Forget fancy superfoods—these nutritious powerhouses are essential staples for any healthy diet.
Peaches and nectarines: Packed with potassium
Everyone knows that bananas boast high amounts of potassium, but two small peaches or nectarines have about 250 mg of the essential mineral. That’s more potassium than one medium banana (422 mg). The mineral boosts nerve and muscle health, according to the National Institutes of Health. Peach skins, in particular, are rich in antioxidants, according to research in the International Journal of Molecular Science. For those watching their weight, peaches are a healthy way to add sweetness to any diet.
Pineapple: Powerful anti-inflammatory
This sweet and tangy tropical fruit is jam-packed with bromelain, an anti-inflammatory enzyme that has been shown to reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes, according to research in the journal Biomedical Reports. Have it frozen, dried, or fresh.
Grapes: Heart healthy
The little purple bulbs are one of the world’s oldest and most abundant healthiest fruits. Grapes may also have a favorable effect on blood lipids, decrease inflammation and reduce blood pressure, according to a research in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture. Grapes are also great source of potassium, which helps prevent muscle cramps.
Kiwi: Loaded with vitamins
Beneath its fuzzy skin is a sweet fruit loaded with vitamin C, an antioxidant that protects against cancer and promotes eye health. Kiwis are also low in calories and contain fiber, making them ideal for weight loss. Because they can last up to four weeks when stored in the refrigerator, they are a great snack to keep all year round.
Mangoes: Immunity boosters
Mangoes are becoming increasingly popular among nutritionists due to their exceptionally high levels of beta-carotene, which the body converts into vitamin A to promote a healthy immune system and keep your vision sharp. Even more, these exotic treats are packed with more than 60 mg of vitamin C per cup; that’s more than 50 percent of your daily vitamin RDA in a single serving.
Apples: Brain- and heart-healthy
One medium apple is low on calories (only 80!) but heavy on quertecin, a powerful antioxidant that protects brain cell degeneration, which can lead to Alzheimer’s disease. Research in the journal Hypertension found that eating apples and other whole fruits was linked with lower blood pressure. The fiber in apples is also connected with improvements in cholesterol levels. Don’t forget to eat the skin, too—it’s especially rich in disease-fighting compounds like flavonoids, which reduce the risk of heart disease.
Pomegranates: A mega dose of antioxidants
Pomegranate juice is packed with antioxidants. It’s also a great source of potassium, which sustains energy and controls high blood pressure. Recent research shows that drinking pomegranate juice daily could improve cardiovascular health and lower inflammation. However, talk to your doctor before you drink regular amounts of pomegranate juice. It can sometimes negatively interact with prescription drugs.