Joseph F. Sullivan Center

Fruits

Fruit is an important part of any healthy diet and can be a sweet addition to any meal or snack. People who eat more vegetables and fruits as part of their overall diethave a reduced risk of chronic diseases. Most fruits are naturally low in fat, sodium, and calories. None have cholesterol. Any fruit or 100% fruit juice counts as part of the fruit group. Canned, fresh, frozen or dried--any variety of fruit is a good one! Fruits are high in:fruity

  • Antioxidants: fruits have alot of vitamins and minerals that help protect cells from damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals can cause cell damage and contribute to the development of heart disease, cancer and other illnesses. Berries are good sources of antioxidants like beta-carotene, selenium, vitamins A, C, and E. Fit more fruit into your diet by adding berries to your cereal or using them as a healthy snack during the day.
  • Fiber: fruits are high in fiber, which helps relieve consitpation and can lower cholesterol and blood glucose levels. Fiber also promotes weight loss because eating it makes you feel full longer and prevents over-eating and snacking. Apples and pears are a great source of fiber!
  • Vitamin C: many fruits are high in Vitamin C, which helps with wound healing, boosting the immune system and strengthening bones and teeth. Fruits high in Vitamin C include kiwi, pineapples, cranberries and strawberries. 
  • Potassium: a mineral necessary for proper cell, tissue and organ functioning, is found in large concentrations in bananas, citrus juices, and cantaloupes. 

There are many fruits to choose from to compliement any diet. As the seasons change, seasonal fruits change. At different times of the year, you will be able to find certain fruits easier, with more flavor, and typically for lower prices. A local farmer's market is a great source of seasonal produce! At times of the year when your favorite fruits are hard to find, look for canned or frozen varieties. Canned items should be canned in 100% fruit juice and be "low sodium" or "no salt added." Below is a chart of fruits by season:

Winter




Oranges Bananas Grapefruit Lemons
Pears Squash
Spring
Apricots Bananas Melon Mangos
Pineapples Strawberries
Summer
Apricots Bananas Blackberries Blueberries
Cantaloupe Cherries Cucumbers Grapefruits
Grapes Honeydew Kiwifruit Peaches
Plums Raspberries Strawberries Squash
Tomatoes Watermelon
Fall
Apples Bananas Cranberries Grapes
Pears Pineapple Pumpkins Squash

The USDA recommends 2-4 servings of fruit each day. Here are some tips to ensure you're getting the recommended amount!

  • Keep a bowl of whole fruit on the table, counter, or in the fridge as a visible reminder to eat it!
  • Include fruit in your breakfast: top cereal with berries or bananas, add blueberries or strawberries to pancakes, or drink 100% orange or grapefruit juice! You can also try a fruity low-fat or fat-free yogurt. 
  • Snack on fruits! When you get hungry during the day, try dried cranberries or raisins as a snack. Dried fruits are easy to carry and store well. 
  • Include fruit in your lunch! Pack a tangerine, banana or grapes to eat. Or try applesauce or pre-packaged peaches and oranges (make sure they're stored in water!). 
  • Experiment with fruit at dinner! Make a pineapple salad, or add strawberries to a salad. Use fruits as desserts, too, because they're naturally sweet!
  • Don't forget to wash! Rinse all of your fruits before eating them to remove dirt and surface microorganisms. Dry with a clean towel.

servings

So, what exactly is a serving?

The USDA says that one serving of fruit or vegetable is equal to 1/2 cup. One serving of sliced fruit is equal to 1/2 cup; however, a single piece of fruit, such as an apple or an orange counts as one serving. Also, 1/2 cup of 100% fruit juice counts as a serving. See the photo to the left to help you figure out a serving size!

 

 

 

 

Information provided by the USDA and LiveStrong