10 Aug The 20 Healthiest (and Tastiest!) Fruits, Part Two
Fruit is a highly nutritious, delicious, and convenient addition to any diet. With more than 2,000 varieties of fruit available, you may wonder which ones you should pick.
We’ve rounded up a list of the 20 Healthiest Fruits in this mini-series. You’re reading Part Two; if you missed Part One, get yourself caught up!
Though known for its pungent smell, durian is incredibly nutritious.
A single cup (243 grams) provides:
- Fiber: 9 grams
- Potassium: 23% of the DV
- Manganese: 34% of the DV
- Vitamin C: 53% of the DV
- Vitamin B6: 45% of the DV
- Thiamine (vitamin B1): 76% of the DV
- flavonoids such as anthocyanins
- phenolic acids such as cinnamic acid
- other beneficial plant compounds such as carotenoids
It’s also a high source of potassium and fiber, both of which contribute to good heart health. Finally, durian pulp has probiotic effects, which may support healthy gut diversity.
They’re also high in antioxidant plant compounds, such as anthocyanins and hydroxycinnamates, which help protect the body from oxidative stress.
Furthermore, they’re a good source of serotonin, tryptophan, and melatonin, which support good mood and sleep.
Though they may not readily come to mind when you think of fruit, olives are a great addition to your diet.
They’re an excellent source of vitamin E, copper, and a monounsaturated fat called oleic acid.
In fact, whole olives and olive oil make up a large component of the Mediterranean diet, which studies have shown may lower the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cognitive decline, overweight, and obesity. 57 58
Watermelon is a highly nutritious summer favorite. It’s an abundant source of antioxidants, such as vitamins A and C, beta carotene, and lycopene. It’s also a good source of potassium and magnesium. 59
In particular, watermelon is one of the top sources of lycopene, a carotenoid that gives watermelon its pink-red color.
Interestingly, lycopene and beta carotene may also provide minor skin protection from ultraviolet (UV) rays, reduce the risk of sunburns, and help your skin heal faster. That said, you’ll still need to use sunscreen to keep your skin fully protected. 63 64 65
Finally, watermelon has a uniquely high water content. A single wedge (434 grams) provides 13.4 ounces (395 mL) of water. Since it’s high in both water and potassium, it can help hydrate and replenish electrolytes after a workout or on a hot summer day.
Also known as the Chinese gooseberry, kiwi is great for your health.
It’s high in vitamin C and a good source of fiber, potassium, folate, and vitamin E. It’s also a good source of carotenoids, including lutein, zeaxanthin, and beta carotene, which support eye health and become more dominant as fruits ripen. 66 67
Furthermore, people have used it in traditional Chinese medicine for hundreds of years to support gut health and digestion.
These benefits are due to its soluble and insoluble fiber, polyphenols, and digestive enzymes such as actinidin.
One small study showed that consuming 2 kiwis daily for 3 days increased stool frequency and softened stool, suggesting it may help treat mild constipation. 68
Peaches are another summer favorite. They’re a good source of potassium, fiber, and vitamins A, C, and E. They also contain the carotenoids lutein, zeaxanthin, and beta carotene. 69
While the flesh and skin are both nutritious, the skin contains higher amounts of antioxidants, which can help fight free radicals in your body. Therefore, make sure you eat the peach skin to reap the greatest health benefits. 70 71
Fortunately, the nutrient content of peaches appears to be similar whether you consume them fresh or canned. However, if you opt for canned peaches, make sure they’re packed in water rather than sugary syrup. 72
Guava is a fantastic source of vitamin C. In fact, a single fruit (55 grams) provides 140% of the DV for this nutrient. 73
Along with this, guava contains some of the highest amounts of lycopene compared with other lycopene-rich foods like tomatoes, watermelon, and grapefruit. It’s also a high source of other antioxidants, such as beta carotene and various flavonoids. 74
Because guava is so high in nutrients and antioxidants, consuming it regularly may support the health of your eyes, heart, kidneys, and skin.
It may likewise protect against chronic diseases and support a healthy immune system.
Grapes are convenient, healthy, and particularly high in potassium and vitamin K, which both support heart health.
They’re a rich source of beneficial plant compounds that have been linked to numerous health benefits, such as a lowered risk of heart disease and certain types of cancer. 75 76 These compounds include:
- caffeic acid
While all varieties of grapes provide benefits, red and purple grapes have the highest antioxidant content. In particular, they produce purple-red pigments called anthocyanins, which have been linked to better heart and brain health.
Pomegranates are known for their high antioxidant content.
They contain a lengthy list of beneficial plant compounds, such as flavonoids, tannins, and lignans. These have strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that help fight free radicals and reduce your risk of chronic disease. 77 78 79 80
One high quality study found that people experienced significantly lower levels of inflammation after drinking 8.5 ounces (250 mL) of pomegranate juice per day for 12 weeks, compared with a placebo. 81
Grapefruit is one of the healthiest citrus fruits. It’s packed with vitamin C, potassium, fiber, and beta carotene, which your body converts into vitamin A.
In an observational study including 12,789 people, grapefruit consumption was linked to higher levels of HDL (good) cholesterol and lower body weight, waist circumference, body mass index (BMI), triglycerides, and levels of inflammation. 82
Though grapefruit is highly nutritious, some of its compounds can lessen or alter the effectiveness of certain medications. Talk with your healthcare professional about whether you can eat grapefruit if you’re taking:
- calcium channel blockers
- anti-anxiety medications
In these cases, you may have to avoid grapefruit. 86
Many delicious and nutritious fruits can help ensure good health.
While this list provides 20 of the most nutritious fruits, there are many others you can choose from.
To reap the greatest benefits, be sure to eat a variety of colorful fruits on a daily basis.