Written by: Marlee B
When it comes to fruits, not all are created equal.
It is true, however, that eating fruit on a regular basis can boost health and they can be easily incorporated into our diets in a variety of ways.
Because there are so many fruits to choose from, you might be interested to learn which ones are ranked the healthiest and provide the most benefits.
In the debate between fruits vs. vegetables, fruits usually get the shorter end of the stick because of their sugar content. Despite this, fruits are here to stay!
That’s a good thing because they are a good source of vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber, but best of all they are wholesome and will tickle the palate however they are served!
Enjoy them juiced, blended into smoothies, or just eat them as they are.
Here are a few options of fruits that are both healthy and delicious.
They are the world’s oldest and most abundant healthy fruit.
A single serving of grapes per day, which is about ½ cup or 16 grapes, has been proven to ward off heart disease and high cholesterol, thanks to its high levels of antioxidants.
Each plump and juicy little bulb also provides a great source of iron, which prevents anemia, and potassium which prevents or improves muscle cramps.
But, when it comes to colors, stick with purples and reds.
Unlike the greens, they contain the highest concentration of healthy compounds.
You wouldn’t know that under its brown, fuzzy skin that there is a vibrant lime green fruit awaiting you.
But it’s not just the color that’s eye-catching: kiwis are loaded with vitamins C and E that protect against cancer and promote eye health.
They can also last up to four weeks when stored in a refrigerator, so they are a great snack to keep on hand!
Tangy and exotic, mangoes are an excellent immunity booster!
They contain a generous level of beta-carotene, which converts into vitamin A when it’s digested.
Vitamin A, you might know, is helpful for healthy skin, normal vision, and can also help the heart, lungs, kidney, and other organs function properly.
Beta-carotene is also found in carrots, and other orange or red pigmented fruits.
You’ve heard of Superfoods, but…Superfruits? Not every fruit qualifies.
Those deemed “super” by nutrition scientists are packed with antioxidants, fiber, vitamins and minerals, and other nutrients that can help you live longer, look better, and even prevent disease.
Surprise! America’s favorite fruit is a secret superfruit, thanks to its color.
Red or green, apples provide an excellent source of fiber and quercetin.
Quercetin is an antioxidant that protects your heart from heart disease and possibly any allergic reactions. It packs anti-inflammatory power into a single bite as well.
“An apple a day keeps the doctor away!”, is a true statement because those who eat five or more apples a week have been found to have better lung function than those who don’t.
So, it would do you good to order apple slices with your next Subway sandwich!
I wish I were a fan of its tart taste, because “the redder your fruit the better!”,or so they say.
Red or pink grapefruits help you fend off hunger, lower cholesterol, boost fiber intake, and pump up your immune system because of their high vitamin A content.
They also have a low glycemic index (which means it doesn’t raise blood sugar as quickly or as much as high glycemic fruits like bananas or watermelon), and generous potassium levels.
Pomegranates deserve their superfruit status because they come packed with a punch!
The juices have been found to fight type 2 diabetes and bowel and prostate cancers more than any other fruit, as well as the dispersal of body fat, lowered stress, and improved athletic ability.
Let it be known, however, that these superfruits are not cure-all pills, but they certainly have beneficial health effects!
Low Sugar Fruits
Watching your sugar intake is generally a good idea, but taming your sweet tooth can be an incredibly difficult feat!
Most people don’t realize how much sugar is contained in fruit, but I will share with you which fruits are lowest in sugar content so you can satisfy your sweet tooth without breaking the sugar bank!
Lemons (and limes)
These fairly sour fruits don’t contain much sugar, only a gram or two per lemon or lime!
They are the perfect touch to a cold glass of water to help curb your appetite by reducing calorie intake because of the pectin fiber which helps fight hunger cravings.
Likewise, lemon or lime water in the morning is also a great way to help kick start your metabolism and detoxify and promote a healthy liver.
Well, what do you know? The California Avocado is actually a nutrient-dense fruit, not a vegetable!
Something else you may not know is the avocado is a berry! They fit all the botanical criteria for a berry, including a fleshy pulp and a seed.
But unlike many other fruits, avocados are naturally low in sugar. An entire raw avocado contains only one gram!
Think of them as a fruit from now on because they are great additions in smoothies and desserts.
This soft, fuzzy fruit is best as a summer fruit, but when they are at the peak of their season, they have the best flavor, freshness, and nutritional value.
One cup of a sliced peach is only 60 calories, 1.4 grams of protein, 2.3 grams of fiber, and 13 grams of sugar.
Although that is a significant difference in sugar between lemons, limes, and avocados, they are still considered low in sugar for a fruit.
High Protein Fruits
Protein, if you didn’t know, is in everything that is edible to us because it’s a structural component that holds food together.
Fruit isn’t generally known for its protein, but some fruits do contain more than others.
Here are a few for you to try if you’re looking to increase your intake for the day.
Guava probably isn’t in your general lineup of fruits readily available in your kitchen, but there are plenty of reasons to give it a regular role in your diet.
Per cup, guava fruit has a whopping 4.2 grams of protein! That is plenty enough to not be ignored.
If you’re not familiar with guava, they are simple enough to prepare and use in your daily routine! All you need to do is wash it, cut it in half, slice it up, and eat it directly or add it to a tasty fruit salad.
These tasty little treats come with more protein than you might think: 2.2 grams per cup!
But, they have to be the dried variety because fresh apricots don’t yield the same amount.
You must also be aware of the sugar content, but overall dried apricots provide numerous benefits such as protection from damage done to the eyes.
Try chopping up a few dried apricots to put them in your next morning cereal bowl, or even bake them into a high-protein cookie.
While we all want to have our cake and eat it, too (and we want the cake to have zero calories!), that still remains a food fantasy.
However, there really are fruits that cost us almost nothing to eat, calorie-wise, so that is why I call these low-cal fruits my “Get Something for Nothing” fruits.
Cantaloupe is a one-of-a-kind fruit.
It helps decrease so many lifestyle-related health conditions like obesity, diabetes, heart disease, asthma, and blood pressure. But it’s nutritional content is also impressive.
A one-cup serving of diced cantaloupe contains only 53 calories and 0.3 grams of fat!
It also has an abundance of antioxidants, so you “canta” go wrong with cantaloupe!
Ah, nature’s candy! Or, otherwise known as wild raspberries.
With their rich color, sweet juicy taste, and antioxidant power, it is no wonder that raspberries remain one of the world’s most consumed berries.
For one cup of raspberries, you will only be eating 64 calories, 1.5 grams of protein, and 0.8 grams of fat! T
hey are also a good source of vitamin C, K, E, and B-6. Try them fresh, frozen, freeze-dried, or in jellies, jams, and spreads to add lots of flavor and just a little to your calorie count!
Honeydews are awesome because they offer lots of fiber, vitamins, and minerals, without adding a high amount of calories.
An entire honeydew (about 5 inches across) has 360 calories. Most of these calories come from carbohydrates, but if eaten in segments, one cup of honeydew melon is only 60 calories.
They are great for vitamin C and potassium, comparable to a banana that has a lot more calories.
Honeydew’s sweet and mild flavor allows it to be combined with almost any other fruit.
Mix it with pineapple, banana, kiwi, and berries for a yummy fruit salad.
Overall, what you need to know is that all fruits are healthy, but some are even healthier than others.
Some have more or less water, sugar, protein, or calories.
But if you try to eat a variety of fruits from each category above, you will boost your health and, of course, please your palate.