Building Blocks of Health: Fruit

 
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One of my favorite lines from the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans is "A healthy dietary pattern consists of nutrient-dense forms of foods and beverages across all food groups, in recommended amounts, and within calorie limits."

That's what our series, Building Blocks of Health, is all about! Today we're going to zoom in on a key building block for good health: fruit!

Why Eat Fruit?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), only about 1 in 10 adults eats enough fruits and vegetables each day (source). Yet MyPlate maintains that "Eating fruit provides health benefits — people who eat more fruits and vegetables as part of an overall healthy diet are likely to have a reduced risk of some chronic diseases. Fruits provide nutrients vital for health and maintenance of your body."

Fruits are especially rich in...

  1. "Vitamin C, [which] is important for growth and repair of all body tissues, helps heal cuts and wounds, and keeps teeth and gums healthy" (source).
  2. "Dietary fiber from fruits, [which,] as part of an overall healthy diet, helps reduce blood cholesterol levels and may lower risk of heart disease" (source).
  3. "Folate (vitamin B-9) [which] is important in red blood cell formation and for healthy cell growth and function" (source).
  4. Potassium. "Diets rich in potassium may help to maintain healthy blood pressure" (source).

How Much Fruit Should I Eat Each Day?

MyPlate recommends that most adults eat roughly 2 cups of fruit per day. You can get a personalized recommendation here!

Just like vegetables, fruit can be cooked or raw; dried, frozen, fresh, or canned. The 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends emphasizing whole, fresh fruit.

There are all kinds of fruits to try! Think berries, melons, stone fruits, citrus, tropical fruits, fleshy fruits, and more! What's in season near you?

Five Favorite Fruit Recipes:

Let's make fruit even more approachable with these five favorite fruit recipes. Which will you try first?

This was installment #2 of our Building Blocks of Health series! Did you see the first posts? Check them out!

And of course, all of this started with this amazing poster! Do you already have your copy? Where are you displaying it?

References:

  1. https://www.dietaryguidelines.gov/sites/default/files/2020-12/Dietary_Guidelines_for_Americans_2020-2025.pdf
  2. https://www.pcrm.org/good-nutrition/nutrition-programs-policies/2020-2025-dietary-guidelines
  3. https://www.myplate.gov/eat-healthy/fruits
  4. https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements-folate/art-20364625

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