Fruits are naturally low in fat, sodium and calories. None of them have cholesterol. Generally, fruits should be consumed in abundance as they contain many essential nutrients that are underconsumed everyday such as vitamin C, dietary fiber, potassium, folate and other vitamins and minerals. Did you know that vitamin C is not stored in the body? It needs to be replenished daily and most fruits are a good source of vitamin C.
Here are 15 of the healthiest fruits everyone should be eating more of.
- Acerola Cherry
- Passion Fruit
Also known as the West Indian cherry, gram for gram, Acerola cherries contain more vitamin C than any other food source. One cup of acerola cherries contains 1644 milligrams, or 2740 percent of the recommended daily intake. Actually, just 1 small fruit weighing 5 grams is enough to meet 133% of your daily vitamin C needs!
Fresh apricots are low in calories, composing of just 50 calories per 100g weight. They are a rich source of dietary fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, and potassium. The fruits are enriched with numerous health promoting phytochemicals that help prevent heart disease, reduce LDL (bad cholesterol) levels and protect against cancers.
These sweet, firm fleshed, creamy tasting fruit is a favourite of everyone, both old and young. As a good source of potassium, bananas help maintain normal blood pressure and heart function. A 2012 study of distance cyclists found that eating the equivalent of about one half a banana every 15 minutes of a three-hour race was just as good at keeping energy levels steady as drinking an equivalent amount of carbohydrate and minerals from a processed sports beverage.
Blackberries are in the top 10 highest antioxidant content per serving of any food tested. This means that regular consumption of blackberries may have a positive impact on health, athletic performance and disease risk. Anthocyanins, or the “flashy flavonoid,” give blackberries their glossy, dark color, and it’s this powerful phytonutrient that’s been shown to protect the brain from oxidative stress and may even reduce the effects of age-related conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Blackberries have also been shown to have beneficial health effects in the fight against cancers of the GI tract, like colon cancer.
Blackcurrant is particularly high in anthocyanins, vitamin C, omega-3 and omega-6. Vitamin C is an essential nutrient required for the body’s normal functions and the antioxidant polyphenols in blackcurrants (particularly anthocyanins) may help in maintaining cardiovascular health, aging and brain health, urinary tract health and healthy vision.
In terms of U.S. fruit consumption, blueberries rank only second to strawberries in popularity of berries. Blueberries are not only popular, but also repeatedly ranked as a top 3 highest antioxidant capacity food source. It is recommended to enjoy blueberries raw rather than relying upon blueberries incorporated into baked desserts because raw blueberries provide you with the best flavor and the greatest nutritional benefits.
Cranberries are known to help prevent urinary tract infections thanks to the unusual nature of their proanthocyanidins (PACs). The special structure of these PACs acts as a barrier to bacteria that might otherwise latch on to the urinary tract lining. It also applies to stomach ulcers which are often overgrowth of the Helicobacter pylori bacteria. In much the same way as cranberries may help prevent bacterial attachment to the lining of the urinary tract, they may also help prevent attachment of bacteria to the stomach lining. The cancer-preventive benefits of cranberries are now known to extend to cancers of the breast, colon, lung, and prostate.
Cantaloupe is the no.1 fruit source of vitamin A. California grown cantaloupe hybrids’ beta carotene content can reach levels as high as 3138µg. The beta carotene content of an orange is about 30 times lower. Intake of cantaloupe has also recently been found to lower risk of metabolic syndrome, a group of risk factors associated with the development of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.
This fruit is very nutrient dense, especially in dietary fiber, vitamin C, vitamin B complex, potassium and Omega-3. In the West, the traditional adage is “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” but in countries where guavas grow in abundance, it’s “a guava a week keeps the doctor away”. What makes it stand out from other fruits is the fact that it is one of the least chemically treated and sprayed fruits. Guava also has far less sugar as compared to apples, oranges, grapes, and many other common fruits. Astringents, compounds that shrink and constrict body tissue, found a lot in guava, adds substance to loose bowels and reduce symptoms of diarrhea. As they are alkaline in nature and have disinfectant and anti-bacterial properties, astringents help to cure dysentery by inhibiting microbial growth and removing extra mucus from the intestines.
The affluence of antioxidants in kiwi proves valuable in various medical conditions such as cancer, insomnia, macular degeneration and diabetes. Flavonoids-rich kiwi is beneficial during pregnancy, contributes in keeping the skin healthy and promotes the absorption of iron in the body. Anti-microbial properties of kiwi guards against a range of pathogens and strengthens the immune defense of the body.
Papayas are commonly used to aid digestion. The presence of papain, a digestive super enzyme, improves digestion by breaking down proteins and also cleanses the digestive tract. As it also kills dead cells and purifies the skin, papain is used a lot in cosmetics as a revitalizing agent. That being said, rubbing peels of papaya will work wonders on your skin. More importantly, papaya helps to avoid infections and its associated complications by killing intestinal worms effectively.
Gram for gram, no other fruit beats the dietary fiber content of passion fruit. Moreover it has the ability to prevent cancerous growth, stimulate digestion, boost immune function, improve eyesight, increase skin health, regulate fluid balance in the body, lower blood pressure, boost circulation, and improve bone mineral density. Furthermore, it reduces signs of premature aging, lessens inflammation, improves sleeping habits, and eliminates asthma. This is due to the nutrient, mineral, and vitamin content of the fruit, which includes antioxidants, flavonoids, vitamin A, vitamin C, riboflavin, niacin, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, copper, fiber, and protein.
Generally, persimmons can improve eye health, reduce signs of aging, prevent various types of cancer, improve digestion, boost your immune system, lower cholesterol, increase your metabolism, strengthen your bones, boost cognitive function, lower blood pressure, and take care of your skin.This is due primarily to its very high vitamin and mineral content, as well as some unusual organic compounds that include vitamins A, C, E and B6, as well as dietary fiber, manganese, copper, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorous. Its organic compounds are probably the most important parts, and they include catechins, gallocatechins, betulinic acid, and various carotenoid compounds that fall within the B complex of vitamins.
Pomegranates are not only delicious but they are very healthy as well, containing antioxidant, antiviral and antitumor properties. Gram for gram, pomegranates contain 3 times the amount of antioxidant in green tea. Among the long list of health benefits associated with it, pomegranates are known mostly for curing problems related to the heart and for maintaining effective and healthy blood circulation. Unique tannins found in pomegranate called punicaligins helps to keep the arteries clear of clots.
The health benefits of strawberries include improved eye care, proper brain function, relief from high blood pressure, arthritis, gout and various cardiovascular diseases. Antioxidants such as flavonoids, phenolic phytochemicals, and elagic acid, all of which are present in strawberries, are responsible for many of the health benefits associated with it. In addition to antioxidants, they have many other nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that contribute to overall health. These include folate, potassium, manganese, dietary fiber, and magnesium. It is also extremely high in vitamin C.