With so many fruit choices, how do you know what are the best fruits to eat?
Eating more fruits is an excellent way to improve your overall health and reduce the risk of diseases. Not only are fruits a great source of vitamins, minerals and fibre, eating a diet high in fruits and vegetables can lower a person’s risk of developing health issues like heart disease, cancer, inflammation, and diabetes. Some fruits are excellent in helping weight loss too!
There are around 2,000 types of fruits in the world. However, they are not created equal. Stay healthy by developing an appetite for the 10 healthiest fruits below:
10 Best Fruits to Eat
The following fruits are arranged in alphabetical order and not ranked based on nutritional values.
Apples are among the most popular and healthiest fruits, and they also happen to be some of the best fruits to eat. A medium apple contains the following nutrients:
- Calories: 95
- Carbs: 25.13 g
- Fibre: 4.4 g
- Potassium: 195 mg
- Calcium: 11 mg
- Vitamin C: 8.4 mg
Apples are a good source of fibre and vitamin C. They also contain polyphenols, which may have numerous health benefits including aiding weight loss, lowering the risk of heart diseases (and Type 2 diabetes) and promoting good gut bacteria.
Often referred to as a superfood, it is not surprising to find avocados on this “best fruits to eat” list. While most fruits are high in carbs, avocado is actually low in carbs and comprised mainly of healthy fats.
As one of the healthiest fruits available, avocados have high nutrient value. Half an avocado contains the following nutrients:
- Calories: 161 calories
- Protein: 2.01 g of protein
- Carbs: 8.57 g
- Fibre: 6.7 g
- Calcium: 12 mg
- Magnesium: 29 mg
- Potassium: 487 mg
- Vitamin C: 10.1 mg
Potassium is a nutrient that most people don’t get enough of. Luckily, avocados are rich in them. A study suggests that high potassium intake is linked to reduced blood pressure, which is a major risk factor for heart attacks, strokes and kidney failure
Avocados are also rich in oleic acid and antioxidants. Oleic acid is a monounsaturated fat that helps lower cholesterol level. Antioxidants like lutein and zeaxanthin are very important for eye health and lower your risk of macular degeneration and cataracts.
Not only are bananas delicious, but they are among the healthiest fruits in the world. Native to Southeast Asia, they are now grown in many warm parts of the world. A medium banana also contains the following nutrients:
- Protein: 1.29 g
- Carbs: 26.95 g
- Calcium: 6 mg
- Magnesium: 32 mg
- Vitamin C: 10.3 mg
- Potassium: 422 mg
Bananas are rich in pectin, a type of fibre that gives the flesh its spongy structural form. They may moderate blood sugar levels after meals and reduce appetite by slowing the emptying of your stomach. One 13-year study in women determined that those who ate bananas 2–3 times per week were 33% less likely to develop kidney disease. Another study explains why the high carbohydrate and mineral content of bananas makes them a great source of fuel before exercise.
Full of nutrients and antioxidants, blackberries make the list as one of the best fruits to eat. Blackberry brambles are native to Europe and they are a summer staple. Half a cup of blackberries contains the following nutrients:
- Calories: 31
- Carbs: 6.92 g
- Fibre: 3.8 g
- Calcium: 21 mg
- Magnesium: 14 mg
- Potassium: 117 mg
- Vitamin C: 15.1 mg
Blackberries are rich in vitamin C, vitamin K and manganese. Vitamin C is integral to collagen formation in bones, connective tissue, and blood vessels. Vitamin K helps with blood clots and bone metabolism. Manganese also plays a key role in the building of bones and tissues. This property may prevent osteoporosis, manage blood sugar levels, and reduce epileptic seizures. A 2013 study suggests that blackberry extract has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory abilities against some types of bacteria that cause oral disease.
Blueberries are another type of berries to make the list of healthiest fruits. Often labelled a superfood, blueberries are low in calories and incredibly good for you. Half a cup of blueberries provides the following nutrients:
- Calories: 42
- Carbs: 10.72 g
- Fibre: 1.8 g
- Calcium: 4 mg
- Potassium: 57 mg
- Vitamin C: 7.2 mg
Blueberries are believed to contain the highest antioxidant content of the most commonly consumed fruits. Antioxidants, namely anthocyanin, help neutralize some of the free radicals that damage your DNA and may reduce the risk of chronic conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes and Alzheimer’s. A study of over 93,000 women found that those who ate more than 3 portions of strawberries and blueberries per week had a lower risk of heart attack. Like cranberries, blueberries contain substances that can prevent certain bacteria from binding to the wall of your bladder, which may help prevent UTIs.
The grapefruit is one of the healthiest citrus fruits around. Being a good source of fibre, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, you can try adding grapefruit slices to a fruit salad or squeeze the juice into water to make a drink.
Half a grapefruit contains the following nutrients:
- Calories: 52
- Carbs: 13.11 g
- Fibre: 2.0 g
- Calcium: 27 g
- Magnesium: 11 g
- Potassium: 166 g
- Vitamin C: 38.4 g
Grapefruits are high in powerful antioxidants like vitamin C, flavanones, beta-carotene and lycopene. They may also help to aid weight loss and reduce insulin resistance. In a study involving 91 obese people, those who ate half a fresh grapefruit before meals lost more weight than those who didn’t. The group also had a significant reduction in insulin levels and reduced insulin resistance.
Adequate intake of potassium is associated with a reduced risk of high blood pressure and death by heart disease. According to one study, people who ate grapefruit three times daily for six weeks experienced significant reductions in blood pressure. They also showed improvements in total cholesterol and LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol levels.
It definitely comes as no surprise to find the citric lemon among the healthiest fruits for consumption. With a high content of vitamin C and antioxidants, lemons are often used in traditional remedies. The juice from a 48 g lemon contains:
- Calories: 11
- Carbs: 3.31 g
- Potassium: 49 mg
- Vitamin C: 18.6 mg
- Calcium: 3 mg
- Fibre: 0.1 g
Like other citrus fruits, lemons contain active components called phytochemicals that benefit health. These include vitamin C, folic acid, potassium and pectin. One lemon provides about 31 mg of vitamin C, which is 51% of the reference daily intake (RDI). One study shows that eating fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin C reduces your risk of heart disease and stroke. The soluble fibre (pectin) in lemons could help improve digestive health. However, you will need to eat the pulp of the lemon, not just the juice.
Citric acid may also help prevent kidney stones by increasing urine volume and increasing urine pH. This creates a less favourable environment for kidney stone formation. Since lemons contain both vitamin C and citric acid, they may protect against anaemia by ensuring that you absorb as much iron as possible from your diet.
Indigenous to South America, pineapple is not just one of the healthiest fruits around, it is also very appealing, especially in the summer season. Typically, people enjoy fresh pineapple by itself or in fruit salads.
A medium slice of pineapple also contains the following nutrients:
- Calories: 42
- Carbs: 11.02 g
- Fibre: 1.2 g
- Potassium: 92 mg
- Vitamin C: 40.2 mg
- Calcium: 11 mg
Pineapples contain trace amounts of vitamins A and K, phosphorus, zinc and calcium. They are especially rich in vitamin C and manganese, providing 131% and 76% of the daily recommendations, respectively. Manganese is needed by the body to build bone and tissue, preventing osteoporosis.
Pineapples contain a group of digestive enzymes known as bromelain, which many people take as a dietary supplement because of its potential health benefits. In a study, participants with pancreatic insufficiency experienced better digestion after taking a digestive enzyme supplement containing bromelain. This group of enzymes also has anti-inflammatory properties and may provide pain relief for those with osteoarthritis.
Another superfood to make the healthiest fruits list, pomegranate contains a range of beneficial plant compounds not to be underestimated. Categorised as a berry, the seeds and arils are the edible parts of the fruit. Arils refer to the red, juicy and sweet seed covering.
One raw pomegranate contains:
- Calories: 234
- Carbs: 52.73 g
- Fibre: 11.3 g
- Potassium: 666 mg
- Calcium: 28 mg
- Vitamin C: 28.8 mg
Pomegranates have wide-ranging health benefits. Their primary value lies in the two unique substances – punicalagins and punicic acid. Found in pomegranate juice and peel, punicalagins are extremely potent antioxidants. Pomegranate juice has been found to have three times the antioxidant activity of red wine and green tea. On the other hand, punicic acid, a type of conjugated linoleic acid, that is found in pomegranate seed oil may improve metabolic health and help lower the risk of many diseases.
A review study suggests that pomegranates have anti-inflammatory effects and may help protect against brain-related diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. They may also restrict the growth of human prostate cancer cells.
Strawberries rank among the healthiest fruits to eat. They are an excellent source of vitamin C and manganese. As one of the most commonly consumed berries in the world, they are super versatile. Not only can strawberries complement sweet foods like desserts and pastries, but they also work well pairing with savoury salads and roasted meat.
A serving of 3 large strawberries provides the following nutrients:
- Calories: 17
- Carbs: 4.15 g
- Fibre: 1.1 g
- Calcium: 9 mg
- Magnesium: 7 mg
- Potassium: 83 mg
- Vitamin C: 31.8 mg
Strawberries may decrease your risk of heart disease and cancer and help regulate blood sugar. Like blueberries, strawberries are rich in anthocyanin. A study of over 93,000 women found that those who ate more than 3 portions of strawberries and blueberries per week had a lower risk of heart attack. And compared to other fruits, strawberries have a relatively low glycemic index. This means eating them shouldn’t cause a problematic spike in blood sugar level. Strawberries have also been shown to have antiproliferative properties, inhibiting tumour formation in human liver.
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