Nutritional value of fruits

This has reference to the ‘National Nutrition Month 2018’ which is celebrated in the current month. In this context, it may be said that fruits have a direct association with the human health and nutrition. Importance of fruits in the human diet is universally recognised. Nutritionally, fruits are important source of vitamins A, B and C, minerals like calcium, phosphorus, iron and dietary fibres. Some fruits are rich source of carbohydrates and proteins. Fruits are low in cholesterol and fat and have low calorific value. Fruits control various diseases such as cancer, obesity, scurvy, peptic ulcer, diarrohea etc. and keeps our body fit. We need around 23 nutrients for the balanced diet. These include vitamins, proteins, carbohydrates, fats and minerals.
The nutritive value of fruits varies significantly according to the part of the fruit, variety, use of agro inputs, location, pests, diseases, storage and processing conditions. Moisture content of the fruits varies from 70-90 per cent and pulpy fruits contain more nutrients than the juicy fruits. Proteins are needed for the building and maintenance of body tissues and protein content in fruits varies from 0.2 to 2 per cent. The fruits like jackfruit, custard apple and pomegranate contain more proteins than other fruits. Starch and sugar are readily metabolized in our body to provide energy. The fruits like banana, sapota and custard apple are rich source of carbohydrates. Fruits like guava, aonla and sapota contain more fibres than other fruits. The fibre intake lowers the incidence of cardiovascular diseases and obesity. The lipids are the concentrated source of energy and the lipids content in fruits varies from 0.1-0.5 per cent. Carbohydrates and proteins give around 4 Kilocalories per gram and lipids give around 9 Kilocalories. Minerals are needed for the blood hemoglobin, bone formation and acid-base balance. Vitamins are essential for proper vision, blood coagulation, bone formation and co-enzyme for many enzymes. Vitamins deficiency can cause anemia, scurvy, infertility, beriberi, pellagra etc. Oxalic acid binds and form complexes with the minerals such as calcium and magnesium. Fruits such as phalsa, jamun and aonla are rich in oxalic acid.
Dr.Banarsi Lal,