Did you know that a fruit basket can also be a bowl of happiness?
A study published in 2016 concluded that young adults who consumed fresh fruits and vegetables (FV) gained psychological benefits in as short time as two weeks. The study divided into three groups; participants who were provided with daily FV, participants who were reminded/encouraged to eat FV and participants who retained their normal diet. Researchers found out that the participants with diet intervention achieved greater happiness, social-emotional well-being, and higher life satisfaction. Another study published in the American Journal of Public Health stated that enhanced physical health may take years but "happiness" can occur much quicker from eating healthy.
Delicious sweet fruits are not all sugar and bad for the health because even diabetics may consume sugar from fruits known as fructose, needless to say, in moderation. The National Nutrition Survey conducted by FNRI reported a trend of increased consumption of energy-giving and body-building foods while there is a decline in the consumption of fruits and vegetables. Remember our food plate? It must contain Go, Grow and Glow food to achieve proper nutrition. Including high-quality fruits and vegetables in your lifestyle diet to have a healthier body and more positive outlook.
On your next meal, you may want to treat yourself with the following summer fruits.
Guava (Psidium guajava)
• It has four times more Vitamin C than oranges. It is an antioxidant that protects cells from free radicals.
• Get high levels of dietary fiber with high potential in managing blood glucose levels as shown in different studies.
• Guava has a cardiovascular effect, anti-diarrheal effect and can reduce dysmenorrhea.
• The leaves have astringent properties and used to wash wounds.
Mango (Mangifera indica)
• Eat mangoes or drink mango juice to have glowing skin and to prevent acne and dark spots.
• Improve your complexion by rubbing mango peels on your skin. Wash it off with cold water after 10-15 minutes.
• Use mango pulp on your hair to manage dandruff and to prevent dry hair.
• Instead of eating unhealthy chips and cookies, you may try dried mangoes. They are the best.
• It also can prevent osteoporosis with improved bone mineral density.
Papaya (Carica papaya)
• Papain enzyme in papayas aids in digestion and is also used as a meat tenderizer.
• High fiber and water content of the fruit is known to assure regular bowel movement.
• Eat papaya to reduce the severity of asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, and osteoarthritis. Beta-carotene has anti-inflammatory effects.
• The peel is used as a skin lightening agent and if mixed with honey as a skin moisturizer.
Watermelon (Citrullus lanatus)
• It is more vegetable than fruit and belongs to the same family as cucumbers, pumpkins, and squash.
• The fruit is mostly water (92%) and is a good diuretic.
• Consume watermelon for overall hydration which is also vital for having healthy looking skin and hair.
• Watermelon with red flesh is a significant source of lycopene which is said to prevent cancer.
• It is the source of the yummy butong pakwan which is a good substitute for the chips.
Pineapple (Ananas comosus)
• Drink pineapple juice if you are suffering from morning sickness, motion sickness or nausea.
• Pineapple has lots of Vitamin C that support the formation of collagen in bones, blood vessels, cartilage, and muscles.
• It also contributes to the absorption of iron.
• Get it canned, juiced, cooked or eaten fresh as dessert, in a salad or as garnish.
Coconut (Cocos nucifera)
• Quench your thirst and regain electrolytes with coconut water packed with 250 mg of potassium and 105 mg of sodium in every 100 mL.
• No need to add sugar as this fruit already contains simple sugar easily absorbed by the body.
• Natural bioactive enzymes help in the digestion and metabolism.
Avocado (Persea americana)
• It is high in monounsaturated fats or good fats at 13.3 grams for every fruit. These good fats in reasonable amounts can replace bad cholesterol which is good for your heart.
• The fruit is rich in Phylloquinone also known as Vitamin K involved in blood clotting and is a coenzyme for calcium absorption needed for your bones.
• Clinical tests also suggest that the fruit can support weight loss.
Lanzones or Langsat(Lansium domesticum)
• It can lower body temperature or ease fever.
• Eat fresh lanzones for its riboflavin or vitamin B2 that supports red blood cell production. The B vitamins help in converting carbohydrates into energy and keep the nervous system healthy.
• Vitamin A known as retinol or carotenoids is also found in lanzones which is important at night and low-light conditions.
• Set aside the fruit peelings and use them to drive away mosquitoes.
Other popular fruits are bananas, guyabano, melons, apples, and oranges. They are nutritious and make us happy. However, to fully enjoy the benefits of these treats, it will still be better to know if you have allergies to certain fruits.