The Mediterranean diet has long been considered to be the optimum diet for the human heart given it includes plenty of fresh fruit. WHO guidelines recommend that each of us should aim to eat at least five portions of different fruit or vegetables on a daily basis. A portion of fruit constitutes a single fruit such as an Apple, a small cup of fruit such as grapes or raspberries, or a glass of pure fruit juice. It is okay to include dried, tinned and frozen fruit as part of your five a day but be careful with tinned fruits given they are frequently sweetened with syrups and in many cases contains less vitamin C. Wherever possible purchase fruit that has been canned in its own juices without the addition of extra sugars.

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Fruit itself is an excellent source of antioxidants examples which are bioflavonoid and vitamin C all helping to protect us against degenerative diseases, heart disease and cancer are good examples. Fruit is also low in calories and is therefore an exceptional foodstuff for anybody attempting to lose weight.

Fresh fruit and fruit juices provide most of our regular intake of vitamins C, with citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons and tangerines being the most important sources. Other providers of vitamins C in our diets include kiwifruit, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, mangoes and papayas. Fruits with a deep yellow or orange flash good examples are apricots, mangoes and cantaloupe melons, obtain their colour from an yellow orange pigment known as beta carotene, otherwise known as the plant form of vitamin A.

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This, it is understood, helps to protect us against free radicals and some have suggested even cancer. The majority of fruits are also rich in potassium which is especially true of bananas and dried fruits. Potassium works to regulate our blood pressures and it also works in tandem with sodium to regulate the body's fluid balance. Other reasons why fruit is so valuable in our diets is because it contains both soluble and insoluble fibres. Insoluble fibres help to prevent constipation and are also connected with a reduced risk of colon cancer whereas soluble fibres have been shown to help lower blood cholesterol levels.

Citrus fruits and indeed dried fruits such as dates, figs, raisins and apricots are also particularly good sources of fibre in our diets. There are many benefits to including the proportions of fruit in your diet including vitamins C, antioxidants and potassium with the only notable drawback is that fruit juices can contribute towards tooth decay. That said, this is a small price to pay for a healthy body utilising a balanced diet of fruit.

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