Which fruits have vitamins? There are several fruits rich in vitamins. This includes cantaloupe, watermelon, papaya, apricots, avocado, mangoes, kiwi, and nectarines. Fruits are delicious, nutritious, and good for you. Most fruits have vitamins, but some are better than others. The best fruit for vitamins is a few of the most popular fruits around today.
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Fruit and vegetables
- Fruits and vegetables contain important vitamins, minerals and plant chemicals. They also contain fiber.
- There are many varieties of fruit and vegetables available and many ways to prepare, cook and serve them.
- A diet high in fruit and vegetables can help protect you against cancer, diabetes and heart disease.
- Eat five kinds of vegetables and two kinds of fruit every day for good health.
- Most Australians do not eat enough fruit and vegetables.
- When buying and serving fruit and vegetables, aim for variety to get the most nutrients and appeal.
Fruit and vegetables should be an important part of your daily diet. They are naturally good and contain vitamins and minerals that can help to keep you healthy. They can also help protect against some diseases.
Most Australians will benefit from eating more fruit and vegetables as part of a well-balanced, regular diet and a healthy, active lifestyle. There are many varieties of fruit and vegetables available and many ways to prepare, cook and serve them.
You should eat at least five servings of vegetables and two serves of fruit each day. Choose different colors and varieties.
A serving of vegetables is about one cup of raw salad vegetables or 1/2 cup of cooked.
A serving of fruit is about one medium piece, 2 small pieces of 1 cup canned (no added sugar).
Vitamins and minerals in fruit and vegetables
Fruits and vegetables contain many vitamins and minerals that are good for your health. These include vitamins A (beta-carotene), C and E, magnesium, zinc, phosphorous and folic acid. Folic acid may reduce blood levels of homocysteine, a substance that may be a risk factor for coronary heart disease.
Fruit and vegetables for good health
Fruits and vegetables are low in fat, salt and sugar. They are a good source of dietary fiber. As part of a well-balanced, regular diet and a healthy, active lifestyle, a high intake of fruit and vegetables can help you to:
- Reduce obesity and maintain a healthy weight
- Lower your cholesterol
- Lower your blood pressure.
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Fruit and vegetables and protection against diseases
Vegetables and fruit contain phytochemicals or plant chemicals. These biologically active substances can help to protect you from some diseases. Scientific research shows that if you regularly eat lots of fruit and vegetables, you have a lower risk of:
- Type 2 diabetes
- Heart (cardiovascular) disease – when fruits and vegetables are eaten as food, not taken as supplements
- Cancer – some forms of cancer, later in life
- High blood pressure (hypertension).
Types of fruit
Fruit is the sweet, fleshy, edible part of a plant. It generally contains seeds. Fruits are usually eaten raw, although some varieties can be cooked. They come in a wide variety of colors, shapes and flavors. Common types of fruits that are readily available include:
- Apples and pears
- Citrus – oranges, grapefruits, mandarins and limes
- Stone fruit – nectarines, apricots, peaches and plums
- Tropical and exotic – bananas and mangoes
- Berries – strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, kiwifruit and passionfruit
- Melons – watermelons, rockmelons and honeydew melons
- Tomatoes and avocados.
Types of vegetables
Vegetables are available in many varieties and can be classified into biological groups or ‘families’, including:
- Leafy green – lettuce, spinach and silverbeet
- Cruciferous – cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and broccoli
- Marrow – pumpkin, cucumber and zucchini
- Root – potato, sweet potato and yam
- Edible plant stem – celery and asparagus
- Allium – onion, garlic and shallot.
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Legumes or pulses contain nutrients that are especially valuable. They need to be cooked before they are eaten – this improves their nutritional quality, aids digestion and eliminates any harmful toxins. Legumes come in many forms including:
- Soy products – tofu (bean curd) and soybeans
- Legume flours – chickpea flour (besan), lentil flour and soy flour
- Dried beans and peas – haricot beans, red kidney beans, chickpeas and lentils
- Fresh beans and peas – green peas, green beans, butter beans, broad beans and snow peas.
Colors of fruits and vegetables
You will get the most health benefits and protection against the disease if you eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Australian dietary guidelines recommend that adults eat at least five kinds of vegetables and two kinds of fruit every day.
Foods of similar colors generally contain similar protective compounds. Try to eat a rainbow of colorful fruits and vegetables every day to get the full range of health benefits. For example:
- Red foods – like tomatoes and watermelon. These contain lycopene, which is thought to be important for fighting prostate cancer and heart disease
- Green vegetables – like spinach and kale. These contain lutein and zeaxanthin, which may help protect against age-related eye disease
- Blue and purple foods – like blueberries and eggplant. These contain anthocyanins, which may help protect the body from cancer
- White foods – like cauliflower. These contain sulforaphane and may also help protect against some cancers.
Selecting fruits and vegetables
To maximize nutrients and appeal, buy and serve different types of fruit and vegetables. Try to buy fruits and vegetables that are in season, and choose for freshness and quality. You should:
- Eat with the seasons – this is nature’s way of making sure our bodies get a healthy mix of nutrients and plant chemicals
- Try something new – try new recipes and buy new fruit or vegetables as part of your weekly shopping
- Let colors guide you – get different combinations of nutrients by putting a ‘rainbow’ of colors (green, white, yellow-orange, blue-purple, red) on your plate.
Our ingredient profiles provide more information on fruits and vegetables.
Fruit and vegetable serving suggestions for your family’s health
Vegetables and fruit are handy snack food and are easily carried to work or school. Include them in everyone’s meals and snacks for a healthy, well-balanced diet. Some suggestions include:
- Keep snack-size fruit and vegetable portions easily accessible in your fridge.
- Keep fresh fruit on the bench or table.
- Add fruit and vegetables to your favorite family recipes or as additions to your usual menus.
- Use the color and texture of a variety of fruit and vegetables to add interest to your meals.
- Think up new ways to serve fruits and vegetables.
Some simple ways to serve fruits and vegetables include:
- fruit and vegetable salads
- vegetable or meat-and-vegetable stir-fries
- raw fruit and vegetables
- vegetable soups
- snack pack, stewed or canned fruits or dried fruits.
Limit fruit juice, as it does not contain the same amount of nutrients as fresh fruit. It also contains a lot of sugar. These sugars are not necessarily good for your health, even though they are ‘natural’. Instead, have a drink of water and a serving of fruit.
Preparation and cooking of fruit and vegetables
Vegetables are often cooked, although some kinds are eaten raw. Cooking and processing can damage some nutrients and phytochemicals in plant foods.
Suggestions to get the best out of your fruit and vegetables include:
- Eat raw vegetables and fruits if possible.
- Try fruit or vegetables pureed into smoothies.
- Use a sharp knife to cut fresh fruits to avoid bruising.
- Cut off only the inedible parts of vegetables – sometimes the best nutrients are found in the skin, just below the skin or in the leaves.
- Use stir-fry, grill, microwave, bake or steam methods with non-stick cookware and mono-unsaturated oils.
- Do not overcook, to reduce nutrient loss.
- Serve meals with vegetable pestos, salsas, chutneys and vinegar in place of sour cream, butter and creamy sauces.
Some nutrients such as carotenoids may actually be increased if food is cooked. For example, the tomato has more carotenoids, especially lycopene, when it is cooked – a good reason to prepare fruits and vegetables in a variety of ways.
Once you’ve prepared and cooked your vegetables and fruit, spend some time on the presentation. People are more likely to enjoy a meal if it’s full of variety and visually appealing, as well as tasty. Sit at the table to eat and enjoy your food without distractions like television.
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Changing Your Diet: Choosing Nutrient-rich Foods
Choose a diet made of nutrient-rich foods. Nutrient-rich (or nutrient-dense) foods are low in sugar, sodium, starches, and bad fats. They contain a lot of vitamins and minerals and a few calories. Your body needs vitamins and minerals, known as micronutrients. They nourish your body and help keep you healthy. They can reduce your risk for chronic diseases. Getting them through food ensures your body can absorb them properly.
Try to eat a variety of foods to get different vitamins and minerals. Foods that naturally are nutrient-rich include fruits and vegetables. Lean meats, fish, whole grains, dairy, legumes, nuts, and seeds also are high in nutrients.
Path to improved health
You may not get all the micronutrients your body needs. Americans tend to eat foods that are high in calories and low in micronutrients. These foods often also contain added sugar, sodium (salt), and saturated or trans fats. This type of diet contributes to weight gain. It can increase your risk of health issues, such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), American adults may not get enough of the following micronutrients.
|Calcium||Nonfat and low-fat dairy, dairy substitutes, broccoli, dark, leafy greens, and sardines|
|Potassium||Bananas, cantaloupe, raisins, nuts, fish, and spinach and other dark greens|
|Fiber||Legumes (dried beans and peas), whole-grain foods and brans, seeds, apples, strawberries, carrots, raspberries, and colorful fruit and vegetables|
|Magnesium||Spinach, black beans, peas, and almonds|
|Vitamin A||Eggs, milk, carrots, sweet potatoes, and cantaloupe|
|Vitamin C||Oranges, strawberries, tomatoes, kiwi, broccoli, and red and green bell peppers|
|Vitamin E||Avocados, nuts, seeds, whole-grain foods, and spinach and other dark leafy greens|
All of the above foods are good choices. Below are suggestions for changing your diet to be more nutrient-rich.
Whole-grain foods are low in fat. They’re also high in fiber and complex carbohydrates. This helps you feel full longer and prevents overeating. Check the ingredient list for the word “whole.” For example, “whole wheat flour” or “whole oat flour.” Look for products that have at least 3 grams of fiber per serving. Some enriched flours have fiber but are not nutrient-rich.
Choose these foods:
- Rolled or steel cut oats
- Whole-wheat pasta
- Whole-wheat tortillas
- Whole-grain (wheat or rye) crackers, breads, and rolls
- Brown or wild rice
- Barley, quinoa, buckwheat, whole corn, and cracked wheat
Fruits and vegetables
Fruits and vegetables naturally are low in fat. They add nutrients, flavor, and variety to your diet. Look for colorful fruits and vegetables, especially orange and dark green.
Choose these foods:
- Broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts
- Leafy greens, such as chard, cabbage, romaine, and bok choy
- Dark, leafy greens, such as spinach and kale
- Squash, carrots, sweet potatoes, turnips, and pumpkin
- Snap peas, green beans, bell peppers, and asparagus
- Apples, plums, mangos, papaya, pineapple, and bananas
- Blueberries, strawberries, cherries, pomegranates, and grapes
- Citrus fruits, such as grapefruits and oranges
- Peaches, pears, and melons
- Tomatoes and avocados
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Meat, poultry, fish, and beans
Choose low-fat, lean cuts of meat. Look for the words “round,” “loin,” or “leg” in their names. Trim outside fat before cooking. Trim any inside, separable fat before eating. Baking, broiling, and roasting are the healthiest ways to prepare these meats. Limit how often you eat beef, pork, veal, and lamb. Even lean cuts contain more fat and cholesterol compared to other protein sources.
Chicken breasts are a good cut of poultry. They are low in fat and high in protein. Remove skin and outside fat before cooking. Baking, broiling, grilling, and roasting are the healthiest ways to prepare poultry.
Fresh fish and shellfish should be damp and clear in color. They should smell clean and have a firm, springy flesh. If fresh fish isn’t available, choose frozen or low-salt canned fish. Wild-caught oily fish are the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids. This includes salmon, tuna, mackerel, and sardines. Poaching, steaming, baking, and broiling are the healthiest ways to prepare fish.
Beans and other non-meat sources
Non-meat sources of protein also can be nutrient-rich. Try a serving of beans, peanut butter, other nuts, or seeds.
Choose these foods:
- Lean cuts of beef, pork, veal, and lamb
- Turkey bacon
- Ground chicken or turkey
- Wild-caught salmon and other oily fish
- Haddock and other white fish
- Wild-caught tuna (canned or fresh)
- Shrimp, mussels, scallops, and lobster (without added fat)
- Legumes, such as beans, lentils, and chickpeas
- Seeds and nuts, including nut butters
Dairy and dairy substitutes
Choose skim milk, low-fat milk, or enriched milk substitutes. Try replacing cream with evaporated skim milk in recipes and coffee. Choose low-fat or fat-free cheeses.
Choose these foods:
- Low-fat, skim, nut, or enriched milk, like soy or rice
- Skim ricotta cheese in place of cream cheese
- Low-fat cottage cheese
- String cheese
- Plain nonfat yogurt in place of sour cream
Top 15 Foods Highest in Vitamins
Want to know which foods are the best sources of vitamins? We looked at all our top 10 lists for 14 different vitamins, including: Vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9, B12, C, D, E, K, Beta Carotene, and Lycopene and counted how many times each food appeared.
Since some vitamins are fat soluble (need fat to be absorbed) meats, oils, and dairy tend to be a better source than leafy vegetables or fruits. The top 15 foods highest in vitamins include fish, dark leafy greens, seeds, broccoli, pork, beef, lamb, mushrooms, nuts, eggs, sweet bell peppers, avocados, peas, winter squash, and fruits.
List of High Vitamin Foods
Fish is a good source for 9 of 14 essential vitamins.
These include Vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B12, D, and E. Among all fish Tuna and Trout provide the most vitamins but be sure to eat a wide variety of fish for a healthy diet.
2Dark Leafy Greens
Dark Leafy Greens are a good source for 8 of 14 essential vitamins.
These include Vitamins A, B2, B3, B6, B9, C, E, K, and Beta-Carotene. While all dark leafy greens are great, extra nutrient-dense sources include spinach and kale.
Seeds are a good source for 6 of 14 essential vitamins.
These include Vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B5, B6, and E. Vitamin rich choices for seeds include sunflower and flax seeds.
Broccoli is a good source for 6 of 14 essential vitamins.
These include Vitamins A, B9, C, E, K, and Beta Carotene. Other nutritious cruciferous vegetables include brussels sprouts, cabbage, and cauliflower.
Pork is a good source for 6 of 14 essential vitamins.
These include Vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, and D. Good cuts of pork include pork chops (loin) and shoulder.
6Beef and Lamb
Beef and lamb is a good source for 5 of 14 essential vitamins.These include Vitamins B2, B3, B5, B6, and B9. To reduce calories, leaner cuts of beef and lamb are recommended.
Mushrooms are a good source for 4 of 14 essential vitamins.
These include Vitamins B2, B3, B5, and D. Mushrooms are highly nutritious while being low in carbs and calories. Good choices include portobello, cremini (button), and shiitake mushrooms.
Nuts are a good source for 4 of 14 essential vitamins.
These include Vitamins B1, B2, B6, and E. Nuts are a heart-healthy, cholesterol-lowering snack. Try not to have more than 1-2 handfuls a day. Good choices for nuts include almonds and walnuts.
Eggs are a good source for 4 of 14 essential vitamins.
These include Vitamins B2, B5, B12, and D. While eggs are now considered heart-healthy, they are still high in cholesterol, so try not to eat more than 2 a day.