FRUITS

MY FRUIT PROJECT

What is in the fruit group?

Any fruit or 100% fruit juice counts as part of the Fruit Group. Fruits may be fresh, canned, frozen, or dried, and may be whole, cut-up, or pureed.

How much do you need?

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.

You should make half your plate fruits and veggies.

How to count fruit servings.

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. The following specific amounts count as 1 cup of fruit (in some cases equivalents for ½ cup are also shown) towards your daily recommended intake:

Tips for eating more fruit!

    1. Keep a bowl of whole fruit on the table, counter, or in the refrigerator.
    2. Refrigerate cut-up fruit to store for later.
    3. Buy fresh fruits in season when they may be less expensive and at their peak flavor.
    4. Buy fruits that are dried, frozen, and canned (in water or 100% juice) as well as fresh, so that you always have a supply on hand.
    5. Consider convenience when shopping. Try pre-cut packages of fruit (such as melon or pineapple chunks) for a healthy snack in seconds. Choose packaged fruits that do not have added sugars.

    Health and nutrition benefits

    Eating fruit provides health benefits — people who eat more fruits and vegetables as part of an overall healthy dietare likely to have a reduced risk of some chronic diseases. Fruits provide nutrients vital for health and maintenance of your body.


    Health Benefits

    • Eating a diet rich in vegetables and fruits as part of an overall healthy dietmay reduce risk for heart disease, including heart attack and stroke.
    • Eating a diet rich in some vegetables and fruits as part of an overall healthy diet may protect against certain types of cancers.
    • Diets rich in foods containing fiber, such as some vegetables and fruits, may reduce the risk of heart disease, obesity, and type 2 diabetes.
    • Eating vegetables and fruits rich in potassium as part of an overall healthy diet may lower blood pressure, and may also reduce the risk of developing kidney stones and help to decrease bone loss.
    • Eating foods such as fruits that are lower 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 sources of many essential nutrients that are underconsumed, 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, as part of an overall healthy diet, 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 should consume adequate folate from foods, and in addition 400 mcg of synthetic folic acid from fortified foods or supplements. This reduces the risk of neural tube defects, spina bifida, and anencephaly during fetal development.