It’s no surprise that fruit is healthy for you, but knowing about the most nutritious options can be a little overwhelming. Picking the top eight healthiest fruits to eat may provide you with extensive health and nutritional benefits.
Believe it or not (because this fruit tastes so delicious), blueberries are a fairly low-calorie fruit containing just 84 calories per cup. This nutritious fruit is also an excellent source of fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, and antioxidants. According to a study published in 2010 in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, blueberries may improve memory in older adults. Another review published in 2014 in Anticancer Agents in Medicinal Chemistry found blueberries appear to help protect against cancer. So pack in nutrient-rich blueberries as part of your daily meal plan. Top cereal, yogurt, cottage cheese, oatmeal, or salads with blueberries.
Grapefruit not only packs a punch, it’s loaded with nutrients and provides a host of health benefits. Grapefruit provides just 85 calories per cup and is rich in fiber, potassium and vitamin C. Eating grapefruit regularly is associated with modest weight loss, a reduction in waist circumference, and improvements in blood pressure and cholesterol levels (which can significantly lower your risk for chronic diseases like heart disease and diabetes), says a 2012 study published in the journal Metabolism. Try a grapefruit or grapefruit juice each morning as part of your breakfast or mid-morning snack.
Packed with heart healthy fats, fiber, potassium, vitamin E, and vitamin K, avocados are one of the healthiest fruits you’ll find. In fact, replacing saturated fats (found fatty meats, butter, and other dairy foods) with avocadoes can help lower your risk for heart disease. A 2013 review published in Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition confirms eating avocados does, indeed, help lower heart disease risks, may support healthy aging, and could enhance healthy weight management. A 2015 study published in the Journal of Diabetes Research found avocado oil helps improve brain function in diabetic rats. So reach for avocadoes the next time you’re eating cottage cheese, an omelet, a salad, a sandwich, or a taco or burrito.
Not as commonly eaten as many other fruits, pomegranate is just as healthy (if not more nutritious) than the others. Pomegranate is loaded with fiber, vitamin C, and vitamin K and is packed with antioxidants. One 2014 study published in Advanced Biomedical Research says pomegranate can lower disease risk factors (high cholesterol, high blood pressure, hyperglycemia, and oxidative stress), and antioxidants in pomegranate may reduce inflammation cancer risks. So load up on pomegranate during your next meal or snack; try it on salads, oatmeal, or yogurt, for example.
If mangos aren’t included in your daily meal plan, now’s the time to get started. This nutrient-packed fruit is loaded with fiber, vitamin A, and vitamin C and provides with you with a host of health benefits. A 2017 review published in the journal Nutrients found mangos are rich in phyochemicals that help reduce inflammation and your risk for developing cancer. A 2010 review published in Pharmacognosy Review points out mangos may also help protect against diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and gastrointestinal disorders. Add mango to meat dishes, salads, yogurt, cottage cheese, or oatmeal. Or, try a mango salsa recipe!
A festive holiday treat, cranberries are rich in antioxidants. That means they have potential to protect against diseases like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. The University of Maryland Medical Center says cranberries also help protect against urinary tract infections, are rich in vitamin C, may protect against ulcers, could help prevent cancer cells from growing, raise good cholesterol, and boost immunity. Choose cranberry juice or try adding cranberries to smoothies.
The benefits of eating cherries are endless, and this sweet-tasting treat is rich in antioxidants, fiber, potassium, vitamin A, and vitamin C. A 2011 review published in Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition says cherries may have the potential to help prevent or delay cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease, and inflammatory diseases. Try adding cherries to desserts, yogurts, smoothies, and salads to get in your daily dose of disease-preventing antioxidants.
Bromelain, a mixture of enzymes found in pineapple that helps digest proteins, offers a variety of health benefits. These include reduced inflammation, lower cancer risks, boosted immunity, and improved wound healing, according to a study published in 2016 in Biomedical Reports. Pineapple contains 82 calories per cup and is loaded with fiber and vitamin C. So don’t be afraid to splurge on this nutrient-rich fruit by adding it to smoothies, yogurt, cottage cheese, salads, or eating it by itself for a refreshing summertime snack.
Choosing Healthy Fruits
Regardless of which type of fruit you choose, you’ll reap the benefits of getting plenty of fiber, vitamins and minerals in your daily meal plan. Certain fruits contain higher amounts of antioxidants and other disease-fighting components than others, which is what makes these fruits some of the healthiest you can eat.