Apples may not be the nutritional king of the fruit bowl, but if you eat an apple a day, it will provide you with adequate amounts of soluble and insoluble fibre, vitamin C, beta-carotene, potassium and boron.
They grow best in mild climates. There are more than 7,000 cultivators of apples, so whether you like the sweet or the sour, there’s always an apple for you!
Fresh apricots are notable for their fragrance, delicate flavour and velvety surface. When eaten fresh, they are exceptionally high in beta-carotene. They are also rich in soluble fibre. The dried ones are rich in potassium. Although, often thought of as a subtropical fruit, the apricot is native to a continental climate region with cold winters.
From infants to elders, everyone loves bananas. Bananas contain three natural types of sugars – sucrose, fructose and glucose combined with fibre. Bananas give instant, sustained and substantial boost of energy, the reason why many athletes consume them. A banana contains about 450mg of potassium and only 1 mg of sodium, and is a good addition to your daily diet. Potassium is essential for maintaining normal blood pressure and good heart function.
They may be small in size, but the mighty blackcurrants are bursting with more antioxidants than most other fruit and vegetables. Black currants don't just taste delicious. Eating them can help protect your body against a myriad of illnesses including cardiovascular disease and ageing. Blackcurrants are full of health promoting antioxidants. It's these special antioxidants, called anthocyanins, which give blackcurrants their distinctive dark colour. The darker the blackcurrants, the more anthocyanins they contain and the better they are for you. Black currants are also especially rich in vitamin C.
With flavors that range from mildly sweet to tart and tangy, blueberries are nutritional stars bursting with nutrition while being very low in calories. Blueberries top in several researches, rating highest in their capacity to destroy free radicals. They neutralize free radical damage to the collagen matrix of cells and tissues.
Most grapes grow on woody vines that are not raised from seeds, but are propagated from cuttings or grafted onto existing rootstocks. They are incredibly rich in vitamin A, C and P (bioflavonoid) and possess elements such as germanium and selenium. Grapes benefit the blood system as they purify and enrich it with red globules. Raisins and sultanas are a concentrated source of calories, sugar and nutrients.
The kiwi fruit looks like a hairy brown egg. On the inside it has velvety green flesh sprinkled with tiny edible black seeds. Kiwi fruit is very high in vitamin C and is an excellent source of potassium. The top producers of kiwis in the world are Italy, New Zealand and Chile.
The bulk of lemons belong to either of the two varieties - Eurekas or Lisbons. Eurekas may have a few seeds and a somewhat pitted skin, while Lisbons are commonly seedless, with smoother skin. Both types have medium thick skins and are extremely juicy. Lemons are very rich in citric acid and vitamin C. They contain phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, sodium and calcium.
The inside of a litchi consists of a thick, translucent white fleshy sweet layer that is rich in vitamin C, with a texture somewhat similar to that of a grape. This fruit has a pink-red, roughly textured rind that is inedible, and can be easily removed. They particularly grow in the tropical and sub-tropical regions of South East Asia, China and India.
Mango, the king of all fruit, has a smooth skin and orange yellow flesh, which is rich in vitamin A and C. When ripe, the flesh is soft and exceptionally juicy, to an extent that eating a mango can be a fairly messy activity. The taste, however, is matchless. Most mangoes start off green and develop patches of gold, yellow, or red as they ripen. Their content of vitamin C varies according to the type of mango. They are a useful source of vitamin E and iron. Ripe mangoes are rich in beta-carotene.
Oranges contain vitamin C and flavanoids. Orange trees and orange hybrids such as tangerines and tangelos, are semi-tropical evergreens. Oranges are firm, heavy for their size, and evenly shaped. Thin-skinned oranges are juicier than thick-skinned specimens; and small to medium sized fruits are sweeter than the larger ones. India is the fourth largest producer of oranges in the world, after Brazil, US and Mexico.
Peaches are round and smooth. Their juicy and sweet flesh can range from white to intense yellow. They provide a good amount of vitamin C. Peach trees grow in a fairly limited range, since they have a chilling requirement that sub-tropical areas cannot satisfy. Important historical peach-producing areas are China and Iran and the Mediterranean countries.
Pineapples provide great nutritive value. They contains carbohydrates, proteins, fats and water, as also calcium, phosphorous, iron, magnesium, potassium, sodium, chlorine, sulphur and manganese. They are an excellent source of vitamin C and contain vitamin A, B1 and B2. Like melons, pineapples have no built-in reserves of starch to convert into sugar – the starch is stored in the stem of the plant rather than in the fruit itself. Just before the fruit ripens completely, the starch converts into sugar and enters the fruit.
100 ml pomegranate juice can provide over 15% of your daily vitamin C requirement. Pomegranate juice is also a good source of vitamin B, pantothenic acid, potassium and antioxidant polyphenols. Although pomegranate is not an extraordinary source of nutrients, it contains several antioxidants, which make it worth the bite! Pomegranate is native to the region from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran to the Himalayas in northern India.
Strawberries are a rich source of vitamin C and contain a lot of fibre too. They also provide a high content of easy assimilative iron. Enough reasons to eat this sweet flavoured fruit!
The strawberry is actually not a real berry, because it grows from the base and not the ovary of the flower. What is also extraordinary about this popular fruit is that it has it seeds on the outside.