Fruit has many benefits including providing you with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that help your body; function at a cellular level, boost your immune system and it also provides plenty of fibre for good gut health.
Recent studies show that consuming the recommended two serves of fruit per day can reduce your risk of developing type two diabetes by up to 13%. Now if that’s not a reason to reach for two a day, I don’t know what is.
Choosing fruits in season and grown in Australia provides better value and better quality, as well as adding more variety to your diet throughout the year. Just like with veggies, choosing different coloured fruits increases the variety of nutrients you consume.
So what equals one serve of fruit?
– 1 medium piece of fruit e.g. an apple, banana, orange or pear
– 2 small pieces of fruit e.g. apricots, kiwi fruits or plums
– 1 cup diced or canned fruit (no added sugar)
Fruit is versatile, you can eat it whole, blend it into a smoothie, juice it, buy it frozen, tinned, dried and dehydrated.
So what is the best way to consume your fruit?
Whole fruit is highest in fibre and water, which keeps you fuller for longer. This means that fruit is the most nutritious for you eaten whole. You can add whole fruit to cereal, porridge, toast, salads, yoghurt or have it as the perfect portion controlled snack! It even comes pre-wrapped (in it’s own skin) for easy transport.
Fresh verse Frozen?
Fresh fruit and frozen fruit are equal in nutritional value. Frozen can be a great way to keep the cost down and ensure you always have some fruit on hand. Or alternatively if you buy your own seasonal fruit in bulk but always seem to have a few pieces that you throw out at the end of the week, blend them up and freeze them for the perfect smoothie addition and you also reduce food waste.
What about dried fruit and tinned fruit?
Eating dried fruit regularly, is not recommended as it is high in kilojoules, can stick to the teeth and increase the risk of dental decay. Also, you can easily eat more than you realise, so it is good to be aware of your serving sizes. For example, four apricot halves or 1.5 tablespoons of sultanas count as one serve.
Tinned fruit can be a great emergency option to have in your lunch box, cupboard or desk draw. It is recommended that you avoid the fruit in syrup as this adds extra processed sugar and is much higher in energy (kilojoules). The fruit in juice is a better option.
What about juice?
Most Australians eat only about half the recommended quantity of fruit. However many Australians drink far too much fruit juice. Fruit juices can be high in energy and sugar as well as low in dietary fibre, and can even damage your teeth. Whole fruits are a much better choice, and are more filling.
It is also worth noting that one serve of fruit juice is 125mL which is only ½ a metric cup. I can assure you that majority, if not all juice drinkers have a glass that is at least double if not triple that size. You can see how the energy and sugar can add up over a day.
- Fresh and frozen are best
- Limit fruit juice and dried fruit
- Tinned fruit in juice can be a good emergency option, but avoid the varieties in syrup.
- Eat seasonally and choose a variety of different coloured produce
- Aim for 2 serves of fruit per day, every day