Pick the right fruit for better health

Fruit forms a critical part of a healthy diet, but not all fruits are equal. It pays to know a little more about what particular benefits each one offers, so we have put together a snapshot guide below.

It’s important to remember that while fruit generally offers the positive benefits of fibre, vitamins and restorative chemical compounds, be aware that some fruits are high in calories and carbohydrates and overindulging can lead to weight gain. With that in mind, let’s have a browse at what some of the popular varieties can do for you.

Bananas

These are high potassium and low in sodium making them a real heart-friendly food. They can help lower your risk of high blood pressure and stroke, but have also been linked to cancer risk reduction and asthma prevention.

Apples

The great all-rounder! Apples firstly provide a good source of both soluble fibre to lower cholesterol and insoluble fibre to aid regularity. To top that off, they are packed with antioxidants

Oranges

The classic source of vitamin C, and also a source of potassium, but don’t ignore the pith; it actually contains a lot of the vitamin C.

Pawpaw

Also known as papaya, pawpaws contain papain; a substance that aids digestion. They are rich in vitamin C and also contain folate, which has been linked to reducing the risk of some cancers.

Strawberries

The ancient Romans knew the health benefits of strawberries and used them for treating inflammation, fever, kidney stones, gout and even bad breath! Strawberries are an excellent source of vitamin C, potassium, folic acid and fibre.

Red grapes

These contain resveratrol, a powerful antioxidant, which has been touted as having a positive effect on the heart. They are also at the higher end of the scale for sugar content, so be careful if you are watching your weight.

Kiwifruit

A much higher concentration of vitamin C than oranges, plus they have loads of potassium and are great for bowel health. Their low GI rating also means they avoid the insulin rush that can occur with other high sugar fruits.

Blueberries

Blueberries are recognised for their antioxidants and can even be beneficial against urinary tract infections. Research also suggests that they may assist in memory function and cognitive decline.

Avocados

This versatile fruit gives you antioxidants, vitamin E and healthy unsaturated fats, as well as helping combat inflammatory conditions.

Pineapple

Like kiwifruit and pawpaw, pineapple is good for digestive health. Its anti-inflammatory properties may also be beneficial against cancer and they are crammed with vitamin C too.

To investigate further for yourself, try these great resources:

health.nsw.gov.au
eatforhealth.gov.au
gofor2and5.com.au