While you’ve been busy putting in some major sweat sessions at the gym and eating protein-rich and metabolism-boosting foods, there’s a good chance you’ve been eating plenty of fruits as well. If you typically go straight for the apples and bananas and never stray from your norm, you’ll want to take a look at this list of the top 10 fruits that are even healthier than you think.
You may not find these fruits growing anywhere near your apple orchards, but this tropical fruit offers a ton of health benefits. MSN discusses how papayas are high in vitamin C, which helps support your immune system, protect against arthritis, and prevent cardiovascular disease. They are also rich in fiber and antioxidants, and this together makes the papaya an effective way to fight cholesterol. If you’re feeling hungry, this fiber-rich fruit offers a filling snack without a ton of calories — there are only 67 calories in one small fruit.
The kiwi, or kiwifruit, is small in size but big in nutritional impact. Kiwis are nutrient-dense, meaning they have tons of nutrients and not very many calories, according to Medical News Today. This little fruit contains plenty of vitamin C to support the immune system and fight heart disease and cancer. Kiwis are also rich in fiber and potassium, which are both helpful in supporting the heart.
There is also evidence to suggest eating kiwis may improve the quality of sleep in adults.
Grapes may not be on the top of your list when you think about health foods, but you may want to start grabbing them for a healthy and sweet treat. Organic Facts says grapes are high in vitamins A, C, and B6, and they contain minerals like potassium, calcium, and iron. Grapes are great for the heart, as they help to prevent blood clots, which may prevent heart attacks.
There are also flavonoids in grapes. These antioxidants help to slow down aging and reduce the negative effects of free radicals. Resveratrol and quercetin, the two main types of flavonoids found in grapes, help to filter the blood and free your body of harmful toxins that can threaten your health.
4. Dragon fruit
Dragon fruit is more than just beautiful to look at — it’s also full of beneficial nutrients. Dr. Mercola’s website explains dragon fruit contains plenty of vitamin C, multiple B vitamins, protein, carotene, and good fatty acids. This fruit also contains calcium to support bones and teeth, and iron for an energy boost.
The oil found in the seeds of the fruit is also helpful for those with digestive issues, as it acts as a natural and mild laxative. Not only do the seeds offer digestive support, but they are high in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which can help to lower the risk of cardiovascular disease.
It’s no secret berries are good for you, but the blackberry may just be the king of all fruits in terms of nutrition. The Huffington Post Canada says the color gives them away from the start — the hue indicates they’re high in antioxidants. They are high in vitamins K, C, A, and also boast some impressive mineral content.
If you’re having intestinal troubles, then blackberries may be a good choice, as the tannins work to soothe inflammation in the intestines and provide relief for those experiencing digestive issues. Best of all, they’re delicious.
Though not the sweetest item on the list, avocados are known for their creamy texture and delicious flavor. Better yet, they are one of the healthiest fruits, boasting high levels of vitamins K, C, B5, B6, and E. Authority Nutrition says an avocado has more potassium than a banana, and they contain no cholesterol or sodium.
Avocados are high in fat — in fact, they are one of the fattiest plant foods to exist, but they are full of healthful monounsaturated fats that actually support heart health. Most of the fat found in an avocado is oleic acid, which has been shown to reduce inflammation and have positive effects on genes that are linked to cancer.
If you’re used to walking right past the apples in the produce section, then it’s time to stop to pick up a few. Best Health explains apples, particularly Red Delicious and Granny Smith varieties, are high in antioxidants. And if fiber is what you’re after, know eating a medium-size apple offers 4 grams of pectin, a type of fiber that is hugely beneficial to the body.
Apples may even help with memory and boost brain function. According to research performed by the University of Massachusetts Lowell, animal studies suggest apple juice consumption may boost the production of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that assists with memory.
Whether you like to eat them as they are or slather them with peanut butter, bananas are a favorite among gym goers — and that’s a good thing. Laura Flores, a nutritionist based out of San Diego, tells Live Science bananas are full of pectin, a type of fiber, as well as potassium. Flores adds this fruit also has high levels of antioxidants that can protect against free radicals.
Furthermore, bananas are a great snack for those who aim to lose weight. This is partially due to the fiber, but also because they’re around 100 calories a piece.
Stock up on cherries when they’re in season — this delicious fruit is incredibly nutritious. Diet expert Stella Metsovas tells Medical Daily cherries are known for their anti-inflammatory benefits, which could explain why there’s been a huge boost in popularity over the years. Additionally, The American Institute for Cancer Research says cherries may actually help reduce the risk of colon cancer thanks to phytochemicals and dietary fiber.
Grapefruit is a staple for dieters, but they’re a fruit you should eat even if you’re not going low-cal. The World’s Healthiest Foods says grapefruits, like all citrus, are high in vitamin C. This vitamin boosts the immune system and can help reduce the severity of certain inflammatory conditions like asthma, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis. If you’re not keen on the tart taste, try adding a bit of honey or brown sugar before enjoying.