Best 10 fruits for health. So here’s the skinny on what you should be taking instead of all that donuts and cupcake, Getting the recommended 10 servings of fruits and vegetables can be a pain. Fruits are delicious, but it’s hard to find time for 10 servings every day. That’s why I love fruits because they give you the nutrition you need without all the work. If you don’t want to eat fruits or vegetables by themselves, you can add them to your favorite foods to increase the health factor.
Top 12 healthful fruits
This video breaks down what the top 12 healthiest fruits are to consume.
Eating more fruit is an excellent way to improve overall health and reduce the risk of disease.
Fruits are an excellent source of essential vitamins and minerals, and they are high in fiber. Fruits also provide a wide range of health-boosting antioxidants, including flavonoids.
Eating a diet high in fruits and vegetables can reduce a person’s risk of developing heart disease, cancer, inflamation, and diabetes. Citrus fruits and berries may be especially powerful for preventing disease.
A 2014 studyTrusted Source ranked “powerhouse” fruit and vegetables by high nutrient density and low calories. Lemons came out top of the list, followed by strawberry, orange, lime, and pink and red grapefruit.
In this article, we look at the nutrition and the many and varied health benefits of these and other fruits you can find in the supermarket.
Lemons are a citrus fruit that people often use in traditional remedies because of their health benefits. Like other citrus fruits, they contain vitamin C and other antioxidants.
Antioxidants are essential for human health. These compounds mop up free radicals in the body that can damage the body’s cells and lead to diseases, such as cancers.
Researchers believe that the flavonoids in lemon and other citrus fruits have antibacterial, anticancer, and antidiabetic properties.
Citrus fruits, including lemons, contain active components called phytochemicals that benefit health. These include:
- vitamin C
- folic acid
The juice from one 48 g lemon containsTrusted Source the following nutrients in grams (g) or milligrams (mg):
- 11 calories
- 3.31 g carbohydrate
- 49 mg potassium
- 18.6 mg vitamin C
- 3 mg calcium
- 0.1 g of fiber
Lemons also contain thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B-6, folate, and vitamin A.
Read more about the health benefits of lemons and lemon water here.
How to eat lemons
Use the juice of a lemon to flavor drinking water or squeeze over a salad or fish. Try adding lemon juice to boiling water with a teaspoon of honey to help soothe a sore throat. It is also possible to eat the rind of organic lemons. Some people use the rind in recipes.
Strawberries are a juicy, red fruit with a high water content. The seeds provide plenty of dietary fiber per serving. Strawberries contain many healthful vitamins and minerals.
Of particular note, they contain anthocyanins, which are flavonoids that can help boost heart health. The fiber and potassium in strawberries can also support a healthy heart.
In one studyTrusted Source, women who ate 3 or more servings per week of strawberries and blueberries — which are both known for their high anthocyanin content — had a lower risk of having a heart attack than those with lower intake.
Strawberries and other colorful berries also contain a flavonoid called quercetin. This is a natural anti-inflammatory compound.
A serving of 3 large strawberries providesTrusted Source the following nutrients:
- 17 calories
- 4.15 g carbohydrate
- 1.1 g of fiber
- 9 mg of calcium
- 7 mg of magnesium
- 83 mg of potassium
- 31.8 mg of vitamin C
Strawberries also contain thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, and vitamins B-6, A and K.
How to eat strawberries
Strawberries are a versatile fruit. People can eat them raw or add them to breakfast cereals or yogurt, blend them into a smoothie, or make them into jam.
Oranges are a sweet, round citrus fruit packed with vitamins and minerals.
Oranges are among the richest sources of vitamin C, with one medium fruit providing 117 percentTrusted Source of a person’s daily value of vitamin C.
A 141 g orange also containsTrusted Source the following nutrients:
- 65 calories
- 16.27 g carbohydrate
- 3.4 g of fiber
- 61 mg of calcium
- 14 mg of magnesium
- 238 mg of potassium
- 63.5 mg of vitamin C
Vitamin C acts as a powerful antioxidant in the body. This vitamin is also essential for immune system function. It boosts immune function by helping the body to absorb iron from plant-based foods.
The human body cannot make vitamin C itself, so people need to get this vitamin from their diet.Oranges also contain high levels of pectin, which is a fiber that can keep the colon healthy by binding to chemicals that can cause cancer and removing them from the colon.
Oranges also provide the following healthful vitamins:
- vitamin A, a compound that is important for healthy skin and eyesight
- B-vitamins, including thiamin and folate, which help keep the nervous and reproductive systems healthy and help create red blood cells.
How to eat oranges
People can eat oranges on their own as a refreshing snack or by drinking a glass of pure orange juice. Juice oranges at home or choose a brand of fresh juice whose label states it is not from concentrate.
People can also grate orange peel into a salad, yogurt, or as a cereal topping to add extra flavor.
Limes are a sour citrus fruit that provide a range of health benefits.
Like other citrus fruits, limes provide a healthful dose of vitamin C. They also have similar health benefits, antibacterial, and antioxidant properties.
The juice of one lime provides the following nutrientsTrusted Source:
- 11 calories
- 3.7 g carbohydrate
- 6 g calcium
- 4 mg magnesium
- 51 mg potassium
- 13.2 mg vitamin C
How to eat limes
Limes work well in savory foods. Try adding the juice or grated peel of a lime to flavor salad dressings or rice dishes. Otherwise, juice a lime and add to hot or cold water for a refreshing drink.
Grapefruits are sour fruits full of health-inducing vitamins and minerals. Grapefruits can be pink, red, or white.
Half a grapefruit containsTrusted Source the following nutrients:
- 52 calories
- 13.11 g carbohydrate
- 2.0 g fiber
- 27 g calcium
- 11 g magnesium
- 166 g potassium
- 38.4 g vitamin C
The flavonoids in grapefruits can help protect against some cancers, inflammation, and obesity.
A review study suggests the compounds called furanocoumarins found in grapefruits can help protect against oxidative stress and tumors and may support healthy bones.
Some research from this review suggests that grapefruit furanocoumarins may have anticancer properties, which may be especially effective against breast cancer, skin cancer, and leukemia. Researchers still need to carry out more studies on animals and humans to confirm these properties.
People may wish to see a doctor before adding grapefruit to their diet, as it can interact with certain medications.
How to eat grapefruit
Try adding grapefruit slices to a fruit salad, or squeeze the juice into water to make a drink. Otherwise, people can buy pure grapefruit juice from the supermarket.
Like other berries, blackberries contain health-boosting anthocyanins.
Blackberries contain many seeds, so they have a high fiber content. This means they can help improve gut health and heart health.
Half a cup of blackberries containsTrusted Source the following nutrients:
- 31 calories
- 6.92 g carbohydrate
- 3.8 g fiber
- 21 mg calcium
- 14 mg magnesium
- 117 mg potassium
- 15.1 mg vitamin C
How to eat blackberries
People can eat blackberries fresh, add them to yogurt for breakfast or dessert, or add frozen blackberries to smoothies.
These Are the Healthiest Fruits You Should Be Eatin
In many ways, asking which fruit is healthiest is sort of like asking which exercise is best: the answer changes based on the benefit you’re after.
“Depending on what characteristics a person is looking for in a fruit—whether it is a higher fiber content, more vitamins like vitamin C, or more minerals like potassium—one fruit might be nutritionally superior to another,” says Lisa McAnulty, PhD, a professor of nutrition at Appalachian State University.
But even this idea of nutritional “superiority” is kind of silly when we’re talking about fruit. All fruit is good for you. All fruit is rich in nutrients. All fruit is loaded with disease-fighting antioxidants and a good source of stomach-filling fiber. All fruit is superior.
If anyone has ever told you not to eat fruit for any reason (fruit is high in sugar, fruit is high in calories, blah blah blah), know that they are flat-out, totally and completely wrong.
No legitimate registered dietitian we have ever talked to at Men’s Health has ever, under any circumstance, recommended that you stop eating fruit.
In fact, you’re probably not eating enough fruit. Only 12 percent of adult me are eating the recommended goals of at least 2 cups of fruit and 3½ cups of vegetables each day, according to the CDC.
Which means that any fruit that you may eat—apple, orange, banana, blueberries, pears, mango, dragonfruit, whatever—you should probably just eat the dang thing.
But, if you want to go deeper on the health benefits of specific fruits, so be it.
Here we go.
What are the healthiest fruits to eat?
Well, if you skipped over the intro, it’s important. So go back and read it.
According to USDA nutrition estimates, these are the healthiest fresh fruit sources for different vitamins and nutrients.
- Fiber: Raspberries, 8 g per cup
- Protein: Passionfruit, 5 g per cup
- Calcium: Dates, 96 mg per cup
- Iron: Persimmons, 3.75 mg per cup
- Magnesium: Dates, 81 mg per cup
- Potassium: Guava, 688 mg per cup
- Zinc: Blackberries, 0.76 mg per cup
- Vitamin C: Guava, 377 mg per cup
- Folate: Guava, 81 mg per cup
- Choline: Clementines, 21 mg per cup
Again, these are nutrient-specific rankings and ultimately kind of useless, but there you go.
The bottom line: Eat fruit, and a wide variety of it, to reap all the many benefits.
Is the sugar in fruit bad for you?
Despite what you might have heard, there isn’t a big difference among whole fruits when it comes to their effect on your blood sugar levels.
Fruits that are high in sugar also tend to contain both soluble and insoluble fiber, which slows the absorption of these fruit sugars and so prevents big blood-sugar spikes, says Robert Lustig, M.D., professor emeritus of pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco and author of Fat Chance: Beating the Odds Against Sugar, Processed Food, Obesity, and Disease. “So even if you’re taking in a lot of sugar with some fruits, you’re not absorbing that sugar,” he adds.
Also worth noting: blending fruit (like in a smoothie blender) breaks down its insoluble fiber, and so allows your body to absorb a lot more fruit sugar in a short period of time. “The blades of the smoothie machine shear long strands of insoluble fiber to smithereens,” Lustig says.
While you’ll still get all the fruit’s vitamins and nutrients, you need to be careful about overdoing it with smoothies, he says.
Which single fruit is the best to add to your diet?
All of them.
But assuming you’re sticking to whole fruits, and you’re wondering which kind is the absolute best to add to your diet, there is one type that should top your shopping list: berries.
“Berries of all kinds—including blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, goji berries, cranberries, black currants, and bilberries—are an excellent type of fruit to consume because they are low in fat and calories and are a good source of fiber and several key vitamins and minerals,” McAnulty says.
Berries are also packed with a variety of healthy plant chemicals called polyphenols, she says. These include anthocyanins and anthocyanidins, which research has linked to improved heart and brain health, reduced cancer risks, improved insulin sensitivity, and better blood pressure scores. More evidence has tied the antioxidant bioactive compounds in berries to lower levels of inflammation and other health benefits.
Raspberries in particular may be king of the hill when it comes to good-for-you fruits. Along with all the healthy berry attributes mentioned above, raspberries contain more fiber than sugar, per USDA estimates. That’s a very good thing. Research has consistently linked dietary fiber to lower rates of disease and death, but most Americans aren’t getting nearly enough of it. (The Institute of Medicine advises adult men to eat 30 to 38 grams of fiber a day, but the average man eats half that much.) That makes raspberries an especially healthy addition to your diet.
Top 10 Healthiest Fruits and Vegetables
All vegetables and fruits are nutritious, but these picks have the highest levels of good-for-you nutrients that help ward off disease, enhance cognition, and keep your heart healthy.
1. Sweet Potato
Along with squash and carrots, sweet potatoes are rich in beta-carotene, a potent antioxidant that protects vision. Beta-carotene may also help reduce the risk of breast and ovarian cancers in post-menopausal women.
2. Sweet Red Peppers
Surprisingly, sweet red peppers have twice the vitamin C of oranges. This important vitamin is essential for maintaining healthy teeth and gums.
Rich in flavonoids, broccoli helps fight oxidative stress, which damages cells and leads to inflammation. Broccoli may help ward off heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer.
4. Dark Leafy Greens
People who eat more greens score better on tests measuring general cognition and memory (versus those that eat greens less often). Greens are brimming with iron, calcium, and vitamins A, C, and K.
Tomatoes are nature’s best source of lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that may reduce cholesterol levels and protect against advanced-stage prostate cancer.