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All fruits are great. They are packed with vitamins and all wonderful things that are good for you. It is actually really hard to make any sort of list without feeling that there are serious omissions in it. That being said, the fruits presented here are worth mentioning together because they have a lot in common.
They all have a very diverse nutritional profile, meaning you can find various vitamins, minerals and other substances in fairly good quantities in each and every one of them.
They are great sources of dietary fiber, one of the most important elements of our daily diet. Fiber is essential for maintaining a healthy digestive system and it also helps to lower cholesterol levels.
They are brightly coloured and seedy, characteristics indicative of powerful antioxidant content in the form of various phytochemicals and a good deal of essential fatty acids.
There is one more reason why you should have more of these fruits. They are simply delicious. So, prep your taste buds for some fruity delights!
Credit: public domainThis is a popular fruit with an amazing colour. How many times you get to eat something blue and be happy about it because it is actually very good for you? Bluberries have an astounding nutrient density. Their skin is a very good source of dietary fiber.
They are also rich in vitamin C which works really well with the fruit's blue pigments (they're called anthocyanins) to give you powerful antioxidant protection. The essential mineral manganese is found in a considerable amount. Other important nutrients include vitamins E and A, as well as minerals like copper, zinc, selenium and iron.
Bluberries can be eaten in numerous ways. You can, of course, have them by themselves as a light snack, but they're also a favourite ingredient for jams, syrups, pies and smoothies. Don't forget to enjoy them fresh or frozen in your breakfast cereal, yoghurt, in delicious desserts or salads.
Credit: public domainCherries are really fun to eat, especially when they are ripe and sweet. A wonderful summer fruit, they are also a very valuable food in terms of nutrition. Here you can find ample carotenoids, a significant amount of vitamin C and a wide variety of other micronutrients. On top of that, the bright red pigments indicate considerable antioxidant strenght.
Cherries are a great on the go snack but you can also use them in many different ways. Top your favourite drink, experiment with your salads, add them into smoothies and shakes and, of course, turn them into delicious desserts.
Credit: public domainFigs have been eaten by humans throughout the Medditerranean and Middle East for thousands of years. Their lovely sweetness and unique texture are combined with an amazing nutrient profile.
This delicious and quite filling fruit is an excellent source of insoluble and prebiotic fiber, precious dietary minerals like potassium. This mineral helps with blood pressure control. Figs are also one of the few high protein fruits and a good plant source of calcium. They are rich in phytosterols which are special plant compounds that assist in reducing cholesterol levels. Carotenoids, polyphenols, vitamins B and K are also present, all in one neat little package.
Figs have a very short growing season and they don't do well when refrigerated. Look for them while their fresh during the summer and early autumn months. If you are looking for an energy boosting snack for those cold winter months, pick up some dried figs which are available all year round.
Credit: public domainThis small, funny-looking fruit is a nutritional superhero in disguise, one of nature's little wonders with many amazing health benefits. Kiwis are literally packed with vitamin C-they actually contain more of this potent antioxidant than oranges! Moreover, they are known for an array of nutrients such as vitamin E (especially in the tiny blue-black seeds), folate, potassium, fiber, carotenoids, polyphenols, chlorophyll, phosphorus and pectin. Not to mention it has a respectable fiber content. You cannot go wrong with fiber.
Kiwifruit will amaze you with its delightful citrus flavour, its unique textures and its tropical flair. Enjoy it fresh as a snack (two kiwis a day are enough), add it to your salads for an exotic twist or power up your green smoothies. It is available all year round!
Credit: public domainMangoes come in a variety of colours, shapes and tastes, so you are bound to find something you really like. This fruit's flesh is firm, fragrant and very rich in flavour. Here you can also find generous quantities of all these little substances that are good for you: beta-carotene (among other carotenoids), vitamin A, vitamin B6 and other B vitamins, polyphenols, potassium and other dietary minerals, as well as prebiotc fiber and polysaccharides (sugars naturally found in plants).
This is a “high volume food” meaning that it contains a lot of water and, as a result, one whole mango has a mere 135 calories. It is a wonderfully exotic addition to any fruit dish, smoothie or garnish. You can also enjoy some mango juice and pretend your are on holiday in the Caribbean! Have fun with it!
Credit: public domainOranges are a common-often taken for granted-fruit. Their vitamin C content is well known and the juice from the fruit is an all time favourite breakfast staple. However, eating the whole fruit (including the white little bits) can be more beneficial nutritionally speaking. Oranges are a fantastic source of fiber as well as polyphenol and carotenoid pigments. They are also rich in calcium, several B vitamins, potassium and iron.
The peel is edible and very nutritious. It can be used for garnishes, desserts and jams. Oranges are a great snack when eaten raw. One medium sized fruit has about 62 calories, so they're great for weight management, too.
Credit: public domainPlums have been cultivated since ancient times and there are numerous varieties in a wide range of colours and sizes that you can enjoy. This delicious and very hunger satisfying fruit contains unique phytonutrients (catechins, for example, like those found in tea) with many health protective properties. Their vitamin C content is also high and these two elements work synergistically to give you powerful antioxidant protection.
They are also a decent source of calcium, magnesium, potassium, vitamin A, lutein and beta-carotein. The trace element boron (it assists in turning calcium into bone) can be also found in plums.
To take advantage of their full potential eat them with the skin (the richest part in nutrients). When they are not in season you can enjoy them in their dried form (prunes) for an easy and extra healthy snack that will give you an energy boost.
Credit: public domainThis is a unique-looking fruit with a very distinctive taste and some amazing health promoting characteristics. Sure, it can be quite a challenge to peel and get to the little red drops with the seedy core (botanically known as arils), but it is totally worth it. It is full of really potent antioxidants. In addition, you get plenty of fiber, much needed vitamins like C, B5 and K, and a good deal of other useful things like potassium, folate and copper.
This fruit doesn't go bad easily, so you can peel several pieces and refrigerate them to use at your convenience. The aril seeds can be used in a variety of dishes to add some colour with an extra healthy twist. Ideal for salads and various garnishes, they can make your appetizers, main course and dessert really stand out. Alternatively, you can use them to make some delicious pomegranate juice.
Pomegranates can be really difficult to deseed. Sometimes even extreme measures are required. I think the following method really works especiallly if you are already frustrated with your fruit!
Pomegranates Can Take a Beating!
9. Red Grapes
Credit: public domainBoth red and green grapes are simply fantastic. The red varieties have the advantage of the additional phytochemical pigments, some of which are quite promising as health promoting agents.
Grapes are an excellent source of vitamins A and K. You will find extra vitamin A, E omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in their seeds, so make sure you eat them as well. As an outstanding source of manganese, they help with several key metabolic processes in our body including the utilization of nutrients such as B vitamins and biotin.
Their very special flavonoids (called oligomeric proanthocyanidins or OPCs for short) are amazingly potent antioxidants, surpassing even certain vitamins like C and E. These compounds are protective against the oxidative effects of internal as well as environmental stresses.
Grapes are very easy to pack, carry and eat, so they make a fantastic healthy snack that will boost your energy levels.
Credit: public domainStrawberries are one of the world's favourite fruits. They are cultivated in various temperate regions around the globe but you can also find them in the wild. The first berry of the summer season is wonderfully filled with vitamin C and fiber. Moreover, they have a very diverse micronutrient content that includes an array of polyphenols and other very important compounds. One of the best parts of the fruit are the yellow achenes (they look like tiny yellow seeds) which have a significant fatty acid content.
Strawberries are best consumed fresh. One cup of fresh fruit contains a mere 43 calories, so no worries there. They combine quite well with other types of fruit like oranges, grapefruit, kiwifruit and, of course, other berries, so why not make a super healthy fruit salad for dessert?