Posts tagged: fruits

The Greatest Medicine Of All Is To Teach People How Not To Need It

The Greatest Medicine Of All Is To Teach People How Not To Need It
The Greatest Medicine Of All Is To Teach People How Not To Need It
Graphic © Photo © AdobeStock 25867429 (under license)

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” is the famous quote attributed to Hippocrates, the “father of medicine”, in the 5th century BC. The line of thinking has persisted throughout the ages and is still relevant as preventative medicine, the art of taking care of your health through eating well, is perhaps more prevalent than ever. Here are some of the health benefits of fruit, as reported by scientific studies:

Grapefruit: A citrus fruit with a lot of minerals and vitamins. A study has found that people who had half grapefruit before meals lost 2.9 pounds more weight than people who did not. [1]

Avocado: Avocados are low in carbohydrates and high in fat and potassium. The fats in avocado including oleic acid, monosaturated fatty acids can reduce inflammation and heart health. [2]

Blueberries: Blueberries are a good source of healthy antioxidants that can prevent cell damage from oxidative stress. A study has found blueberries to improve the immune system that can help fight off infectious agents. [3]

Pomegranate: A rich source of antioxidants, pomegranate has been reported to be as high in antioxidants as green tea and red wine. [4] Due to a high amount of antioxidants, pomegranate has anti-inflammatory properties.

Olives: Olives are a good source of iron, copper, vitamin E, and calcium. They also have a high amount of antioxidants which can prevent liver damage and improve liver functioning. They also have oleic acid that can improve heart health.

Bananas: Bananas are a rich source of minerals and vitamins. A study has found that bananas significantly reduces postprandial glycemia and insulinemia. [5]

Cherries: Cherries are a rich source of nutrients especially vitamin C, potassium, and fiber. They contain antioxidants including anthocyanins and carotenoids, which can reduce inflammation preventing several inflammation-related diseases. A study has found that cherry improves sleep duration and quality. [6]


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[1] Fujioka, K., et al., The effects of grapefruit on weight and insulin resistance: relationship to the metabolic syndrome. J Med Food, 2006. 9(1): p. 49-54.

[2] Basu, A., S. Devaraj, and I. Jialal, Dietary factors that promote or retard inflammation. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol, 2006. 26(5): p. 995-1001.

[3] McAnulty, L.S., et al., Effect of blueberry ingestion on natural killer cell counts, oxidative stress, and inflammation prior to and after 2.5 h of running. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab, 2011. 36(6): p. 976-84.

[4] Gil, M.I., et al., Antioxidant activity of pomegranate juice and its relationship with phenolic composition and processing. J Agric Food Chem, 2000. 48(10): p. 4581-9.

[5] Raben, A., et al., Resistant starch: the effect on postprandial glycemia, hormonal response, and satiety. Am J Clin Nutr, 1994. 60(4): p. 544-51.

[6] Howatson, G., et al., Effect of tart cherry juice (Prunus cerasus) on melatonin levels and enhanced sleep quality. Eur J Nutr, 2012. 51(8): p. 909-16.

Health Benefits Of Fruit

Health Benefits of Fruit
Graphic: © Image sources – see foot of article.

Adding more fruits to your diet helps reduce the risk of disease and improve overall health. Some of them are rich in essential nutrients and potent compounds that provide unique science-supported benefits, as shown below:

1. Pineapples: Pineapples contain manganese and calcium – both of which help build strong bones. [1] They also contain a mixture of enzymes (bromelain) that help digest food and reduce inflammation. [2]

2. Bananas: Bananas contain the L-tryptophan amino acid, which is converted into serotonin (aka., the happy chemical). According to a 2014 study, “consuming more dietary tryptophan resulted in less depressive symptoms and decreased anxiety.” [3]

3. Cherries: Some fruits – including cherries – are rich in anthocyanins, which are bioactive phytochemicals that have been shown to reduce the risk of certain types of cancer. [4]

4. Oranges: A 141-gram orange contains 63.5 mg of vitamin C (117% RDI) and high levels of a fiber known as pectin. Both of these nutrients are linked with anti-cancer effects. [5]

5. Watermelon: A watermelon is a good source of heart-friendly nutrients such as potassium, magnesium, vitamins C, B6, and A. The fruit also contains the amino acid citrulline that facilitates the production of nitric oxide – and consequently lower blood pressure. [6]

6. Lemons: Some studies show that drinking lemon water keeps you hydrated, relieves constipation, and preserves the liver’s detoxification ability. [7] Plus it’s a mild diuretic (increase urine frequency). [8]

7. Grapes: Grapes contain flavonoids that promote the production of nitric oxide – hence reducing blood clots. [9]

8. Apples: Studies show that apples reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. They help control hyperglycemia (high levels of blood sugar) thanks to their content of fructose and polyphenols that slow down the absorption of sugars. [10]

Please note that this content should never be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinicians.


[1] Pineapple, raw, all varieties Nutrition Facts & Calories

[2] Rathnavelu V. et al. 2016. Potential role of bromelain in clinical and therapeutic applications.

[3] Lindseth, G. et al. 2015. The Effects of Dietary Tryptophan on Affective Disorders

[4] Tart cherry anthocyanins inhibit tumor development in Apc(Min) mice and reduce proliferation of human colon cancer cells

[5] Park, S. et al. 2018. Vitamin C in Cancer: A Metabolomics Perspective

[6] Collins JK. et al. 2007. Watermelon consumption increases plasma arginine concentrations in adults.

[7] Omar M.E. Abdel-Salam et al. 2014. Citric Acid Effects on Brain and Liver Oxidative Stress in Lipopolysaccharide-Treated Mice

[8] Penniston KL. et al. 2007. Lemonade therapy increases urinary citrate and urine volumes in patients with recurrent calcium oxalate stone formation.

[9] Folts JD. 2002. Potential health benefits from the flavonoids in grape products on vascular disease.

[10] Muraki, Isao et al. 2013. Fruit consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes: results from three prospective longitudinal cohort studies

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Health Benefits of Fruit
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Pineapple –
Banana –
Cherries –
Orange –
Watermelon –
Lemon –
Grapes –
Apples –