10 of the Healthiest Fruits for Your Body
Forget fancy superfoods—these nutritious powerhouses are essential staples for any healthy diet.
Peaches and nectarines: Packed with potassium
Everyone knows that bananas boast high amounts of potassium, but two small peaches or nectarines have about 250 mg of the essential mineral. That's more potassium than one medium banana (422 mg). The mineral boosts nerve and muscle health, according to the National Institutes of Health. Peach skins, in particular, are rich in antioxidants, according to research in the International Journal of Molecular Science. For those watching their weight, peaches are a healthy way to add sweetness to any diet. Bake, broil, or poach them to create pies, cobblers, and other desserts, like this sparking peach treat.
Pineapple: Powerful anti-inflammatory
This sweet and tangy tropical fruit is jam-packed with bromelain, an anti-inflammatory enzyme that has been shown to reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes, according to research in the journal Biomedical Reports. Have it frozen, dried, or fresh. Or try grilled pineapple.
Grapes: Heart healthy
The little purple bulbs are one of the world’s oldest and most abundant healthiest fruits. Grapes may also have a favorable effect on blood lipids, decrease inflammation and reduce blood pressure, according to 2015 research in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture. Grapes are also great source of potassium, which helps prevent muscle cramps. Just don't share them—or these other foods—with your dog; they can be toxic.
Kiwi: Loaded with vitamins
Beneath its fuzzy skin is a sweet fruit loaded with vitamin C, an antioxidant that protects against cancer and promotes eye health. Kiwis are also low in calories and contain fiber, making them ideal for weight loss. Because they can last up to four weeks when stored in the refrigerator, they are a great snack to keep all year round. But don't peel them—here's why you should eat the skin.
Mangoes: Immunity boosters
Mangoes are becoming increasingly popular among nutritionists due to their exceptionally high levels of beta-carotene, which the body converts into vitamin A to promote a healthy immune system and keep your vision sharp. Even more, these exotic treats are packed with more than 60 mg of vitamin C per cup; that's more than 50 percent of your daily vitamin RDA in a single serving. After you get your daily dose of the healthiest fruits for your body, try some of these other exotic fruits.
Apples: Brain- and heart-healthy
One medium apple is low on calories (only 80!) but heavy on quertecin, a powerful antioxidant that protects brain cell degeneration, which can lead to Alzheimer’s disease. Research in the journal Hypertension found that eating apples and other whole fruits was linked with lower blood pressure. The fiber in apples is also connected with improvements in cholesterol levels. Don't forget to eat the skin, too—it’s especially rich in disease-fighting compounds like flavonoids, which reduce the risk of heart disease.
Pomegranates: A mega dose of antioxidants
Pomegranate juice is packed with antioxidants. It's also a great source of potassium, which sustains energy and controls high blood pressure. Recent research shows that drinking pomegranate juice daily could improve cardiovascular health and lower inflammation. However, talk to your doctor before you drink regular amounts of pomegranate juice. It can sometimes negatively interact with prescription drugs. The ruby red fruit also packs these other health benefits.
Grapefruit: Vitamin C powerhouse
Although oranges are a great source of vitamin C, grapefruits pack a bigger punch. Just half of a grapefruit contains nearly 50 percent of your daily vitamin C, as well as high levels of fiber, potassium, and vitamin A. The vitamin C in grapefruit is involved in collagen production so the fruits may also repair damaged or oily skin and hair. It’s little wonder that this delicious fruit is no longer just a breakfast staple.
Bananas: Healthy on-the-go snack
A banana is the perfect on-the-go snack. It's already wrapped and full of potassium and fiber to promote long-lasting energy and keep you alert all day long. It contains no fat or salt, making it a healthier snack option than a granola bar or bag of pretzels. Want to make your bananas last longer? Here’s a trick: Store them in the refrigerator after they’re ripe. Although the peel may turn brown, the fruit underneath will stay delicious for three to five extra days. Don’t know what to do with your overripe bananas or other fruits? Here's what to do with fruit that's about to go bad.
Blueberries: Anti-aging powerhouses
Long considered one of the beloved “superfoods,” these sweet treats are tiny but mighty, loaded with antioxidants and vitamin C to help fight disease, as well as anthocyanin, a pigment shown to boost brainpower, notes 2017 research. One study found that people who ate the greatest amount of this fruit were less likely to develop age-related macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in older adults, notes 2018 research in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences. Next, read about these healthy foods that are even more nutritious than you realized.
- National Institutes of Health: "Potassium."
- International Journal of Molecular Science: "Phenolic Composition and Antioxidant Properties of Different Peach [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch] Cultivars in China."
- Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture: "Effect of Grape and Other Berries on Cardiovascular Health."
- Hypertension: "Fruit and Vegetable Consumption and the Incidence of Hypertension in Three Prospective Cohort Studies."
- National Institutes of Health: "Vitamin A."
- Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture: "Consumption of Pomegranate Juice Decreases Blood Lipid Peroxidation and Levels of Arachidonic Acid in Women With Metabolic Syndrome."
- Nutrients: "Could Pomegranate Juice Help in the Control of Inflammatory Diseases?"
- Food & Nutrition Research: "Anthocyanidins and Anthocyanins: Colored Pigments as Food, Pharmaceutical Ingredients, and the Potential Health Benefits."
- International Journal of Molecular Sciences: "Molecular Mechanism and Health Role of Functional Ingredients in Blueberry for Chronic Disease in Human Beings."