Top 7 Fruits and Vegetables with TONS of Health Benefits

You truly are what you eat.

For the first 20 years of my life my diet mostly consisted of meat and potatoes, followed closely by sweets and syrupy drinks. It took me a while to realize the value of fresh fruits and vegetables, particularly their importance to emotional and mental well-being.

This is a list of 7 common fruits and vegetables with amazing health benefits, and tips on how to take full advantage of their unique healing properties.

Organic fruits and vegetables at a local farmer's market.
Organic fruits and vegetables at a local farmer's market. | Source
Avocado is also known as Alligator Pear.
Avocado is also known as Alligator Pear. | Source

1. Avocado

Avocado has so many health benefits, it's easier to list what it doesn't cure. Nonetheless, I will try to do it justice.

  • Avocados provide 18 essential amino acids, carotenoids and beneficial fats that your body needs.
  • Avocados contain calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus and zinc; vitamins C, B6, B-12, A, D, K, E, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin and potassium.
  • Avocados have lots of protein (4% per 100g), so if you're a vegetarian or a vegan, avocado is your best friend.
  • The most nutrient-rich part of an avocado is right under its skin, so make sure to get that goodness before you throw the skins away.
  • Avocado has thick skin that protects it from pesticides, so you don’t need to buy organic avocados. It is also one of the tastiest and easiest foods to eat since you don't need to cook it.
  • Mashed avocado with a teaspoon of lemon juice makes a great moisturizing mask. Leave on for 25 minutes and then rinse with warm water.
  • Health benefits: good digestion, healthy skin and hair, cardiovascular health, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer effects, kidney, liver and bone health, anti-aging effects, and lots of energy to fuel the body.

When eaten before a meal, apples can decrease your caloric intake by 15 percent.
When eaten before a meal, apples can decrease your caloric intake by 15 percent. | Source

2. Apples

Everyone knows that apples are good for you, but did you know that

  • if you eat one medium-sized apple approximately 15 minutes before a meal, your caloric intake at that meal is decreased by an average of 15 percent;
  • Red Delicious and Granny Smith are ranked highest in their antioxidant concentration;
  • the apple is actually a member of the Rose family (roses make rose hips that are similar to apples);
  • when you eat an apple, you produce extra saliva which helps prevent tooth decay by lowering the levels of bacteria in your mouth;
  • one of the easiest ways to detoxify liver is eating apples;
  • because of their thin skin apples are extremely vulnerable to pesticides and other chemicals, so only eat organic apples;
  • numerous health benefits: colon health, normalized blood sugar levels, decreased risk of diabetes, cancer, gallstones, asthma, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, reduced cholesterol, healthy heart and stronger eyesight.

3. Goji Berries

Goji berries look and taste a lot like dried cranberries or raisins, but don't hold it against them! Although not the most common berry, it's one of the most nutritionally-rich foods on earth, packed with powerful antioxidants, minerals and vitamins.

  • A single goji berry can contain up to 21 minerals, including zinc, iron, copper, calcium and 18 different amino acids.
  • Goji berries contain more vitamin C than any other food on earth.
  • Goji berries are higher in antioxidants than any other food on earth.
  • Goji berries help convert food into energy rather than fat, which makes them one of the best natural weight loss agents. This, in turn, dramatically increases your energy, which boosts your athletic performance, which makes you lose more weight.
  • The best Goji berries come from the unique eco-regions of Tibet and Mongolia, so make sure to read the labels when you buy them at your local health food store.
  • Health benefits: longevity, strong immune system, improved eyesight, healthy liver and kidneys, normalized blood pressure and blood sugar levels, lower cholesterol, healthy skin, weight loss.

Spinach leaves make a great salad base.
Spinach leaves make a great salad base. | Source

Food Matters: a Must-See Documentary about Food

4. Spinach

This leafy green, popularized in the 1920s by Popeye the Sailor Man, was originally cultivated in Iran over 2,000 years ago. The name comes from the Persian word "ispanai" which means "green hand".

  • Spinach is an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin K, and especially iron.
  • Aside from vitamins and minerals, spinach is packed with powerful phytochemicals (pronounced “fight-o-chemicals”). Phytochemicals are substances produced by plants to help protect themselves from insects and other environmental damages. In a human body they have unique anti-aging, anti-disease, anti-fungal and anti-virus properties.
  • The greener the leaves, the more vitamin C they contain. Also, baby spinach is preferable to mature spinach since it's more tender and easier to digest.
  • Unlike most vegetables, cooked spinach is healthier than raw. That's because the body has a hard time breaking down the nutrients in raw spinach. Just don't overcook!
  • Make sure to buy organic spinach. Like all leafy greens, spinach is heavily sprayed with pesticides that don't wash off.
  • Health benefits: stronger eyes, bone building, cholesterol and weight reduction, decreased prostate cancer risk, improved digestion, detoxification of the colon, radiant skin.

High in phytochemicals, mangoes have an anti-aging effect.
High in phytochemicals, mangoes have an anti-aging effect. | Source

5. Mangoes

Mangoes are sweet and juicy, known affectionately in India as the 'king of fruit', but they are also incredibly healthy. I wish all healthy snacks were this delicious!

  • Mango is a symbol of love and life in India.
  • Mangoes are high in fiber, fat-free, and contain numerous vitamins and phytochemicals.
  • Mangoes have an enzyme that has stomach soothing properties and an overall comforting, calming effect on the body and mind.
  • It is believed that Buddha meditated in a mango grove.
  • The best way to peel a mango is to cut off its sides all around the pit, then slide the knife between the skin and the flesh, throw away the skins and cut the flesh into large cubes.
  • When the mango is green, the amount of vitamin C is higher. When it ripens, the amount of vitamin A increases.
  • Mangoes can cool down the body and protect it from heat, especially when you're on vacation in some tropical land. According to Ayurveda, the reason we often feel exhausted when visiting hot climates is that the strong sun energy is burning up our bodies, rushing all the toxins to the kidneys. Mangoes act as a natural diuretic and a cooling agent.
  • Health benefits: anti-aging, reduced risk of certain forms of cancer, improved lung function, improved digestion, lower blood cholesterol levels, increased sex drive, enhanced skin, improved concentration and memory power.

Lycopene found in tomatoes has powerful anti-cancer properties.
Lycopene found in tomatoes has powerful anti-cancer properties. | Source

6. Tomatoes

Skeptical a trivial tomato is a super food? Wait till you read this.

  • Lycopene, abundant in tomatoes, is the only nutrient found to have significant preventative value against prostate, lung, pancreatic, intestinal and breast cancer. Tomato products are also beneficial in treating cancers that are in progress.
  • Organic tomato ketchup contains three times as much lycopene as non-organic brands of ketchup.
  • Aside from lycopene, tomatoes are high in Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Calcium and Potassium.
  • Eating tomatoes protects your skin from sun damage, acting as an internal sunscreen.
  • The biggest tomato festival "La Tomatina" is held annually in Valencia, Spain. It ends with the tomato fight where over 30,000 people throw an estimated 150,000 tomatoes at each other.
  • Tomatoes are completely cholesterol free.
  • The best thing for a hangover is a Bloody Mary.
  • Feeling clogged up? Applying tomato slices to your face can unclog pores and remove the top layer of dead cells, leaving your skin clear and soft.
  • Health benefits: heart health, bone health, lower cholesterol, and skin health.

It's a Vegetable!

Every part of the watermelon is edible.
Every part of the watermelon is edible. | Source

7. Watermelon

Watermelon is not as simple as it seems. First off, did you know that it's a vegetable? It's related to cucumbers, pumpkins and squash. But that's not the only interesting thing about this fr...vegetable.

  • Watermelon doesn’t contain any fat or cholesterol, is high in fiber, vitamins A & C, and potassium.
  • One of Mark Twain's characters described the watermelon as "chief of this world's luxuries, king by the grace of God over all the fruits of the earth. When one has tasted it, he knows what the angels eat."
  • Every part of the watermelon is edible, even the rind. In many places around the world (China, Russia, the Middle East) watermelon is fried, stewed or pickled.
  • To choose a good watermelon, you should pick it up and turn it over - a fresh ripe specimen will be heavy for its size and have a yellow spot on its "belly", from where it sat on the ground, basking in the sun.
  • Health benefits: cleansing and protecting the kidneys, anti-inflammation effects that prevent conditions like asthma, atherosclerosis, diabetes, colon cancer, and arthritis, protecting from heat stroke in the summer, and curing erectile dysfunctions.

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Comments 27 comments

Joshua Scott profile image

Joshua Scott 3 years ago from Naples, Italy

I did not know that watermelon was a vegetable. I guess you learn something new everyday!


rose-the planner profile image

rose-the planner 3 years ago from Toronto, Ontario-Canada

Great article! This is a great list of healthy foods. I have to agree with Joshua, I had no idea that the watermelon was part of the vegetable family. However, in a way I find it interesting that it is part of the cucumber family. I have always said that sometimes when you bite into the white part near the skin of the watermelon, it does taste a little like cucumber oddly enough, and now I know why. Thank you for sharing. (Voted Up) -Rose


My Cook Book profile image

My Cook Book 3 years ago from India

A very informative hub. I appreciate your work, it is interesting as well. Good work, great hub.


kalinin1158 profile image

kalinin1158 3 years ago from California Author

Thank you everyone! It makes me very happy that you found this article useful. I didn't exactly grew up a health nut - for the first 20 years of my life my diet was pretty much meat and potatoes (and sweets), so it took me a while to realize the value of fresh clean (organic) fruits and vegetables, there's just nothing like it! Then I found out that some of them are actually healthier than others, and could be considered "super foods".

As for the watermelon, it was a surprise for me too to learn that it's cucumber's cousin, although some people consider it both a fruit and a vegetable, like a tomato.


Phyllis Doyle profile image

Phyllis Doyle 3 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

What a fantastic hub! I must try to find some goji berries, I have never heard of them before. I have also never heard of watermelon being referred to as a vegetable, so I did some research and find that this has been an ongoing debate for centuries as to whether it is a fruit or vegetable. It really does not matter to me, for I LOVE watermelon. Thanks for a great hub and all that information on the health benefits.


kalinin1158 profile image

kalinin1158 3 years ago from California Author

Thank you Phyllis! I first heard of goji berries when I took a Qi Gong workshop back in 2011 (www.qirevolution.com). The instructors swore by it, and highly recommended using them in smoothies, they add wonderful sweetness to them, not to mention a huge amount of vitamins and nutrients. And you can also eat them as a snack, there's hardly a healthier one around. And how cool is it that goji berries originated in Tibet? There's something so profoundly spiritual about that place.

And the watermelon...LOL, who knew that it was going to stir up so much controversy? Not so simple, not so simple at all...


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 3 years ago from Nashville Tn.

This is an excellent and informative hub on Top 10 Foods etc. I enjoy all of these foods. The only one I haven't tried is the goji berry but will pick this up this week. Voted up UAI and pinning.


Shona Venter profile image

Shona Venter 3 years ago from South Africa

The cliché of 'we are what we eat' is definitely true. The healthier the food is that we consume, the healthier our bodies will be in the long run. Voted up and following your work :-)


W1totalk profile image

W1totalk 3 years ago

This is useful and delicious.


tastiger04 profile image

tastiger04 3 years ago

Good thing I like most of these foods!! Thanks for the great info, this is a well thought out hub. Voted up and useful! :)


compu-smart profile image

compu-smart 3 years ago from London UK

Thanks for introducing me to goji berries which i've never heard of before.


kalinin1158 profile image

kalinin1158 3 years ago from California Author

You are very welcome :-) I put goji berries in smoothies, but other people eat them as a snack because they are so sweet and delicious. Thank you for commenting everyone, I'm so glad you found this hub useful to you. :-)


Shona Venter profile image

Shona Venter 3 years ago from South Africa

Our hamster's favourite food is goji berries too. He will do almost anything for them :-)


kalinin1158 profile image

kalinin1158 3 years ago from California Author

Wow, smart hamster!


Tashaonthetown profile image

Tashaonthetown 3 years ago from South Africa

Great hub!!


brenda12lynette profile image

brenda12lynette 3 years ago from Utah

I love all these foods! It's great to know delicious food can be healthy and good for you, too!! Thanks for the great info!


janderson99 profile image

janderson99 3 years ago from Australia on Planet Water

excellent summary. Fab!


Benjamin Chege 3 years ago

Awesome


kalinin1158 profile image

kalinin1158 3 years ago from California Author

Thank you thank you :-) I love all these foods too, and all of them (with the exception of goji berries, perhaps) are fairly "ordinary" foods, but they are actually anything but ordinary! When I started researching the best healthiest and tastiest foods on earth, this is the list I came up with, and they're all familiar and easily accessible.

I guess what I'm saying is, you don't have to eat something weird, tasteless or outright gross-tasting (for me it's tofu and all soy products) to eat healthy and to have the energy to enjoy your life!


Thelma Alberts profile image

Thelma Alberts 3 years ago from Germany

Thanks for sharing this information. I have eaten those food except these goji berries. I hope I can find that here. I have to try those. Great and well researched hub. Have a great day!


NiaLee profile image

NiaLee 3 years ago from BIG APPLE

Thank you for reminding me what to put in my cabinets and share with my family. I realize how much our food is medicine us though I need to get back my good habits from my youth. I take notes and will check the best places to get those more often.

Love and peace to all


MPG Narratives profile image

MPG Narratives 3 years ago from Sydney, Australia

How good it is to hear that we don't have to follow food fads to eat healthy. Good fruit and vegetables that taste great are on this list you've provided. Thanks for sharing this information, pinned and shared.


marcomas profile image

marcomas 3 years ago from Montreal

excellent hub. well put together and informative. thanks :)


Missy Mac profile image

Missy Mac 3 years ago from Illinois

Thanks! I have revamped my diet for the next couple of months. I am a diabetic and found this hub informative. I love watermelon and avocados and plan to use for smoothies.


kalinin1158 profile image

kalinin1158 3 years ago from California Author

Thank you very much Thelma, Nia, MPG, Marco and Missy!! Healthy food really is the best medicine, especially one that tastes good! Have a blessed day


Vishakha Bajaj profile image

Vishakha Bajaj 3 years ago

Excellent hub.Thanks for sharing this informative hub.


kalinin1158 profile image

kalinin1158 3 years ago from California Author

Thank you for reading Vishakha! Bon appetite!

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