The varieties of fruits consumed are numerous, and their uses important. They are chiefly valuable for their sugar, acids, and salts, and are cooling, refreshing, and stimulating. They act as a tonic, and assist in purifying the blood. Many contain a jelly-like substance, called pectin, and several contain starch, which during the ripening process is converted into glucose. Bananas, dates, figs, prunes, and grapes, owing to their large amount of sugar, are the most nutritious. Melons, oranges, lemons, and grapes contain the largest amount of water. Apples, lemons, and oranges are valuable for their potash salts, and oranges and lemons especially valuable for their citric acid. It is of importance to those who are obliged to exclude much sugar from their dietary, to know that plums, peaches, apricots, and raspberries have less sugar than other fruits;

apples, sweet cherries, grapes, and pears contain the largest amount. Apples are obtainable nearly all the year, and on account of their variety, cheapness, and abundance, are termed queen of fruits. 61

Thoroughly ripe fruits should be freely indulged in, and to many are more acceptable than desserts prepared in the kitchen. If possible, fruits should always appear on the breakfast-table.

In cases where uncooked fruit cannot be freely eaten, many kinds may be cooked and prove valuable. Never eat unripe fruit, or that which is beginning to decay. Fruits should be wiped or rinsed before serving.

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