Fresh or Frozen, Local, Seasonal and Organic are best choices.
This article was one of the most difficult of the series. Only Top 5 vegetables was probably a harder list. There are a ton of really healthy fruits that I just had to cut. Needless to say, there are probably lots of fruits that depending on the day I might switch in with something on this list. On this particular day, this is what I decided.
1. Wild Mixed Berries – (blue, rasp, straw, black, cran, goji, coffee, noni, acai, etc.) Berries as a whole are nutritional powerhouses, and if I separated them they would probably constitute this whole list. They can help joint health, heart health, cancer prevention, macular degeneration along with a host of other benefits from their plethora of antioxidants and phytonutrients. Enjoy them fresh or frozen in all their varieties, preferably organic.
2a. Kiwifruit – Kiwis are an often overlooked fruit, as they almost taste too good to be so healthy! They have twice the vitamin C of oranges, and are one of the most nutrient dense fruits on the planet. They are very high in fiber and potassium for a healthy heart. Kiwis have been shown to not only prevent oxidative DNA damage, but they have been shown to help stimulate repair of the cellular damage that has occurred. The peel is rich in healthy enzymes, just for good measure.
2b. Cherries – Cherries are loaded with antioxidant compounds that are anti-inflammatory, anti-aging, and anti-cancer. They contain the wonderful quercetin, an anti-cancer compound. They also contain ellagic acid, like raspberries, a powerful anti-tumor compound that causes cell death (apoptosis) of cancer cells, with no change to healthy cells. It is also anti-viral and anti-bacterial. One more compound of note is perillyl alcohol. New research is being done to understand the mechanisms, but it has been shown to inhibit the tumor growth of pancreatic, stomach, colon, skin and liver cancer.
3. Pomegranates – Enjoy either the fresh seeds and pulp, or even indulge in a few ounces of juice everyday as this will help lower blood pressure, improve cardiovascular health, and possibly help slow aging. Pomegranates are also shown to help prevent LDL cholesterol oxidation, help prevent blood clotting, slow the growth of prostate cancer, and improve erectile dysfunction. They also contain potent anti-microbial properties.
4. Grapefruit – Grapefruit contains a good amount of lycopene, a powerful antioxidant shown to help prevent prostate cancer. They also contain limonoids, phytonutrients that inhibit tumor formation. They have also been shown to decrease cholesterol, incidence of kidney stones, and also help the liver remove carcinogens. Grapefruits are also somewhat effective for weight loss, especially if you have metabolic syndrome, as they improve insulin resistance.
5. Red Delicious Apple – This apple has the most antioxidants of any apple, mainly due to its deep red color. Apples, like cherries, contain quercetin, which is a powerful natural anti-inflammatory that may help prevent Alzheimer’s and heart disease. It is also high in pectin, a great soluble shown to help lower LDL cholesterol. Apples are also high in boron, which may help prevent osteoporosis and arthritis.
Wrapping up, your best bet is to just get several servings of fruit per day, whether they are on this list or not. Fruit is nature’s candy, so enjoy.