Someone asked about whether fruit in general is good for the health, and specifically, whether it leads to yeast and high sugar challenges.
Here is some information that hopefully will be helpful:
FRUITS AND VEGETABLES:
PROTECTIVE HEALTH BENEFITS
We begin by exploring the protective effect of eating enough fruits and vegetables in the diet in the fight against cancer.
A landmark study published in the medical journal, Nutrition and Cancer (Nutr. Cancer 1992; 18:1-29), surveyed 156 cancer studies and found that of those studies, 128 showed a protective effect from eating fruits and vegetables.
For example, in this survey of cancer studies, fruits and vegetables were shown to have a protective effect in:
12 major breast cancer studies
23 coloretal and bladdcer cancer studies
26 pancreas and stomach cancer studies
30 lung cancer studies
16 esophageal cancer studies
Fruits: A vital part of a balanced diet
Many health professionals emphasize the importance of nutritious, balanced food, adequte exercise and dietary supplements* for overall good health.
Foods from plants, e.g., fruits and vegetables are an important component in an optimum wellness program, and they offer the following health benefits:
> Low in fat;
> Low in calories;
> High in fiber;
> A rich source of anti-oxidant nutrients and other protective plant compounds; and
> A great way to fill up and be satisfied without having to crave sweets or other "foodless foods" that might be harmful to your health.
Science confirms the benefits of fruits
Want more proof? Here is but a sampling of the exciting results of many research studies:
"When compared to those who had one serving of fruits or vegetables daily, the results showed that consuming three or more servings of fruits or vegetables daily was linked to a 27% decrease in stroke risk, 42% decrease in stroke deaths, 24% decrease in ischemic heart disease deaths, and a 27% decrease in CVD deaths. The authors concluded that this study 'showed an inverse association of fruit and vegetable intake with the risk of cardiovascular disease and all-cause mortality in the general US population.'"
(Source: Bazzano, Lydia A. Fruit and vegetable intake and risk of cardiovascular disease in US adults: The first National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey Epidemiologic Follow-up Study. Am J Clin Nutr 2002;76:93-9.)
In another study, 84,251 women aged 34 to 59 were followed for 14 years, and 42,148 men aged 40 to 75 years were followed for 8 years. The study authors concluded that the "consumption of fruits and vegetables, particularly green leafy vegetables and vitamin C–rich fruits and vegetables, appears to have a protective effect against coronary heart disease."
(Source: Fung TT. Dietary patterns and the risk of coronary heart disease in women. Arch Intern Med. Aug 2001;161(15):1857-62.)
In yet another study, fruits and vegetables had a demonstratively positive, protective effect against diabetes. According to the study, "A healthy diet including fruits and vegetables could help prevent diabetes from ever occurring. A study of U.S. adults reported that higher levels of fruit and vegetable consumption might decrease the risk of diabetes in adults, particularly women. Researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta base that conclusion on a group of individuals between the ages of 25 and 74 who participated in the first National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. These people had their diets closely followed for about 20 years..... The average daily intake of fruits and vegetables as well as the number of participants consuming five or more fruits and vegetables per day was lower among the participants who developed diabetes than among the participants in the study who remained free of this disease. The investigators concluded that these results suggest that fruit and vegetable consumption may decrease the risk for diabetes....."
(Source: Ford ES, Mokdad AH. Fruit and vegetable consumption and diabetes mellitus incidence among U.S. adults. Prev Med. Jan 2001;32 (1):33-9.)
What about the YEAST issue?
A certified nutrition consultant recommends limiting fruit to two to three per day IF one is trying to reduce candida (yeast). She also recommends using sprouted, whole-grain breads, lots of fiber and vegetables, limit milk products, avoid MSG, reduce or eliminate alcohol intake, do aerobic excercise, and take supplements such as a reliable and balanced multi-vitamin*, a B-Complex supplement (make sure all eight B vitamins are present and in the right balance), and alfalfa tablets*. Once a person begins to feel better, he or she can gradually go to a healthy, normal diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
Another nutritionist, who has developed the study of symptoms (symptomatology) to determine one's nutritional needs, says that although foods such as sugar may aggravate yeast growth, milk products may also encourage yeast growth in some people, and he advises people who may be prone to yeast challenges to avoid red meats, antibiotics and coffee in order to encourage the growth and maintenance of acidophilus/bifidus in the intestine.
In addition, nutritionists also advise the avoidance of refined carbohydrates (e.g., white bread products, etc) to reduce or avoid the risk of yeast growth in the body.
According to an article in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, bifidobacteria are instrumental in preventing the growth of unfavorable organisms in the body like yeasts and sickness-causing bacteria.
(Source: Isolauri E. Probiotics in human disease. Am J Clin Nutr. 2001 Jun;73(6):1142S-1146S.)
Fruit as a healthy source of fiber, natural sugar
Fruit in its whole form (with the pulp intact) can be a healthy source of dietary fiber, which can help slow down the absorption of the sugar into the bloodstream, thus preventing blood sugar bouncing. Fresh fruits and vegetables are some of the "SUPERFOODS" for promoting natural slimness. They have non of the artificial sweeteners, colors or additives that can actually stimulate appetite and lead to overweight and obesity. Therefore, fresh, whole fruits are useful to keep away sugar cravings and are a good source of pectin, a soluble fiber. [Whenever possible, try to buy organic fruits (and vegetables) to reduce exposure to pesticide residues.]
Bottom Line: Fruit is good for you!
When used as part of a healthy diet and lifestyle, fruits can play an essential role in reducing the risk of major diseases and in promoting optimum wellness.
Genesis 1:29 illustrates the importance of fruit in our diet:
"And God said, 'See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food.'"
Fruit is also an important component of the heart-healthy Mediterranean diet, which is explained on the Food Guide page of this website.
Major studies of the American Diet have found that 90% of the U.S. population is not eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, grains and beans, and that 45% consumed NO fruit or fruit juice on a given day. Health experts recommend we get 25-35 grams of fiber daily, yet Americans average only 7-14 grams per day.
Whole fruits can be an important wellness tool in helping to meet key health objectives such as increasing fiber in the diet and providing a rich source of antioxidants and other phytonutrients to strengthen the immune system, balance blood sugar and promote overall health.
Dr. Francisco Contreras, M.D. says, "The best fast foods are fruits. According to the World Health Organization, 'Eating fruit has real health benefits, and can prevent up to 20% of all deaths.'"
So instead of reaching for that candy bar or piece of cake that has empty calories, try making yourself a refreshing bowl of delicious, sliced organic fruits. Your body will thank you.
To your precious wellness!
* Please see the "Teaching Page" for criteria on what makes a balanced and reliable nutritional supplement.
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Disclaimer required by the FDA:
The statements above have not been evaluated by the FDA. Any foods and/or supplements mentioned are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease.