We all know fruits are healthy, but do we know precisely why?
Pears are a great source of one of life's little miracles...soluble fiber. Turns out not all fiber is the same. Soluble fiber absorbs water, as well as excess cholesterol in the gut, which has a generally appreciated softening effect on the stool.
A pear generally contains between 3-4 grams of soluble fiber, and research has shown that consuming between 3 and 6 grams of soluble fiber daily may decrease cholesterol levels. To top it all off, pears are a great source of potassium (approx 212mg/pear), a mineral vital for maintaining proper heartbeat and muscle function. And really, who doesn't love having a good strong heartbeat?
Yet another supplier of the ever useful potassium, Cherries are also a good source of copper, and a natural source of melatonin, which has gained recent popularity as a natural sleep aid. One of my favorite aspect of cherries though, is the color. The colors are derived from anthocyanins, which are especially concentrated in the fruit of the skin and have great anti-inflammatory properties. In fact, cherry juice is a time tested remedy for gout, as it relieves inflammation and breaks up uric acid crystals in the joint that are bringin' the pain.
Does an apple a day keep the doctor away? Turns out...yes. Apples are nutritional powerhouses, but there is a catch. A large portion of their nutrients are found in the skin, so stop peeling the darned things! Get a natural fruit and veggie wash, give em a scrub and enjoy! They are a great source of natural B vitamins, as well as fiber, calcium, potassium and phosphorous. Some promising studies have linked apple consumption with improving neurological health and decreasing risk of a stroke, as well as reducing risk of diabetes and breast cancer.
Oranges are famous for their vitamin C content, and it's no surprise why. Most commonly eaten fruits do not match or exceed the cheery orange for Vitamin C content, and few fruit eaters will be going out the grocery store to load up on guavas, kiwis, and acerola berries (although if you do, good an you as they are LOADED with C).
They are also an good source of folate, one of the B vitamins and therefore good for feeding your nervous system and providing you with a calm healthy source of natural energy. Like all B's, folate is water soluble and won't stay in your body for long. Guess you will have to eat an orange a day ;)
If all of this doesn't convince you to give fruits a shot, please consider that they also make a very fine hat... and now you have another compelling reason to pick up some fruit!