# 3 - EXPANDING "SCD" > * WHAT FRUIT CAN DO FOR YOU


People who eat more fruits and vegetables as part of an overall healthy diet are likely to have a reduced risk of some chronic diseases. Fruits provide vitamins and minerals vital for your body's health.

Health benefits

  • Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables may reduce risk for stroke and heart disease.
  • Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables may reduce risk for type 2 diabetes.
  • Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables may protect against certain cancers, such as mouth, stomach, and colorectal cancer.
  • Diets rich in foods containing fiber, such as fruits and vegetables, may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.
  • Eating fruits and vegetables rich in potassium may reduce the risk of developing kidney stones and may help to decrease bone loss.
  • Eating foods such as fruits that are low in calories per cup instead of some other higher-calorie food may be useful in helping to lower calorie intake.

Nutrients

Most fruits are naturally low in fat, sodium, and calories. None have cholesterol.

  • Fruits are important sources of many nutrients, including potassium, dietary fiber, vitamin C, and folate (folic acid).
  • Diets rich in potassium may help to maintain healthy blood pressure. Fruit sources of potassium include bananas, prunes and prune juice, dried peaches and apricots, cantaloupe, honeydew melon, and orange juice.
  • Dietary fiber from fruits helps reduce blood cholesterol levels and may lower risk of heart disease. Fiber is important for proper bowel function. It helps reduce constipation and diverticulosis. Fiber-containing foods such as fruits help provide a feeling of fullness with fewer calories. Whole or cut-up fruits are sources of dietary fiber; fruit juices contain little or no fiber.
  • Vitamin C is important for growth and repair of all body tissues, helps heal cuts and wounds, and keeps teeth and gums healthy.
  • Folate (folic acid) helps the body form red blood cells. Women of childbearing age who may become pregnant and those in the first trimester of pregnancy should be sure to get adequate folate, including folic acid from fortified foods or supplements. This reduces the risk of birth defects called neural tube defects, including spina bifida and anencephaly.

What Counts As A Fruit?

Any fruit or 100% fruit juice counts as part of the fruit group. Fruits may be fresh, frozen, or dried (with no sugar coatings or sulfites), and may be whole, cut-up, or pureed.

How Much Fruit Should I Eat?

The amount of fruit you need to eat depends on age, sex, and level of physical activity. Recommended daily amounts are shown in the chart.

Daily Recommendation*

Children

2-3 years old
4-8 years old

1 cup
1 to 1 ½ cups

Girls

9-13 years old
14-18 years old

1 ½ cups
1 ½ cups

Boys

9-13 years old
14-18 years old

1 ½ cups
2 cups

Women

19-30 years old
31-50 years old
51+ years old

2 cups
1 ½ cups
1 ½ cups

Men

19-30 years old
31-50 years old
51+ years old

2 cups
2 cups
2 cups

*These amounts are for individuals who get less than 30 minutes per day of physical activity beyond normal daily activities. Those who are more physically active may be able to eat more while staying within calorie needs.

What Counts as a Cup of Fruit?

In general, 1 cup of fruit or 100% fruit juice, or ½ cup of dried fruit can be considered as 1 cup from the fruit group.

What Fruit Can Do for You

People who eat more fruits and vegetables as part of an overall healthy diet are likely to have a reduced risk of some chronic diseases. Fruits provide vitamins and minerals vital for your body's health.

_______________________________________________

Tips for Making Fruit Work for You

Getting enough fruit in your diet may seem overwhelming. But a few simple tricks can help you enjoy nutrient-packed, delicious fruit from day to day.

Below are tips on buying, preparing, and making fruit more appealing to children.

Quick Tips for Buying, Preparing Fruit

  • Keep a bowl of whole fruit on the table, counter, or in the refrigerator.
  • Refrigerate cut-up fruit to eat later.
  • Buy fresh fruits in season when they may be less expensive and at their peak flavor.
  • Buy fruits that are dried, frozen, or canned (in water or natural juice, not syrup) as well as fresh, so that you always have a supply on hand.
  • Consider convenience when shopping. Buy precut packages of fruit (such as melon or pineapple chunks) for a healthy snack in seconds. Choose packaged fruits that do not have added sugars or sulfites.

Picking the Best Fruit:

  • To get the benefits of fiber, reach for whole or cut-up fruit rather than juice.
  • Select fruits with more potassium often, such as bananas, prunes and prune juice, dried peaches and apricots, cantaloupe, honeydew melon, and orange juice.
  • When choosing canned fruits, select fruit canned in 100% fruit juice or water rather then syrup.
  • Vary your fruit choices to get a wide variety of nutrients.

Packing Fruit Into Meals:

  • At breakfast, top your cereal with bananas or peaches; add blueberries to pancakes; drink 100% orange or grapefruit juice. Or, try fruit mixed with homemade SCD yogurt.
  • At lunch, pack a tangerine, banana, or grapes to eat, or choose fruits from a salad bar. Individual containers of fruits like peaches or applesauce are easy and convenient.
  • At dinner, add crushed pineapple to coleslaw, or include mandarin oranges or grapes in a tossed salad.
  • Make a Waldorf salad, with apples, celery, walnuts, and dressing.
  • Try meat dishes that incorporate fruit, such as chicken with apricots or mango chutney.
  • Add fruit like pineapple or peaches to kabobs as part of a barbecue meal.
  • For dessert, have baked apples, pears, or a fruit salad.

Snack Time

  • Cut-up fruit makes a great snack. Either cut them yourself, or buy pre-cut packages of fruit pieces like pineapples or melons. Or, try whole fresh berries or grapes.
  • Dried fruits (without sugar coatings or additives) also make a great snack. They are easy to carry and store well. Because they are dried, ¼ cup is equivalent to ½ cup of other fruits.
  • Keep a package of dried fruit in your desk or bag. Some fruits that are available dried include apricots, apples, pineapple, bananas, cherries, figs, dates, cranberries, blueberries, prunes (dried plums), and raisins (dried grapes).
  • As a snack, spread organic nut butter on apple slices or top homemade SCD frozen yogurt with berries or slices of kiwi fruit.
  • Homemade frozen juice bars (100% juice not from concentrate) make healthy snacks.

Make Fruit More Appealing:

  • Many fruits taste great with a dip or dressing. Try homemade SCD dripped yogurt as a dip for fruits like strawberries or melons.
  • Make a fruit smoothie by blending yogurt with fresh or frozen fruit. Try bananas, peaches, strawberries, or other berries.
  • Try pureed fruit as a substitute for some of the oil when baking cakes.
  • Try different textures of fruits. For example, apples are crunchy, bananas are smooth and creamy, and oranges are juicy.
  • For fresh fruit salads, mix apples, bananas, or pears with acidic fruits like oranges, pineapple, or lemon juice to keep them from turning brown.

Turning Children Into Fruit Lovers:

  • Set a good example for children by eating fruit everyday with meals or as snacks.
  • Offer children a choice of fruits for lunch.
  • Depending on their age, children can help shop for, clean, peel, or cut up fruits.
  • While shopping, allow children to pick out a new fruit to try later at home.
  • Decorate plates or serving dishes with fruit slices.
  • Top off a bowl of almond flour “cereal” with some berries. Or, make a smiley face with sliced bananas for eyes, raisins for a nose, and an orange slice for a mouth.
  • Offer raisins or other dried fruits (without sugars or additives) instead of candy.
  • Make fruit kabobs using pineapple chunks, bananas, grapes, and berries.
  • Pack 100% diluted juice in children's lunches versus soda or other sugar-sweetened beverages.
  • Choose fruit options, such as sliced apples or mixed fruit cup that are available in some restaurants.
  • Offer fruit pieces and diluted 100% fruit juice to children. (There is often little fruit in "fruit-flavored" beverages or chewy fruit snacks.)

Avoid a Fruit Snafu

  • Wash fruits before preparing or eating them. Under clean, running water, rub fruits briskly with your hands to remove dirt and surface microorganisms. Dry after washing.
  • Keep fruits separate from raw meat, poultry and seafood while shopping, preparing, or storing.

SCD adapted by Kay Stence from:  www.webmd.com

Kay Stence