Fruit constitutes an important part of a healthy, balanced diet. In fact, diets with lots of fruit are considered to be loaded with health benefits such as a decreased risk of a lot of infections.
However, certain people are concerned about the sugar content of the fruit and fear that eating too much of it can be extremely harmful.
So, how much fruit is enough for you to feel healthy? Is it possible to eat too much fruit? This article has everything you need to know about this issue.
Fruits have Many Crucial Nutrients
The nutrients present in fruits vary greatly from one type of fruit to another. However, it is certain that all fruits do have these nutrients.
For starters, al the fruits have high amounts of minerals and vitamins. These include potassium, vitamin C, and folate which a lot of people lack.
Fruit also has a high content of fiber which also has a lot of health benefits.
Fiber can help reduce cholesterol and increase the feeling of fullness. It can also contribute to weight loss over time.
Other than this, fruits consist of antioxidants which can help fight free radicals and stop them from damaging cells. Eating a diet rich in antioxidants can slow down the process of aging and reduce the risk of diseases.
Because different types of fruit contain different amounts of nutrients, it is very important to eat them for maximizing the health benefits.
Eating Fruit Helps You Lose Weight
Fruits have a high content of nutrients and have the relatively low amount of calories, making them a good choice for weight loss.
Other than this, fruits also have a high amount of fiber and water which helps you feel fuller.
This is the reason why you may keep eating fruit until you are satisfied without eating a lot of calories.
In fact, research has indicated that eating fruit is linked with a low caloric intake and may cause weight loss over time.
Citrus fruits and apples are one of the most filling fruits of all.
It is important to note that solid fruits are a lot more filling than fruit juice of puree which you can consume a lot before feeling any fuller.
Fruit juice has, in fact, been linked with an increased caloric intake and can cause an increase in the risk of obesity and other diseases.
In simpler words, it is advised that fruit juice must be avoided and instead, you should focus on whole fruits.
Fruits Lower the Risk of Diseases
Research has consistently shown that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables can significantly lower the risk of getting diseases such as diabetes, cancer, and heart diseases.
Most of the evidence-based research has explored the role of fruit and vegetables as a whole in determining a good health. However, some studies specifically focus on the benefits of fruit.
One review explored the role of nine different fruits and proved that every serving of fruit eaten every day reduce the risk of heart problems by 7 percent.
Another study has indicated that eating fruits such as apples, grapes, and blueberries can reduce the risk of diabetes type 2.
Citrus fruits can particularly increase the amount of citrate in your urine which means that it can decrease the risk of kidney stones.
An increased intake of food can help in lowering the blood pressure and decreasing oxidative stress. This can ultimately decrease the risk of heart diseases.
Eating more vegetables and fruits can improve the control of blood sugar in people with diabetes. Surprising, right?
Can You Eat Too Much Fruit?
It is now proven that fruits are extremely good for your health. They can boost the immune system and help protect against a lot of diseases. But can too much of it be actually harmful?
First of all, it is quite difficult to eat too much fruit, especially when you are taking it in solid forms. This is because fruits have an extremely high amount of water and fiber which means they are filling.
Sometimes, this filling power of fruit is so much that you just feel like stopping only after having one piece.
Because of this reason, it is actually quite difficult to eat a large amount of fruit every day. In fact, it is said that less than 1 out of every 10 Americans meet their minimum fruit recommendation for the day.
Even though it is extremely rare to overdose on fruits, a few studies have actually investigated the effects of eating 20 servings of fruit every day.
As per one study, 10 people were included who ate 20 servings of fruit every day for two weeks. The research was unable to find any side effects in these people.
In another slightly larger study, 17 people were asked to eat 20 servings of fruit for a couple of months and they were not seen to suffer from any side effects.
In fact, the researchers have found the possible health benefits of eating fruits. Although these studies had fewer participants, they still provide a reason to admit that fruits are generally safe.
At the end of the day, even if you start eating fruit till the time you are full, it is next to impossible to eat too much. Nonetheless, it is also important to know that fruit must ideally be consumed as a part of a healthy diet.
How Much Fruit is Adequate for You?
Even though it is possible to eat healthy while having little or no fruit at all, the ideal amount of fruits lies in the middle.
Ideally speaking, you must consume at least 400 grams of fruits and vegetables every day. This means having five servings, 80 grams each.
One serving with 80 grams of fruit is almost equal to a small piece about the size of a tennis ball. For fruits which you can measure using a cup, one serving is nearly equal to a cup.
This recommendation has a whole logic behind it. Science has proven how eating five servings of fruit every day can lower the risks of death from diseases such as stroke, cancer, and cardiovascular complications.
Bear in mind that most of the evidence has looked at the benefits of fruits and vegetables together. Assuming that half of these servings come from fruit, you must be consuming 2 to 5 servings of fruit every day.
Recommendations may slightly vary but they always seem to align with the recent evidence.
For example, the guidelines issued by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) have recommended an average adult to eat two servings of fruit per day.
On the other hand, the American Heart Association (AHA) suggests adults go for four to five servings of fruit daily.
Eating fruit can promote good health while lowering the risk of different serious diseases at the same time. Unless you are on a ketogenic diet or have some kind of intolerance, you certainly do not have a reason to limit them in your diet.
Most of the research seems to suggest that the suitable amount of fruit for an adult is between 2 to 5 servings. However, there seems to be no harm in eating more than this.