Feel Good About Fruit

Fruit has been recognized as a good source of vitamins and minerals, and people who eat fruit (and vegetables) as part of an overall healthy diet generally have a reduced risk of chronic diseases. Fruits are important sources of many nutrients. We asked our resident registered dietitian, Sarah Downs, to answer some questions about fruit.

What makes a fruit a fruit and not a vegetable?

Sarah Downs, RD: “A fruit is the part of the plant that develops from a flower and is also a section of the plant that contains the seeds.”

Why is it important to eat fruit?

Sarah Downs, RD: “Eating a diet rich in fruit may reduce risk for stroke, other cardiovascular diseases and type 2 diabetes. Most fruits are naturally low in fat, sodium and calories. Fruits are also sources of many essential nutrients that are under-consumed, including potassium, dietary fiber, vitamin C and folate.

Fruits help maintain optimum health due to the health-promoting phytochemicals it contains — many of which are still being identified. One to 2 1/2 cups of fruit are recommended each day, depending on how many calories you need.”

What type of canned fruit should I buy?

Sarah Downs, RD: “Canned fruits are a great option, but it’s important to choose those canned in water or 100 percent juice. And don’t forget that frozen fruits are a great option as well!”

How do I clean fresh fruit?

Sarah Downs, RD: “Under clean, running water, rub fruits briskly with your hand to remove dirt and surface microorganisms. Dry with a clean towel or a paper towel after rinsing. Here’s a post with all the important steps needed to ensure you are safely cleaning produce.”

What are some tips to eat more fruit?

Sarah Downs, RD:

  • Keep fruit where you can see it
  • Explore the produce aisle and choose something new each time
  • Try eating fruit as a tasty dessert!

“Keep in mind that no single fruit (or vegetable) provides all of the nutrients you need to be healthy. Eat a variety of types and colors of produce in order to give your body the mix of nutrients you need.”

So what is Sarah’s favorite fruit? While she loves all fruits, berries of any type are at the top of her list!

What are some of your favorite fruits?

The image “Fruit” by Sean MacEntee is licensed under CC BY 2.0.