Saturday, March 16, 2013

Fruit {Nature's Candy}

It is very important to get the proper amount of fruit in your diet to remain healthy and ward off disease. The American Heart Association and the United States Department of Agriculture both recommend adults eat at least 7 to 13 servings of fruits and vegetables every day.  

Regarding fruit, an adult should aim for 3-5 fresh or frozen servings a day. A child's serving will depend on their age, but aim for 2-4 servings a day.  Also, variety matters, so try a wide range of fruits! It doesn't have to be boring either, this picture below is the Wild Blueberry Freeze my 4 year old loves!

There are many reasons to make sure you are getting the proper amount of fruit in your diet. Below are a list of many.

Fruits Lower Risk of Illness and Disease:

Fruits contain many vitamins and nutrients that may reduce risk for many illnesses including:

Stroke, heart disease and other heart-related illnesses
Type 2 diabetes
Certain cancers, such as mouth, stomach, and colon-rectum cancer.
Kidney stones
Bone loss

Fruits Hydrate the Body: 

Fruits are made up of 90 percent 95 percent water. Water is an important nutrient. It is responsible for transporting nutrients around the body, regulating body temperature, keeping joints moist, and getting rid of waste products in the body.

Fruits Keep the Body Regular:

Fruits are rich in fiber, which is essential for the smooth movement of food in the body’s digestive system. Fruits help maintain easy bowel action and eating fruits every day will prevent constipation.

Fruits Give the Body Energy:

All fruits contain carbohydrates, which are the body’s main source of energy. Carbohydrates in fruits are mainly sugar, which break down easily and make a quick source of energy.

Wanna read more about the benefits of eating fruit and vegetables? Read this article, Clean Cuisine and More 

Make eating fruit easy and fun! (2011)

Serving chart for ONE serving:
1 cup mixed berries or single berry
1 med grapefruit
1 cup chopped melon
1 kiwi
2 cuties
1 medium banana
1 medium apple
1 medium pear
Approx 15 grapes
Approx 6 strawberries

I know my family has come a really LONG way from eating canned fruits, processed fruits, and very little fresh fruits just 2.5 years ago, but I wanted to see how much fresh fruit we were really eating now. We decided to do a fruit log. We no longer eat canned fruit or packaged fruit.  We only eat fresh or frozen fruit, except an occasion the kids will have apple sauce in one of those squeeze tubes at lunch.

Many people think they are consuming enough fruit daily when in reality that isn't the case. Unless they are having fruit at least 3 times a day they are really missing the mark.  For two weeks my family charted how much fruit we consumed. 

My Family: Myself, husband and children (age 4 and 8)

During a 2 week period we consumed for the following:

Lemons: 10
Limes: 4
Apples (large and small): 17
Pears: 14
Bananas (fresh and frozen): 52
Navel Oranges: 18
Cuties: 39
Grapes: 3lbs +-
Strawberries: 3lbs+-
Blueberries: 2lbs
Pineapple (frozen): 6lbs+-
Wild Blueberries (frozen): 4lbs
Raspberries (frozen) 18oz

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