Fruits are the fleshy products of plants (technically growing from the ovary of the plant), which contains some kind of seed or seeds from which a new plant can be grown.
They are an excellent source of micronutrients, particularly the water-soluble ones, and should be included in everyone's diet on a daily basis. Apart from vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber, they are also an excellent source of phytonutrients and antioxidants which can greatly benefit the overall human health.
Fruits are also a concentrated source of carbohydrates, mainly the sugar, fructose, so can contain more calories than you might think. Nonetheless, they are packed with micronutrients and often do not result in blood sugar spikes.
Maximizing the Micronutrients
The absolute best way to eat fruit is in their original, raw, fresh and ripe form when the flavor and nutritional value are at a peak.
Juicing, drying, freezing and canning of fruit might cause the loss of some nutrients. Juicing results in a significant loss of dietary fiber. Drying causes loss of water and therefore the loss of water-soluble vitamins as well (which also increases the caloric value per gram). Freezing and canning also cause the loss of water-soluble vitamins.
Daily requirements change rapidly between birth and 2 years of age, so we recommend you check out the age-specific meal plans for those ages.
|2 - 3||1 cup||1 cup|
|4 - 8||1-1.5 cups||1-1.5 cups|
|9 - 13||1.5 cups||1.5 cups|
|14 - 18||2 cups||1.5 cups|
|19 - 30||2 cups||2 cups|
|31 - 50||2 cups||1.5 cups|
|51+||2 cups||1.5 cups|
Check this out for a reference guide for how much of specific fruits is meant by "1 cup".