Fruit is the best. Not to sound like too much of a hippie, but it’s pretty amazing that nature gives us these sweet, colorful foods that grow on trees, bushes, and vines. And like most things we eat, some types of fruit are more nutrient dense than others. To find out which were the healthiest fruits, Real Simple asked doctors and nutritionists for their input, and 12 types came out on top.
It’s pretty common knowledge that berries are nutritious, as they provide vitamins, minerals and fiber, so we weren’t surprised that four types of berries made this list. Raspberries are great for your skin — high levels of vitamin C support collagen production — and hormone health. Strawberries are also high in vitamin C and can regulate blood sugar. “They’re high in water and low in carbs,” Kacie Barnes, MCN, RDN, LD, said in the article. “They provide such a big nutrition boost for very few calories.” Blackberries and blueberries both contain vitamin C, vitamin K, manganese and fiber, and the latter is excellent for heart health. “A new study published in Food & Function found that enjoying the equivalent of one cup of fresh blueberries a day may improve endothelial function,” Mackenzie Burgess, RDN, said in the article. “This helps keep our blood vessels running smoothly.”
Unsurprisingly, avocados made the healthiest fruits list as they can help reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease and are full of fiber. Similarly, apples are high in fiber and polyphenols, which are known to help lower cholesterol and support heart health. Bananas are great for anyone who has an active lifestyle or exercises regularly. “High in carbohydrates, bananas provide a quick source of energy,” neuropathic practitioner Dr. Breanna Guan said in the article. “They are also rich in potassium, for heart health and alkalinity.”
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Fans of tropical fruit will be happy to know that pineapple made the list, as it contains vitamin C, manganese, vitamin B6, copper, thiamin, folate and potassium and can tackle a sweet tooth. Barnes said that cherries are one of the healthiest fruits, as “they are packed with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds” and “are a good source of fiber, potassium and vitamin C.” Tart cherry juice can even help you sleep. And no surprise that lemons made the top 12, as they are packed with vitamin C for immune support and can stimulate digestion.
There are two fruits on the list that pleasantly surprised us. We always knew that watermelon was hydrating, but it has other health benefits, too. “The vitamin lineup is impressive for watermelon, with carotenoids and lycopene, excellent for ocular, heart, men’s health and cancer prevention,” Guan said in the article. Dates rounded out the healthiest fruits, and apparently, they’re more than a better-for-you sweet treat. They’re also high in fiber, selenium, calcium, magnesium, and potassium.
So go forth and eat all the delicious fruit today.