Written by Benjamin Smith | Last Updated November 20th, 2019Benjamin Smith is a Content Management Specialist for Best Company. With a background in Public Relations and Spanish Language Studies, Benjamin enjoys creating engaging content for all audiences. When away from the office, most commonly you will find Benjamin enjoying the great outdoors, singing, or experimenting on a new recipe in the kitchen.
2,000 or more.
That is how many fruits there are around the world. If you were to sit down and write up a list of all of the fruits that you knew of without turning to the internet, how long would it be? I attempted this challenge myself, and I was only able to identify 59 fruits.
Knowing that there are so many fruits out there, what are the best fruits for us to be eating to provide our bodies with the nutrients that we need? This question could be answered differently in a number of different countries. Healthy eating habits vary greatly depending on geographic availability.
We will be looking at the top five fruits recommended by fitness and health industry experts that can be found in the United States.
Note: These are not the only good fruits out there. They are simply a representation of the opinions based on knowledge, study, and experience of a handful of current health experts.
Did you know that blueberries are one of the most powerful sources of antioxidants in the world? Renata Trebing, Health and Nutrition expert of nourishwithrenata.com shares another reason why blueberries are a regular in her diet. “Blueberries are anti-inflammatory, meaning that they can help reduce inflammation in your body.”
Trebing recommends eating blueberries raw as a midday snack, a topping or add-in with your yogurt, or blended into a smoothie. One of the great advantages of blueberries is their portability. Matt Kite, the Director of Education and a Personal and Certified coach for D1 Training loves how portable blueberries are, making them a great choice to toss in your gym bag as you head out for the day. He mentions that in addition to the high antioxidant content, blueberries also contain significant amounts of fiber and vitamin C to help with digestion and strengthen your immune system.
Do you struggle eating blueberries? Here are some ways that you can try adding them to your diet:
- Add them to some yogurt
- Bring a small bag of them with you to work
- Add them to your oatmeal
- Add them to salads
- Add them to cereal
- Eat them with your granola
- Add them to pancakes or waffles
- Eat them with crepes
- Add them as toppings to desserts
- Toss them in a smoothie
- Slip them in your lemonade
Did you know that avocados are members of the fruit family, not the vegetable family? Randy Evans, MS, RD, and LD consultant for Fresh n' Lean, recommends avocados as one of the best "superfruits" of the world. He feels this way because of the rare combination of good levels of B vitamins, carotenoids, vitamin E, and monounsaturated fats (like extra virgin olive oil). If you are looking to add healthy fat to your snack or meal, this is a great way.
In addition to the aforementioned nutrients included in avocados, you will find fiber, potassium, and vitamin C in them as well. This fruit can be introduced into your diet in a variety of different ways. Kite suggests adding them to smoothies, putting them on toast, or adding them to salads, tacos, or chip dips. One advantage to eating avocados is their carb and fat content. Since they are high in carbs and fat, they keep you full longer which helps prevent you from over eating.
If you are still struggling to add avocados into your diet, here are some ideas you can try:
- Eat them raw with some salt and pepper
- Stuff them with an egg, tuna, chicken, etc. and cook them
- Use as a substitute for mayo
- Grill them
- Use them as an ice cream substitute
- Add them to a salad dressing
- Substitute for eggs, butter, shortening, and oils in baked goods
- Add to pancake batter
- Use in pasta sauces
- Add to homemade hummus
Coconuts are a wonderful source of healthy fats as well as copper and iron. The copper and iron content helps with red blood cell formation. Trebing recommends adding coconut milk to curries, ice creams, and popsicles to help boost your bone health and metabolism.
Similar to blueberries, coconuts are high in antioxidants. It has been found to prevent the oxidation of bad cholesterol which lessens your risk of eventual heart disease. Coconut is especially high in manganese. Manganese is essential for positive bone health and helping the metabolism of carbs, proteins, and cholesteral.
Some great ways to introduce coconut into your diet include the following:
- Add to yogurt or parfaits
- Add coconut milk to soups or curries
- Add shredded coconut to protein bars
- Cook/bake with coconut oil
- Add to desserts
- Eat raw
- Add toasted coconut to trailmix or nut mixes
- Add milk or meat to smoothies
- Add to granola or cereal
Have you ever heard the phrase "An apple a day keeps the doctor away"? Apples are one of the most common fruits eaten by populations around the world. There are a number of reasons that apples are good for us to be eating on a regular basis. Evans mentions that apples are an excellent source of quercetin and a superfood flavonoid. Quercetin is a flavonoid, which is a chemical found in plants that provides the body with a wide variety of health benefits. Our bodies cannot create quercetin making fruits and some drinks the only way that we can get it.
One of the best benefits for our nutrition is the levels of soluble and insoluble fiber that they provide. They not only help subside excessive hunger, but they also help feed our GI tracts with good bacterias helping with digestion. To add to this list, apples also provide the body with a number of antioxidants helping the body maintain its health.
Apples are a very versatile fruit. They can be used in a number of baked goods and are often eaten raw. Trebing recommends stewing them, adding them to apple pies, baking them whole, etc.
If you are wanting to add apples to your diet , here are some ideas to get you started:
- Roast them in the oven
- Add them to a squash-based soup
- Add them to muffins
- Put them in a fresh salad
- Eat them raw
- Eat raw with healthy peanut butter
- Make them into apple butter
- Cook with pork chops
- Add them to a parfait
- Add them to a crumble for a dessert
- Bake them with some cinnamon and nutmeg on them
"Though raspberries are small, they are packed with fiber, antioxidants, and have anti-inflammatory properties", argues Trebing. She loves adding raspberries into a number of her recipies including oatmeal, healthy brownies, and sauces.
In the United States, statistics have shown that the majority of Americans to not get enough fiber each day. Raspberries can help you to change this as they contain 8g grams of fiber per cup. That is almost 25 percent of the recommended daily value of 25–30g.
The antioxidants found in raspberries are called anthocyanidins. Evans explains that these are the pigments found in the skins of the berries. They are unique as they are both fat and water soluble. These antioxidants help protect from oxidative damage (which is an imbalance of free radicals in our bodies).
Here are some great ways you can include raspberries in your daily diet:
- Put them on your pancakes
- Add them to your oatmeal
- Add them to baked desserts
- Use them in glazes when cooking meats such as salmon
- Make them into jams or sauces
- Add them into breads
- Slip them in a fresh salad
- Blend them into a salad dressing
- Pair them with your lemonade
- Add them to your ice cream
Fruits should play a key role in your daily diet. If you find that you are not eating enough fruit each day, try out some of the ideas that we have provided to see if you find yourself liking them more. A little bit today helps you have a little bit more tomorrow.
Go get some fresh fruit and start adding it to your diet. You will start feeling better and you might even lose a couple pounds.