You know fruits are good for you, but do you know why?

If you've ever wondered exactly why fruits are considered good for the body, here're five specific health benefits of your favourite fruits.

Yaw Adu

Yaw Adu

Pharmacy Technologist, Nyaho Medical Centre

While most people appreciate that fruits are good for us, and that we should consume more of them, fruits don't feature nearly enough in the diets of many Ghanaians. Why is that?

One possible reason is that while most people take it on good faith that fruits have health benefits, many can't actually pinpoint exactly why fruits are beneficial to the body. If the question "What're the health benefits of fruits?" leaves you scratching your head, this should help!

1. Fruit enhances the skin

Photo credit: Mateus Bassan.

Did you know that having great skin has a lot to do with what we put inside our bodies, arguably more so than the lotions and creams we apply onto our skin?

Citrus fruits (such as oranges, grapefruit, lemons and limes) contain high levels of Ascorbic acid (Vitamin c) which is essential for a good complexion, because it is responsible for collagen formation. 

Healthy collagen keeps our bodies from developing wrinkles and sagging. Other fruits like avocado, mangoes, and berries are loaded with vitamins and antioxidants that keep your skin young and fresh. Plus fruits and vegetables have medicinal properties that promote the healing of wounds faster and easier with amazing results.

Photo credit: Keilidh Ewan

2. Fruits helps fight diabetes and helps with hypertension management

Doctors recommend that we eat fruits and vegetables as part of the non-pharmacological treatment of chronic conditions such as diabetes and hypertension. Studies have shown that fruits have a mellowing effect on blood sugar levels, and can help lower blood pressure. 

Be mindful, however, that if you have these conditions, you need to have the right mix of fruits. Fruits such as apricot, banana, avocado, grapefruit, melons, oranges, and lemons are known to be effective in managing these conditions.

Photo credits: Ernest Porzi (first), Neha Deshmukh (second)

3. Fruits boost the immune system

Fruits are full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that firm up the immune system to fight ailments, and speed up the recovery process when you're ill. 

Orange, pineapple, guava, banana, berries, and pawpaw are all good sources of vitamins and minerals that promote our natural defenses.

Photo credit: Anda Ambrosini

4. Fruits help with the development of children

It's very important that parents make it a priority to add fruits to the nutrition of their kids. 

Fruits aid the general growth of children, boosts their immune system, and enhances the development of their brains. Kids with little or no fruit in their diet are prone to diseases and infections and generally perform poorly in school.

Photo credit: Roberta Sorge (first), Daniela (Second)

5. Fruits help prevent constipation

Fruits such as oranges, pineapples, berries, and apples contain fiber which helps in relieving and preventing constipation. Be mindful not to discard the skin of these fruits as they contain most of the fiber which promotes free bowel movement.

Please eat a fruit a day!

I encourage you to set yourself the personal challenge of eating at least one fruit a day. And please do share their benefits with friends and family.