Fruits play an important part in keeping us fit and healthy. Not only are they delicious, but they are also a source of many essential nutrients like dietary fibre, vitamins and minerals. We must include healthiest fruits in our daily diet to keep various ailments at bay.
Here’s a list of some of the healthiest fruits that can benefit your health.
Healthiest fruits to eat
Apples are one of the healthiest fruits among the lot. Apples are very low in calories and very high in nutrition. They are rich in dietary fibre, vitamin C, vitamin K, some B vitamins and potassium (1). Apples also contain quercetin, an antioxidant that protects us from Alzheimer’s disease.
Apples also help to lower the risk of type-2 diabetes and cancer and improve heart health (2,3). Some animal studies have also shown that consuming fruits like apples helps improve the bone density and may assist in preventing osteoporosis (4).
Apples also contain pectin (a prebiotic fibre) which helps improve digestion and metabolic health (5). The skin of apples is also highly nutritious. It contains flavonoids which help reduce the risk of heart disease.
Avocados are the only fruit that provides healthy monounsaturated fatty acids. The majority of the fat in avocados is the oleic acid which has been liked to reduced inflammation and lowers the risk of cancer (7).
This highly nutritious fruit also contains lutein and zeaxanthin, two phytochemicals that protect our eyes from damage by ultraviolet light. Avocados are also an excellent source of potassium, which is known to help reduce high blood pressure and lower the risk of stroke (8).
Bananas contain many essential nutrients like potassium, vitamin B6, vitamin C, magnesium, copper, magnesium and fibre. A medium sized banana contains just 118 calories and is a rich source of antioxidants (9).
Bananas are also rich in potassium, which can help lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease (12).
Cherries are rich in antioxidants and other health-promoting compounds. The anthocyanins and carotenoids in cherries reduce inflammation and help prevent several ailments (13).
Cherries also contain melatonin which helps to treat insomnia and other sleep disorders (14). Sweet cherries contain fibre, vitamin C, and antioxidants which are helpful in cancer prevention.
Cherries also help in reducing the levels of uric acid in the blood, and this helps prevent gout. You also go for tart cherry juice which has a number of health benefits.
Blackberries are an incredibly healthy fruit that can help cure everything from skin damage to aggressive cancers. They are a rich source of vitamin C, vitamin K and manganese.
Blackberries contain polyphenols, an antioxidant known for its cancer-fighting abilities, ageing of arteries and reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease (15).
The high vitamin K content in blackberries also plays a part in preventing prostate, stomach, colon, nasal and liver cancers.
Blueberries are amongst the most antioxidant-rich and healthiest fruits in the world (17). These sweet low-calorie fruits have several health benefits. They are rich in fibre, vitamin C, vitamin K and manganese (16).
The antioxidant content in blueberries helps in treating and reducing the risk of diseases like diabetes, heart disease and Alzheimer’s (18).
The antioxidants in blueberries help to enhance brain health. They help protect the brain from damage by free radicals and promote healthy brain ageing (19).
Cranberries are low in calorie content and are rich in nutrition. One cup of cranberries contains only 51 calories (20), but they are a rich source of vitamin C, E, K, manganese and copper.
The nutrients in cranberries are linked to lower risk of urinary tract infections(21). The polyphenols in cranberries help in reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease. Cranberries also help boost the immune system.
Durian, known as the king of fruits in Southeast Asia, is native to Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei. It is famous for its many health benefits like preventing cancer, improving digestion, strengthening bones, preventing premature ageing and protecting against cardiovascular diseases.
One cup of durian has 357 calories and provides 80 percent of the daily requirement of vitamin C (22). It is also a rich source of many other vitamins and minerals.
Durian is rich in fibre, so it helps by reducing constipation, bloating, flatulence and even colorectal cancer. Durian also contains folic acid, iron and copper and thus helps to treat anaemia.
Grapefruit is a tropical citrus fruit that is rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Grapefruit is known for its rich vitamin C content, and it helps protect your cells from harmful bacteria and viruses (23).
This tropical fruit is also known to help in weight loss. The high fibre content is grapefruit promotes fullness and helps in reducing calorie intake (24).
According to some studies, grapefruit also helps in controlling insulin levels and can reduce your chances of becoming insulin resistant (25).
Both red and purple grapes are packed with nutrients and antioxidants. Resveratrol, the essential nutrient in grapes has many health benefits. It helps reduce the signs of ageing and improves heart health (26).
Grapes are rich in potassium, which is beneficial for heart health and blood pressure. Red and purple grapes also contain lutein and zeaxanthin, which prevent damage to the retina and help prevent cataract.
Guava is a tropical fruit which is a rich source of vitamin C. Just one ounce of guava (28 grams) can give you 107 percent of your daily requirement for vitamin C (27).
Guava is also a good source of folate, vitamin A, potassium, copper, manganese and fibre. Guavas are also rich in several antioxidants, and this helps protect your heart against damage by free radicals (28).
Not only are mangoes sweet and delicious they are also excellent for health. Mangoes contain numerous antioxidant compounds like quercetin, isoquercitrin, astragalin, fisetin, gallic acid and methyl gallate. These compounds protect us against colon, breast and prostate cancer and leukaemia (30).
Mango is also a rich source of vitamin A, which helps to improve eye health and prevent night blindness. Some studies have shown that plant compound in mangoes can help protect against diabetes (31).
Olives belong to a group of healthiest fruits called drupes and are related to mangoes, almonds, peaches and cherries. Olives are an excellent source of vitamin E and other antioxidants.
Olives contain oleic acid, which improves heart health by regulating cholesterol levels and also protects LDL cholesterol from oxidation (32). According to some studies, the plant compounds in olives may help in preventing bone loss (33).
Some test-tube experiments have also shown that oleic acid and other antioxidants can disrupt the life cycle of cancer cells (34).
Oranges are full of nutrients, and they help lower our risk for many diseases. While we are all aware that they are rich in vitamin C, they also contain potassium and B vitamins like thiamine and folate (35).
Oranges are also rich in citric acid which can help reduce the risk of kidney stones (36). Oranges contain the antioxidant vitamin C in its natural form, and this helps to fight against skin damage caused by sun and pollution.
The vitamin C in oranges also helps to absorb iron better and helps prevent anaemia (37).
Pineapples are sweet tropical fruit that is rich in enzymes, vitamins and antioxidants. Pineapples are a rich source of vitamin C and manganese (38). Vitamin C helps strengthen our immune system and prevent macular degeneration.
Pineapple also contains high amounts of bromelain, an enzyme that breaks down protein and this helps in the digestive process (39).
Some studies have also shown that bromelain may help protect against cancer and tumour growth.
This fruit has innumerable health benefits. Pomegranates contain almost three times the amount of antioxidants in wine or green tea (40). The health benefits of pomegranate include improving heart health, and it also helps in the treatment of stomach disorders, cancer, anaemia, arthritis and diabetes.
Pomegranates contain flavonoids which have anti-inflammatory properties and can help reduce the risk of cancer (41). Pomegranates are a rich source of iron, so they are instrumental in treating anaemia.
Sweet and refreshing, papayas are also very good for health. Papayas are a rich source of vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium and folate. Lycopene, an antioxidant present in papayas, has radioprotective and anti-cancer properties (42).
Papayas contain papain, a digestive enzyme which improves digestion by breaking down proteins. Papain helps the digestive system and aids in weight loss (43).
Papayas are also very good for the skin as they help fight free radicals that damage the skin.
Strawberries are a popular fruit that is also very nourishing. They are amongst the top ten healthiest fruits when it comes to antioxidant content. They are also a rich source of many vitamins and minerals like vitamin C, manganese, folate and potassium (44).
The anthocyanins found in strawberries can reduce the risk of heart attacks. The antioxidants in this fruit also help in inhibiting tumour growth and decreasing inflammation in the body (45).
Strawberries are a low glycemic index food, and this helps maintain blood sugar.
Lemons are well known for their high vitamin C content, but this citrus fruit is rich in many other nutrients. Lemons also contain vitamin b6, A, E, folate, niacin, thiamine, pantothenic acid, calcium, iron, copper, magnesium, potassium, zinc and phosphorus.
The presence of flavonoids in lemons helps in the treatment of dyslipidemia, insulin resistance, hepatic steatosis, obesity and atherosclerosis (46). Since they are rich in vitamin C, lemons also help in treating many respiratory disorders.
This refreshing fruit is high in vitamin A and C. It also contains antioxidants like lycopene, carotenoids and cucurbitacin E. Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant that has been linked to heart health, bone health and cancer prevention (48).
According to some studies, lycopene may also help lower cholesterol and blood pressure. Cucurbitacin E has also known to prevent tumour growth (49). Watermelons also contain citrulline. This amino acid helps relieve muscle soreness (50).
Final words on healthiest fruits
Health benefits of fruits are endless. So, go on and include these twenty healthiest fruits to your diet and enjoy a healthier life.