20 Healthy Fruits That Are Super Nutritious
Fruit is good for you, but what is the healthiest fruit? All fruit offer health benefits, so include as much variety as possible.
“An apple a day keeps the doctor away,” or so the saying goes.
Healthcare professionals know that fruit is a highly nutritious, delicious, and convenient addition to any diet. With more than 2,000 varieties of fruit available, you may wonder which ones you should pick.
Each type of fruit brings its own unique set of nutrients and benefits to the table. The key is to eat fruits of various colors, as each color provides adifferent set of healthy nutrients (1Trusted Source).
Here are the top 20 healthiest fruits to enjoy on a regular basis.
One of the most popular fruits, apples are chock-full of nutrition.
They’re rich in both soluble and insoluble fiber, such as pectin, hemicellulose, and cellulose. These help you manage your blood sugar levels, promote good digestion, and support gut and heart health (2Trusted Source, 3Trusted Source, 4Trusted Source).
In addition, they’re a good source of vitamin C and plant polyphenols, which are disease-fighting compounds found in plants. In fact, consuming apples regularly may lower your risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer, overweight, obesity, and neurological disorders (3Trusted Source, 5Trusted Source, 6Trusted Source, 7Trusted Source).
Note that most of the polyphenols in apples are located just below the skin, so be sure to eat it to reap the greatest benefits.
Blueberries are well known for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
In particular, they’re high in anthocyanin, a plant pigment and flavonoid that gives blueberries their characteristic blue-purple color. This compound helps fight cell-damaging free radicals that can lead to disease (8Trusted Source).
Numerous studies have pointed to the health benefits of a diet high in anthocyanins, such as a lower risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, overweight, obesity, high blood pressure, certain types of cancer, and cognitive decline (8Trusted Source, 9Trusted Source, 10Trusted Source, 11Trusted Source, 12Trusted Source, 13Trusted Source).
For example, a study including over 200,000 participants observed a 5% decrease in the risk of type 2 diabetes for every 17 grams of anthocyanin-rich berries they consumed per day (14Trusted Source).
Other berries high in anthocyanins include blackberries, bilberry, elderberry, cherries, and chokeberries (8Trusted Source).
The benefits of bananas go beyond their potassium content. Along with providing 7% of the Daily Value (DV) for potassium, bananas contain (15Trusted Source):
- Vitamin B6: 27% of the DV
- Vitamin C: 12% of the DV
- Magnesium: 8% of the DV
In addition, they offer a wide variety of plant compounds called polyphenols and phytosterols, both of which support your overall health. Furthermore, they’re high in prebiotics, a type of fiber that promotes the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut (16Trusted Source, 17Trusted Source, 18Trusted Source, 19Trusted Source).
Note that green, unripe bananas are higher in resistant starch than ripe ones, and they’re a good source of the dietary fiber pectin. Both of these have been linked to a number of health benefits, including improved blood sugar control and better digestive health (20, 21Trusted Source).
Meanwhile, ripe bananas are an excellent source of easily digested carbs, making them great to fuel up on before a workout (22Trusted Source, 23Trusted Source).
Oranges are known for their high vitamin C content, providing 91% of the DV in a single fruit. They’re also high in potassium, folate, thiamine (vitamin B1), fiber, and plant polyphenols (24Trusted Source).
Studies have found that consuming whole oranges may lower levels of inflammation, blood pressure, cholesterol, and post-meal blood sugar (24Trusted Source, 25Trusted Source).
Though 100% orange juice provides a high volume of nutrients and antioxidants, it usually lacks dietary fiber. Varieties that include the pulp do include some fiber, so opt for these over juices without pulp.
That said, try to eat whole oranges more often, and keep juice portions to 1 cup (235 mL) or less per serving.
Also known as pitaya or pitahaya, dragon fruit is rich in many nutrients, including fiber, iron, magnesium, and vitamins C and E. It’s also an excellent source of carotenoids, such as lycopene and beta carotene (26Trusted Source).
People in Southeast Asian cultures have regarded dragon fruit highly for hundreds of years as a health-promoting fruit. Over recent decades, it has gained popularity in Western countries (26Trusted Source).
Known as the “king of fruits,” mangoes are an excellent source of potassium, folate, fiber, and vitamins A, C, B6, E, and K. They’re also rich in numerous plant polyphenols that have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties (27Trusted Source).
In particular, mangoes are high in mangiferin, a potent antioxidant. Studies have shown it may protect the body from chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and certain forms of cancer (28Trusted Source, 29Trusted Source, 30Trusted Source).
What’s more, mangoes contain fiber, which helps support regular bowel movements and aids digestive health (31Trusted Source).
Unlike most other fruits, avocados are high in healthy fats and low in natural sugars.
They’re mostly made of oleic acid, a monounsaturated fat linked to better heart health. They also contain high amounts of potassium, fiber, vitamin B6, folate, vitamins E and K, and two carotenoids known as lutein and zeaxanthin, which support eye health (32Trusted Source, 33Trusted Source, 34Trusted Source).
In fact, a high quality 2020 study found a significant decrease in cholesterol levels and an increase in blood lutein levels among participants who consumed an avocado per day for 5 weeks (35Trusted Source).
When compared by weight, avocados are higher in calories than most other fruits. However, studies have linked them to better weight management. Researchers have proposed that this is because their high fat and fiber contents promote fullness (33Trusted Source, 36Trusted Source, 37Trusted Source).
Lychee, which is also known as litchi and Chinese cherry, is packed with nutrition.
In particular, it’s a rich source of vitamin C, potassium, fiber, and many polyphenols with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. These include (38Trusted Source, 39Trusted Source):
- gallic acid
- chlorogenic acid
- caffeic acid
One serving of lychee is around seven small individual fruits.
Pineapple is one of the most popular tropical fruits.
One cup (165 grams) of pineapple provides 88% of the DV for vitamin C and 73% of the DV for manganese (40Trusted Source).
Manganese supports metabolism and blood sugar regulation and acts as an antioxidant (41Trusted Source, 42Trusted Source).
Pineapple also contains a number of polyphenolic compounds that have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties (41Trusted Source, 43Trusted Source).
Additionally, pineapple contains an enzyme known as bromelain, which people commonly use to tenderize meats. Anecdotal sources also claim this enzyme may support digestion, though there’s limited research on this (41Trusted Source).
Strawberries are a favorite fruit for many. They’re delicious, convenient, and highly nutritious. In particular, strawberries are a good source of vitamin C, folate, and manganese (44Trusted Source).
They’re full of plant polyphenols that act as antioxidants, such as flavonoids, phenolic acids, lignans, and tannins.
In particular, they’re high in anthocyanins, ellagitannins, and proanthocyanidins, which studies have shown reduce the risk of chronic disease (45Trusted Source, 46Trusted Source, 47Trusted Source).
Furthermore, they have a low glycemic index, meaning they won’t significantly affect your blood sugar levels (45Trusted Source, 46Trusted Source, 47Trusted Source).
Though known for its pungent smell, durian is incredibly nutritious.
A single cup (243 grams) provides:
- Fiber: 9 grams
- Potassium: 23% of the DV
- Manganese: 34% of the DV
- Vitamin C: 53% of the DV
- Vitamin B6: 45% of the DV
- Thiamine (vitamin B1): 76% of the DV
It also contains plenty of other B vitamins, copper, folate, and magnesium (48Trusted Source).
What’s more, it’s rich in plant polyphenols, including (49Trusted Source, 50Trusted Source):
- flavonoids such as anthocyanins
- phenolic acids such as cinnamic acid
- other beneficial plant compounds such as carotenoids
It’s also a high source of potassium and fiber, both of which contribute to good heart health. Finally, durian pulp has probiotic effects, which may support healthy gut diversity (49Trusted Source, 50Trusted Source).
Cherries are a great source of fiber and potassium, both of which are important for heart and gut health (51Trusted Source, 52Trusted Source, 53Trusted Source).
They’re also high in antioxidant plant compounds, such as anthocyanins and hydroxycinnamates, which help protect the body from oxidative stress.
Furthermore, they’re a good source of serotonin, tryptophan, and melatonin, which support good mood and sleep (52Trusted Source).
Though they may not readily come to mind when you think of fruit, olives are a great addition to your diet.
They’re an excellent source of vitamin E, copper, and a monounsaturated fat called oleic acid.
They’re also rich in plant polyphenols, such as oleuropein, hydroxytyrosol, and quercetin, which have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties (54Trusted Source, 55Trusted Source, 56Trusted Source).
In fact, whole olives and olive oil make up a large component of the Mediterranean diet, which studies have shown may lower the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cognitive decline, overweight, and obesity (55Trusted Source, 56Trusted Source, 57Trusted Source, 58Trusted Source).
Watermelon is a highly nutritious summer favorite. It’s an abundant source of antioxidants, such as vitamins A and C, beta carotene, and lycopene. It’s also a good source of potassium and magnesium (59Trusted Source).
In particular, watermelon is one of the top sources of lycopene, a carotenoid that gives watermelon its pink-red color.
A diet high in lycopene is linked to lower levels of oxidative stress and inflammation. The nutrient may also decrease the risk of heart disease, cancer, and type 2 diabetes (60Trusted Source, 61Trusted Source, 62Trusted Source).
Interestingly, lycopene and beta carotene may also provide minor skin protection from ultraviolet (UV) rays, reduce the risk of sunburns, and help your skin heal faster (63Trusted Source, 64Trusted Source, 65Trusted Source).
That said, you’ll still need to use sunscreen to keep your skin fully protected (63Trusted Source, 64Trusted Source, 65Trusted Source).
Finally, watermelon has a uniquely high water content. A single wedge (434 grams) provides 13.4 ounces (395 mL) of water. Since it’s high in both water and potassium, it can help hydrate and replenish electrolytes after a workout or on a hot summer day (59Trusted Source).
Also known as the Chinese gooseberry, kiwi is great for your health.
It’s high in vitamin C and a good source of fiber, potassium, folate, and vitamin E. It’s also a good source of carotenoids, including lutein, zeaxanthin, and beta carotene, which support eye health and become more dominant as fruits ripen (66Trusted Source, 67Trusted Source).
Furthermore, people have used it in traditional Chinese medicine for hundreds of years to support gut health and digestion.
These benefits are due to its soluble and insoluble fiber, polyphenols, and digestive enzymes such as actinidin (66Trusted Source, 67Trusted Source).
One small study showed that consuming 2 kiwis daily for 3 days increased stool frequency and softened stool, suggesting it may help treat mild constipation (68Trusted Source).
Peaches are another summer favorite. They’re a good source of potassium, fiber, and vitamins A, C, and E. They also contain the carotenoids lutein, zeaxanthin, and beta carotene (69Trusted Source).
While the flesh and skin are both nutritious, the skin contains higher amounts of antioxidants, which can help fight free radicals in your body. Therefore, make sure you eat the peach skin to reap the greatest health benefits (70Trusted Source, 71Trusted Source).
Fortunately, the nutrient content of peaches appears to be similar whether you consume them fresh or canned. However, if you opt for canned peaches, make sure they’re packed in water rather than sugary syrup (72Trusted Source).
Guava is a fantastic source of vitamin C. In fact, a single fruit (55 grams) provides 140% of the DV for this nutrient (73Trusted Source).
Along with this, guava contains some of the highest amounts of lycopene compared with other lycopene-rich foods like tomatoes, watermelon, and grapefruit (73Trusted Source, 74).
It’s also a high source of other antioxidants, such as beta carotene and various flavonoids (73Trusted Source, 74).
Because guava is so high in nutrients and antioxidants, consuming it regularly may support the health of your eyes, heart, kidneys, and skin (74).
It may likewise protect against chronic diseases and support a healthy immune system (74).
Grapes are convenient, healthy, and particularly high in potassium and vitamin K, which both support heart health.
They’re a rich source of beneficial plant compounds that have been linked to numerous health benefits, such as a lowered risk of heart disease and certain types of cancer. These compounds include (75Trusted Source, 76Trusted Source):
- caffeic acid
While all varieties of grapes provide benefits, red and purple grapes have the highest antioxidant content. In particular, they produce purple-red pigments called anthocyanins, which have been linked to better heart and brain health (8Trusted Source, 76Trusted Source).
Pomegranates are known for their high antioxidant content.
They contain a lengthy list of beneficial plant compounds, such as flavonoids, tannins, and lignans. These have strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that help fight free radicals and reduce your risk of chronic disease (77Trusted Source, 78Trusted Source, 78Trusted Source, 80Trusted Source).
One high quality study found that people experienced significantly lower levels of inflammation after drinking 8.5 ounces (250 mL) of pomegranate juice per day for 12 weeks, compared with a placebo (81Trusted Source).
Grapefruit is one of the healthiest citrus fruits. It’s packed with vitamin C, potassium, fiber, and beta carotene, which your body converts into vitamin A.
In an observational study including 12,789 people, grapefruit consumption was linked to higher levels of HDL (good) cholesterol and lower body weight, waist circumference, body mass index (BMI), triglycerides, and levels of inflammation (82Trusted Source).
Moreover, regularly consuming grapefruit may aid weight management and promote heart health (83Trusted Source, 84Trusted Source, 85Trusted Source).
Though grapefruit is highly nutritious, some of its compounds can lessen or alter the effectiveness of certain medications. Talk with your healthcare professional about whether you can eat grapefruit if you’re taking:
- calcium channel blockers
- anti-anxiety medications
In these cases, you may have to avoid grapefruit (86Trusted Source).