Everyone knows that it’s healthy to eat fruits, but some fruits are actually healthier than others. Which fruits provide unique health benefits that others cannot? We asked a wide range of health experts (including the Nutrition Experts here at hundred) what some of the healthiest fruits in the world are. Here are the results.
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What are the healthiest fruits?
Blueberries are believed to contain more antioxidants than any other fruit. Studies have shown that the antioxidants found in blueberries may help reduce the risk of chronic conditions such as Alzheimer’s, diabetes, and heart disease.
“Berries of just about every variety, but especially blueberries, contain fiber and phytonutrients which act as antioxidants in the body,” explains Lisa Richards, Nutritionist and author of The Candida Diet. “Antioxidants work to reduce free radical damage from toxins which lead to inflammation and chronic disease, like obesity.”
“If I had to choose one, I would say that blueberries are among the healthiest fruits and are considered to be a “superfood.” The deep blue color of this berry comes from the compound anthocyanin. Anthocyanin is a potent antioxidant and research suggests that it may help in the prevention of heart disease, heart attack, cancer, and inflammation in the body,” says registered dietician Claudia Hleap. “Blueberries are also a good source of Vitamin C, B6, K1. Additionally, the high fiber content of this berry aids in blood sugar regulation and satiety, which is essential in diabetes and weight management.”
Cherries are rich in many vital nutrients, including potassium, fiber, and Vitamin C. They also are packed with powerful antioxidants, including anthocyanins and carotenoids — both of which help reduce inflammation, and may help protect against heart disease, cancer, and diabetes, according to scientific research.
Both sweet and sour cherries are some of the best fruits to eat, but Nutritionist and personal trainer Jamie Hickey recommends sour cherries especially.
“Available in the freezer section of most supermarkets, sour cherries aren’t as sugary as their sweeter counterparts, and contain more Vitamin A than blueberries, as well as tons of powerful antioxidants. Sour cherry juice has been shown to help with muscle soreness, decrease cholesterol, and improve heart health,” explains Hickey.
If that wasn’t enough, these powerful little fruits are also high in melatonin, a hormone that tells your brain when it’s time to sleep. As a result, studies show that drinking tart cherry juice regularly can help enhance sleep duration and quality, and may even help treat certain sleep disorders like insomnia.
“Grapefruit is an excellent choice for a healthy diet. Full of Potassium, Lycopene, Vitamin C, and choline, consuming grapefruit may help improve lipid levels and blood pressure as well as reduce the risk of stroke. All that Vitamin C is also great for the skin, whether eating it, or applying it topically,” explains Nutritionist Jamie Hickey. “Vitamin C is also great to increase your immune system, and that is especially important these days.”
Moreover, grapefruit is one of the healthiest fruits for weight loss.
“Grapefruit is an excellent weight loss fruit because it is a low glycemic index fruit, meaning it won’t spike your blood sugar. An increase in blood sugar causes a release of insulin which works to take glucose out of the blood and inevitably store it as fat,” Nutritionist Lisa Richards explains.
In fact, one study found those that ate half a grapefruit before meals lost 2.9 pounds more than those who did not eat grapefruit at all.
Pineapple is a highly nutritious tropical fruit. Just one cup of pineapple provides 131% of the RDI for Vitamin C. It also contains 76% of the RDI for Manganese, a trace mineral required for a healthy brain and nervous system.
Pineapple is also full of bromelain, which is a mixture of enzymes that reduce inflammation and help digest protein. Some studies suggest that bromelain can help protect against cancer and tumor growth, as well.
One of the healthiest fruits to eat is the nutrient-dense pomegranate.
Just one cup of pomegranate seeds contains:
- Fiber: 7 grams
- Protein: 3 grams
- Vitamin C: 30% of the RDI
- Vitamin K: 36% of the RDI
- Folate: 16% of the RDI
- Potassium: 12% of the RDI
Pomegranates are also packed with a unique substance known as punicalagins — which is an extremely potent antioxidant. Studies have shown that the antioxidant levels in pomegranate are three times higher than those of green tea and red wine.
Although not usually thought of as such, avocados are in fact a fruit. They’re classified as a type of berry.
Avocado is the only fruit out there that offers a substantial amount of monounsaturated fats, particularly oleic acid — a fatty acid that has been linked to better heart health and reduced inflammation.
“Avocados have become a popular fruit over the past few years. Healthy fats help in weight loss because they keep you full without adding excess empty calories, and won’t cause inflammation,” Nutritionist Lisa Richards shared with us.
Avocados also contain nearly 20 essential vitamins and minerals. They’re loaded with fiber, Magnesium, and Potassium in particular.
Bananas are famous for their high levels of Potassium, a mineral that helps maintain fluid levels and regulates the movement of nutrients throughout the body. Potassium is also useful for both nerve cell and muscle health, and helps to keep the heart beating regularly.
“Bananas aren’t only rich in potassium, they’re also filled with Tryptophan and Magnesium which have sleep-inducing qualities, making it easier for one to fall asleep faster and sleep more efficiently,” explains Liz Brown, a certified sleep coach and founder of Sleeping Lucid. “Bananas’ effect on one’s sleep cycle makes it easier for one to achieve the physical, emotional, and mental strengthening benefits that come with sleep. Simply put, bananas help one achieve overall holistic health.”
The bottom line
If you’re looking for some of the world’s healthiest fruits to eat, choose some from this list and make yourself a delicious fruit salad to combine all of their health benefits together!
Don’t just eat one fruit every day and forget the others, as dietician Claudia Hleap explains: “It is important to remember that all fruits and vegetables have a place in the diet. The best thing for your health is not to choose one specific fruit or vegetable, but to incorporate a wide variety of foods in your diet to make sure you are getting all the vitamins and minerals you need.”
If you aren’t sure what vitamins and minerals your body needs right now, consider taking our 5-minute holistic quiz to build up your own personalized vitamin plan.
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