The Fruit Food Group
The Fruit Group consists of any fruit or 100% fruit juice. Fruits may be fresh, frozen, canned, dried/dehydrated, juiced, whole, cut-up or even pureed. Examples of fruits are apples, bananas, berries, cherries, grapefruit, lemons, mangos, melons, peaches, pineapple, and tangerines.
Eating fruit provides health benefits and are likely to have a reduced risk of some chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, certain types of cancer, obesity, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and kidney stones. Fruits are lower in calories per cup than most foods from other food groups and may useful in helping to lower calorie intake. Most fruits are naturally low in fat, sodium, and calories. Fruits also do not have cholesterol.
Fruits are sources of many essential nutrients. Potassium may help to maintain healthy blood pressure. Fruit sources of potassium include bananas, prunes and prune juice, dried peaches and apricots, cantaloupe, honeydew melon, and orange juice. Dietary fiber from fruits may help to reduce blood cholesterol levels and may lower the risk of heart disease. Fiber is important for proper bowel function. Vitamin C is important for growth and repair of all body tissues, helps heal cuts and wounds, and keeps teeth and gums healthy. Folate (folic acid) helps the body form red blood cells and reduces the risk of neural tube defects, spina bifida, and anencephaly during fetal development.
Below is a graph demonstrating how many cups of fruit we should be eating each day.
The USDA recommends that half of your plant should be fruits and vegetables. For more information on fruits and the Fruit Group, including recipes, visit ChooseMyPlate.gov.