Guava is an obscure tropical fruit that’s subtly acidic, with a sweetness that intensifies as you eat your way to the center. Guava has a higher concentration of lycopene—an antioxidant that fights prostate cancer—than any other fruit or vegetable, including tomatoes and watermelon. In addition, 1 cup of the stuff provides 688 milligrams of potassium, which is 63 percent more than you’ll find in a medium banana. And guava may be the ultimate high-fiber food: Almost 9 grams of fiber in every cup, down the entire fruit, from the rind to the seeds. It’s all edible—and nutritious.
With about a full day’s worth of vitamin C, a medium-sized papaya can help kick a cold out of your system. The beta-carotene and vitamins C and E in papayas also reduce inflammation throughout the body, lessening the effects of asthma. Papaya is the best-known source of papain—an enzyme so efficient at breaking down the protein that it’s used commercially to tenderize meat. Cut the fruit in half, scoop out the juicy flesh, or grind up the seeds and use them as a black-pepper substitute.
Ounce for ounce, kiwis pack more vitamin C than oranges; they are also packed with fiber, potassium, and vitamin E. Eat them like apples, skin, and all for maximum nutritional benefit.
Coconut contains even more saturated fat than butter—119 percent of your recommended daily intake per cup. Still, it appears to have a beneficial effect on heart-disease risk factors—one reason: More than 50 percent of its saturated-fat content is lauric acid. A recent analysis of 60 studies published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reports that even though lauric acid raises LDL (bad) cholesterol, it boosts HDL (good) cholesterol even more. Overall, this means it decreases your risk of cardiovascular disease.
The juice from the biblical fruit of many seeds can reduce your risk of most cancers, thanks to polyphenols called ellagitannins, which give the fruit its color. Pomegranate juice slows the growth of prostate cancer cells by a factor of six. We recommend you eat it raw, do not juice it.
You won’t find many low-calorie foods with the same nutritional payoff: 1 cup of apricot slices delivers 3 grams of fiber and more than half a day’s worth of vitamin A. Plus, it’s a good source of potassium—and all for 74 calories.
Mangoes are packed with vitamins A and C, and mangoes add a healthy dose of beta-carotene, which may help prevent cancer and promotes healthy skin.
Bursting with fiber and vitamin C, lemons are like a healthy version of salt: They enhance the flavor of everything. Italians love lemon juice so much that they use it instead of vinegar in salad dressings. For a quick pasta dish, mix the juice of three lemons with a tablespoon of olive oil and then toss it with spaghetti.
GRAPEFRUIT (PINK AND RUBY RED)
In a study of 100 obese people, those who ate half a grapefruit with each meal for 12 weeks lost nearly 2 kgs more than those who skipped grapefruit. Those who ate the grapefruit also exhibited a decrease in insulin levels, indicating that their bodies had improved upon metabolizing sugar. Loaded with vitamin C, grapefruit also contains natural compounds called limonoids, which can lower cholesterol. The red varieties are a potent source of the cancer-fighting substance lycopene.
One of our finest natural sources of vitamin C. But the best way to get the full benefit of the fiber content is to avoid orange juice—which is usually stripped of fiber and packed with sugar—and eat the fruit itself.
GRAPES (RED OR GREEN)
Red grapes and wine contain the potent antioxidant resveratrol, which is thought to fight cancer and heart disease. While this compound isn’t as prevalent in the green grapes from which raisins are made, greenies are still a terrific source of vitamins C and K. Note: Most of the calories in grapes come from sugar.
A single pear has more fiber than an apple, comparable vitamin C, and only a few more calories and carbs. Ripen them at room temperature in a loosely closed paper bag.
One of the top food sources of vitamin B6, bananas help reduce fatigue, depression, stress, and insomnia. Bananas are high in magnesium, which keeps bones strong, and potassium helps prevent heart disease and high blood pressure. Bananas also bolster the nervous system, boost immune function, and help the body metabolize protein.
The most popular source of antioxidants in our diet, one apple, has an antioxidant effect equivalent to 1,500 milligrams of vitamin C. They lower bad cholesterol, thanks to plant sterols, and benefit people with diabetes by lowering blood sugar. They’re also rich in amino acids, which bolster testosterone levels and muscle growth. An apple a day delivers quercetin, a flavonoid that reduces the risk of allergies, heart attack, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and prostate and lung cancers. If given a choice, opt for Red Delicious. They contain the most inflammation-fighting antioxidants.
Passion fruits are packed with vision-protecting vitamin A, and more cholesterol-lowering fiber than your average textile mill—a single serving has 25 grams, a full day’s worth, plus potassium twice that of a banana. Ensure you eat the seeds—that’s where the fiber is stored.
This potent little fruit can help prevent various diseases, from cancer to heart disease. A mere 100 grams contains more antioxidants than any other fruit.
Don’t let the tart sweetness fool you. Raspberries contain anthocyanins, which boost insulin production and lower blood sugar levels, providing a strong defense against diabetes.
Eating watermelon could help your heart. Watermelon provides several health benefits:
- Hydration: Watermelon is 92% water, making it an excellent source of hydration.
- Vitamin C: Watermelon contains high levels of Vitamin C, which supports the immune system and helps with skin health.
- Antioxidants: Watermelon contains antioxidants like lycopene, which can help protect the body from cellular damage.
- Heart health: Watermelon is rich in potassium and magnesium, which support healthy blood pressure levels.
- Muscle recovery: Watermelon is a good source of electrolytes, which can help support muscle recovery after exercise.
- Digestion: Watermelon contains fiber, which can support digestive health.
- Weight management: Watermelon is low in calories, making it a good choice for weight management.
Cranberries have more antioxidants than most other common fruits and vegetables, and one serving has five times the amount found in broccoli. Cranberries are a natural probiotic, enhancing good bacteria levels in the gut and protecting it from foodborne illnesses. But beware: They’re so tart that most cranberry products are loaded with sugar—so find ones with the least sugar content you can.
Enjoy the fruits; as we mentioned, eat in moderation! Consult your doctor and nutritionist if you have any complications i.e., kidney failure.