The uses of the different fruits may be summed up as follows:

1. To furnish nutriment.

2. To convey water to the system and relieve thirst.

3. To introduce various salts and organic acids which improve the quality of the blood and react favourably upon the secretions.

4. As antiscorbutics.

5. As diuretics, and to lessen the acidity of the urine.

6. As laxatives and cathartics.

7. To stimulate the appetite, improve digestion, and give variety in the diet.

8. As special "cures" for certain diseases, like the grape cure, although their specific action is very doubtful.

In a study of the diet of women students at Lake Erie College in Ohio, made in 1900 by Isabel Bevier and Elizabeth C. Sprague, it was found that an increase in fresh fruit consumption, especially at breakfast, showed that more breakfast was eaten and it materially lessened the craving for sweets.

Fruits which afford the most nutriment are the banana, date, fig, prune, and grape. This is due to the large proportion of sugar which they contain.

Fruits which contain the most water are muskmelons, watermelons, oranges, lemons, limes, shaddocks, and grapes.

The antiscorbutic value of fruits is illustrated particularly by certain varieties which furnish abundant potash salts, as well as lime and magnesia. Among these are to be mentioned apples, lemons, limes, and oranges.

The diuretic influence of fruits is in part due to their water, but chiefly to their organic acids and salts, which stimulate the circulation and probably also the activity of the renal epithelium.

Fruit-eating lessens the acid of the urine or even makes it alkaline owing to decomposition of various alkaline salts in the blood or tissues, which are reformed into alkaline carbonate and, as such, are excreted. For this reason fruit is sometimes beneficial in lithaemia and allied conditions to prevent accumulation of acid urates.

The laxative action of fruits is partially derived from indigestible substances, cellulose, seeds, etc., and also, no doubt, from the special influence of their organic ingredients, which in some instances is very striking.

The best fruits to offset constipation are fresh apples, figs, prunes, peaches, and berries. Dyspeptics must be careful to avoid eating all hard skins, seeds, or coarse-fibred fruits.

Fruits Arranged In The Order Of Their Content Of Sugar (Average)

(Moss)

Peaches............................................. 1.6 per cent.

Apricots............................................ 1.8 " "

Plums............................................. 2.1 "

Reineclaudes........................................ 3.1 " "

Mirabelles.......................................... 3.6 per cent.

Raspberries....................................... 4.0 " "

Blackberries......................................... 4.4 " "

Strawberries........................................ 5.7 " "

Whortleberries....................................... 5.8 " "

Currants............................................ 6.1 " "

Prunes.............................................. 6.3 " "

Gooseberries......................................... 7.2 " "

Red pears........................................... 7.5 " "

Apples.............................................. 8.4 " "

Sour cherries........................................ 8.8 " "

Mulberries......................................... 9.2 " "

Sweet cherries....................................... 10.8 " "

Grapes.............................................. 14.9 " "