Fruits have gotten a bad rap over the years in the ongoing battle against eating sugar. But the sugar found in fruits is quite different from the heavily refined and processed sugar found in today's prepackaged foods and snacks.
Nowhere is this more clear than on the U.S. government's MyPlate app, which shows a typical dinner plate separated into four distinct categories.
Two of the four categories are occupied by - you guessed it - vegetables and fruits. This means one-quarter of your meal plate should be taken up by a portion of fruits.
As Healthline reports, unlike that candy bar you were just about to inhale, the average fruit contains lots of nutrients you won't ever find in a plastic wrapper.
Each piece of fruit contains fiber, water, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants in addition to small amounts of natural sugars.
But are there some fruits that are healthier and more beneficial than others? Which fruits should you eat every day to maximize their benefits? Let's find out now!
10 Best Healthy Fruits
Boy is it hard to pick out just 10 fruits out of the literally thousands of varietals growing around the world today. What makes it slightly easier is that only a handful of the fruits in existence are widely available through your local grocer or farmer's market.
Later sections here will offer specific recommendations based on different health needs. But for general purposes, you can't go wrong adding these delicious, nutritious and healthy fruits to your daily diet!
Apples are packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
In particular, apples contain vitamins K, C and B-spectrum, potassium, fiber and pectin, an important food for the happy gut bacteria that help keep your digestive tract healthy.
Bananas are an amazing source of potassium, an essential electrolyte mineral to balance blood pressure and ease muscle aches and pains.
Like apples, bananas are also rich in pectin as well as resistant starch, an important component in stabilizing blood sugar.
Blueberries offer a powerful boost to your immune system. Researchers also now believe blueberries have more cancer-fighting antioxidants than any other readily available fruit.
Blueberries have also been shown to help support memory during the aging process.
Strawberries are packed with minerals, including folate, manganese and potassium. They are also rich in vitamin C and antioxidants.
As a safe fruit during weight loss or for people with insulin resistance issues, strawberries are notable for their low glycemic index. Eating strawberries won't produce the spikes in blood sugar that other fruits may.
Oranges are so popular for good reasons - they are tasty, hydrating and chock-full of vitamins and minerals. Oranges are particularly noteworthy for high concentrations of vitamin C, potassium and B-spectrum vitamins like folate and thiamine.
For people prone to developing kidney stones, the citric acid in oranges may help reduce stone development.
Like oranges, lemons have a high citric acid concentration that can fight back against kidney stone formation. Lemons are also naturally high in vitamin C and have properties to assist with weight loss and heart health.
Cherries may look tiny, but they pack a powerful nutritional punch with high concentrations of antioxidants, vitamin C, potassium and fiber.
Cherries also have a secret health weapon - melatonin. This makes them a great choice for people who have trouble sleeping restfully.
In some circles, avocados have unfairly earned a reputation as a fatty fruit.
But in truth, avocados are full of mono-unsaturated fats, the best kind that your heart needs to stay healthy. The fats in avocados can also reduce inflammation.
Avocado is also naturally low-carbohydrate and contains lots of potassium, magnesium and fiber.
Blackberries boast an amazing amount of fiber for their small size. Like avocado, they are powerful inflammation-fighting fruits and also come stocked with potassium, manganese, vitamin C and vitamin K.
Tomatoes are unique in the world of fruits for their lycopene content.
Lycopene is not just a powerhouse at fighting inflammation but it is also a powerful antioxidant, and tomatoes have more of it than any other fruit. Tomatoes can help fight memory and heart issues.
Tomatoes also offer plenty of vitamin C, vitamin K, folate and potassium.
What Fruits Should You Eat Everyday?
In theory, there are no "bad" fruits that you shouldn't consume on a daily basis. But in practice, you may find that some fruits are a better match for your current health needs (more on this topic in later sections here).
Just like all foods, some fruits may have interactions with certain medications - grapefruit is a common example. So as a precaution, if you are taking any required medications, always talk with your doctor before adding new fruits to your daily menu.
Assuming your doctor gives the all clear, Prevention magazine states that fruits rich in antioxidants can help you on a daily basis.
Apples, pears, blueberries and strawberries in particular can help you lose weight or maintain your weight, fight off cancer, keep your heart and digestive system healthy and safeguard your brain and memory.
Which Fruits Have the Most Benefits?
Determining which fruits have the most health benefits is slightly more complicated than it first may appear. This is because different fruits have different health benefits to offer.
For example, if your principle aim is to ward off cancer, fruits high in antioxidants such as citrus, tomatoes and berries may be your go-to fruits.
However, if you are struggling with digestive issues or IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), you will want to reach for papayas, cantaloupe and honeydew melon.
Mayo Clinic states that heart-healthy fruits of note include kiwi, strawberries and cranberries.
And if you are struggling to fall asleep or stay asleep at night, the National Sleep Foundation highly recommends tart red cherries, kiwis, plums, bananas and pineapple.
One good way to narrow down your search is to write out your top five health concerns and then research which fruits have the right bend of nutrients to match.
While all fruits offer plenty of healthy benefits, taking the time to take this extra step can make sure you maximize your daily fruit intake for the best health results.
What Are the Best Fruits for Weight Loss?
If your goal is to shed some pounds or maintain your weight loss, there are definitely certain fruits that offer standout assistance in this area!
Grapefruit is a natural front runner according to The Journal of Medicinal Food. One research study demonstrated how eating one-half grapefruit before each meal helped study participants lose nearly three pounds more than those who did not.
Both apples and pears are standouts for aiding weight loss as well. A study published by the Journal of Nutrition stated that participants who consumed three of either apples or pears daily in between meals lost 2.6 pounds, whereas those who ate cookies for a snack didn't lose much weight.
Raspberries are another winner, according to a study from the Journal of Life Sciences. These tiny berries include the raspberry ketone, which can fight back against obesity and fatty liver disease.
Will Fruit Make You Fat?
Health reports that, on average, people who eat more fruit weigh less than those who eat few fruits or those who favor vegetables over fruits.
There are a number of reasons why eating sweet fruit doesn't pack on the pounds while eating sugary candies or treats does.
Fruit eaters tend to eat fruit instead of baked goods or candies, not in addition to these processed sweets. In other words, if you ate an apple instead of an apple-filled pastry every day, you would probably lose weight, right?
Also, fruit doesn't affect your body the way processed, refined sugar does.
Because fruit has a high fiber content plus additional vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and nutrients, it takes your body a longer time period to digest fruit and it has to work harder to do so, burning off calories in the process.
You may be reading this right now as someone who has fallen out of the habit of eating fruit every day. Maybe you have been told fruit isn't good for you or that it will prevent you from losing weight.
But now you know that is not factual information. In fact, fruit can be your helper in losing weight or maintaining weight loss! Fruit also has so many other benefits to offer to keep you healthy and active.
So where should you start? One of the best ways to start adding fruit into your diet is just to pick a few fruits you love the taste of and eat one of those each day.
I am 34 years old and currently live in Landenberg, PA. I played many different sports growing up and also started lifting weights at age 12.
In my late teens I got heavy into drugs and ended up even being a heroin addict for a few years.
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Since overcoming drug and heroin addiction I’ve been able to totally rebuild myself in health, relationships and business. Much of that I credit to diet and fitness.
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