Fruit gets a bad rap and is often considered just as fattening as a candy bar. But experts say, they’re not the same, and here are a few reasons why fruit should be part of your daily diet:
First: Fruit helps us stay at a healthy weight. Studies show that fruit-eaters have the lowest body mass index, even lower than veggie-eaters. Scientists believe it’s because fruits tend to replace higher calorie sweets while vegetables are typically an add-on to a meal. For example, we’re much likelier to eat grapes instead of a cookie. But we probably wouldn’t eat broccoli instead of a sandwich. But swapping fruits for treats translates to huge calorie savings.
Another reason we should eat fruit every day: It makes us look younger. Fruit-eaters are rated as healthier looking and more attractive compared to those who rarely ate fruit. Researchers say it’s because fruit is packed with antioxidants. And oxidation is what causes pre-mature aging and disease. Think of a copper roof. It’s shiny and coppery when it’s new. Then the oxygen hits it, ages it and turns it green. In the same way, the antioxidants in fruit keep our skin looking like a new copper roof. They affect skin pigment, improve circulation and give us a glow. Antioxidants also fight off damage from sun exposure, pollution and cigarette smoke.
And don’t believe the people who say fruit is no better than candy because it’s loaded with sugar. Here’s the difference: Fresh fruit is high in water and fiber, so its natural sugar is less concentrated than other sweet foods. For example, one cup of whole strawberries contains about seven grams of sugar compared to 21 grams in handful of gummy bears or 30 grams of sugar in a can of soda. And even really sweet fruits are good for us. The mango has three times more sugar than raspberries, but it’s been shown to prevent or stop the growth of breast and colon cancer cells. Can you say that about gummy bears?