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What is the healthiest fruit? 5 items you should be eating daily

Fruit Salad
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Consuming a variety of fruits can contribute to a healthy gut microbiome and reduce the risk of chronic diseases. But do you know which are the healthiest fruits for you? Let’s look at how many and what type of fruits you should be eating for optimal health. 

Cups with colorful fruit pieces inside

What is the healthiest fruit?

The healthiest fruit is not a single fruit but rather a variety of fruits that offer a range of nutritional benefits. According to the American Heart Association, adults are recommended to consume 4-5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day.

It is important to note that portion sizes play a significant role in meeting these servings. Different fruits and vegetables have varying serving sizes.

For example, when it comes to dried fruits, such as raisins, apricots, prunes, and dates, a serving size is typically ¼ cup. On the other hand, a serving of fresh leafy greens, like spinach or kale, is measured as 1 cup.

While fresh fruits and vegetables are generally considered the healthiest options, it is also acceptable to include canned and frozen varieties in your diet. These alternatives can provide convenient and accessible options, especially when certain fruits and vegetables are not in season. 

However, it is important to choose options that are low in added sugars and sodium when opting for canned or frozen varieties.

Slices of citrus and kiwis
Lukas / Pexels

5 types of fruit you should be eating daily 

It is important to incorporate a variety of fruits into a healthy diet. In addition to their unique health benefits, fruits provide a broad range of nutrients that are beneficial to our overall health.

Fruits are not only an excellent source of nutrients but come in a wide variety as well. Whether you prefer the tangy tang of citrus fruits, the sweet taste of berries, the exotic tropical flavors of exotic fruits, or the juicy goodness of stone fruits, the choices are endless. 

1. Citrus fruits

Known for their high vitamin C content and vibrant flavors, citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, grapefruits, and limes are full of nutrients. A powerful antioxidant, vitamin C supports immune function and collagen production and helps prevent cellular damage.

Additionally, citrus fruits provide essential minerals like potassium and folate, as well as fiber, which aids digestion. Adding citrus fruits to homemade salad dressings, smoothies, or desserts is a great way to consume more citrus every day.

2. Berries

Berries, such as strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries, are not only delicious but also packed with beneficial nutrients. Aside from being rich in antioxidants, these small fruits also improve brain health and protect against chronic diseases. 

In addition to providing dietary fiber and vitamins C and K, berries are also a good source of manganese. If you want to increase your intake of berries, you can enjoy them fresh, add them to yogurt, oatmeal, or salads, or blend them into smoothies.

3. Tropical fruits

Tropical and exotic fruits, such as mangoes, pineapples, papayas, and kiwis, add a tropical twist to your fruit selection. In addition to supporting immune function, eye health, and collagen production, tropical fruits are rich in vitamins A and C. 

Tropical fruits also contain enzymes, such as bromelain in pineapples, which aid digestion. Add these fruits to salads, smoothies, or salsas to consume more tropical and exotic fruits each day.

4. Melons

In addition to being hydrating, melons such as watermelon, cantaloupe, and honeydew provide a range of essential nutrients. During hot summer days, these fruits are a refreshing choice due to their low-calorie content and high water content. 

Besides promoting healthy skin, supporting heart health, and aiding in hydration, melons contain vitamins A and C, potassium, and other antioxidants. If you’d like to enjoy melons more often, enjoy them as a standalone snack, dice them up in fruit salads, or blend them into refreshing drinks.

5. Stone fruits 

Stone fruits, including peaches, plums, cherries, and apricots, get their name from the hard pit or stone at their core. These fruits are not only delicious but also provide an array of health benefits. Stone fruits are packed with vitamins A and C, as well as dietary fiber, which supports digestive health. 

They also contain beneficial compounds like flavonoids and antioxidants, which have the potential to be anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer. Consume more stone fruits every day by eating them fresh, incorporating them into salads or desserts, or topping yogurt or oatmeal with them.

A variety of vitamins, minerals, and bioactive compounds are present in fruits that promote overall health and wellness. In order to reap the full benefits of fruits, it is important to include a variety of fruits in your diet. In general, aiming for at least 2-3 servings of fruit per day is a good place to start.

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Brittney Bertagna, RN
Brittney is a graduate of California State University, Chico, where she completed a Bachelor's degree in Business. Her…
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