Ask the Pharmacist: Protect yourself with fruit

Suzy Cohen

Some people eat nothing but fruit. They are called fruitarians. While I do not advocate this diet for everyone, I do see the virtues in fruits! I highly recommend you include fruits in your diet.

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The primary reason is they taste great, give you natural fiber and contain natural antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds. This will tamp down some of the pain cytokines that your body has run amok with.  Here are some fruits of the season, and the primary reason I recommend them.


Apricots are yellow-orange and the color comes from beta carotene which is a precursor to vitamin A. They also contain lutein and zeaxanthin. These are all useful for vision. Apricots have been studied for their beneficial role in fatty liver.


These fruits contain compounds that naturally lower your blood pressure. If you drink more than say a shot glass per day, and you're also taking blood pressure medications, your numbers may go too low.  Pomegranate juice has another helpful effect on the body in that is a natural, mild blood thinner.


Figs are now being studied for their ability to help with diabetes, as well as hypertension. They are high in potassium (and low in sodium) which means they can reduce blood pressure. Figs contain abscisic acid, which has been studied for its ability to help with carbohydrate metabolism and blood sugar. This fruit extract is in GlucoScript Max. 


Strawberries are red from the anthocyanins. These gorgeous fruits contain ferulic acid have been shown to have a remarkably high scavenging activity toward chemically generated radicals, thus making them effective in inhibiting oxidation of human LDLs.


These contain antibacterial compounds that are thought to help with gum disease. They also contain lot of quercetin and ellagic acid which taken together act as very strong free-radical scavengers and protect your cells from DNA damage. This could be helpful if you have a history of cancer.


This fruit can help with appetite suppression and may be useful as an adjunctive to your weight loss program and exercise regimen. It can spark more production of cholecystokinin which is a ‘stop sign’ for eating. Grapefruit rind (and orange rind) contain a lot of naringen, a compound that causes a bitter taste in the fruit. This compound is the one that interacts with some antihistamines and statins. That said, naringen is also known for it’s cough-suppressant action, and ability to help out with asthma. 


These could help reduce stroke, compliments of the high amount of quercetin.

This effect was even confirmed by a study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition which evaluated 9,208 men and women, concluding, “The intake of apples is related to a decreased risk of thrombotic stroke.”


The fruit itself contains vitamin C, quercetin and ellagic acid. These are all strong antioxidants and fight cancer and inflammation. The leaves of raspberries have been used to create commercial teas which are widely available. The leaves contain fragarine, which is a strong inhibitor of uterine contractions. In other words, a cup of raspberry leaf tea can help with PMS.

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Suzy Cohen is a registered pharmacist. The information presented here is not intended to treat, cure or diagnose any condition. Visit