Blueberries, apples and mangoes — oh my!
Nutritionists weigh in on the best fruits to support good health if you’re in the process of adding more fruit to your diet.
Consider loading up on these antioxidant-packed superstars as a snack, blended into a smoothie — or as a part of a balanced, healthy breakfast or lunch.
They’re truly easy to work into just about any meal.
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And as you’ll see, doing so is a very smart move.
Add tiny but mighty blueberries to your next bowl of cereal or oatmeal.
Marie Ruggles, the New York City-based author of “Optimize Your Immune System: Create Health & Resilience with a Kitchen Pharmacy,” called these berries her favorite fruit.
“Compounds in berries have been shown to regulate cell behavior, leading to a protective effect on the prevention and treatment of several dreaded diseases including cancer, diabetes, and heart disease,” she said, citing this research.
“Berries, in general, make for a very healthy addition to any diet. Frozen berries are a great option for those times of the year when the fresh options are more limited,” Ruggles added.
Jinan Banna, a registered dietitian and professor of nutrition in Hawaii, added that a review of the health-promoting properties of blueberries highlights some evidence about blueberry consumption and disease prevention.
“The review mentions the antioxidant content of this fruit as being key in promoting health,” she said.
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You know the saying … (“An apple a day …”).
Well, it may be high time to incorporate this nutrient-dense fruit into your diet.
“Apples are a great choice, as they provide fiber and important micronutrients,” says Banna.
“Their benefits in terms of prevention of chronic disease such as cancer have also been highlighted,” she said, noting a particular scientific article. “The authors mention the rich phytochemical content, which has the potential to improve health and reduce disease risk.”
This tropical fruit is worth adding to your meals, according to experts.
“Mango is a good source of fiber, which is important to help you stay full and have healthy digestion, among other functions,” said Banna.
“As a fruit, mango does not have any added sugar that you would find in packaged foods, but does contain sugar naturally.”
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“Mango also contains many vitamins and minerals that are essential for the body’s functioning,” she said, adding that mango is a good source of vitamin C, vitamin A, copper, folate and others. It also contains many antioxidants.
Two such antioxidants? Those would be beta-carotene and zeaxanthin, the latter of which may reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration.
“It does so by filtering out harmful blue light rays and protecting eye health,” said Kansas-based registered dietitian Cheryl Mussatto.
If you want a smooth complexion and shiny hair, Mussatto also urges people to reach for a mango.
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“Vitamin A is abundantly found in this fruit, necessary for the growth of all body tissues, including skin and hair,” she told Fox News Digital.
“The production of sebum, an oily, waxy substance secreted from the sebaceous glands, is not possible without vitamin A,” she said. “Sebum helps waterproof and lubricates our skin and hair.”
The tasty fruit is also a boon to your health.
“Bananas are a good source of potassium, as well as manganese, magnesium, vitamin C and vitamin B6,” says Banna.
“They also contain bioactive compounds that are implicated in disease prevention,” she said.
“The modest, underrated pear packs a trove of health benefits,” said Mussatto.
“You wouldn’t guess, but pears are one of the highest fiber fruits around, with an impressive six grams found in a medium-sized fruit.”
“Each day we need 25-30 grams of fiber — and eating pears is perfect for reaching that goal. Soluble fiber is the predominant fiber found in pears, specifically pectin.”
She said as well, “Pectin may help improve digestion, lower cholesterol levels, stabilize blood sugar, and possibly prevent certain cancers.“
Another bonus of eating pears?
“The mineral boron, which helps our body retain calcium making bones strong, is also found in this fruit,” added Mussatto.
She said most people can safely eat pears, as they are considered hypoallergenic, meaning those with food sensitivities should be able to eat pears with no side effects.
Add this sweet-tart fruit to your grocery cart.
“Maybe kiwifruit doesn’t catch your eye like brightly colored peppers or ruby red apples, but make no mistake, this small but mighty fruit is a nutritional winner,” said Mussatto.
“Let’s start with the fact that kiwifruit is an exceptional source of vitamin C. Kiwifruit has five times the daily recommended amount of vitamin C than what an orange or lemon provides.”
“Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant, helping eliminate free radicals that can cause inflammation within the body,” she added.
“It also helps boost immunity against harmful pathogens, in addition to helping our body absorb the mineral iron more efficiently.”
“Kiwifruit is also a good source of folate, a B vitamin,” says Mussatto.
“Folate is crucial in helping the neural tube to develop properly into the brain and spinal cord of a developing baby, lowering the risk of a baby being born with a neural tube defect such as spina bifida.”
Michelle Hawksworth, a registered dietitian for Muscle and Brawn, a biohacking resource for those looking to learn about health, nutrition, working out and supplements, appears to be a big fan of this citrus fruit.
“Oranges are famous for being a great source of vitamin C,” she said.
“They also have high amounts of potassium, Vitamin B1 and fiber. All in all, oranges have a lot of nutrients and antioxidants to help boost the body’s immune system and protect the cells from damage.”
“Research has also shown that eating oranges can help lower inflammation and blood pressure, reduce cholesterol and regulate sugar levels.”
Another benefit of oranges is the beta-carotene content.
“Oranges are packed with a type of pigment called Beta-carotene which is converted to vitamin A in the body,” said Mackenzie Burgess, a registered dietitian nutritionist and recipe developer at Cheerful Choices. She is based in Denver, Colo.
“Vitamin A is important for vision as well as keeping our immune system strong.”
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“Beta-carotene is also an antioxidant, meaning it helps fight oxidative stress in the body, and has been found to have a beneficial effect on brain function,” she added.
“Oranges are great on their own or sliced on top of a salad.”
Yes, they’re technically a fruit.
Burgess explained why one of her favorite foods is so good for the body.
“They are a great source of healthy fats, fiber, antioxidants and other important nutrients,” she said.
“Research has shown that avocados can help support a strong immune system, heart health and weight management.”
“Try adding creamy avocados alongside grain bowls, over toast, or mashed into dark chocolate truffles,” Burgess suggests.