If you type the phrase, “Does fruit…” into your Google search bar, one of Google’s first autocomplete predictions reads, “Does fruit make me fat?” It is a surprisingly common concern. As more and more Americans realize how detrimental excessive sugar is to the body, fruit has managed to gain a bad reputation. However, fruit contains high amounts of fiber that help to offset its sugar content, and the body does need a little glucose. Just remember to consume all foods in moderation. Studies show that fruit actually does the opposite of what we fear. It promotes weight loss. In one mind-blowing experiment, 17 people ate 20 servings of fruit (containing an astounding 200 grams of glucose) every day for six months. There were no adverse effects. In fact, some of the participants even experienced a drop in cholesterol. Whole fruits are not detrimental—glucose only becomes an issue when it is unnaturally added to foods. Fruit is an excellent source of fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants. It hydrates you and improves the appearance of your skin. It is even linked to a lowered risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and cancer.
All fruits are healthy, but some stand out as super fruits.
Super Fruit #1: Grapefruit
A whole grapefruit contains only 78 calories and provides 65% of your daily vitamin C needs. Grapefruit also has a low glycemic index, meaning that it releases sugar into your bloodstream slowly. Studies show that grapefruit consumption reduces body fat when compared to control groups. (Notice: Grapefruit interacts adversely with antibiotics, so it is best to avoid it if you are currently taking antibiotics. Fortunately, there are several other super fruits for you to choose from below.)
Super Fruit #2: Apples
“An apple a day keeps the doctor away,” is not just an old wives’ tale. One large apple contains 5.4 grams of fiber. Fiber is excellent for weight loss because your body digests it slowly, which allows you to feel full for longer. One study found that people who ate apples every day lost an average of 1.24 pounds per serving over a four-year period. Apples don’t miraculously dissolve fat; they simply stop you from overeating by keeping you fuller for longer.
Super Fruit #3: Berries
Berries are tiny nutrient bombs packed with vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber. (Did you know that strawberries contain even more vitamin C than oranges?) Eating five ounces of berries as a snack instead of five ounces of chips or pretzels will make you feel drastically more satiated for less than half the calories. And berries hydrate you, rather than dehydrating you like the salty, empty calories in chips. Not to mention, they taste like candy!
Super Fruit #4: Passion Fruit
If you were impressed by the fiber content in apples, wait till you hear about passion fruit. One passion fruit weighs only 18 grams and contains 17 calories. Eating five of them fulfills 42% of your daily fiber needs—that’s almost half of your daily fiber for less than 100 calories. Passion fruit seeds are also edible and linked to decreased blood pressure and improved insulin sensitivity. Passion fruit is the real fiber star, but it’s definitely not as easy to find or as cheap as apples.
Super Fruit #5: Kiwi
Like the other fruits in this list, kiwis are filled with vitamin C, vitamin E, and fiber. What you may not know about kiwis is that even their skin is edible, and it provides an extra gram of fiber. Kiwis are particularly beneficial to your gut health, which is key for losing weight.
Super Fruit #6: Melons
Melons have an especially high water content which helps keep you hydrated and satiated. One cup of cubed melon contains only 61 calories. You can really fill yourself up with it. There is one catch, though. Watermelon, arguably the tastiest member of the melon family, has a high glycemic index, meaning it releases sugar quickly into your bloodstream. Make sure to exercise more moderation with watermelon than you would do with other fruits. Branch out to honeydew and cantaloupe. They’re tastier than you think.
Super Fruit #6: Oranges
Oranges (and their close relatives, clementines, tangerines, and mandarins) are vitamin C superstars and very filling. They also boost the production of collagen in your body. More collagen means faster-healing wounds and slower aging. Hot tip: you can even grind up orange peels in your garbage disposal to eliminate odor. It is important to note that orange juice does not provide the same benefits as whole oranges, as it lacks fiber and contains added sugar.
Super Fruit #7: Bananas
Bananas have probably developed a worse reputation than all other fruits due to their higher calorie content. If you are strictly counting your calories then you can’t be blamed for avoiding bananas, but just remember that along with the higher calorie content comes a higher nutrient density. Bananas are one of the best sources of potassium, a mineral that is essential to the health of your nerves and muscles. They also have a relatively low glycemic index.
We hope that we’ve been able to alleviate any fears that you may have surrounding fruit. Eat more fruit! It will do you nothing but good. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn for some creative fruit smoothie recipes!