Have you heard that eating up to 30 different kinds of plants each week can have a good impact on your gut microbiota? A study published in 2018 in the American Society for Microbiology journal mSystems says it's true. And a healthy stomach can enhance immunity, heart health, and even mental well-being. To maintain your gut bacteria in good condition, eating more fruit is a simple way to increase the amount of plants you consume each week. What's more, each bite of these 10 fruits is packed with a variety of health advantages.
Here are the fruits that experts and researchers recommend you eat each week in order to increase your fiber intake and provide your body with essential vitamins and antioxidants.
According to Lon Ben-Asher, M.S., RD, LD/N, a nutritionist at Pritikin Longevity Center, "blueberries are a nutritional powerhouse." They contain phytochemical flavonoids called anthocyanins, which give them a blue or purple hue and function as antioxidants to neutralize free radicals.
Blueberries are high in several vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, vitamin K, and manganese, which help reduce inflammation in the body in addition to their antioxidant content. According to Ben-Asher, soluble fiber, which is abundant in blueberries, is essential in decreasing cardiovascular disease and aiding in reducing glucose in those with blood sugar compromise.
According to Ben-Asher, the polyphenolic chemicals in apples contain several anti-inflammatory and antioxidant qualities that have been demonstrated to lower the risk of many chronic illnesses, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer. Additionally, they are high in soluble and insoluble fiber, which supports gastrointestinal health. Soluble fiber absorbs water and forms a gel that carries food swiftly through your digestive tract; insoluble fiber helps to bulk up stool and makes it easier to go to the toilet. Both types make you feel satiated and full.
Although oranges are renowned for having a greater vitamin C content, they also include a special combination of minerals, such as potassium, iron, calcium, vitamin E, and a number of B vitamins. Collagen slows down the aging process of the skin and keeps you looking young thanks to vitamin C. According to a 2019 study published in PLoS One, orange pulp also contains a high polyphenol content, which helps to shield your cells from harm.
Dried fruits, particularly prunes, can be a healthy food source for nutrients. Due to their high fiber content, which contributes to the bulking of stool and makes going to the restroom simpler, prunes are believed to aid in digestion. Studies demonstrate that eating prunes helps to prevent or postpone bone loss. Prunes also include a significant quantity of vitamin K, which aids in the development of certain proteins required for blood clotting and bone growth.
Raspberries are renowned for having one of the highest fiber contents of any fruit, with 8 grams (32% of your Daily Value) in one cup. Consuming enough fiber can help you control your weight, lower the risk of developing diabetes and heart disease, maintain the health of your gut microbiota, and maintain stable blood sugar levels. According to the National Institutes of Health, raspberries are also well recognized for being a rich source of magnesium, which aids in the regulation of a variety of body processes, including protein synthesis, muscle and neuron function, blood sugar management, and blood pressure.
Blackberries are equally as high in fiber as raspberries, with almost 8 grams per cup. On the other hand, they are renowned for having a higher concentration of antioxidants, manganese, copper, vitamin A, vitamin E, and vitamin K. Blackberries also contain anthocyanins, like blueberries do.
The high dietary fiber content of bananas, according to Ben-Asher, helps keep food in your stomach longer, lowering hunger and keeping you full, leading to improved weight control and reduced risk of obesity. They contain a lot of potassium, an electrolyte that the body needs and which has been linked to lower blood pressure and a lower risk of stroke when consumed in conjunction with less sodium.
Tomatoes are considered a fruit and should be included in your healthy eating plan even though they are sometimes confused with vegetables because we utilize them in savory dishes. Tomatoes are renowned for being a rich source of lycopene, another potent antioxidant that may help destroy free radicals and lower your chance of developing chronic illnesses, in addition to a burst of vitamin A.
Watermelon is regarded as one of the most hydrating fruits and has a high lycopene content; 92% of the fruit's flesh is water. While this alone is a fantastic incentive to enjoy this fruit (particularly during the hot summer months), watermelon's potassium concentration also makes it useful for treating aching muscles after exercise. In addition, watermelon is one of the greatest fruits for maintaining normal blood pressure.
Avocados are rich in water-soluble vitamins like vitamin C and various B vitamins that help support the immune system and eye health, as well as fat-soluble vitamins like vitamin E and K, which help promote healthy skin, hair, nails, and cell membrane permeability, claims Ben-Asher. They are also excellent sources of monounsaturated fats, which are utilized to substitute saturated fats and have been demonstrated to enhance blood sugar regulation and prevent cardiovascular disease.
According to a 2022 research in the Journal of the American Heart Association, consuming avocados can help keep the arteries clean and improve heart health by decreasing levels of LDL ("bad") cholesterol.