Everyone knows that plenty of fruit is a massive part of a healthy lifestyle. It is full of the good stuff we need, and it’s seriously tasty!
Fruit is also very versatile, and people use it in all sorts of ways – as an ingredient in other dishes, in desserts, in smoothies and juices, or just eaten fresh. The question, however, remains as to which fruits genuinely have the best health benefits.
What it is important to know is that fruit is universally pretty good for you, even if there are some that are a bit better for you than others. Here is a brief guide to the best fruits for a healthy body and lifestyle, but even those that aren’t on this list should still be on your radar – just don’t over-do it.
This is one that a lot of people know about already, but that’s no reason not to mention it again. Blueberries have pretty much the highest level of antioxidants you are going to find, which helps your immune system and your digestive system, and have been shown to have a significant impact on people with diabetes.
Blueberries are a popular ingredient in fruit salads and smoothies because of their healthy properties, and don’t be stingy with them – they have a low glycemic index and release the sugar into your blood slowly, keeping you going longer.
A fruit as acidic as a lemon doesn’t stand out instantly as one that would be as beneficial to health as it is, but research has found that using lemon juice can have pretty amazing results. Putting lemon juice into a glass of water every morning is found to boost liver and gall bladder functions, and long-term regular use of lemons can have a positive impact on body fat levels and cholesterol.
It may not be a fruit best suited to eating whole, but used in the right ways lemon can dramatically boost your vitamin C reserves and help to protect against various forms of arthritis.
Research into the Scripps Clinic’s ‘Grapefruit Diet’ has shown that people who eat half a grapefruit before every meal lost an average of 3.6 pounds over 12 weeks. As well as being full of vitamin C and containing only 8 grams of sugar per half, grapefruit is a fantastic appetite suppressor which can help you eat less overall.
It also contains lots of the fibre pectin, which helps to slow the build-up of plaque and debris in the arteries to keep your circulatory system functioning properly for longer.
They’re the world’s favourite fruit, and it turns out it’s for good reason. As well as being very high in fibre, apples have been shown to have positive effects on mental health by reducing irritability and the regularity and volatility of mood swings.
They are once again high in vitamin C to support your immune system, as well as containing antihistaminic and anti-allergenic properties due to an abundance of quercetin, which can help reduce the effects of allergic reactions and hay fever.
Picking blackberries off bushes on summer walks, it turns out, is doing you some favours. Fresh blackberries are pretty low in sugar, as well as having benefits for heart function. They are very high in vitamin K and phytonutrient levels, both of which are known to prevent a range of diseases.
In men, blackberries have been linked to a reduced risk of prostate cancer and improved testosterone production. They are also abundant in lutein, an antioxidant which helps maintain eye health.
It’s fairly obvious why watermelon is up there with the healthiest fruits, since it is around 82% water. This obviously bodes well for hydration, and while there is still sugar in the flesh, the way it is generally eaten (usually just having a couple of slices) means that you will still not be taking in too much.
Everyone’s favourite summertime snack has also been linked to lower levels of blood sugar in general, as well as reducing resting blood pressure.
Let’s not forget that fruit is always a good thing – every fruit will have its own benefits for health and any opportunity to take advantage of that should be taken. It is simply that some fruits are higher in sugar than others, and that these mentioned here are simply the best of the bunch. Get some of these into your diet if you can, and enjoy it!