Not every fruit qualifies. Those deemed “super” by nutrition scientists are packed with antioxidants, fiber, vitamins and minerals, and other nutrients that can help you live longer, look better and even prevent disease.
Apples are a great fiber source, but the skin contains quercetin, an antioxidant that packs antihistamine and anti-inflammatory power, and therefore may help protect you from heart disease and possibly allergic reactions.
A study from St. George’s Hospital Medical School in London found that people who eat five or more apples a week have better lung function than those who don’t. So slip an apple into your lunch bag today.
Several studies link high flavonoid levels in blueberries with a better memory, and regular consumption may help keep your brain functioning well as you age, new research suggests. One study found that women with the highest intake of berries appeared to have a delay in cognitive aging by a whopping 2.5 years.
Blueberries are also rich in manganese, which plays an important role in your metabolism, which can help keep you slim and energized.
Açaí actually deserves some of the hype it gets, thanks to weapons grade antioxidant levels that clobber other Superfruit rivals like blackberries, strawberries, and blueberries.
However, because this tiny berry hails from Brazil, it’s not easy to find fresh. “I recommend powdered açaí berry, which can be added into a smoothie,” says Glassman. “Not only is this an easy way to get super fruits into your diet, but it also helps mask the tart, sometimes bitter taste.”
Pomegranates deserve their Superfruit status. The juice from this gorgeous fruit beat red wine to win first place in a list of beverages ranked by antioxidant levels in a University of California, Los Angeles study.
However, if you are set on fresh pomegranate over juice, wait for winter; the fruit is at its best between September and February.
Packed with monounsaturated fat and fatty acids, avocados can help lower LDL (bad cholesterol) levels while raising the amount of good cholesterol in your body.
The healthy fats in avocados also promote the absorption of other carotenoids—especially beta-carotene and lycopene—which are essential for heart health.
If you manage to eat just one medium orange, then you’ll already have your reached recommended daily intake of vitamin C, which keeps your immune system humming.
This familiar sweet fruit is also a great source of fiber, potassium, calcium, folate, and other B vitamins, so take one with your everywhere you go.
Strawberries are bursting with vitamin C; just a cup full and you’ve already reached your recommended daily intake. They are also an excellent source of folic acid, which can help protect your heart.
Easiest of all, they whiten your teeth naturally! Crush a strawberry to a pulp, then mix with baking soda until blended. Spread the mixture onto your teeth and leave on for 5 minutes. Reapply once a week.
Watermelon is packed with lycopene; in fact just one cup of the stuff has more than twice as much compared to fresh tomato. At just 40 calories per cup, it’s also a source of vitamins A and C.
You needn’t limit yourself to eating watermelon alone; grill and then toss with feta and fresh mint.
Yes pumpkin is actually a fruit! This squash is overflowing with beta-carotene, which combined with potassium may help to prevent high blood pressure.
If making homemade pumpkin pie is too much trouble, try tossing the seeds into salads, soups, etc.
What makes grapes a Superfruit? A powerful antioxidant called resveratrol, which promotes a healthy heart. Researchers have also found that compounds found in grape seed extract seem to help slow Alzheimer’s disease (at least in mice) and can clobber head and neck cancer cells grown in the laboratory.
Oh, and forget bleaching your teeth. “The malic acid in grapes naturally breaks down stains and discolorations on teeth,” says Elisa Mello, DDS, assistant clinical professor at New York University.
Snack on grapes that are just ripe, because the acid declines as the fruit ripens.
Summer colds are the worst, so have some papaya! This tropical fruit is bursting with vitamin C – just one cup gives you more than you need each day.
On top of this, papaya is also a good source of vitamins A and E, two powerful antioxidants that may help protect against heart disease and colon cancer.
Remember The Grapefruit Diet? Grapefruit is a Superfruit, but more for your heart than your weight.
A grapefruit a day—particularly the ruby variety—can help keep heart disease at bay by lowering cholesterol, according to several studies. The redder your fruit the better; they contain higher levels of antioxidants.
Cherries are one of Glassman’s unsung heroes of the Superfruit world. They owe their deep red color to an antioxidant called anthocyanin, which can reduce inflammation and lower triglyceride and cholesterol levels.
In a recent study, University of Michigan researchers found that giving cherries to lab rats reduced two common markers of blood vessel inflammation by up to 50%. The cherry eaters also gained less weight and experienced big drops in cholesterol.
According to a new Rutgers University study, cranberries can boost the effectiveness of chemotherapy drugs used to fight ovarian cancer (at least in laboratory culture dishes) and may slow the growth of some cancer cells.
Another study found that people who drink a glass of unsweetened cranberry juice each day raise their HDL, or good cholesterol, by 10%.