Eating Fruit Every Day Has An Unexpected Effect On Your Immune System

There's a difference between consuming fruit every day as part of a nutritious and balanced diet and consuming only fruit. With the introduction of fruitarian diets — diets that are made up mainly of fruits — experts started cautioning proponents of the downsides. 

From not getting enough protein, healthy fats, calcium, and B vitamins to malnourishment, anemia, fatigue, and risk of osteoporosis (via Healthline), the concerns with only eating fruit every day are many. 

Your immune system — your body's way of fighting off diseases and keeping you healthy — can also be weakened by only eating fruit every day. Again, this is because you're not getting all the nutrients your body needs, like omega-3 fatty acids, protein, iodine, calcium, and B12 vitamins. A weak immune system means you'll be more prone to sickness than others. You're opening yourself up to the risk of skin infections, pneumonia, bronchitis, digestive problems, and blood disorders, to name a few (via Medical News Today). Does this unexpected effect of eating too much fruit mean you should avoid fruits altogether? Of course not.

Eating fruits every day is good for you

Fruit-only diets aside, there's no discounting the nutritional benefits of consuming fruit every day. The recommended minimum amount of fruits and veggies you should eat every day is five portions of 80 grams each of an assortment of the stuff (via National Health Service). How this looks might vary from person to person and what fruits you decide to add to the table. Fruits are a great source of antioxidant-rich vitamins, minerals, and fiber. 

Keep in mind though, that the fruits you decide to add and how much of them you have can also have an unexpected effect on your health. Fruits contain natural sugars — fructose and glucose — but too much consumption of natural sugar, particularly glucose, can raise your blood sugar levels. Also, with so many fruit-based products in the market — juices, smoothies, fruit bars, canned fruit, etc. — it's easy to think that all fruit is fruit. 

The healthiest way to consume fruit is to have them raw and unprocessed, without added sugars and preservatives of any kind. Even when you make fruit juices at home, try and limit how much you drink. Drinking juice means you end up consuming too much sugar and you'll also not get the full benefit of the fiber content because you're juicing the fruits. That being said, there are some fruits you should be adding to your diet, specifically, to boost your immunity

Citrus fruits are great for your immunity

There's a reason why you take vitamin C supplements to ward off a cold. And citrus fruits are packed full of this immune system-friendly vitamin. Grapefruits, in particular, are a good fruit to add for immune system health; so are oranges, tangerines, lemons, and limes. 

Apples contain vitamin C too. "As an immunologist, I love vitamin C because it's very important for the proper functioning of your immune system. It helps your immune cells get to the site of an infection and then helps those immune cells eliminate whatever's infecting your body," shared pediatric immunologist, Dr. John McDonnell, per Cleveland Clinic

Papayas — with their concentration of vitamin C, papain, potassium, magnesium, and folate — are also a good addition to your diet, per Healthline. Kiwis contain all of the nutrients of papayas plus the unexpected effect of vitamin K for overall good health. At the end of the day, a healthy immune system is not just about eating fruits. It's about having a balanced diet inclusive of whole grains, lean meats, sufficient protein, healthy fats, and a good amount of vegetables and fruits. Limiting alcohol intake, quitting smoking, getting your recommended hours of sleep, exercising, and maintaining a healthy weight are all things that contribute toward good immunity (via Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).