Health 101: 8 of the Healthiest Fruits

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Fruits are all gems. They’re filling, nutritious, and low in fat.  Most of the time, they tend to be overlooked and sometimes, the popularity of chia seeds and kale has shifted the spotlight. However, there are many benefits in certain fruits that perhaps you were not aware of. Hopefully, by the end of this article, you will be able to select the crème de la crème in the fruit department.

1. Blueberries

Like all berries, blueberries serve as a powerful antioxidant. They help fight off cancer and the degeneration of cells. These antioxidants can help to improve better brain function and an increase in memory.  In addition, they contain properties that help protect against UTI’s (urinary tract infections).

2. Oranges

Oranges hold a variety of benefits! Of course, vitamin C is on the list and everyone is very aware that one orange can provide anywhere from 78%-93% of a days’ worth of it. However, they also have a great deal of potassium and the white lining many of us are guilty of peeling off provides hesperidin which can help lower cholesterol. Lastly – according to studies, even their smell can offer a calming effect.

3. Raspberries

Another member in the berry family: raspberries. Raspberries are actually one of the fruits that contain the highest amount of fiber with eight grams per cup. You’ll notice that they are also deceivingly sweet and I say “deceiving” because they are low in sugar (and carbs and calories).  Not surprisingly, they are packed with antioxidants that can help prevent cancer.

4. Apples

I’m sure you’ve heard it: “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” And yes, the saying is on point! One apple contains 15% of your daily fiber needs and it contains ample amounts of antioxidants like quercetin, catechin, phloridzin, and chlorogenic acid. They hold both soluble and insoluble fibers which lower cholesterol and keep the digestive tract working properly. The Nutrition Journal has actually claimed that they can help reduce the risk of certain cancers, heart disease, diabetes, and asthma.

5. Grapes

Red or purple, grapes are grapes. They are packed with resveratrol, the mega popular property in wine that is said to be the modernized fountain of youth. One cup of dark grapes could get you as much resveratrol as that of a five ounce glass of merlot.

6. Strawberries

One handful of these could help those that suffer from type 2 diabetes. They also help fight off heart disease and inflammation. They serve as an exceptional dose of vitamin C and antioxidants.

7. Avocados

A personal favorite, avocados are definitely of the richest in nutrients! They have plenty of fiber, vitamin, and healthy fats. Yes, healthy fats. These fats actually assist your body in the absorption of vitamin E, D, and K. If you’ve been worried about inflammation lately, avocadoes inhibit the production of these inflammatory chemicals.

8. Watermelon

Watermelon is the perfect summer fruit! However, this should be your year-round fruit! They are packed with lycopene which is essential for cardiovascular health. It also holds pliantly of citrulline which helps improve blood flow and may reduce the fat in fat cells. And here’s a fun fact: it turns out that the juicy center is not the area with the highest amounts of nutrients – the area beside the skin is! It has the highest concentrations of phenolic antioxidants, flavonoids, lycopene, and vitamin C. In addition, watermelon is incredibly alkaline which calls for numerous health benefits!

When choosing your fruit, try including these in your selections. More importantly, try varying your selection and try fruits you have never had before! You may surprise yourself with a nutritious, tasty delight!

Image: Liz West

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