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What are the Healthiest Fruits?

Tricia Christensen
By
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Different fruits provide different health advantages. For example, some contain more dietary fiber, and others are rich in carotenoids, the chemicals that give fruit their color and are often antioxidants. Some have high values of some vitamins but not other vitamins. This makes it somewhat difficult to identify specific fruits as the healthiest, because the definition of "healthy" can vary. Among the fruits that are often considered the healthiest are guavas, pomegranates and kiwis, along with more common fruits such as watermelons and bananas.

Fresh vs. Canned

There are a few standby rules that people often consider when choosing healthy fruit. Any fresh fruit tends to be superior to canned fruit, which is often packed in sugar syrup. Even when packed in natural juices, canned fruit is often is peeled, which results in a less-healthful serving. Any kind of fruit, however, is healthier than no fruit at all, so even fruits that do not appear on lists of the most nutritious are still likely to be healthy to eat.

Guavas

By many standards, the healthiest fruit is the guava, which might not be easy for many people to find. These bushes are sometimes grown for ornamental reasons, but the fruits that fall off the bushes are edible. Guavas are low in calories, high in fiber and chock full of vitamin C and carotenoids. The fruits are believed to help treat high blood pressure, colds, constipation, diarrhea and scurvy, among other potential health benefits.

Pomegranates

A pomegranate is an exotic, healthy fruit that contains antioxidants, which limit the harmful effects of low-density lipoprotein, or "bad" cholesterol. This healthy fruit also is believed to help increase oxygen levels in the bloodstream and help reduce the effects of arthritis. It even has shown some ability to treat erectile dysfunction.

Kiwis

Kiwis are rich in vitamin C and potassium. They also contain beta-carotene, vitamin E and vitamin A, and they have a high fiber content. Among the health benefits attributed to kiwis are the prevention of the effects of asthma and reduced coughing and wheezing. They also might help reduce the occurrence of colon cancer.

Other Fruits

Grapefruits, which are full of vitamin C and help boost the body's metabolism; and papayas, which provide potassium and vitamin B, are healthy fruits as well. A cantaloupe provides lots of vitamins A and C, and dried apricots are terrific sources of fiber. Blueberries are chock full of antioxidants, as are strawberries, which are often less expensive. Tangerines offer a good mix of carotenoids, fiber, vitamin C, and potassium. Watermelon is low in calories and provides carotenoids, vitamin C, fiber and potassium.

Specific Needs

For people who are looking for certain nutritional values in a healthy fruit, it can help to evaluate them by category or intended benefit. The fruits that are highest in fiber, for example, tend to belong to the berry category, particularly raspberries and blackberries. For vitamin C, the healthiest fruits include citrus fruits, berries and most melons. Carotenoids are especially plentiful in fruits such as melons and guavas. For potassium, consumers, fruits such as grapes, kiwis, papayas and bananas are the healthiest, and vitamin B is provided especially by cantaloupes, papayas and bananas.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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Tricia Christensen
By Tricia Christensen
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a The Health Board contributor, Tricia Christensen is based in Northern California and brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to her writing. Her wide-ranging interests include reading, writing, medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion, all of which she incorporates into her informative articles. Tricia is currently working on her first novel.
Discussion Comments
By anon347850 — On Sep 10, 2013

Eating more fruits have made me feel better, but what fruit would you say gives helps with energy. I feel I'm always tired when I shouldn't be.

By literally45 — On Nov 23, 2012
@feruze-- I think so!

I know that pomegranates, blackberries and blueberries are very rich in vitamins and antioxidants. I'm sure they're some of the healthiest fruits out there.

And let's not forget about tomatoes and avocados. They are fruits as well! Tomatoes are rich in vitamin C and lycopene and avocadoes are rich in healthy fats and magnesium.

By bear78 — On Nov 23, 2012

Doctors always say that we should eat dark fruits and vegetables because these have antioxidants that fight against diseases.

So are dark red fruits the most healthy then?

By burcidi — On Nov 22, 2012

This article is a good place to start when deciding which fruits to add to a diet. But it doesn't really give the whole picture because what's healthy for me might not be so healthy for someone else.

What I mean by this is, for example, watermelons are generally healthy. But I'm not allowed to have them because I have diabetes and watermelon is one of the fruits with the highest amount of sugar and has a high glycemic index. So watermelon for a diabetic is not healthy.

We have to consider these other factors before deciding which fruits to eat.

By golf07 — On Nov 21, 2012
If I don't have some kind of fresh fruit in the house, I am making a trip to the store. I keep a big bowl on the counter so they are in plain sight and easy to grab. We love to make healthy fruit smoothies with a mixture of bananas, strawberries, pineapple, raspberries, oranges and kiwi. I never follow a specific recipe but use what fresh fruit I have on hand.

It is also very easy to add vegetables to these smoothies that you can't even taste. This is a great way to get my kids to eat vegetables they might not eat otherwise, like cabbage.

When I was a kid I remember they served canned fruit cocktail at school. I guess this is better than no fruit at all, and healthier than junk food, but I never liked this. It always looked like parts of fruit that weren't good for much else and preserved in a sticky syrup. Some kids only liked it for the cherries, but I didn't even like the taste of them.

By myharley — On Nov 20, 2012
When I had blood work run a few years ago I was told I was low on potassium. I started eating a banana every day and now my potassium level is normal. I don't like them when they are too ripe, so make at least two trips to the store every week to get bananas. I love them because you don't have to peel them or wash them and they are easy to eat on the go.
By sunshined — On Nov 20, 2012
I like just about every kind of fresh fruit I have ever tried, but if I had to pick just one, it would have to be strawberries. Just looking at the picture makes me hungry for them. I like to make my own healthy fruit shakes using fresh strawberries. I add a little honey for sweetener, and these are just as good as any smoothie I have paid around $4.00 for.

I love to pick fresh strawberries when they are in season. They are so sweet and I usually make it to the strawberry patch several times a year. I come home loaded down with strawberries and love to eat them on ice cream and in desserts. I usually take the time to slice them up, but sometimes I just eat them whole.

By honeybees — On Nov 19, 2012

@anon81049 -- It does seem like with a lot of diet plans you can eat about as many vegetables as you want, but you are much more limited on the amount of fruit you can eat. I think a healthy diet includes fruit, but you also need to balance that out with other food.

I knew a guy who went on a watermelon fast a couple times a year. He said this was a good fast because you were still able to eat something while you were fasting. The watermelon has crunch and nutrition, but most of it is water so it works great to cleanse the body.

He had a history of cancer and felt like this was a way to keep his body free of toxins. He included a lot of fruit and vegetables in his diet every day, but the watermelon fast was something he only did occasionally.

By anon169181 — On Apr 20, 2011

Is it true that you get the best results in nutritional value if fruit is consumed before other food during a meal?

By anon106302 — On Aug 25, 2010

Thanks for the information. i just want to know more about eating these yummy fruits, and how good they are for my body. thank you. please post a little bit more about nutrition too. Thanks.

By anon89951 — On Jun 13, 2010

Goji and Acai are both crackpot schemes. And the people who are talking about all fruit and all vegetable diets are cracked as well. Balance, moderation, a mixture fats carbs and proteins while watching how many calories you intake is the only right way along with exercise.

By anon82190 — On May 05, 2010

Various acai companies are scamming consumers with hard-to-cancel credit-card charges. There is also no scientific evidence supporting the supposed health benefits of these products.

And yes, an all-anything diet is bad for you. Be it all veggie, all fruit, or all meat, it's going to be bad. But the sugar in fruit isn't terrible for you. It's much better than eating a lot of less sugary things, like a burger.

By anon81049 — On Apr 29, 2010

Fruits do have some sweetness in them best thing to eat is vegetables! I saw some say they were going to start a fruit diet. I don't know if that would be so healthy due to the amount that the sugar maybe in them! Go for a veggie diet you will lose tons of weight!

By anon77614 — On Apr 14, 2010

Love those guavas.

By anon73403 — On Mar 27, 2010

strawberries are the most healthy.

By anon63814 — On Feb 03, 2010

i decided to start an all fruit diet. What do you all think?

By anon61592 — On Jan 21, 2010

apples have a lot of fiber.

By anon42637 — On Aug 22, 2009

what are acai berries?

By anon39108 — On Jul 30, 2009

someone needs to get a current update on blueberries and acai. Health derived from anti-oxidants are looming large.

By anon19607 — On Oct 15, 2008

I'm surprised there's no mention of apples. I hate apples, goood!

By anon13562 — On May 30, 2008

acai berries are number 1....

By anon1533 — On Jun 04, 2007

what about goji berries?!

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a The Health Board contributor, Tricia...
Learn more
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