Fruits. They are perhaps the most striking foods for their diversity of colors and shapes. But in addition to what they show with the naked eye, they are part of the foods with the greatest amount of nutrients and natural substances highly beneficial for health.
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- 1 Classification of fruit
- 2 For the seed that contains the fruit
- 3 From its collection until it is consumed
- 4 According to the maturation process
- 5 Endurance
- 6 benefits of fruits
- 7 vitamins
- 8 Some fruits
- 9 Banana
- 10 Coco
- 11 Cherry
- 12 Plum
- 13 raspberry
- 14 Strawberry
- 15 Lemon
- 16 Mango
- 17 Apple
- 18 The main components
- 19 Fruit is synonymous with health
- 20 The composition of fruits
- 21 Energy value
- 22 Plastic value
- 23 Regulatory value
- 24 Ripening of the fruits
- 25 Sweetening
- 26 Nutritional value
- 27 Sources
They can be classified according to the way of harvesting or the maturation process.
For the seed that contains the fruit
- Stone or stone fruits: those that have a large, hard-shelled seed , such as apricots or peaches .
- Pome fruit or pome: are fruits that have lots of small seeds and less hard shell like pear and apple .-
- Grain fruits: they are the fruits that have infinity of tiny seeds like the fig .
From its collection until it is consumed
- Fresh fruit : when consumption is done immediately or a few days after harvesting, directly, without any preparation or cooking.
- Dried , dried or dried fruit: it is the fruit that after an artificial drying process can be consumed months, and even years, after its harvest, such as raisins or dried apricots.
According to the maturation process
In maturation, an accelerated oxygen-dependent respiration process occurs, which is called the climacteric rise and serves to classify them:
- Fruits climacteric, those that suffer abruptly the climacteric rise. Among the climacteric fruits we have: apple , pear , banana , peach, melon , apricot and custard apple . These fruits undergo abrupt ripening and great changes in color, texture and composition.
- Non-climacteric fruits, those that present a climacteric rise slowly and in an attenuated way. Among the non-climacteric we have: orange , lemon , tangerine , pineapple , grape and strawberry . These fruits ripen slowly and do not have sudden changes in their appearance and composition. They have a higher starch content. Harvesting is done after ripening because if it is done when they are green then they do not ripen, they just get soft.
There are also some groups of fruits that are distinguished by having certain common characteristics:
- Citrus fruit, that which occurs in large perennial shrubs or saplings (between 5 and 15 m) whose fruits or fruits, of the Rutáceas family, have a high content of vitamin C and citric acid , which gives them an acid taste very characteristic. The best known are orange, lemon, tangerine and lime .
- Tropical fruit, one that occurs naturally in tropical regions, although by extension, it is applied to fruits that need warm temperatures and high humidity for their development, such as bananas, coconut , kiwi and pineapple.
- Forest fruit, a type of small fruit that was traditionally not grown but grew on wild bushes in forests, such as raspberry , strawberry , blackberry , blackcurrant , blackberry, and sloe .
- Dry fruit, one that due to its natural composition (without human manipulation) has less than 50% water. They are very energetic foods, rich in fats , in proteins , as well as in trace elements. The best known are almonds , walnuts , hazelnuts and chestnuts .
The fruits and all the Vegetables , survive outdoors, facing all kinds of conditions and Meteorological aggressions . All this is possible thanks to the natural protective substances and antioxidants that they possess. In short, those same substances are what protect us when we consume food. We benefit absolutely from all those vitamins and nutrients that the fruit has
Benefits of fruits
- They provide a variety and quantity of vitamins and minerals; mainly vitamin C .
- They hydrate the body quickly.
- They help the proper functioning of the digestive system.
- Facilitates the drainage of liquids, as they are diuretic fruits and purifying the body.
- They provide soluble vegetable fibers.
- They do not provide fats (except nuts, olives , avocados and coconuts that provide beneficial oils for the body).
- They provide natural antioxidant vitamins .
Vitamins and Fruits
The Vitamin that is most abundant in fruits is C, and what is important about this vitamin is that our body does not synthesize it, so the diet must provide it. The amount of vitamin C in the fruit is very varied, with kiwis, strawberries, raspberries and citrus fruits enjoying the highest content. Vitamin C has a high antioxidant power, making it protective of the tissues and cells of our body. Vitamin C must be replaced day by day through food, since it does not accumulate in the body, and its excess is eliminated in the urine. It is also very easily destroyed by high temperatures, cooking, air and light. That is why it is best to consume raw fruits in order to ensure the maximum intake of vitamins. Other non-nutritious but also important components Fiber: part of the fruit’s contribution are pectins, a type of water-soluble fiber that plays a fundamental role in the consistency of fruits and that also has beneficial effects on our health. The fiber in fresh fruits is found in a proportion between 0.7% and 4.7%. Fruits with a lower water content or whose edible portion contains seeds, have higher dietary fiber values. The fiber content is reduced with the peeling of the fruit. Thus in apples, it is reduced by 11% and in pears, around 34%. Organic acids: (0.5% – 6%): influence the taste and aroma of fruits. Citric acid (Citrus , Strawberries , Pears …), enhances the action of vitamin C and exerts a disinfecting and alkalinizing action on urine. Other organic acids in fruits are malic (apples, cherries, plums, apricots) and salicylic (strawberries and strawberries), the latter with an anticoagulant and anti-inflammatory action. Phytochemical elements (colorants, aromas and phenolic compounds): despite being present in very low concentrations, they decisively influence the acceptance and appetite for fruits, and many of them are also antioxidants that contribute to reducing the risk of degenerative diseases , cardiovascular and even Cancer .
Banana is native to the Indian archipelago and was cultivated long ago in Asia. Due to the significant amount of carbohydrates it contains, it is twice as caloric as apples (21% carbohydrates vs. 12% apples, per 100 g of fresh fruit), which does not mean that It is contraindicated in cases of weight loss plans since it is an amount of calories that does not have to affect weight loss if consumed in moderation. It is one of the fruits that, along with the orange and the apple, contains less Calcium . Instead, it turns out to be much richer in Vitamin A and also contains Vitamins B1 , B2, C and V (anti-ulcer). And it is excellent in cases of cramps due to lack of Potassium.
Fruit characteristics :
- Shape: rounded in shape, it has an outer leathery yellow or orange shell, an intermediate fibrous brown layer and a central bone, inside which is the seed, formed by a white pulp, which is the edible part.
- Weight: it can weigh more than 2.5 kg.
- How to choose it: it must be aromatic like Melon . If you don’t hear the typical splash of water inside, it is because the coconut is dry, too ripe. In these conditions, the pulp is usually rancid.
- Nutritional value: The nutritional composition of the coconut varies as it matures. Contains a low amount of water. It highlights its contribution of fats, mainly saturated (88.6% of the total) that make it a very caloric fruit. It provides a low amount of carbohydrates and proteins. Very rich in salts that participate in the mineralization of the bones (magnesium, phosphorus, calcium).
As for other nutrients, its contribution of fiber stands out. Advantages and disadvantages of its consumption: The “excessive” consumption of foods rich in saturated fat causes an increase in blood cholesterol levels (hypercholesterolemia). However, if it is consumed in small quantities it does not pose any health problem, it is more, it enriches our diet with nutritional substances. In addition, it is very rich in mineral salts that participate in the mineralization of bones (magnesium, phosphorus, calcium) and as for other beneficial substances it provides, its fiber content stands out, which contributes to regulating intestinal motility, among other functions. .
- Conservation: Intact, at room temperature. Once started, in the fridge, in a container with water to prevent drying and alteration. How to prepare it: Shake it to verify that it contains water, make two holes in the germinating ‘eyes’ of the coconut with a nail and hammer or corkscrew. Empty the water into a container and saw the coconut. Separate the skin from the pulp with the help of a hammer or by placing the coconut in a hot oven for a few minutes. Eliminate the brown skin that covers the pulp and that is somewhat indigestible. Wash the pulp under running water to remove the remains of the peel. Different ways of consuming coconut: Ripe pulp: It can be eaten raw, whole or grated; or roasted, forming part of various culinary preparations.
Gelatinous pulp: Obtained from still green coconuts. It is eaten with a spoon, once the coconut is open. It contains the same nutrients as mature coconut but in a lower concentration. Coconut water: It is the liquid that is inside, the more abundant the greener the coconut. Ideal to quench thirst. Coconut milk: Refreshing and nutritious, it is obtained by squeezing the pulp of the coconut once well crushed. It can be made by adding water or cow’s milk. It is taken as a soft drink or added to fruit smoothies or other dishes. Likewise, coconut is a basic ingredient in exotic cuisine and in Asian curries, it softens the flavor of chillies. Coconut oil is used in the manufacture of industrial bakery products and margarines for its low cost and good result.
Originally from Persia, cherry is one of the fresh fruits with a relatively high caloric value: approximately 65 calories per 100 g. Contains about 16% carbohydrates . The cherry is quite rich in mineral salts because it contains small amounts of Calcium , Phosphorus , Iron and Potassium . It is also rich in vitamins A and C and to a lesser extent E and B2.
Coming from Asia Minor , it contains almost as many carbohydrates as the grape. The plum is attributed Laxative and slightly Diuretic properties .
The Raspberry is a spontaneous plant in Europe . However, it was not until the late Middle Ages that cultivation began. Raspberry is a fruit rich in carbohydrates (more than 12%) but poor in protids and, naturally, in lipids. It is less rich in vitamins and mineral salts than strawberry, but it contains the same elements.
Strawberry began to be cultivated in Europe around the 16th century . Reputed as stimulants, diuretics and astringents, they were used in the treatment of various conditions such as gout and stone sickness. Strawberry, like most fresh fruits, is low in calories and mainly appreciated for its vitamin and mineral salt content. It is rich in Vitamin C as well as calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and potassium, and iron to a lesser degree. In case of diverticulosis it should be avoided since its small seeds can lodge in the diverticulum and cause inflammation.
The Lemon is comparable to the orange, but analysis shows more potassium. Regarding vitamins, it does not contain A. But the rest of them, commonly present in this kind of fruit: vitamins Bl, B2 and fundamentally C. It is very valuable in case of calculations, since it has the property of dissolving them.
Its caloric value is low given its moderate contribution of carbohydrates, mainly simple. It contains interesting amounts of minerals like potassium and magnesium. As for vitamins, ripe fruits are an important source of provitamin A (in our body it is transformed into vitamin A) and vitamin C; 1 mango 300g covers all the needs of an adult of Vitamin C and Vitamin A . It also contains, to a lesser extent, group B vitamins, among which folates stand out. Due to its content in natural antioxidants, it is a fruit of great dietary and nutritional interest, since these substances are protective of the health of our body. The mangoWhile it is still green, it can be refrigerated to delay its maturation or it can be kept at room temperature so that it reaches the optimum seasoning point, after which it must be consumed within a maximum period of 5 days. Ripe mangoes are very sensitive to all kinds of blows, so they have been handled with great care. On the other hand, this already ripe fruit should not be kept in the fridge, since it does not withstand low temperatures. Only if you want to consume it cold can you keep it in the fridge for a few minutes before serving it to the table.
The Apple , like the Pear , is a fruit that has been cultivated for a long time. The cultivation of apple trees (as well as that of pear trees) was relatively easy, since there were a large number of wild trees of these species (in excavations of Swiss lake populations and in Lombardy they festered in large numbers). The composition of the apple is almost identical to that of the pear, but the former has a higher proportion of vitamins A, B1 and C. It is also considered a diuretic. The apple also turns out to be highly effective in gastric (in which it will be eaten without its skin), lung or kidney conditions.
The main components
- Water : It is the main component of the fruit. Approximately for every 100 grams of fruit, we consume 80 to 90 grams of water. Therefore eating fruit, from a hydration point of view, is almost like drinking water. However, in the case of certain diets, their sugar content must be taken into account.
- Carbohydrates : Fructose is the sugar in the fruit. Since fructose is a monosaccharide, it is rapidly absorbed and assimilated by the body. This is why we say that fruits are an instantaneous source of energy. Hydrates are also present glucose and sucrose.
- Vegetable fiber : Every 100 grams of fruit means consuming around 2 grams of fiber. Pectin, a type of fiber highly beneficial for the body, is the one found mostly in fruits.
- Mineral salts: the consumption of fruits on a daily basis helps regulate the mineral balance in the body. They contain a high level of potassium and a low amount of sodium. They also provide magnesium and some calcium.
- Organic acids and aromas: these acids are normally tolerated by our body, except in special situations where we must resort to those fruits with a low content of organic acids.
- Vitamins: fruits provide us with large amounts of vitamins, since they are especially rich in beta-carotenes, powerful antioxidants that protect the mucosa and skin.
Fruit is synonymous with health
- Its high water content facilitates the elimination of toxins from our body and helps us to stay well hydrated.
- Its contribution of fiber, helps regulate the function of our intestine and prevent or correct constipation. Fiber is of great dietary interest since, in addition, it has beneficial effects both in the prevention and in the treatment of certain diseases (excess Cholesterol , Diabetes , Obesity , gallbladder stones, Hemorrhoids and varicose veins, diverticula, Cancer of colon and ulcer ).
- They are an almost exclusive source of vitamin C. Nutrition experts recommend taking at least three pieces of fruit a day, ensuring that one of them is rich in vitamin C (citrus, kiwi, melon, strawberries, tropical …).
- It contains antioxidants that protect against diseases related to degeneration of the nervous system, cardiovascular diseases and even cancer.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has confirmed in recent years the results of various research studies that show the anti-cancer effects of fruits and vegetables , particularly against cancer of the gastrointestinal tract and against lung cancer . According to studies, one in ten patients affected by some type of cancer has had an insufficient diet based on fruits and vegetables. Other very healthy fruits are citrus fruits and some tropical fruits rich in vitamin C, beta-carotene, Vitamin E and other substances with antioxidant properties, which are used against cardiovascular diseases, cataracts, breast cancer , ovaries.or bladder .
The composition of the fruits
In general, it constitutes more than 80% of the weight of the edible portion, ranging from 82% in grapes, 90% in strawberries and up to 93% in watermelon.
The calories of the fruit depend almost exclusively on its carbohydrate content, with the exception of avocado and coconut, fruits in which the fat content determines its energy value. Carbohydrates: sugars or simple carbohydrates (fructose, glucose, sucrose …) confer the sweet flavor to ripe fruits and represent 5-18% of the weight of the edible portion. Apples and pears are rich in fructose. Other mono and disaccharides are also found in fruits, such as xylose, arabinose, mannose and maltose. The Plums and Pearsthey contain relatively high amounts of sorbitol, a substance related to sugars, which has a known laxative effect. In minor they present complex carbohydrates (starch). Unripe fruits have between 0.5-2% starch, but as they mature, this percentage decreases until it almost disappears, except in ripe bananas, in which the starch can exceed 3% of its total weight. Fats: its content is almost negligible (0.1-0.5%), except in avocado, which provides 14% fat, especially healthy oleic acid (72% of total fat) and in coconut, with 35% fat, mostly saturated (88.6% of total fat), less healthy.
It is given based on its protein content, which usually represents less than 1% of the fresh weight of the fruits. Proteins are made up of amino acids, ten of which (leucine, isoleucine, valine, threonine, tryptophan, methionia, lysine, phenylalanine, histidine and arginine) are essential for humans. The essential term refers to the fact that the organism cannot produce them by itself and, therefore, must necessarily obtain them from daily food. A protein that contains, in quantity and quality, the ten essential amino acids is considered complete or of high biological value. In fruits, proteins are of low biological value. Citrus fruits and strawberries are rich in simple nitrogenous substances such as asparagine and glutamine and aspartic and glutamic acids.
Fruits are a good source of vitamins and minerals. Vitamins: highlights the content of vitamin C (in citrus, tropical fruits, melon, strawberries and black currants) and provitamin A (in apricots, cherries, melon and peach …), both with antioxidant action. To a lesser extent, there are other group B vitamins soluble in water, biotin and pantothenic acid (apricots, citrus, figs …). In general, colored varieties, summer varieties and fruits exposed to the sun are richer in vitamins. As a curiosity: inside the same tree, the fruits facing south are richer in vitamins than those facing north; those on the top richer than those on the skirts and outdoors. richer than the interiors. Minerals: Potassium is abundant in fruits (necessary for the transmission of the nervous impulse and for normal muscular activity, it contributes to the balance of water inside and outside the cell). Banana, kiwi, nectarine, loquat, melon, black grape, cherry, apricot, plum, fresh coconut, avocado, pineapple, custard apple and papaya are rich in potassium. They also provide magnesium (related to the functioning of the intestine, nerves and muscles, is part of bones and teeth, improves immunity and resistance to degenerative diseases, has a mild laxative effect and is anti-stress).
Ripening of fruits
Fruit ripening is linked to complex transformation processes of its components. The fruits, when collected, are separated from their natural source of nutrients, but their tissues still breathe and are still active. Sugars and other components undergo important modifications, forming carbon dioxide (CO2) and water. All these processes are of great importance because they influence the changes that occur during the storage, transport and marketing of fruits, also affecting to some extent their nutritional value. Particularly notable phenomena that occur during ripening are respiration, sweetening, softening, and changes in aroma, coloration, and nutritional value. The breathing: The respiratory intensity of a fruit depends on its degree of development and is measured as the amount of CO2 (milligrams) given off by a kilogram of fruit in one hour. Throughout growth, there is, first of all, an increase in respiration, which decreases slowly until the state of maturation. However, in certain fruits after reaching the minimum, a new increase in respiratory intensity occurs until reaching a maximum value, called the climacteric peak, after which the respiratory intensity decreases again; these fruits are called “climacteric fruits”. The climacteric fruits are normally collected before the mentioned peak for commercial distribution, so that they finish maturing outside the tree. This prevents losses from occurring, since the conservation period of the ripe fruit is relatively short. During respiration of all fruits a gaseous compound called ethylene is formed. This compound accelerates the ripening processes, so it is necessary to avoid its accumulation through ventilation, in order to increase the shelf life of the fruits. If this gaseous compound, produced by a ripe fruit, accumulates in the vicinity of immature fruits, it quickly triggers their maturation, which contributes to accelerating the deterioration of all of them.
Sugars: with maturation, the content of simple carbohydrates increases and the sweetness typical of ripe fruits increases. Acids: acids decrease with maturation. The sour taste and astringency disappear, giving rise to the mild flavor and the sweetness-acidity balance of the ripe fruits. Softening: the texture of the fruits depends largely on their content of pectins; protopectin and water soluble pectin. The protopectin traps the water forming a kind of mesh, and is what gives the unripe fruit its particular texture. With maturation, this substance decreases and is transformed into soluble pectin, which is dissolved in the water contained in the fruit, producing the characteristic softening of the ripe fruit. In some, such as apples, the consistency decreases very slowly, but in others, like pears, the decline is very rapid. Changes in aroma: during ripening certain volatile compounds are produced that are what give each fruit its aroma. The formation of aromas depends largely on external factors, such as the temperature and its variations between day and night. Thus, for example, bananas with a day / night rate of 30 / 20ºC, produce 60% more volatile compounds responsible for aroma than at a constant temperature of 30ºC. Changes in color: the ripening of the fruits is generally linked to a variation in color. The most common transition, from green to another color, is related to the decomposition of chlorophyll, so that other dyes that previously masked this compound are exposed. Further, increases the production of red and yellow dyes characteristic of ripe fruits. The carotene content, for example, increases strongly in citrus and mango during ripening. The formation of other dyes, such as anthocyanins, is usually activated by light.
Vitamin C: In general, fruits lose vitamin C when they mature on the tree and during storage; in this case, the loss depends largely on the temperature, being much less if it is close to 0º C. Provitamin A: this vitamin is very sensitive to oxidation by contact with oxygen in the air, so that peeling, sliced and smoothie, should be done just before consumption.