BENGALURU: Do you prefer sipping that glass of apple milk shake over munching a whole apple? Does orange juice accompany your office lunch box almost every day, but the idea of grabbing that whole orange, peeling it off and consuming it gives you cold feet? If your answers are positive, it’s about time that you should rethink your choices. Nutritionists are of the opinion that while juices are good to quench summer thirst, they are not enough to provide the needed vitamins and minerals for your body.
During the preparation of fruit juices, the fruit is pressed or squeezed and the skin is removed. This often leads to loss of important nutrients, vitamins and fibres like Pectin present in apple, guava and oranges, that are essential for your body. Many fruit juices are also devoid of water soluble vitamins such as vitamin C, vitamin B complex vitamins as well as anti-oxidants which can be important to meet body requirements.
Fruits such as water melon, musk melon, sweet lemon and pineapple are high in water content and keeps the body hydrated. Mangoes, lychees and papayas are also beneficial during the summer season as they are rich in ascorbic acid, vitamin A and dietary fibres that not only provides natural UV protection but also boosts up body immunity levels. It is important to consume at least two whole fruits every day. Every category of fruit has different health benefits and a person can choose these fruits accordingly.
Pome fruits: They have anti-oxidant, anti-viral and anti-tumor properties and are good sources of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E as well as folic acid. It is important that at least one apple is consumed everyday as it provides all the essential vitamins and minerals, that is required by body to function properly. Example of pome fruits are apple and pear.
Citrus fruits: They are high sources of ascorbic acid which is essential to treat low levels of vitamin C that can otherwise lead to scurvy. It also acts as an antioxidant. Examples of citrus fruits are oranges, lime and watermelon.
Tropical fruits: They are calorie dense and hence are important for body. Examples are bananas, mangoes and pineapples.
Stone fruits: They are rich in potassium and promotes healthy nerves and muscles. They also have antioxidant properties and help in boosting immunity. Examples are apricot, grapes, cherries and plums.
The edible skins of many fruits have high nutrition value and should not be avoided. The fruit pulp is another important source of fibre and other vital nutrients.
For instance, the white pulpy part in orange which is a source of flavonoids is often removed in the process of converting it into juice. Also, a lot of fruit juices provide empty calories which shoot up blood sugar faster than the whole fruit. Therefore, it is important to include whole fruits in your diet to meet body requirements.
The author is a dietician executive, Columbia Asia Hospital, Yeshwanthpur
Cut a mango into slices and relish it as an evening snack or with salads. It can be consumed along with the skin as it contains fibers and antioxidants. If you have sensitive skin avoid eating it along with the skin as it may cause itching and redness
Benefits: It prevents night blindness, burning, itching and dryness of eyes. It helps in promoting smooth digestion, minimizes risk of development of cancer cells and helps in curing anemia. It also boosts RBC count.
Nutritional content: It is rich in digestive enzymes, fibers and antioxidants including mangiferin, norathyriol and resveratrol. Also, it is a good source of glutamic acid and pectin.
Cut a watermelon into pieces and enjoy it with chat masala in hot summer afternoons to maintain adequate fluid requirements in the body as one bite of watermelon contains about 92 per cent water
Benefit: It helps in fighting with free radicals formed in the body and prevents damage caused to the body cells. It also helps in proper functioning of the body, maintains electrolyte balance and ensures good eyesight. It promotes energy production, optimal neurological functions and proper digestion by stimulating the release of gastric acid.
Nutritional content: It is loaded with antioxidants and is an excellent source of electrolytes such as sodium and potassium. It is also abundant in vitamin B complex vitamins and vitamin A.
Since, it can be consumed along with its skin, it has amazing health benefits. For instance, a guava provides about 12 per cent of the daily recommended intake of fiber in diet
Benefits: It improves immunity, protecting the body against common infections and pathogens. It neutralizes free radicals generated in the body, preventing the growth of cancer cells. It is extremely beneficial for digestive health and boosts eye vision. It also improves blood circulation to the brain, stimulating cognitive function and relaxing the nerves.
Nutritional value: It is a rich vitamin C, vitamin A and fibre content namely, pectin, Lycopene, quercitin. Guava contains Vitamin B3 and Vitamin B6, also known as niacin and pyridoxine and abundant antioxidants.
Grapes are popular summer fruits which can be consumed as a whole fruit. Frozen grapes that are dipped in yoghurt can be refreshing snack in summers
Benefits: It provides immunity to the body and helps in improving eyesight.
Nutritional value: It is a good source of vitamin C and low in saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium.
Including freshly cut cucumbers in diet during summer, cools and refreshes the body.
Benefits: It is a good source of potassium, high on vitamin A, K and C.
Nutritional value: It helps in controlling blood pressure and is low in calorie.
It is the ‘nutritional powerhouse’ which should be eaten as a whole fruit rather converting it into fruit juice for maximum benefit
Benefit: It helps in maintaining RBC count and keeps the nervous system in good health. It prevents formation of cancer cells and improves gut health.
Nutritional content: It is a rich source of minerals such as potassium, calcium and phosphorous. Also, abundant in ascorbic acid, dietary fiber and antioxidants. It contains B complex vitamins such as riboflavin, thiamine and vitamin B6.
Include a few pieces of oranges as part of salad for a healthy diet.
Benefits: It prevents cancer, reduces cancer and maintains blood pressure.
Nutritional content: Contains calcium, potassium, pectin and vitamin.