When it comes to fruits, most people have their favourite and are quick to have a slice or two each day. While some people are endeared to paw paws, others prefer mangoes, while many love watermelon.
Linda Arinda is one such culprit. She is so fond of pineapples and can eat a whole pineapple. While Arinda may be comfortable eating one type of fruit daily, nutritionists say this is not healthy.
Variety is the key to a balanced diet, and this also applies to the fruits you eat. The more types of fruits you eat, the better since different fruits contain different nutrients, says Dr Amos Mulindwa.
He says people like Arinda miss most fruit nutrients. The nutrients in fruits are good for our eyes, bones and the heart. They boost immunity and aid brain function.
The World Health Organisation recommends a diet of at least five portions of different fruits a day.
These offer fibre and potassium. For proper functioning of your heart and muscles, potassium is something you shouldn’t skip, says Mulindwa.
The fibre in apples reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke.
Watermelon is not only great on a hot day. This thirst-quencher also quenches the inflammations that cause asthma, atherosclerosis, diabetes, colon cancer and arthritis.
Packed with natural antioxidants, watermelons oxidise cholesterol, which sticks to blood vessel walls,causing heart attacks or stroke. Cholesterols make asthma attacks worse and can increase the inflammation of osteoarthritis and arthritis.
However, the vitamin C and beta-carotene in watermelon rids the body of such harmful effects.
Pomegranates stop blood clots and increase blood flow from the heart by up to 30%.
They also slow the growth of tumors. Some studies link eating pomegranate to a reduced risk of breast cancer.
Oranges pack a dual punch of citrus and anti-oxidants that every person needs. With vitamin C and folic acid, oranges enhance the immunity.
If you do not want to mix and match a half dozen fruits to get all Vitamin A, Mulindwa says eat a mango.
You’ll also get vitamin C to ward off colds and seasonal viruses, he adds.