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Importance of Fruits in Diet

The Importance of Having Fruits in our Diet

Fruits are one of the oldest forms of food known to man. In fact, Adam, the first man ate an apple, the 'forbidden fruit' of heaven. There are many references to fruits in ancient literature. Vedas state that the fruits form the base of the Food of Gods. According to Quran, the fruits like grape, date, fig, olive and pomegranate are gifts and heavenly fruits of God.

The people in ancient times regarded fruits to be endowed with magic, or divine properties. They gave them due reverence and dedicated them to their gods and goddesses. They also used their designs in decorating temples, vestments or ceremonial garments and sacred vessels.

Fresh and dry fruits are the natural staple food of man. They contain substantial quantities of essential nutrients in a rational proportion. They are excellent sources of minerals, vitamins and enzymes. They are easily digested and exercise a cleansing effect on the blood and the digestive tract. Persons subsisting on this natural diet will always enjoy good health. Moreover, the ailments caused by the intake of unnatural foods can be successfully treated by fruits. Fresh and dry fruits are thus not only a good food but also a good medicine.

Fruits have highly beneficial natural effect on the human system. The main physiological actions of fruits are as follows:

  • Hydrating Effect - Taking of fruits or fruit juice is the most pleasant way of hydrating the organism. The water absorbed by sick persons in this manner has an added advantage of supplying sugar and minerals at the same time.

  • Diuretic Effect - Clinical observations have shown that potassium, magnesium and sodium contents of the fruit act as a diuretic and dieresis - frequency of urination is considerably increased when fruits and fruit juices are taken. They lower the urine density and thereby accelerate the elimination of nitrogenous waste and chlorides. As, however, fruits contain a very low level of sodium, they make a valuable contribution to a salt-free diet.

  • Alkalinizing Effect - The organic acids of the salts in fruits produce alkaline carbonates, when transformed within the organism, which alkalize the fluids. All fruits promote intestinal elimination. This keeps the body free from toxic wastes which creep into the blood from an overloaded, sluggish intestinal tract. The carbohydrates of fruits are chiefly in the form of sugar, dextrin and acids which are easily digestible and are completely absorbed. Hence, they are very useful for sick and invalids for quick energy and heat.

  • Mineralizing Effect - Fruits furnish minerals to the body. Dried fruits such as apricots, raisins and dates are rich in calcium and iron. These minerals are essential for strong bones and good blood respectively. Some fruits, like custard apple, furnish calcium to the extent of 800 mg. per fruit, which is sufficient to meet our daily requirement of this mineral.

  • Laxative Effect - The fibrous matter in fruits, cellulose, aids in the smooth passage of the food in the digestive tract and easy bowel action. The sugars and organic acids contained in fruits also increase their laxative effect. Hence, regular use of fruits prevents and cures constipation.

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