Are you confused about fruit? Because many in the media have lumped fruits into the same nutrition category as candy, this has left some people unsure about fruits. 

Eating fruit provides many health benefits including:

  • Reduced risk for heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain cancers.
  • Reduced risk of developing kidney stones
  • Improved lung function

Fruit is naturally low in fat and high in fiber and rich in beneficial vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients.  Fruits are especially good sources of vitamins A and C and potassium. 

It is better to eat fruits instead of drinking juices.  This is because there are beneficial fibers in whole fruits that are not in juice.  Also, calories are more concentrated in juices.  Some studies have associated a high fruit juice intake with weight and growth problems and in children.  This has led the American Academy of Pediatrics to recommend that juice be limited to 4 - 6 ounces per day for children and 8 - 12 ounces per day for children 7 - 18 years old. 

The United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA's) Food Guide Pyramid recommends a daily intake of 1-2 cups of fruit per day, based on age, sex and activity level.  General guidelines include eating a variety of fruits every day, choosing fresh, frozen, canned or dried fruit and to go easy on fruit juice. 

Tips to help you get your full servings of fruit everyday include:

  • Add fresh berries or bananas to your morning cereal or yogurt.
  • Keep dried fruit in your car or desk for a quick snack.
  • Mix fresh or frozen fruit with yogurt and skim or soy milk for a refreshing fruit smoothie.
  • Mix ¼ cup 100% fruit juice with sparkling water for a cool fruit spritzer.
  • Keep your pantry and freezer stocked with canned (in juice or water) or frozen (without added sugar) fruit for variety and when out of fresh.
  • Buy fresh fruits in season. They're less expensive and more flavorful.
  • Cut up fruit and store in the refrigerator for quick, refreshing snacks.
  • Keep fresh fruit on your table for a beautiful center piece & quick snack on the run.
  • Vary your fruit choices to get a wide range of nutrients - eat the rainbow of colors.
  • Include fruit with all meals for a refreshing, sweet dessert.
  • Substitute applesauce for oil in recipes for baked goods.
  • Make desserts using fruits such as apple crisp or berry compotes
  • Pack a frozen small 100% juice box into a bag lunch to help keep foods cold and provide a refreshing alternative to sweeter drinks.




2.        Stealth Health by Evelyn Tribole, Penguin Books, NY, 1998