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Multiple fruits like pineapples and mulberries develop from the fusion of the ovaries of several flowers. Interest-ingly, some fruits such as banana develop without seed formation, a phenomenon termed parthenocarpy. Fleshy, edible fruits serve as food for animals. Animals in turn spread the enclosed seeds of the fruits they eat and so disperse what will be the next generation of that plant.

The coconut provides a good example of a fruit adapted for dispersal by water. Its corky, buoyant outer layer allows this fruit to be carried great distances by ocean currents before the seed within germinates on the seashore. Many dry, dehiscent fruits split explosively, flicking their seeds into the air where they are carried by the wind. Some fruits may have spines for attachment to animal fur, whereas others are winged or feathery for wind dispersal.

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Many fleshy fruit are major food crops of great economic importance. Prime areas of cultivation may be far removed from the original "home" of that particular plant; for example, Citrus species like orange are native to Asia, as are apples. Fruits, like other types of produce, comprise living tissue and require special handling and storage to ensure optimal quality for the consumer. Ripening of fruit involves a range of processes that ultimately make the fruit more attractive for consumption, such as color change, softening, sweetening, and aroma production.

Physiologically, fleshy fruit fall into two categories: climacteric and nonclimacteric. Climacteric fruit can be picked mature but unripe and then stored for extended periods at low temperature before being ripened and sold. Such fruit include mangoes, bananas, papayas, avocados, and tomatoes. Special methods for handling such fruits allow tropical fruits grown thousands of miles away to be on sale weeks later in supermarkets in temperate regions with no apparent loss of quality.

Ripening of climacteric fruit is triggered by the gaseous plant hormone ethylene, and this is exploited by shippers to artificially induce fruit ripening. In several fruit crops, including tomato, it has been possible to use genetic engineering to knock out ethylene production thus preventing ripening and extending the shelf life of the fruit. Nonclimacteric fruits such as grapes, citrus, and strawberries do not respond dramatically to ethylene as is the case of climacteric fruits. These fruits ripen only while still attached to the parent plant and so cannot be picked early and stored for later ripening.

Economic Botany: Plants in Our World. New York: McGraw-Hill, Toggle navigation. Photo by: Giuseppe Porzani. Types of Fruits. Examples of the many classifications of fruits. Dispersal Fleshy, edible fruits serve as food for animals. Economic Importance Many fleshy fruit are major food crops of great economic importance.

Other articles you might like:. Follow City-Data. Tweets by LechMazur. Also read article about Fruits from Wikipedia. User Contributions: 1. This webpage very useful!! Diets high in fruits contain prebiotic molecules e. Overall, the nutrient density, fiber content, and prebiotic activity of fruits justify investments in the public health nutrition promotion of an increased intake of fruits and vegetables as a strategy to diminish chronic diseases However, specific recommendations regarding the selection of fruits with a lower glycemic index may be advisable for individuals with T2D and those at risk of coronary artery disease CAD Traditional yogurt, defined as milk fermented with bacterial strains, is a source of probiotics that has established beneficial effects in vivo for lactose digestion.

At this time, however, it is unclear to what extent yogurt cultures have the capacity to act as a probiotic with regard to other health benefits Nevertheless, yogurt is a nutrient-dense food that is concentrated in energy, containing between 0. It is an excellent source of calcium, vitamin D in fortified yogurts , magnesium, vitamin B, and riboflavin Figure 1 45 — It is also a good source of iodine for vulnerable populations in countries without an iodine-fortified food supply, such as the United Kingdom The primary carbohydrate in yogurt is lactose; however, its ability to be well tolerated by lactose-sensitive individuals is attributed to the presence of viable bacteria e.

Besides containing lactose, many marketed yogurts contain sweeteners, making them an energy source, as well as an inconspicuous source of free sugars However, sweetened yogurts may be a substantial source of added sugars only in very young children aged 4 mo to 3 y, which is likely to reflect the limited diet diversity in this age group. Indeed, sweetened yogurts are not a substantial source of added sugars in older children, and they are an important source of key nutrients Yogurt's nutrient density and its contribution to the intake of key nutrients is maintained despite the added sugar content of sweetened yogurts As an excellent source of high-quality protein from milk , many modern yogurts are further enhanced in protein concentration through manufacturing techniques and the addition of skimmed milk solids Commercial yogurts are available in a wide range of fat contents, including nonfat and low-fat varieties, which are foods that are promoted in nutritional guidelines as contributing to a balanced diet Despite the popularity of nonfat yogurts, the presence of yogurt lipids has benefits that are often overlooked.

Yogurt fat has important organoleptic properties; by maintaining a reasonable amount of fat in yogurt, a reduction in the amount of added sugar can be achieved at the same time that the yogurt remains palatable to consumers As a fermented product, yogurt has added health benefits over its parent ingredient, milk.

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Fermentation may increase the bioavailability of nutrients in yogurt, including vitamin B, calcium, and magnesium, among others, as well as protein and peptides especially in Greek-style yogurt , making it ideal for populations with frequent nutrient deficits, and in children and the elderly, who need to develop or maintain their skeletal muscle mass 20 , Active bacteria may act as a probiotic, contributing to microbial equilibrium in the host's gastrointestinal tract when it is consumed in sufficient quantities The viability of microorganisms in traditional yogurt remains under dispute 55 ; however, it continues to be an important vector for added probiotics known to have positive effects on health.

The bacterial fermentation of milk to yogurt alters its matrix, improving viscosity, osmolality, and energy density 56 , and decreasing pH The unique yogurt matrix results in a longer gastrointestinal transit time than that for milk, enhancing the absorption of nutrients and reducing gastrointestinal perturbations Both fruits and yogurt contain an immense variety of bioactive compounds, which may be enhanced or diminished during growth ripeness , storage, and processing.

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These minor but sometimes meaningful differences make it very difficult to generalize results when comparing one type of food to all foods in the same category. Furthermore, because of the complex nature of many foods and the fact that foods are not eaten in isolation, it is extremely difficult to ascertain whether potential health benefits are the result of specific foods or compounds within a given food. The colonization of the gastrointestinal tract by microorganisms, known as the gut microbiota, creates an important barrier between the environment and the individual that protects against disease The gut microbiota can be enhanced when probiotics, live health-promoting organisms, are ingested in sufficient quantities to remain viable after passage through the gastrointestinal tract On the other hand, prebiotics, which are dietary components—most often nondigestible carbohydrates—that induce the growth and activity of beneficial bacteria, provide fermentable substrate for bacteria in the colon and remain unsusceptible to viability issues during digestion Both prebiotics and probiotics play a role in modulating the microbiota Research into probiotic foods has established the symbiotic effect of combining probiotic with prebiotic foods All species of the Lactobacillus genus are known to inhibit the growth of pathogenic bacteria, stimulate immune function, and enhance the bioavailability of food ingredients and minerals, including L.

Only some species of the Streptococcus genus, such as S. The benefit of consuming yogurt with fruit is the potential for prebiotics in fruit to help maintain the viability of probiotic bacteria in the yogurt, as well as providing an additional substrate for enhanced activity once they reach the colon 62 , Prime prebiotic candidates contain fructo-oligosaccharides 62 and can be found in fruits such as bananas, nectarines, and raspberries 59 , In synbiotics, Lactobacilli are commonly used as the probiotic component 67 , whereas oligosaccharides such as fructo-oligosaccharides are frequently used as the prebiotic component The food matrix plays an important synergistic role in enhancing probiotics by proving nutrients in addition to a carrier for delivery into the gut 66 , yet food combinations with symbiotic properties have not been examined specifically.

Food combinations such as yogurt and fruit have the potential to affect DRD prevention, particularly in developed countries, by offering nutrient-dense Figure 1 , lower-energy alternatives in place of typical nutrient-poor snacks such as desserts and cookies Some epidemiologic evidence illustrates lower all-cause mortality in people who consume high amounts of fruit 72 and yogurt Generally, there is very strong support for the health benefits of fruit consumption in chronic disease prevention Although there is an increasing number of publications relating yogurt to health markers, the case for yogurt in DRDs is less established than that of fruit.

Nevertheless, increasing the intake of both fruit and yogurt is among the strategies listed by Mozaffarian 74 as being key dietary evidence-based priorities for cardiometabolic health. Furthermore, there is broad scientific consensus on the benefits of both fruits and yogurt with respect to cardiometabolic health Taken together, dietary pattern analysis suggests that yogurt and fruit are common indicators of healthy dietary patterns that are protective against weight gain 75 , T2D 76 , and CVD 74 , Both yogurt and fruit have been identified as protective against weight gain Results from examinations 5—8 of the Framingham Heart Study Offspring Cohort — found that participants who consumed yogurt regularly i.

A review on yogurt and weight management examined 5 observational studies and found inconsistent results between studies with regards to yogurt's association with BMI, waist circumference, and sex The inverse relation between low-fat yogurt intake, risk of weight gain, and risk of overweight and obesity was only true for participants who also had a high intake of fruit Epidemiologic studies indicate that there are significant associations between yogurt consumption and lower BMI, body weight, body weight gain, and body fat, and smaller waist circumference. However, well-designed randomized clinical trials have yet to provide proof of a cause-effect relation Current findings suggest that an increased intake of yogurt and fruits reduces the intake of high-calorie foods The influence of yogurt against weight gain may be attributed to the changes in colonic bacteria from the ingestion of abundant yogurt probiotics 75 , whey, casein, and bioactive peptides Yogurt consumption may enhance the proportion of beneficial gut microbiota that are thought to be involved in weight maintenance via regulation of energy uptake and extraction In addition, the high fiber content of fruit is purported to increase satiety Fruits are low in energy density and high in fiber and water, a combination that contributes to satiety and helps with weight control 29 , Despite expectations that high fruit and vegetable intake is inversely related to adiposity, supporting evidence is weak A systematic review and meta-analysis found only 2 studies that met all criteria and an additional 5 studies meeting all but one criterion.

The review did not find any associations between fruit and vegetable intake and weight loss or obesity prevention among these 7 studies In recent years, there have been numerous high-quality epidemiologic studies and meta-analyses linking fruit and yogurt consumption to a lower incidence for T2D. This study further found a reduced risk of T2D after dietary modeling that replaced commonly consumed sweet snack foods with a serving of yogurt. A British study involving 11 y of follow-up with a subsample of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition—Norfolk study found a lower risk of T2D with high intake of low-fat fermented dairy foods, mostly with yogurt A meta-analysis that included 7 yogurt studies investigated the association between dairy intake and T2D, revealing a marginally lower risk in the group of consumers of the highest amount of yogurt than in the group consuming the lowest amount Chen et al.

For fruits, the evidence for T2D risk has been less clear. A large cross-European prospective study involving 8 countries through the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition—InterAct did not find any significant associations between fruit intake and T2D risk Similarly, this updated meta-analysis did not note any significant associations between fruit intake and T2D risk. However, this analysis only included 5 studies, which were found to have high heterogeneity, mainly attributed to differences in dietary measures A subsequent meta-analysis of 10 studies did not find any heterogeneity for fruits and concluded that there was a significantly lower risk of T2D with high fruit intake Given the strength of current evidence, it would be reasonable to speculate that consuming combinations of yogurt and fruit could be beneficial for T2D prevention.

Low fruit and vegetable consumption is an important risk factor for DRDs It is believed that dietary interventions that promote increased consumption of fruits and vegetables could lead to an important decrease in mortality from CVD 89 , Evidence about the protective effect of fruits and vegetables on cardiovascular health is particularly strong and consistent. The effects of fruits on CVD alone may, however, appear muted. Six prospective cohort studies were examined in a dose-response meta-analysis and found a borderline significant inverse association between CVD mortality and fruit consumption A subsequent meta-analysis examining the association between fruit and vegetable consumption and CAD identified 15 studies with 25 dose-response reports that compared low and high intake of fruit and CAD risk.

Several attributes of fruit are credited with heart-protective properties, including nutrient and phytochemical content e.

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  6. Fruits with a high polyphenol content e. Given that dairy products appear to have a beneficial effect on CVD 92 , yogurt has the potential to have similar effects. However, too few CVD studies have isolated yogurt consumption from total dairy consumption, making it difficult to draw conclusions.

    Similarly, with too few studies and no meta-analyses, the relation between yogurt consumption and hypertension remains unclear amid findings demonstrating positive 93 , null 94 , 95 , and inverse 96 , 97 relations.

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    Data on dietary combinations may be difficult to obtain, given that common dietary data collection tools such as FFQs generally are not designed to capture this type of information. FFQs often are used because of their easy application and low cost. The data generated from these tools are generally representative of predefined groups of food items and total daily consumption of nutrients. Although this type of dietary data collection is adequate for most study objectives, it is inflexible and may provide less information than repeated h recalls and food diaries, particularly with regard to eating episodes Tools such as h diet recalls and food diaries can capture meal-by-meal and snack-by-snack information, but analysis of dietary data might not be conducted in a manner that allows foods to be grouped together at specific eating episodes.

    These collection tools were not designed to capture, enter, and collate information on food combinations. Although epidemiologic studies have provided the best evidence linking dietary measures to health outcomes, they may not be the most appropriate to test the concept of beneficial food combinations.

    The isolated effects of potential synbiotic food combinations fruit and yogurt on predetermined outcomes glucose metabolism, FA metabolism, antioxidant profiles, and microbiota diversity can be tested with the use of carefully designed placebo-controlled clinical trials. Determinants of food choice are based on availability, sensory preferences, satiety, and social transmission Fruits are widely available regardless of season or proximity to harvesting location; a large variety of common and exotic fruits can be found in and out of season in Westernized countries Both yogurt and fruit have a relatively low cost per kilo compared with other animal-based foods However, despite the widely available nature of fresh fruits, their affordability is still a barrier to some Lifestyle factors are important contributors to dietary choices.

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    Socioeconomically disadvantaged women tend to have a lower intake of both fruit and yogurt and poorer diet quality than their more privileged peers In one study, active boys and girls consumed more fruits than their sedentary peers and girls also consumed more yogurt Inverse associations between yogurt and DRDs have been hypothesized to be partially linked to the likelihood that yogurt consumers lead more healthy lifestyles Public health agencies promote canned fruits in place of fresh fruits when accessibility or price are barriers; however, alarm has been raised over the appropriateness of these recommendations, given recent findings associating the frequent consumption of canned fruit to cancer Fruits are generally sweet and respond to innate taste preferences 26 , likely making them more palatable than certain vegetables.

    Although fruit is low in energy density, its fiber and water content give it satiating properties Finally, fruits and yogurt are generally positively viewed , giving them high social transmission potential. According to the determinants of food choice, both fruit and yogurt would be selected and consumed readily by individuals who are given appropriate means and accessibility.

    However, it is unclear whether current recommendations for fruits, vegetables, and dairy products are in fact sustainable, should the majority of the population begin to eat according to dietary guidelines The intake of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, milk products, and seafood is suboptimal in the American diet, resulting in specific nutrients of concern: potassium, dietary fiber, calcium, and vitamin D Consuming yogurt and fruits in combination regularly would assist in increasing the intake of all the nutrients of concern, helping close nutrient gaps.

    Yogurt is concentrated fermented milk, making it a nutrient-dense macro- and micronutrient source, as well as a potentially high source of energy. This is particularly important when considering foods for populations that are vulnerable to malnutrition. For example, the elderly often have suboptimal protein and energy intake, and yogurt is a viable source of nutrients for this population in a concentrated format that is less expensive than most commercial nutrient supplements. In addition, yogurt is an excellent source of vitamin D, calcium, and magnesium, nutrients that are important for maintaining bone health and preventing fractures in the elderly Specific dietary patterns combining a variety of foods are known to be protective against DRDs.

    The prudent dietary pattern, which includes fruit and yogurt intake among its attributes, was strongly associated with a lower risk of both CVD mortality and all-cause mortality The Mediterranean diet, characterized in part by high fruit and vegetable intake and moderate dairy intake, has been known to have anticancer and antiobesity health properties To our knowledge, the synbiotic properties of combining foods such as yogurt and fruit have never been examined.

    Separately, both groups of foods are nutrient dense and have demonstrated protective associations against DRDs in epidemiologic studies. There is reasonable evidence to suggest that, in combination, the probiotic properties of yogurt and prebiotic properties of fruit warrant examination. In practice, foods more often are eaten in combinations in meals and snacks rather than individually, and in countries in which dairy products, fruits, and vegetables are consumed in suboptimal quantities, interventions that promote a combined intake of these food groups would be of added value to encourage the consumption of healthy foods that are associated with both healthy dietary patterns and lifestyles.

    Given that public health nutrition has had little success with increasing the intake of fruits and vegetables to optimal levels, marketing breakfast or snack combinations such as yogurt and fruits that require little preparation is a worthwhile strategy for DRD prevention, particularly T2D. However, the validation of the specific synergistic benefits of combining foods is needed. Finding solutions to ensure that these specific food combinations are affordable and accessible year-round is particularly important to equitable DRD prevention. Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford.

    It furthers the University's objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide. Sign In or Create an Account. Sign In. Advanced Search. Article Navigation. Close mobile search navigation Article Navigation. Volume 8.

    Article Contents. Nutrient Profiles of Fruit and Yogurt. Prebiotic, Probiotic, and Symbiotic Properties. Challenges and Future Directions. Oxford Academic. Google Scholar. Cite Citation.


    Permissions Icon Permissions. Abstract Fruit and yogurt have been identified individually as indicators of healthy dietary patterns. View large Download slide. Search ADS. A fruit and dairy dietary pattern is associated with a reduced risk of metabolic syndrome. Effects on blood pressure of reduced dietary sodium and the dietary approaches to stop hypertension DASH diet. L'effet matrice. The matrix effect. Dairy consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes: 3 cohorts of US adults and an updated meta-analysis. Fruit and vegetable consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus: A dose-response meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies.

    Ready-to-eat breakfast cereal consumption enhances milk and calcium intake in the US population. Interaction of green tea polyphenols with dairy matrices in a simulated gastrointestinal environment. A marketed fermented dairy product containing Bifidobacterium lactis CNCM I suppresses gut hypersensitivity and colonic barrier disruption induced by acute stress in rats. Estimated phytochemical content of the dietary approaches to stop hypertension DASH diet is higher than in the control study diet.