturizing function is essential for a good balance in the body. After a good workout, nothing better then fruits to get hydrated and refreshed.
Thanks to their constitutive phytochemicals, fruits display numerous therapeutic properties that are similar to those of synthetic drugs. However and contrary to synthetic drugs - which toxicity limits their use in preventive medicine, evolution selected the anti-cancer molecules present in fruits as being beneficial for health and without any secondary effects. In a word, they act as a preventive medicine without any side effects!
Other interesting components of fruits are fibres, also known as roughage. They are not broken down by metabolism and go through the digestive system unprocessed. Among other fruits, citrus, pears, apples and berries contain soluble fibres helping transit. Fibres maintain our digestive system healthy and clean by easing bowel movements and flushing away toxins and cholesterol.
Recent studies also point out the protective effect of fruits in the prevention of diabetes, certain types of cancer and infections. Regular fruit eaters have up to twice less probability to develop cancers as well as significantly lower risk of stroke, heart disease or premature death.
Last but not least, fruits become real allies when it comes to avoid gaining weight. Low in calories, they are the perfect substitute to industrial sweets and easily transform into a healthy snack when you are hungry. Medical data reveals that people with a diet rich in fruits tend to get leaner, stay leaner and have better health than those who do not.
Claude Monet (1840-1926), Peaches
International Carotenoid Society, "About carotenoids" - 2017 ;
Richard Beliveau, "Cancer prevention - Fruits and Vegetables: A Source of Anti-Cancer Agents" - 2017
American Institute for Cancer prevention, "Recommendations for Cancer Prevention" - 2017
Precision nutrition website, "All about fructose", Ryan Andrews - 2017
World Health Organization, "Joint FAO/WHO Workshop on fruits and vegetables for health" - 2004 ;
Hulme, A.C, "The Biochemistry of Fruits and their Products". London & New York: Academic Press. - 1970