Fruits, as dependable sources of vitamins,
exert a tonic effect in the body. Guavas, custard apples and citrus
fruits like lemons and oranges, are particularly valuable sources of
vitamin C. These fruits are usually eaten fresh and raw, thus making the
vitamins fully available to us. Several fruits contain good amounts of
carotene which gets converted to vitamin A in the body.
A medium-sized mango can provide as much as
15,000 international units of vitamin A which is sufficient for full one
week and this vitamin can be stored in the body. The common papaya is an
excellent source of vitamin C and carotene.
Fruits are at their best when eaten in the
raw and ripe state. In cooking, they lose portions of the nutrient salts
and carbohydrates. They are most beneficial when taken as a separate
meal by themselves, preferably for breakfast in the morning. A
combination of fruits with vegetables is not considered good. If it
becomes necessary to take fruits with regular food, they should form a
larger proportion of the meals. Fruits, however, make better combination
with milk than with meals. It is also desirable to take one kind of
fruit at a time.
In case of sickness, it will be advisable to
take fruits in the form of juice. However, juice should be taken
immediately after extraction as it begins to decompose quickly and loses