March sees the launch More Fruit Month, a campaign to encourage the nation to get more fruit into their diets and lead healthier lives.

Why is fruit a beneficial part of our diet?

Why is fruit a beneficial part of our diet?

Stunning statistics have emerged from research commissioned by Dole, showing nearly half of people in the UK do not eat fruit and vegetables every day, and that just one in ten people know what constitutes a portion of fruit and vegetables. Exclusively for Female First, nutritionist Fiona Hunter discusses her top 10 reasons to eat more fruit during More Fruit Month and beyond.

Fruit is an excellent source of vitamin C, an antioxidant which helps to keep the immune system healthy making it perfect immune booster for this time of year when the temperature is changing and cold and flu is rife.

Fruit is a good source of phytochemicals like betacarotene, lycopene and polyphenols. A growing body of evidence suggests that phytochemicals help reduce the risk of many of the diseases that become common as we age including dementia, heart disease, certain types of cancer and cataracts

Fruit is fat free and low in calories – one bowl (80g) of raspberries contains just 26 calories

It’s a good source of dietary fibre -  both soluble fibre which is the type that helps lower blood cholesterol (found in fruit like apples) and insoluble fibre (found in the skin of fruits) which helps to keep the digestive tract healthy. Fibre rich foods are more filling and can help you feel fuller for longer

It’s the ideal healthy snack and when combined with a protein such as nuts or yogurt it’s even more nutritious and filling

Fruit is tasty and versatile – it can be eaten as a snack, used to make desserts, as a compote to add to porridge or yogurt, or can even be added to savoury dishes like tagines and pilafs

All fruit is rich in potassium, a mineral which helps lower high blood pressure[i] [ii]

Fruit is good for your skin. It’s a great source of vitamin C which helps to protect the skin from damage by free radicals that accelerate signs of aging and wrinkling. Vitamin C is also essential for the production of collagen which supports the skin. Orange and yellow-coloured fruit contain betacarotene which helps improve the colour and tone of skin

Pineapple is great for aiding digestive health thanks to an enzyme called bromelain which also counters inflammation and joint pain [iii]

Bananas contain a special type of fibre called frucooligosaccharides (FOS) which works as a prebiotic and helps boost the probiotic ‘friendly’ bacteria that we all have living in our gut

To join the campaign and make a positive change in your life, it’s simple, just eat more fruit! Stay up to date by keeping an eye on #MoreFruitMonth and on the Dole Instagram page @DolePackagedFoodsEurope, for more fruit filled inspiration.

[i] http://www.bloodpressureuk.org/microsites/salt/Home/Whypotassiumhelps

[ii] http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HighBloodPressure/MakeChangesThatMatter/How-Potassium-Can-Help-Control-High-Blood-Pressure_UCM_303243_Article.jsp#.WMaqXPkrKUk

[iii] http://www.besthealthmag.ca/best-eats/digestion/beneficial-bromelain-how-an-enzyme-found-in-pineapple-relieves-indigestion/


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