We’re all told fruit is good for us, but certain myths may be preventing us from really maximizing our goals.
We are told from a young age that we must eat fruit. And for good reason. Healthy and packed with nutrients, these sweet foods keep us away from the sugary and artificial junk that seems far more appealing. The trouble for fruit is that when sugar gets attacked as the main source of weight problems, fruit ironically gets thrown into the mix.
Fruit contains natural sugar and while this may be different from the artificial stuff that plagues a lot of products, just the word sugar is enough to send people into a tailspin. When it comes to our bodybuilding goals, it is important to remember to have fruit in your diet and the benefits are beyond great. Even if you take a great multivitamin or pump yourself with other supplements, nothing compares to the real deal. Of course, anything can be had in moderation, but don’t let certain myths around fruit deter you from seeing gains become reality.
While certain myths may exist around fruit, the benefits are undeniable. Sure, natural sugar may go against certain diets, like keto for example, but if your body craves it, give yourself a piece of fruit. It’s better than binging and going for the real sweet treats.
Myths Around Fruit
- You can eat as much fruit as you want without gaining weight.
While we would love for this to be true, again, anything in moderation is best. Fruit does contain high amount of simple sugar (although natural!) and a good amount of calories so making sure you eat the right amount of fruit and at the right time is important.
- Eating fruit before bed is a bad idea.
Conflicting ideas around this exist but grabbing a piece of fruit late night is better than some alternatives. Depending on the calories in that piece of fruit, and your goals for weight loss or maintenance, just be cautious of which fruit you eat before bed.
- Some fruits are better for you than others.
Fruit is all nutritious and each has certain benefits in their own right. If you don’t like pomegranate, don’t force yourself to eat it because you think you should. Eat what you enjoy and get all the nutrients you need to succeed.
- Sugar in fruit is bad for your health goals.
The sugar found in fruit is natural and something your body needs. When you start to crave something sweet, reach for an apple or your favorite fruit because its better than grabbing that candy bar or soda. Also, whole fruit takes time to digest so you feel full and your body can metabolize much easier.
Benefits Of Fruit
When it comes to weight loss or maintenance, it’s all about calories in and out. Fruit is a healthy alternative to sugary foods and will satisfy that sweet tooth without pumping you with extra calories (1). Also, fiber in fruit helps keep you full longer so you don’t snack as much ruining all of your goals. Fiber also slows the rate of the natural sugar being released so you don’t suffer from spikes or crashes.
Full Of Nutrients
It may go without saying, but we should say it anyway. Fruit will pump you full of all those vital nutrients you need for daily functioning. The vitamins and minerals will offer a variety of benefits and really work to keep your body in top shape. While a multivitamin is a great aid to have in your dietary regimen for those nutrients you miss from food, nothing beats what you’ll get from eating all of that whole food.
The nutrients in fruit will help with your central nervous system as well as the maintenance of brain functions and health. Fruits can help reduce stress and slow age-related decline in brain function (2).
Best Fruits For Gains
Oranges are a great source of vitamin C which is vital for aiding in immune health (3), especially as we get closer to cold and flu season. They can also help lower cholesterol and blood pressure since they are rich in potassium. The polyphenols in oranges help with brain development and memory functions.
Watermelon can help lower inflammation and oxidative damage since it is rich in lycopene and vitamin C. Citrulline in watermelon can also help relieve muscle soreness (4) to aid in recovery so you are ready to go for that next workout much sooner.
High in fiber and water, apples are great for helping you feel full longer aiding in weight loss to alleviate any snacking tendencies. Containing pectin, they act as a good prebiotic to help the good bacteria in your gut.
Pineapple has great benefits for immunity as well as inflammation to keep you healthier overall. Bromelain and manganese are important for bone regeneration and bone growth, so this fruit can really benefit your overall structure.
Bananas have great benefits to regulate blood sugar levels and improve digestion. High in antioxidants, bananas can help reduce damage done by free radicals and lower your risk of some diseases. They can also help with muscle cramps and soreness as a result of exercise (5) so this fruit is great for athletes when it comes to recovery and endurance exercise.
Despite some myths surrounding fruit, these sweet treats are great for bodybuilders and all athletes, as well as everyday people. While it is important to consume fruit in moderation and watch out for what time you eat it, don’t be alarmed because it has sugar. The sugar in fruit is natural and digests easier than processed sugar and your body needs it to function. Getting all those vital nutrients from whole foods is important for your overall growth and development so don’t let certain myths ruin your diet by eliminating fruit. Pick up some fresh fruit today and enjoy all that it has to offer.
*Images courtesy of Envato
- Fujioka, Ken; Greenway, Frank; Sheard, Judy; Ying, Yu (2006). “The effects of grapefruit on weight and insulin resistance: relationship to the metabolic syndrome”. (source)
- Conner, Tamlin S.; Brookie, Kate L.; Carr, Anitra C.; Mainvil, Louise A.; Vissers, Margreet C. M. (2017). “Let them eat fruit! The effect of fruit and vegetable consumption on psychological well-being in young adults: A randomized controlled trial”. (source)
- Carr, Anitra C.; Maggini, Silvia (2017). “Vitamin C and Immune Function”. (source)
- Perez-Guisado, Joaquin; Jakeman, Philip M. (2010). “Citrulline malate enhances athletic anaerobic performance and relieves muscle soreness”. (source)
- Hallissey, Hannah Marie (2014). “The Use Of Bananas In Preventing Exercise Associated Muscle Cramps”. (source)