Health Benefits of Fruits
Fruits are some of the most beautiful creations of God and given to us for food. Humans have gathered wild fruits for food since the time of Adam and Eve. Indeed, many people appreciate the beauty and taste of fruits, but without giving much thought about their goodness and nutritional value. Simple sugars like fructose and sucrose as well as some fibres are the main nutritional components of fruits. They are also the best source of natural sweeteners packed with smaller amounts of many other nutrients like Vitamins A and C, and minerals like potassium. Fruits contain a wide variety of nutrients that needed by us to support good health. The succulent and irresistible taste of wholesome fruits has surely earned them a place of honour in the diet of natural food.
When purchasing fruits, it is best to select fruits that are local and in season. Fruits with a cooling nature are more suitable for people with overheated blood systems. According to traditional Chinese medicine, cooling fruits can cause wind and should not be taken by persons with a cool blood system. Wind in the body may cause tremors, convulsion, spasms and travelling pain. Certain cooling fruits can aggravate epilepsy, arthritis and rheumatism. Therefore, it is very important to understand the nature of fruits, that is whether they are cooling, neutral or warming in nature before consuming them so that fruits are beneficial to the body and not vice versa. Refer to the few examples below that I would like to share about the health benefits of each of them:
The apple is a fruit with a cooling nature, sweet and slightly sour. Sweet, red apples have a more neutral nature. Apples have very little vitamin C and this is easily lost when they are stored for too long. With a low sodium but high potassium content, apples enhance the muscle functions of the heart, thus strengthening it. Apples quench thirsts, normalise blood pressure and cholesterol, relieve constipation when eaten with skin, it also aids digestion and increase appetite in convalescing persons. For people with cool blood system, steam apples may help to reduce the cooling effect.
Dates are a neutral to warming nature and sweet. They are rich in phosphorus, Vitamin B 2 and C. Red dates nourish the body fluids and blood, tone the spleen and stomach, stop diarrhoea, detoxify and harmonise the internal body, as well as calm the mind. Dates lubricate the lungs and stop coughs. Black dates are made from red dates that are dried in the sun and then steamed and baked. This is done repeatedly until they turn black. They are slightly warming in nature. Please be cautious that too many dates may cause distended stomaches and create mucous.
Kiwi fruits are cooling in nature, sweet and sour. They contain more than 100% of Vitamin C of our daily needs, fibre and magnesium. They lower cholesterol and blood pressure, build stronger arteries and are good for skeletal repair and growth. When buying kiwi fruits, select fruits that are firm, but give in slightly when pressed. They are best taken chilled and plain, scooped directly from the skin with a teaspoon. Please be cautious that kiwi fruits may trigger coughing spasm or wheezing in persons who are allergic to it
Pineapples are a neutral to warming nature, sweet and sour. The most nourishing pineapples are the sun-ripened ones. The fullness of the eyes and strong aroma are good indicators of ripeness. Check the fruit stalk for freshness. Do not pick pineapples with shriveled fruit stalks. Sour or not ripened pineapples are less warming. Pineapples are good for quenching thirst. They help keep up a healthy spleen, aid digestion and urination, reduce swelling, stop diarrhoea and remove heat from body.
Star fruits are a cooling to warming nature, sweet and slightly astringent. Green and sour fruits are more cooling in nature while the yellow and sweet ones are more warming. Star fruits aid in the formation of body fluids and activate saliva production. They promote urination and reduce fevers. Star fruits also help digestion and relieve stomach disorders, lover blood pressure, ease coughing and throat inflammation and help the detox of body