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The Surprising Benefits of Eating Fruits

Around 64% of people in the UK do not get their five-a-day, according to BBC Good Food Nation. Young adults are particularly affected, with only 21% meeting their daily targets. We know that fruits are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants needed for a healthy body and mind, but they also have many hidden benefits. Did you know, for instance, that blueberries - known to help lower the risk of heart disease and cancer - can also help stave off Alzheimer’s disease? Read on if you are ready to be surprised about the many hidden benefits of nature’s sweetest bounty.

Smart as a Blueberry

As mentioned above, one study found that blueberries can have a measurable benefit when it comes to memory and cognitive function in older adults. According to research, the answer lies in anthocyanins - powerful flavonoids that improve cognition and are found in abundance in blueberries. If you wish to really pick up your anthocyanin consumption, also tuck into blackberries, cherries, cranberries, plums, and prunes.

Going Bananas for Better Hearing

There are 11 million people with hearing loss in the UK, with a diagnosis of tinnitus being common in veterans and the elderly. To reduce the symptoms associated with tinnitus, aim to consume fruits like bananas and pineapples, which are rich in potassium - a mineral that helps lower blood pressure and boost circulation. Potassium also helps regulate the amount of fluid in the inner ear (where noises are transformed into electrical currents that the brain interprets as sound). Potassium levels decline as we age, which is thought to be a contributing factor to age-related hearing loss.

Fruits for Greater Happiness

A University of Warwick study has found that consuming more fruit and veg can substantially boost your happiness! In the study (carried out on 12,000 randomly selected people), each extra daily portion of fruit resulted in extra happiness ‘points’. The lead researcher said that this effect can be an even stronger motivator for greater fruit consumption, than the obvious benefits, such as heart health protection: “People's motivation to eat healthy food is weakened by the fact that physical-health benefits, such as protecting against cancer, accrue decades later. However, well-being improvements from increased consumption of fruit and vegetables are closer to immediate.”

Raising the Libido with Watermelon

Watermelon is the ideal fruit on a hot summer’s day but take note: a few cold slices a day could just raise your libido and put you in the mood for love! A study undertaken at Texas A&M University found that consuming watermelon can have Viagra-like effects. According to scientists, the secret lies in phytonutrients like lycopene, beta carotene, and citrulline - which has a powerful ability to relax blood vessels - similarly to Viagra.
Some of the best known benefits of fruits include their ability to hydrate, protect the heart, and help you feel vital and energetic. However, fruit can do much more than that, protecting your hearing and even boosting your libido. There are just about as many health benefits as there are fruits in the world, so make sure to enjoy your five-a-day, and add a few extra portions for an extra taste of happiness.

Jennifer Dawson