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Top 20 disease preventing delicious fruits

Fruits are nature’s wonderful gift to mankind; indeed, they are life-enhancing medicines packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and many phytonutrients (Plant derived micronutrients). They are an absolute feast to our sight, not just because of their colour and flavour but for their unique nutrition-profile that help human body free from diseases and keep it healthy!

Fruits are not only delicious but healthful too. Rich in vitamins A and C, plus folate and other essential nutrients, they may help prevent heart disease and stroke, control blood pressure and cholesterol, prevent some types of cancer and guard against vision loss. 

Mango

 

Nutritional value (1/2 medium): 54 calories, 1.5 g fibre, source of vitamins A and E

Disease-fighting factor: Mangoes are high in the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, which may help protect vision and reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration (the leading cause of blindness in adults).

Did you know? Mangoes can be enjoyed ripe as a sweet, juicy dessert choice or unripe as a sour, crunchy addition to chutney and salads. 

 

 

Orange

Nutritional value (1 medium): 62 calories, 3 g fibre, source of vitamin C, folate and potassium

Disease-fighting factor: Oranges are a good source of folate, an important vitamin for pregnant women that can help prevent neural tube defects in their infants. They also contain a phytochemical called hesperidin, which may lower triglyceride and blood cholesterol levels.

Did you know? The edible white part of the orange rind has nearly the same amount of vitamin C as the flesh, so eat that part too!

 

 

Papaya

Nutritional value (1/2 medium): 59 calories, 3 g fibre, source of folate, vitamins A and C

Disease-fighting factor: Papayas contain papain, an enzyme that aids digestion. Plus, their high vitamin A content aids in maintaining the health of the skin. 

Did you know? The black seeds inside the papaya are edible and have a sharp, spicy flavour. Try blending them into salad dressing as a substitute for black pepper. 

 

 

Apple

Nutritional value (1 medium): 75 calories, 3 g fibre 

Disease-fighting factor: Apples contain antioxidants called flavonoids, which may help lower the chance of developing diabetes and asthma. Apples are also a natural mouth freshener and clean your teeth with each crunchy bite. 

Did you know? An apple's flavour and aroma comes from fragrance cells in apple skin, so for maximum flavour, don't peel your apple. Plus, the vitamins lie just beneath the skin. 

 

 

Avocado 

Nutritional value ( ½ avocado): 114 calories, 4.5 g fibre, source of vitamin E and folate 

Disease-fighting factor: Avocados contain healthy monounsaturated fats that can help lower cholesterol levels when eaten instead of harmful saturated fats. For a heart-healthy boost, replace butter with avocado on your favourite sandwich.   

Did you know? Babies love avocados. Their soft, creamy texture makes them easy to eat, and their high fat content helps with normal infant growth and development.

 

 

Banana 

Nutritional value (1 medium): 105 calories, 3 g fibre, source of vitamin B6, potassium and folate 

Disease-fighting factor: With 422 milligrams of potassium per banana, these sweet delights have more potassium than most fruit and may help lower blood pressure levels.

Did you know? People with rubber latex allergies may also be allergic to bananas since the two come from similar trees and share a common protein.

  

Blackberry

 

Nutritional value (1/2 cup/125 mL): 31 calories, 4 g fibre, rich in antioxidants

 

Disease-fighting factor: Blackberries get their deep purple colour from the powerful antioxidant anthocyanin, which may help reduce the risk of stroke and cancer. Studies show that blackberry extract may help stop the growth of lung cancer cells. 

 

Did you know? The ancient Greeks called blackberries "gout-berries" and used them to treat gout-related symptoms.

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Fig (dried)

 

Nutritional value (2 dried figs): 42 calories, 1.5 g fibre, source of potassium, calcium and iron 

 

Disease-fighting factor: High in fibre, figs may help reduce the risk of heart disease.

 

Did you know? Puréed figs make an excellent substitute for fat (like butter or oil) in baked goods. Simply purée 1 cup (250 mL) of dried figs with 1/4 cup (50 mL) of water, then replace half of the fat called for in the recipe with an equal amount of the fig mixture.

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Grape

 

Nutritional value (1/2 cup/ 125 mL): 53 calories, less than 1 g fibre, source of manganese

 

Disease-fighting factor: Grapes contain resveratrol, an antioxidant that may help prevent heart disease by reducing blood pressure levels and lowering the risk of blood clots. Resveratrol may also help stop the spread of breast, stomach and colon cancer cells. 

 

Did you know? You can freeze red and green grapes and use them as colourful ice cubes in your favourite drinks. They add a special touch to sparkling water or Champagne. 

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Grapefruit (pink) 

 

Nutritional value (1/2 grapefruit): 52 calories, 2 g fibre, source of vitamin A 

 

Disease-fighting factor: Pink grapefruit contains lycopene and flavonoids, which may help protect against some types of cancer. Grapefruit also boasts an ample supply of pectin, a soluble fibre that may help lower cholesterol levels.

 

Did you know? Grapefruit can heighten the effect of certain drugs, including cholesterol-lowering statins. Check with your pharmacist to see if grapefruit may interfere with any of your medications.  

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Kiwifruit

 

Nutritional value (1 large): 56 calories, 3 g fibre, source of vitamins C and E, and of magnesium and potassium

 

Disease-fighting factor: With more vitamin C than oranges, kiwis can help in the development and maintenance of bones, cartilage, teeth and gums. They can also help lower blood triglyceride levels (high triglycerides increase the risk of heart disease). 

 

Did you know? Most people remove the fuzzy skin, but kiwis can actually be eaten whole – skin and all. 

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Peach

 

Nutritional value (1 medium): 58 calories, 2 g fibre, source of vitamin A  

 

Disease-fighting factor: High in vitamin A, peaches help regulate the immune system and can help fight off infections.

 

Did you know? Peaches do not get any sweeter once they have been picked, so avoid buying underripe peaches. 

 

 

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Pear

 

Nutritional value (1 medium): 96 calories, 5 g fibre  

 

Disease-fighting factor: Much of the fibre found in pears is soluble, which can help prevent constipation. Soluble fibre may also help reduce blood cholesterol levels and prevent heart disease.  

 

Did you know? Unlike most other fruits, pears don't ripen well on the tree. Instead, pears are harvested when mature and are allowed to finish ripening under controlled conditions. 

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Pineapple 

 

Nutritional value (1/2 cup/125 mL): 40 calories, 1 g fibre 

 

Disease-fighting factor: Pineapple contains a natural enzyme called bromelain, which breaks down protein and helps aid digestion. Bromelain may also help prevent blood clots, inhibit growth of cancer cells and speed wound healing. 

 

Did you know? Since bromelain breaks down protein, pineapple juice makes an excellent marinade and tenderizer for meat. 

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Pomegranate

 

Nutritional value (1/2 fruit): 53 calories, less than 1 g fibre, source of vitamin A and potassium

 

Disease-fighting factor: Pomegranates contain antioxidant tannins, which may protect the heart. Studies show that daily consumption of pomegranate juice may promote normal blood pressure levels and reduce the risk of heart attacks.

 

Did you know? Pomegranates contain glistening, jewel-like seeds called arils that can be pressed into juice. One medium pomegranate yields about 1/2 cup (125 mL) of juice.

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Prune

 

Nutritional value (3 prunes): 60 calories, 2 g fibre, source of vitamin A

 

Disease-fighting factor: Prunes are a source of the mineral boron, which may help prevent osteoporosis. Prunes also impart a mild laxative effect due to their high content of a natural sugar called sorbitol.  

 

Did you know? Marketers in the United States are trying to legally rename prunes "dried plums" to appeal to a younger market. 

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Raspberry

 

Nutritional value (1/2 cup/125 mL): 32 calories, 4 g fibre, source of folate and magnesium 

 

Disease-fighting factor: Raspberries are rich in ellagic acid, an antioxidant that may help prevent cervical cancer. Promising studies in animals have led researchers to believe that raspberries may also help treat esophageal and colon cancer.

 

Did you know? Raspberries are so perishable that only three per cent of Canada's raspberry crop is sold fresh. The remaining berries are used to make jam, baked goods and other delicacies.

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Strawberry

Nutritional value (1/2 cup/125 mL): 23 calories, 1.5 g fibre, source of vitamin C

 

Disease-fighting factor: Strawberries are rich in several antioxidants that have 

anti-inflammatory properties, including helping to prevent atherosclerosis (hardened arteries) and to suppress the progression of cancerous tumours. 

 

Did you know? The flavour and colour of strawberries is enhanced by balsamic vinegar. For a fabulous dessert, drizzle balsamic vinegar over ripe strawberries and serve with vanilla ice cream. 

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Tomato

 

Nutritional value (1 medium): 22 calories, 1.5 g fibre, source of vitamin A, folate and potassium 

 

Disease-fighting factor: Tomatoes are nature's best source of lycopene, a potent antioxidant that may help reduce cholesterol levels and protect against advanced-stage prostate cancer. 

 

Did you know? Tomatoes cooked with a touch of oil provide more lycopene than raw tomatoes, so a rich tomato sauce made with olive oil is a healthy choice.

 

 

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Watermelon

 

Nutritional value (1/2 cup/125 mL): 23 calories, less than 1 g fibre, source of vitamin A

 

Disease-fighting factor: Watermelon is 92 per cent water, making it aptly named. It's a great addition to any weight-loss diet because it is low in calories and satisfies the sweet tooth.

 

Did you know? Watermelon rinds and seeds are both edible. Roasted, seasoned seeds make a great snack food, and the juicy rind can be stir-fried, stewed, or pickled. 

 

 

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