Best Fruits For Vitamins

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The best fruits for vitamins are a great way to fulfill your daily requirements in the best way possible, and can also help you to fight against disease. The best fruits for vitamins are often the tastiest once you understand the process to drinking them versus eating them. Instead of enjoying the fruit, you might put it in a blender and mix it. While the fruits will be taste good, they will not be great sources of vitamins and nutrients.

Are certain fruits healthier than others?

close up image of a colorful variety of assorted fruits

In the US, we are fortunate to have a dizzying array of fruits that fill our grocery stores year-round. They come in all sizes, shapes, and colors, and we have all heard about the recommended five servings of fruits and vegetables a day. So, what are we eating them for? And how does the nutritional value vary between fruits? Is there any difference between whole fruits versus juice, fresh versus dried? Let’s take a look.

Differences between fruits

Just like other foods, different fruits have different nutrient values. Generally, whole fruits are good sources of fiber while fruit juices are not. And one cup of fruit juice, even 100% fruit juice, has a lot more sugar than one piece or one serving of whole fruit. In addition, whole fruits are more satiating than juices. When meeting the recommended fruit and vegetable intake, it is better to eat them (whole) than drink them (juice). However, one should not completely avoid drinking juice — if it is 100% juice — but you should limit consumption to no more than 4 to 8 ounces a day.

The freezer section of the grocery store is often stocked with quite a variety of frozen fruits. These are often peeled and cut already (like mango), which is convenient and often less expensive than fresh fruits. Frozen fruits are usually picked and quick-frozen near the point of harvest, therefore the nutrients are well preserved. Moreover, some seasonal fruits such as blueberries are readily available in frozen form. The key to selection is to choose plain frozen fruits without added sugar.

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There are a number of fruits that are available in dried form, such as raisins, apricots, and pineapple — just to name a few. They also have good nutrient values, keep for a long time, are convenient to carry around, and are high in calories, making them a favorite for hikers and campers. However, some often have sugar added in the drying process, particularly mango and pineapple. Dried cranberries almost always have sugar added, as they are naturally very tart. Even for those without added sugar, the compact volume and sweetness make it quite easy to eat a lot in one sitting, and the calories can add up quickly.

Some dried fruits like raisins and apricots are also treated with sulfur dioxide to preserve freshness and color. For most people that is not a concern; however, some individuals are sensitive, especially those with asthma. Sulfur dioxide treatment is labeled on the package, so it is not difficult to avoid if necessary.

What about buying organic?

We have much choice when it comes to organic and conventionally grown fruits, be they fresh, frozen, or dried. Nutritionally, there is not enough difference to choose one over the other, though consumers might choose one over another based on farming practices and environmental impact. The US has regulations on pesticide use, but some fruits tend to have more residual pesticides than others, and it is always recommended that you wash fruits thoroughly before eating.

What Are the Best Fruits for You? A Dietitian’s Top Picks

​Here are the healthiest fruits you can eat that are super tasty,

blueberries and pomegranate seeds

We all need to eat two servings of fruit every day. So why not choose fruits with the biggest nutritional bang for your buck?

Dietitian Jennifer Hyland, RD, CSP, LD, shares her top five favorite fruit choices that offer both taste and health benefits.

“Our favorite fruits are packed with nutrients and fiber. And while they’re sweet enough to eat as a treat, they won’t trigger a sugar binge that’s common in other fruits,” she says.

On so many levels you’ll love wrapping in more of these tasty, tempting fruits into your diet.

1. Blueberries

“They’re sweet, juicy, flavorful and bursting with fiber and phytonutrients,” Hyland says. 

“Blueberries are also particularly high in antioxidants that protect your cells from free radical damage.”

In fact, blueberries rank high on the American Institute for Cancer Research’s list of Foods that Fight Cancer. Some research even suggests blueberries may help reduce age-related memory loss.

“What’s not to love? You can sprinkle them on everything like yogurt, oatmeal, salads, or simply snack on them by the handful,” she says.

Here’s how to enjoy blueberries all year, at a fraction of off-season prices: Buy them in bulk in the summer, when they’re cheapest and most flavorful, she advises. Then wash, dry and store them in plastic zipper bags in your freezer to enjoy all year long.

“Add frozen blueberries and cinnamon to plain Greek yogurt in the morning and place the container in the fridge,” she says. “By mid-day the blueberries have thawed and their juice has melded in, which is by far the healthiest way to sweeten up your yogurt!”

2. Pomegranate seeds

“Pomegranate seeds may be tiny but don’t let their size fool you,” Hyland says. 

These small seeds are filled with some of the most powerful plant-based nutrients (polyphenols) that help decrease oxidative stress and inflammation.

Research also links antioxidant compounds in pomegranate seeds (ellagic acid and anthocyanins) to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

One-half cup of pomegranate seeds contain 72 calories, 3.5 grams of fiber and 12 grams of sugar.

“Try buying a whole pomegranate, cutting it in half and removing the seeds,” she says. “Store the seeds in a glass container in the fridge then add them to smoothies, salads and trail mix during the week.”

3. Raspberries

“These berries really do pack a powerful nutritional punch,” Hyland says. “They’re high in fiber, vitamin C and antioxidants and are also low in sugar.”

Raspberries are also full of those plant nutrients called polyphenols that decrease oxidative damage. One cup of fresh raspberries also provides 65 calories, 8 grams of fiber and 5.4 grams of natural sugar.

“It’s hard to find another fruit with more dietary fiber which aids in digestion, blood glucose control and weight loss,” she adds. “Raspberries are also a great source of natural sweetness that can help you cut back on or eliminate other added sugars.”

Fresh, ripe raspberries are easily enjoyed plain as a dessert — or use them frozen to sweeten smoothies or whole-grain pancakes or waffles.

They’re also perfect to top yogurt, oatmeal or salads or infused in water to add a hint of natural sweetness and flavor. 

4. Oranges 

Oranges are packed with vitamin C and potassium. They also contain flavonoids, plant nutrients with anti-inflammatory properties.

“Oranges aren’t too sweet so you don’t end up craving sugary sweets after eating one,” Hyland says. “They’re also the perfect fruit to eat before a long training run or other sports or aerobic activity.”

Eating an orange is better than just drinking its juice. You get 3 grams of fiber in an orange, which has 69 calories and 12 grams of natural sugar.

5. Apples

“Apples are one of the easiest, long shelf life fruits to pack and enjoy on the go — so if you always have them with you you can reach for the apple instead of other tempting treats,” she says.

“The extra bonus is that they offer some satisfying sweet, along with a bit of weight-management-loving fiber,” she adds.

Apples are also packed with antioxidant plant nutrients, and vitamins A and C and have been shown to help lower cholesterol due to their high soluble fiber content.

When you’re choosing apples, just watch out for the size. Some very large apple varieties at your local market can harbor 200 calories or more. But one medium apple with skin has just 95 calories, 4 grams of fiber and 19 grams of natural sugar.

“Remember, as a general rule for any fruits that have a higher natural sugar content, try to pair them with natural peanut butter or nuts to get some protein at the same time — this can prevent your blood sugar from spiking,” Hyland emphasizes.

The 7 Best Fruits You Should Be Eating Every Day, Say Dietitians

All fruit is healthy, but these stand out from the crowd for their unique health benefits.

fruit berries banana blueberries strawberries peanut butter toast

Nature’s candy, AKA fruit, should be easy enough to eat. Most fruit is sweet, hydrating, and overall delicious, but only 12% of Americans get the recommended one and a half to two cups of fruit a day.

Eating fruit helps you get essential vitamins and minerals, antioxidants, and fiber. People who eat more fruit have a reduced risk of heart attacks, stroke, and cancer. In a 2021 Australian study, people who ate at least two servings of fruit a day were 36% less likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those who ate less than half a serving daily.

Salad with squid and fruits

But, with so many different kinds of fruit, which ones should you choose?

First of all, you can’t go wrong adding more fruit to your diet, but some types stand out among the rest as nature’s superstars. Here are seven fruits dietitians say you should be eating, and for more on how to eat healthy, don’t miss

1

Strawberries

strawberries cut in half in a bowl

Strawberries are a versatile and healthy fruit that has a portion size larger than most other fruit. Plus, even though they’re sweet as can be, they’re an excellent choice for people with diabetes or on a low-carb diet.

“A serving of strawberries is one and a quarter cup which is equivalent to 15 grams of carbohydrate and three grams of fiber, making this a good fruit choice for people with diabetes,” says Toby Smithson, RD registered dietitian, certified diabetes care and education specialist, founder of Diabetes EveryDay and author of Diabetes Meal Planning and Nutrition for Dummies.

Ever wonder what gives strawberries their deep red color? “[They’re] a great source of the antioxidant anthocyanin, which has been shown to reduce inflammation, oxidative stress, and insulin resistance which are all risk factors associated with type 2 diabetes,” says Smithson

2

Blueberries

blueberries

“Once you pop, you just can’t stop” should have been written about these blue beauties. It’s easy to eat a handful (or several) in one sitting, but thankfully blueberries are just as healthy as they are delicious.

Blueberries are full of antioxidants, and eating berries at least twice a week is an important part of the MIND Diet, a diet that has neuroprotective effects, explains registered dietitian Christina Iaboni, RD.

Instead of always snacking on regular blueberries, give wild blueberries a try. They’re loaded with anti-inflammatory benefits and have two times more health-helping antioxidants than conventional blueberries, explains Amy Gorin, MS, RDN, an inclusive plant-based registered dietitian nutritionist.

“Regularly eating wild blueberries has been shown to help improve memory and slow brain aging,” says Gorin. One small study found that older adults who ate one cup of fresh blueberries daily for three months had significant improvements on mental cognition tests.

3

Watermelon

watermelon

Nothing goes better with a summer picnic than a big juicy slice of watermelon. This summertime staple doesn’t only taste good, it’s also bursting with health benefits.

“Watermelon is high in lycopene, an antioxidant which studies suggest can lower the risk of certain cancers and improve heart health,” says Rachel Rothman, MS, RD, CLEC. Lycopene helps give watermelon its red color and can be found in other foods like tomatoes, grapefruit, and papaya.

If you typically toss the watermelon rind in the trash or compost bin, you’re missing out on a lot of amazing nutrition. The watermelon rind is actually edible! “It’s rich in fiber and contains beneficial amino acids, like citrulline, which some studies have shown to boost heart health,” says Rothman.

Save money and food by saving these food scraps and putting them to use.

4

Prunes

prunes

If fresh fruit is hard to come by or keep around, give prunes a try. Prunes are dried plums that are perfect to keep in your pantry for a nutrient boost added to salads, smoothies, or just to snack on.

Eating just five to six prunes provides three grams of fiber and a big boost for bone health, explains Gorin. One small study found that just five prunes a day prevented total body bone mineral density in a group of older women with osteoporosis. Researchers give credit to prunes’ ability to reduce the breakdown of bone, although aren’t yet sure about the mechanism behind it.

Health Benefits of Fruits and Vegetables1

Abstract

Fruits and vegetables are universally promoted as healthy. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010 recommend you make one-half of your plate fruits and vegetables. Myplate.gov also supports that one-half the plate should be fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables include a diverse group of plant foods that vary greatly in content of energy and nutrients. Additionally, fruits and vegetables supply dietary fiber, and fiber intake is linked to lower incidence of cardiovascular disease and obesity. Fruits and vegetables also supply vitamins and minerals to the diet and are sources of phytochemicals that function as antioxidants, phytoestrogens, and antiinflammatory agents and through other protective mechanisms. In this review, we describe the existing dietary guidance on intake of fruits and vegetables. We also review attempts to characterize fruits and vegetables into groups based on similar chemical structures and functions. Differences among fruits and vegetables in nutrient composition are detailed. We summarize the epidemiological and clinical studies on the health benefits of fruits and vegetables. Finally, we discuss the role of fiber in fruits and vegetables in disease prevention.

Introduction

Diets high in fruits and vegetables are widely recommended for their health-promoting properties. Fruits and vegetables have historically held a place in dietary guidance because of their concentrations of vitamins, especially vitamins C and A; minerals, especially electrolytes; and more recently phytochemicals, especially antioxidants. Additionally, fruits and vegetables are recommended as a source of dietary fiber.

Most countries have dietary recommendations that include fruits and vegetables. summarizes the recommendations for 3 countries: Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Although dietary recommendations have many similarities, different countries choose different strategies to separate fruits and vegetables into groups. Orange fruits and vegetables are often high in carotenoids and are placed in a separate category. Yet many dark green vegetables (i.e., spinach) are also high in carotenoids. Dividing fruit and vegetables into color categories makes sense for menu planning but does not correspond with nutrient content.

Certain fruits and vegetables are rich sources of vitamin C, but these rich sources (citrus fruits, strawberries, green peppers, white potatoes) are spread over many fruit and vegetable categories. Other fruits and vegetables, including avocado, corn, potatoes, and dried beans, are rich in starch, whereas sweet potatoes are mostly sucrose, not starch. Fruits (except bananas) and dark green vegetables contain little or no starch. Often, dietary guidance rules place fruit juices and potatoes in separate categories, because of dietary directives to eat whole fruits and minimize consumption of foods high in fat and sodium, i.e., French fries. The vegetable and fruit categories in the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans are listed in. These categories are important, because they drive policy for programs such as school lunch and other supplemental feeding programs.

Table 2

USDA Food Patterns: food groups and subgroups

According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010, nutrients of concern in the American diet include potassium, dietary fiber, calcium, and vitamin D. Energy density and intake are also important issues in the American diet. Fruits and vegetables are generally low in energy density and often are good sources of fiber and potassium, but the nutritional contribution of standard servings of fruits and vegetables varies widely. The content of phytochemicals, such as polyphenolics, also varies greatly and is not listed in nutrient databases.

We have provided a nutritional comparison of the 10 most commonly consumed fruits and vegetables. It should be noted that fruits and vegetables are often not consumed in the raw form but may be cooked, fried, or combined with other ingredients prior to consumption. Thus, whereas a boiled potato is a nutrient-dense food, a fried potato may contribute a substantial amount of fat and sodium to the diet. Fiber concentrations range from 0.6 to 5.1 g/serving and potassium concentrations range from 76 to 468 mg/serving. Bananas and potatoes, although technically belonging to different families, have strikingly similar compositions for energy, fiber, and potassium per standard serving. A standard serving of iceberg lettuce contains 8 kcal, whereas a potato contains 144 kcal and a banana 105 kcal. Of course, iceberg lettuce is seldom eaten alone.

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