Best Fruits For You To Eat are Honeydew melon, raspberries, yams, basil; we’re talking fruits and veggies here! Everyone knows that consuming fruits and vegetables is an important step in a healthy lifestyle. There’s no better time than now to start munching on some fresh fruits and veggies! However, when it comes to choosing the best fruits for you, how can you be sure?
The 20 healthiest fruits you should eat more of, according to dietitians
- Some of the healthiest fruits include pineapple, apples, blueberries, and mangos.
- You should eat three servings of fruit a day as part of a healthy diet.
- Eating fruit improves heart health, reduces inflammation, and boosts your immune system.
Fruit is packed with vitamins and minerals, making it a staple of a healthy diet. Plus, it’s high in fiber, which helps support digestive health while controlling blood sugar.
While the number of servings you aim for will vary depending on your caloric needs, Lauren Harris-Pincus, MS, a registered dietitian nutritionist in private practice, advises aiming for three.
Below we compiled a list of the 20 healthiest fruits based on their fiber content and concentration of essential vitamins.
Apples are not only high in gut-friendly fiber but are also a rich source of a flavonoid called quercetin, a plant compound that has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, says Harris-Pincus.
Note: In a 2012 study, healthy middle-aged adults who added one apple a day to their normal diets for four weeks lowered their levels of LDL or “bad” cholesterol by 40%.
One medium apple contains:
- 94.6 calories
- 4.4 grams of fiber (15.7% DV)
Cranberries contain some of the highest concentrations of a flavonoid called proanthocyanidin. This flavonoid prevents E. coli from adhering to the walls of the bladder, says Harris-Pincus. E. coli is one of the most common causes of urinary tract infections (UTIs).
In fact, a 2017 review found that cranberries reduce the risk of UTIs in women with a history of UTIs. This is noteworthy, given that UTIs are the second most common infection in adults, and women, in particular, have a 50% chance of contracting a UTI over their lifetime.
One cup of fresh whole cranberries contains:
- 46 calories
- 3.6 grams of fiber (12.9% DV)
Cantaloupe is one of the best sources of vitamin A, which is crucial for eye health, says Antonette Hardie, a registered dietitian at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.
One cup of cubed cantaloupe contains:
- 54.4 calories
- 1.44 grams of fiber (5.1% DV)
- 270 micrograms of vitamin A (30% DV)
Citrus fruits, such as oranges, are known for their anti-inflammatory, antioxidative, and anti-cancer properties. Oranges are particularly high in vitamin C, which plays an important role in boosting your immune system and sustaining energy levels.
One medium orange contains:
- 61.6 calories
- 3.1 grams of fiber (11% DV)
- 69.7 milligrams of vitamin C (77.4% DV)
Blueberries are some of the best sources of vitamin K, which supports bone health and assists with wound healing. They also contain some of the highest levels of antioxidants, with 69,708 milligrams per 471 milligrams per gram of fruit.
Medical term: Antioxidants protect cells from damaging free radicals, which Harris-Pincus says increase the risk of cancer, heart disease, and many other diseases.
One cup of blueberries contains:
- 84.4 calories
- 3.55 grams of fiber (12.7% DV)
- 28.6 micrograms of vitamin K (23.8% DV)
Plums contain more than twice the amount of polyphenols than many other popular fruits, like peaches and nectarines with 62,205 milligrams per 377 milligrams per gram of fruit. Polyphenols are a type of antioxidant that may improve cognitive functioning, bone health, and heart health.
One cup of sliced plums contains:
- 75.9 calories
- 2.3 grams of fiber (8.2% DV)
Strawberries are low in calories and a good source of folate, says Grace Clark-Hibbs, MDA, a registered dietitian nutritionist and founder of her private practice Nutrition with Grace. They also have more vitamin C than oranges.
Folate is important for red blood cell production and the growth of healthy cells, making it particularly important for those in early pregnancy.
One cup of whole strawberries contains:
- 46 calories
- 2.9 grams of fiber (10.4% DV)
- 84.7 milligrams of vitamin C (94% DV)
- 34.6 micrograms of folate (8.7% DV)
Mango is high in vitamin C, folate, and beta carotene — a substance that functions as an antioxidant and that the body converts to vitamin A.
Research has linked beta-carotene supplementation to improved cognitive function, memory, defense against UV radiation, and reduced risk of certain cancers.
One cup of mango pieces contains:
- 99 calories
- 2.6 grams of fiber (9.3% DV)
- 60 milligrams of vitamin C (66.6% DV)
- 71 micrograms of folate (17.8% DV)
- 89 micrograms of vitamin A (9.9% DV)
- 1,060 micrograms of beta carotene (33% of the recommended amount)
Cherries are known for their anti-inflammatory properties, which is important since chronic inflammation is a major risk factor for heart disease. Additionally, research has also found the polyphenols in cherries may support overall gut health.
One cup of cherries with pits contains:
- 86.9 calories
- 2.9 grams of fiber (10.4% DV)
- 9.7 milligrams of vitamin C (10.8% DV)
Kiwi is a low-sugar, low-calorie fruit and is one of the only fruits to contain an enzyme called actinidin, which research has found helps different kinds of protein break down faster and more effectively during digestion. This can not only reduce bloating and other kinds of GI discomfort, but also improve your absorption of protein.
1 kiwi fruit contains:
- 42 calories
- 2.1 grams of fiber (7.5% DV)
- 64 milligrams of vitamin C (71% DV)
- 55.2 milligrams of actinidin (at 0.8 milligrams of actinidin per gram of fruit)
These Are the Healthiest Fruits You Should Be Eating
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.
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.
To get your fill of these and other berries, McAnulty says fresh-picked are best because fruit tends to lose some of its healthy nutrients the longer it sits around in shipping containers or store shelves. “Another good option would be to consume frozen berries because, generally, the berries have been harvested and then immediately frozen, maximizing retention of their nutrients,” she adds.
Finally, keep in mind that eating a variety of fruits is optimal. “Since different fruits possess different phytochemicals with the ability to exert a wide variety of beneficial health effects, it would be unwise to consume only one type of fruit,” McAnulty says, adding that a healthy diet should include about two cups a day of assorted fruits.
Top 10 healthiest fruits
What do banana, apple, citrus, strawberry, papaya, grape, watermelon, coconut, avocado and pineapple have in common? They are the top 10 healthiest fruits, according to Dr. Willie T. Ong, an internist-cardiologist who was given the Outstanding Filipino Physician Award by the Department of Health in 2007.
1 Apple. A low-calorie snack, high in both soluble and insoluble fiber. Nutrition experts claim one large apple has around 130 calories, and none come from fat. Apples also have no sodium or cholesterol—nutrients many want to expressly avoid. One apple has 34 grams of carbohydrates, 25 grams of which come from the fruit’s natural sugars.
Lisa Sefcik, in an article, wrote: “One apple gives you 20 percent of your daily value [DV] of fiber. You also get 2 percent of your DV of vitamin A, iron and calcium, and 8 percent of your DV of vitamin C. Almost half of the fruit’s vitamin C content is within the skin, so it’s best to eat apples unpeeled. Apple skins are a valuable source of the fruit’s fiber and also contain pectin.”
Looking for something to help you lose some weight? Try eating apple, which may help to increase weight loss, according to a study involving about 400 women in Brazil. Women ate either apples or oat cookies for a period of 12 weeks. After 12 weeks, the researchers found that the women who consumed the apples had a significant weight loss of 1.21 kilograms, while the group of women who ate the oat cookies showed no significant weight loss.
2 Avocado. The most nutritious fruit in the world. The reason, according to Health Online Zine, is that the fruit “contains in excess of 25 essential nutrients, including vitamins A, B, C, E and K, copper, iron, phosphorus, magnesium and potassium.”
Avocado also contains fiber, protein and beneficial phytochemicals, such as beta-sitosterol, glutathione and lutein, which help protect against various diseases and illnesses. In addition, “avocado is one of the high- calorie fruits that you could be eating. This is due to its larger amounts of fat content, approximately 20 times the average of other fruits.”
Nutritionists claim avocados contain goodly amounts of vitamin C (necessary for the production of collagen needed for the growth of new cells and tissues which prevents viruses from penetrating cell membranes, and also a powerful antioxidant), thiamine (converts carbohydrates to glucose to fuel the brain and nervous system) and riboflavin (helps the body to release energy from proteins, carbohydrates and fat).
3 Banana. “In one form or another, raw or cooked, more bananas are consumed daily than perhaps any other fruit in the world.” That’s what the book, Tropical and Subtropical Agriculture, states.
Unknowingly, banana is one of the most healthful fruits the world has known. Alexander the Great was so fascinated by the virtues of this fruit that he described it as “the heavenly fruit that tasted like nectar sweetened in honey.”
Health experts claim that banana is low in protein, free of fats but high in energy. A fully ripe banana has 20 percent to 25 percent sugar. It has a significant amount of B-vitamins, especially B1 and B6. B1 is a brain tonic, whereas B6 relieves, in particular, uncomfortable symptoms of the pre-menstrual tension syndrome like irritability, headaches, tender breasts and water retention.
“One medium-sized banana boasts of 100 to 125 kilocalories, 4 to 5 grams fiber, about 400 milligrams potassium, 17 milligrams calcium, 36 milligrams phosphorus and traces of other minerals like iron,” said Professor Kanwar, an eminent biophysicist who writes for the Health Tribune.
A major study reveals that diets loaded with potassium-rich bananas may be able to cut the risk of strokes by one-third. Scientists feel that many people can be protected against strokes and heart attacks by minimizing sodium (common salt) intake and by consuming plenty of potassium-rich foods of which banana is one. In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration has just allowed the banana industry to make official claims for the fruit’s ability to reduce the risk of high-blood pressure and stroke.
4 Citrus fruits. The overflowing amounts of vitamin C in citrus fruits are the reason they are included in the list. “Locally, we have calamansi, suha and dalandan. However, oranges and lemons are splendid, too, but are more costly,” Ong wrote.
Vitamin C may help alleviate inflammatory conditions like asthma, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. It also protects the heart and boosts the immune system. That’s why it’s good for preventing colds.
“Citrus fruits contain a fair amount of folate and potassium,” Ong said. “Folate lowers homocysteine levels in the body and may reduce heart disease. All citrus fruits contain fiber, especially in the membranes separating the sections. For that reason, when you eat a fresh orange or grapefruit, it is always best to try to eat a bit of the white membrane around the juicy sections of the fruit.”
5 Coconut. Although not actually a fruit but a nut, Dr. Ong included this on the list. Sugar from coconut is all natural. That is why it is recommended to people with diabetics. Studies have shown that it has a low glycemic index (GI) of 35, which is much lower than the 54 GI, which nutritionists consider as safe for people who have to watch their blood glucose level. “It has also glumatic acid, the same ingredient present in Viagra,” says Benjamin Lao, president of Lao Integrated Farms Inc., based in Bansalan, Davao del Sur.
One American health magazine hails coco water as “America’s healthiest beverage” for providing enhanced hydration, essential nutrition and all five essential electrolytes (calcium, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus and sodium).
When compared with a popular sports drink per 100 milligrams, coco water has more potassium (294 milligrams versus 11.7 milligrams), less sodium (25 milligrams versus 41 milligrams), more chloride (118 milligrams versus 39 milligrams), more magnesium (10 milligrams versus 7 milligrams), and less sugars (5 milligrams versus 6 milligrams).
6 Grapes. In the Bible, grapes were made into wine. Winifred Walker wrote in All the Plants of the Bible: “These bunches of grapes were thrown into a wine press, which was sometimes as large as a room and constructed underground, then trodden under foot by laborers. The juice of the squeezed grapes was made into wine and vinegar: this vinegar was poor wine, chiefly the drink of the Roman soldiers.”
According to Ong, grapes contain important ingredients such as tannins, flavonoids and anthocyanins. “These chemicals are believed to give grapes their anticancer properties,” he wrote. “Grapes are beneficial for those recuperating from an illness, and those who have anemia and fatigue. In fact, during Mahatma Gandhi’s long fasts, he would drink grape juice to keep his strength up.”