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Fruits Everyday Keep Diseases Away

A renowned dietitian talks about the benefits of consuming fruits to alleviate common diseases

Fruits are goldmine of vitamins, minerals and fibre and are ideal to be consumed at least 4-5 servings in a day. Since they are in the natural form, fruits account for largest part of water and are cholesterol free. Hence, it’s much easier for the body to process and absorb the vitamins and minerals from fresh fruits.

In conjunction with International Fruits Day on July 1, MBG Fruitshop has taken the inititaive to educate the public on the benefits of eating fruits (or drinking fruit juices). And helping MBG to explain the virtues of eating fruits in this three-part series is none other than the renowned Consultant Dietician, Indra Balaratnam.

This is the last part of the 3-part series. In last issue, we mentioned a diet rich in plant based foods such as fruit, vegetables and whole grains can help prevent several diseases and ailments, namely Bad Breath, Urinary Tract Infection (UTI), Cancer, Immunity and High Cholesterol. In this issue we highlight a few more illnesses that a diet rich in fruit or fruit juices can help heal.

Gout

A gout attack occurs when crystalised uric acid accumulates in the joints. Dull aching pain usually occurs at night. It is a painful condition when the joints get inflamed and swollen. Uric acid can also crystalise in the kidneys and soft tissue of organs, causing eventual damage to the normal function of those organs.Dietary changes are necessary to control gout. Compliant people who avoid the foods that aggravate the condition can learn to manage the disease very easily. Folic acid widely found in fruit and vegetables are known to be beneficial in reducing gout attacks. Folic acid inhibits the enzyme that causes the body to produce uric acid.

Cherries, hawthorn berries, blueberries and dark reddish-purplish berries are a very good source of anthocyanidins and procyanidins. These compounds seem to help protect connective tissue from being attacked in the incidence of an inflammation attack. This may help to alleviate gout symptoms. However, sensible diet with the elimination of other gout causing foods must still be practiced.

Tip: Eating more plant based foods is a good way alternative to consuming too much protein foods, which aggravate uric acid levels.

Juices to try:

  • Orange + Cucumber + Celery

Skin Health and Attractiveness

A British study done by the University of St. Andrews found that two extra portions of vegetables and fruit such as carrots and tomatoes improved skin colour – even if various ethnic groups. The researchers say it is the orangey-reddish caretonoid pigments that help the skin to glow rosily. The students in the study were told to eat healthily plus the extra servings of vegetables. During the time they ate it, their skin appeared rosier.

However, once they reverted to eating hardly any fruit and vegetables, their rosy complexion faded as well. This is a small study, but interesting none the less. It is a good way to communicate to young teens that are very conscious of their looks that eating fruit and vegetables everyday is an incentive to improving their attractiveness.

Juices to try to get a caretenoid boost:

  • Tomato + Carrot + Apple

Juices to rehydrate yourself to have plump skin

  • Honeydew + Cucumber

Heart Disease

Coronary heart disease is the no. 1 killer of Malaysian men and women. It is estimated that thousands of Malaysians – many still in the prime age of their lives – die every year. Heart disease is very connected to lifestyle and diet, whereby starting the ball of prevention early on in life can drastically reduce a person’s chances of dying from heart disease. The recommended diet to prevent heart disease is one that is low in fat and abundant in fruit, vegetables, whole grains.

Inclusive to this should be moderate servings of lean protein in the form of fish, poultry, lean meats, beans, nuts and low fat dairy. Foods should also be cooked with less use of oil. Deep fried foods should be limited. Fruit, vegetables and whole grains that are good sources of fibre should also be included.

It is recommended that we aim to have 20 to 25 grams of fibre daily. Include servings of fruit and vegetables at every meal – breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks to boost up on fibre. This is also a good way to balance out meals so that they are not filled with high calories items and dishes.

Tip: Include high fibre fruit into your daily diet to help stay full as you cut down on eating greasy foods.

Juices to try:

Carrot + Apple + Pear + Mango

Juice to try for a great high fibre power snacks for a healthy heart:

Guava + Mango + Grapes + Bananas + Plums

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