Choose fruits across the rainbow spectrum. Aim for a variety as they’re packed with vitamins, minerals and fibre

Fruit and fruit juices energise your life. Glow the fruity way!

Consume fruit raw, with the skin or with the skin peeled off. If you are not a fruit eater, the next best way is to drink fresh fruit juices.

Different fruits are rich in different vitamins, minerals and fibre.

So, aim for a variety, and pick them across the rainbow spectrum.

The fruit of the matter

Fruits are alkaline and are a source of potassium, magnesium calcium and sodium. They help maintain the electrolyte balance. They have high water content, almost 70 per cent to 90 per cent and most are alkaline. They help the body eliminate toxins. They contain 20 per cent to 55 per cent of healthy sugars, are low in fat, high in fibre and are filled with immunity-boosting Vitamins A and C, and the seeds have Vitamins B and E. Eat two to five servings of fruits every day.

Some common fruits and what they do for you

Most experts will vote for eating the whole fruit versus the juice as it has more fibre

Banana Rich in potassium and sugar, it also provides the body with nourishment and energy.

Apple Apple and its juice are cleansing and detoxifying. Pectin, contained in apple, reduces cholesterol.

Did you know?

Banana: A large banana has about 100 calories. It is richer in solids and lower in water content than most fresh fruits. It provides instant energy and quick recovery from fatigue.

Orange: Orange is a general tonic for weak digestion, improves the immunity system and helps combat fevers.

D-limonene, found in oranges, is a natural cholesterol lowering substance.

Papaya: Papaya contains the enzyme papain, which improves digestion. It also helps rid the body of intestinal worms, eases inflammation and combats constipation.

Pineapple: Pineapple is a diuretic, which detoxifies the body, purifies the blood, prevents blood clots and increases circulation. It contains the enzyme bromelin, which improves digestive functioning.

Watermelon: Watermelon is a diuretic, and can help reduce weight. It is a good source of lycopene, an anticancer substance. It is also used to treat kidney and urinary tract problems.

Lemon: Lemon has antiseptic properties, and is useful during dysentery, flus, colds and coughs. Lemon juice, diluted in water, cools the system (especially during summer) and calms the nerves.

Tomato: “Fruit” vegetables, such as tomatoes are filling and yet low in calories. Tomato detoxifies the liver, purifies the blood and improves digestion. It also helps control blood sugar levels (for diabetics) and reduce weight.

The fruit kingdom is filled with nutrients that help prevent and combat ill-health.

An example:

Obesity: Consume lemon, watermelon, grapefruit

Cholesterol: Consume orange

Constipation: Consume papaya, banana, grapefruit, pineapple

Note: always check with your physician for special recommendations best suited to your needs.

Juice your way to good health

Fresh fruit juice is a fantastic way to get your nutrients in a glass. But, remember juice has more calories than eating the whole fruit. Keep this in mind, especially if you want to cut back on calories.

Juicy tips

Always wash the fruit thoroughly.

Exposure to air oxidises the juice and it gets a sour taste, drink it within half an hour of preparing it.

If you have to prepare juice early, put it in an airtight container and refrigerate it or freeze it. Thaw and drink.

Include the white inner skin of citrus fruits which is full of bioflavonoids, (sometimes known as vitamin P, they have an antibacterial effect, and help in the absorption of vitamin C).

Add lemon juice to reduce oxidation of nutrients and preserve the natural colour.

Dilute the juice, (three parts of juice with one part of water) if you have a sensitive stomach.

Can I drink as much juice as I want? How much juice to drink?

Water is your best thirst quencher. Remember the juices contain sugar and calories.

How to get the best juice? You want all the benefits of fruit, the pulp and the fibre? Use a blender. A juice extractor removes the fibre and makes the juice smooth, so use a blender instead to retain the pulp.

The writer is a certified Clinical Exercise Specialist, Lifestyle and Weight Management Specialist.