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4 Healthiest Fruits You Should Eat Everyday

Updated on May 19, 2014

Definition of "Fruit" term

A fruit is a part of a flowering plant that derives from specific tissues of the flower, one or more ovaries, and in some cases accessory tissues. Fruits are the means by which these plants disseminate seeds. Many of them that bear edible fruits, in particular, have propagated with the movements of humans and animals in a symbiotic relationship as a means for seed dispersal and nutrition, respectively; in fact, humans and many animals have become dependent on fruits as a source of food. Fruits account for a substantial fraction of the world's agricultural output, and some (such as the apple and the pomegranate) have acquired extensive cultural and symbolic meanings.

In common language usage, "fruit" normally means the fleshy seed-associated structures of a plant that are sweet or sour and edible in the raw state, such as apples, oranges, grapes, strawberries, bananas, and lemons. On the other hand, the botanical sense of "fruit" includes many structures that are not commonly called "fruits", such as bean pods, corn kernels, wheat grains, and tomatoes.

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1. Blackberry

The blackberry is an edible fruit produced by many species in the Rubus genus in the Rosaceae family, hybrids among these species within the Rubus subgenus, and hybrids between the Rubus and Idaeobatus subgenera. What distinguishes the blackberry from itsraspberry relatives is whether or not the torus (receptacle or stem) 'picks-with' (i.e. stays with) the fruit. When picking a blackberry fruit, the torus does stay with the fruit. With a raspberry, the torus remains on the plant, leaving a hollow core in the raspberry fruit. The term 'bramble', a word meaning any impenetrable scrub, has traditionally been applied specifically to the blackberry or its products, though in the United States it applies to all members of the Rubus genus. In the western US, the term caneberry is used to refer to blackberries and raspberries as a group rather than the term bramble.

Types of Blackberries

Marionberry
Evergreen Blackberry
Boysenberry
Fresh season typically July 10th through August 10th.
Fresh season typically August 10th through September 15th.
Fresh season typically July 2nd through July 25th.
Medium sized (5.0g) dark red to black colored berry with a medium seed and central receptacle
Medium-sized (4.0g) deep blue-black colored berry with a small seed.
Large-sized (8.0g) reddish-purple berry with a large seed
Known as the “Cabernet of Blackberries” for its complex, rich earthy flavor.
Native wild blackberry of England, often considered the traditional blackberry.
 
Bred at Oregon State University and raised primarily in Oregon. Named after Marion County, Oregon.
Thornless
 

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Health Benefits

Marionberries, Boysenberries, Loganberries and other blackberries are high in gallic acid, rutin and ellagic acid, a known chemopreventive, with antiviral and antibacterial properties. With their dark blue color, blackberries have one of the highest antioxidant levels of fruits regularly tested. Blackberries are also rich in Vitamin C and fiber, which have been shown to help reduce the risks of certain cancers. Blackberries are low in calories, carbohydrates and have no fat, which makes them popular in low carb and low calorie diets.

  • High in Vitamin C and fiber both of which have been shown to help reduce the risks
    of certain cancers.
  • Contains high levels of anthocyanins (83-326 mg/ 100 g) which work as antioxidants to help fight free radical damage in the body and give berries their deep dark color.
  • The antioxidant level of foods can be measured as ORAC (Oxygen Radical
    Absorption Capacity). The ORAC value of Evergreen blackberries is 28
    µmoles/TE/g, slightly higher than blueberries.
  • Evergreen blackberries contain ellagic acid, a phenolic compound shown to have
    anti-carcinogen, antiviral and antibacterial properties. The ellagic acid levels of
    Evergreen blackberries is 3.69 mg/g of dry weight.

How to make blackberry juice?

  • Thoroughly rinse berries, and place them in a heavy pot with just enough water to make them bob. Bring to a slow boil, mash with a potato masher or spoon, bring back to a boil, and remove from the heat. Cool slightly.
  • Pour the mashed berries into a jelly bag or a colander lined with several thicknesses of cheesecloth. Collect the juice in a bowl, and pour it into clean jars as it accumulates. Be careful, because berry juice stains. When the bag or cloth is cool enough to handle, squeeze out all the juice and some of the pulp. Compost what's left.
  • Sweeten to taste with sugar, honey, or other fruit juices (such as pineapple). Under-sweeten, because you can always add more sugar later, but you can't restore lost tartness. At this point you have a concentrate, which can be diluted with 3 to 4 parts water for casual quaffing. Don't dilute it if you want to freeze or can it. Whether frozen or canned, you juice's future might include transformation into home brewed soda, wine, or a warming batch of berry cordials.
  • Freeze your concentrate in ice cube trays or small freezer containers. Or, seal it up in half-pint jars processed in a waterbath canner for 10 minutes. Most berries are naturally acidic, but when canning concentrates from softer fruits like plums, I add a teaspoon of lemon or lime juice per cup, just to be safe.

2. Strawberry

The garden strawberry (or simply strawberry; Fragaria × ananassa) is a widely grown hybrid species of the genus Fragaria (collectively known as the strawberries). It is cultivated worldwide for its fruit. The fruit (which is not a botanical berry, but an aggregate accessory fruit) is widely appreciated for its characteristic aroma, bright red color, juicy texture, and sweetness. It is consumed in large quantities, either fresh or in such prepared foods as preserves, fruit juice, pies, ice creams, milkshakes, and chocolates. Artificial strawberry aroma is also widely used in many industrial food products.

The garden strawberry was first bred in Brittany, France, in the 1750s via a cross of Fragaria virginiana from eastern North America and Fragaria chiloensis, which was brought from Chile by Amédée-François Frézier in 1714. Cultivars of Fragaria × ananassa have replaced, in commercial production, the woodland strawberry (Fragaria vesca), which was the first strawberry species cultivated in the early 17th century.

Add more strawberries to your diet

If you're not already a fan of strawberries, you should be. Not only are they juicy, summery and delicious, they're a bona fide superfood, too. Nutrient-rich and packed with antioxidants (like vitamin C), strawberries offer a wide range of health benefits, some of which may surprise you.

(Wrinkle-prevention? Yes please!).

Here are 5 reasons you should add more strawberries to your diet.

  • Strawberries boost immunity

"Strawberries are an excellent source of vitamin C," says Toronto-based registered dietitian Madeleine Edwards. Most mammals—except for humans—have the ability to produce vitamin C naturally, which is why it’s so important to get your daily requirement. "One serving of strawberries contains 51.5 mg of vitamin C—about half of your daily requirement," Edwards says. "Double a serving to one cup and get 100 percent." Vitamin C is a well-known immunity booster, as well as a powerful, fast-working antioxidant. A 2010 UCLA study discovered that the antioxidant power in strawberries becomes “bioavailable” or “ready to work in the blood” after eating the fruit for just a few weeks.


A plate of strawberry can change your day
A plate of strawberry can change your day
  • Strawberries promote eye health

The antioxidant properties in strawberries may also help to prevent cataracts—the clouding over of the eye lens—which can lead to blindness in older age. Our eyes require vitamin C to protect them from exposure to free-radicals from the sun’s harsh UV rays, which can damage the protein in the lens. Vitamin C also plays an important role in strengthening the eye's cornea and retina. While high doses of vitamin C have been found to increase the risk of cataracts in women over 65, researchers from the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm note that the risk pertains to vitamin C obtained from supplements, not the vitamin C from fruits and vegetables.

  • Strawberries help fight cancer

Vitamin C is one of the antioxidants that can help with cancer prevention, since a healthy immune system is the body’s best defense. A phytochemical called ellagic acid—also found in strawberries—is another. “Ellagic acid has been shown to yield anti-cancer properties like suppressing cancer cell growth,” says Edwards. “Strawberries [also] contain antioxidants lutein and zeathancins. Antioxidants are scavengers to free-radicals and neutralize the potentially negative effect they can have on our cells,” she says.

  • Strawberries keep wrinkles at bay

The power of vitamin C in strawberries continues, as it is vital to the production of collagen, which helps to improve skin’s elasticity and resilience. Since we lose collagen as we age, eating foods rich in vitamin C may result in healthier, younger-looking skin. But vitamin C isn’t the only naturally-occuring wrinkle fighter found in strawberries. Researchers at Hallym University in the Republic of Korea concluded that ellagic acid visibly prevented collagen destruction and inflammatory response—two major factors in the development of wrinkles—in human skin cells, after continued exposure to skin-damaging UV-B rays.

  • Strawberries fight bad cholesterol

According to the Heart and Stroke Foundation,heart disease is one of the leading causes of death among Canadian women. Luckily, strawberries also contain powerful heart-health boosters. “Ellagic acid and flavonoids— or phytochemicals—can provide an antioxidant effect that can benefit heart health in various ways,” explains Edwards. “One way includes counteracting the effect of low-density lipoprotein, or LDL—bad cholesterol in the blood—which causes plaque to build up in arteries. A second way is that they provide an anti-inflammatory effect, which is also good for the heart.” Researchers at the Clinical Nutrition and Risk Factor Modification Center in Toronto studied the effect of strawberries on a cholesterol-lowering diet and concluded that adding strawberries to the diet reduced oxidative damage, as well as blood lipids—both of which play a role in heart disease and diabetes.

3. Cantaloupe

Wonderfully delicious and unique flavored cantaloupe or “muskmelon” is a member in the large Cucurbitaceae family. Some of the popular fruits and vegetables in the cucurbita family include squash, pumpkin, cucumber, gourd,...etc., and like its relatives, melons grow on the ground surface as a trailing vine.

Muskmelons thought to be originated either from India or ancient Persia or Africa. They grow best on draining sandy soil with good irrigation facility, and require honeybees for effective pollination. Melons, just as mangoes, watermelon...etc., are actually summer season fruits. Their season runs from April through August, when they are at their best.

Health Benefits

  • Wonderfully delicious with rich flavor, muskmelons are very low in calories (100 g fruit has just 34 calories) and fats. Nonetheless, the fruit is rich in numerous health promoting poly-phenolic plant derived compounds, vitamins, and minerals that are absolute for optimum health.

  • The fruit is an excellent source of Vitamin A, (100 g provides 3382 IU or about 112% of recommended daily levels) one of the highest among fruits. Vitamin A is a powerful antioxidant and is essential for vision. It is also required for maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin. Consumption of natural fruits rich in vitamin A is known to help to protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.

  • It is also rich in antioxidant flavonoids such as beta-carotene, lutein, zea-xanthin and cryptoxanthin.These antioxidants have the ability to help protect cells and other structures in the body from oxygen-free radicals and hence; offer protection against colon, prostate, breast, endometrial, lung, and pancreatic cancers.

  • Total antioxidant strength measured in terms of oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) of cantaloupe melons is 315 µmol TE/100 g. The value for honeydew melon is 241 µmol TE/100 g.

  • Zea-xanthin, an important dietary carotenoid, selectively absorbed into the retinal macula lutea in the eye where it is thought to provide antioxidant and protective UV light-filtering functions. It thus, offers protection of eyes from "Age-related macular degeneration" (ARMD) disease in the elderly.

  • It is a moderate source of electrolyte, potassium. 100 g fruit provides 267 mg of this electrolyte. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids and helps control heart rate and blood pressure. It thus offers protection against stroke, and coronary heart diseases.

  • The fruit also contains moderate levels of B-complex vitamins, such as niacin, pantothenic acid and vitamin C, and minerals like manganese. Consumption of foods rich in vitamin-C helps the human body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful oxygen-free radicals. Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. Commercially, muskmelons are being used to extract an enzyme superoxide dismutase (SOD), which plays a vital role as strong first-line antioxidant defenses inside the human body.

Principle
Nutrient Value
Percentage of RDA
Energy
34 Kcal
1.50%
Carbohydrates
8.6 g
6.50%
Protein
0.84 g
1.50%
Total Fat
0.19 g
<1%
Cholesterol
0 mg
0%
Dietary Fiber
0.9 g
2.25%
Vitamins
 
 
Folates
21 µg
5%
Niacin
0.734 mg
4.50%
Pantothenic acid
0.105 mg
2%
Pyridoxine
0.072 mg
5.50%
Riboflavin
0.026 mg
2%
Thiamin
0.017 mg
1%
Vitamin A
3382 IU
112%
Vitamin C
36.7 mg
61%
Vitamin E
0.05 mg
0.50%
Vitamin K
2.5 mcg
2%
Electrolytes
 
 
Sodium
1 mg
0%
Potassium
267 mg
6%
Minerals
 
 
Calcium
9 mg
1%
Copper
41 µg
4.50%
Iron
0.21 mg
2.50%
Magnesium
12 mg
3%
Manganese
0.041 mg
2%
Zinc
0.18 mg
1.50%
Phyto-nutrients
 
 
Carotene-alpha
2020 µg
--
Crypto-xanthin-beta
1 µg
--
Lutein-zeaxanthin
26 µg
--

4. Orange

Delicious and juicy orange fruit contains an impressive list of essential nutrients, vitamins, minerals for normal growth and development and overall well-being.

Botanically; orange is the citrus fruit belonging to the family of Rutaceae of the genus; Citrus (which also includes pomelo, tangerine (mandarin orange) and grapefruit). Scientific name: Citrus sinensis.

Oranges-Citrus sinensis.

Orange is a tropical to semitropical, evergreen, small flowering tree growing to about 5 to 8 m tall and bears seasonal fruits that measure about 3 inches in diameter and weigh about 100-150 g. Oranges are classified into two general categories, sweet and bitter, with the former being the type most commonly consumed. Popular sweet-varieties include Valencia, Navel, Persian variety, and blood orange.

Tangerines are related varieties of oranges distinguished by loose, easily peeled shin (pericarp) and sweet juicy flesh (arils). They are also known as mandarin oranges in Europe and Satsumas in Japan. Just as oranges, these too belong to the Rutaceae (citrus Family) and known scientifically as Citrus reticulata.

Health benefits of oranges

  • Nutrients in oranges are plentiful and diverse. The fruit is low in calories, contains no saturated fats or cholesterol, but is rich in dietary fiber, pectin, which is very effective in persons with excess body weight. Pectin, by its action as a bulk laxative, helps to protect the mucous membrane of the colon by decreasing its exposure time to toxic substances as well as by binding to cancer-causing chemicals in the colon. Pectin has also been shown to reduce blood cholesterol levels by decreasing its re-absorption in the colon by binding to bile acids in the colon.

  • Oranges, like other citrus fruits, is an excellent source of vitamin C (provides 53.2 mg per 100 g, about 90% of DRI); Vitamin C is a powerful natural antioxidant. Consumption of foods rich in vitamin C helps the body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals from the blood.

  • Orange fruit contains a variety of phytochemicals. Hesperetin, naringin, and naringenin are flavonoids found in citrus fruits. Naringenin is found to have a bio-active effect on human health as antioxidant, free radical scavenger, anti-inflammatory, and immune system modulator. This substance has also been shown to reduce oxidant injury to DNA in vitro studies. Total antioxidant strength (ORAC) of oranges (navel variety) is 1819 µmol TE/100 g.

  • Oranges also contain very good levels of vitamin A, and other flavonoid antioxidants such as alpha andbeta-carotenes, beta-cryptoxanthin, zea-xanthin and lutein. These compounds are known to have antioxidant properties. Vitamin A is also required for maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin and is essential for vision. Consumption of natural fruits rich in flavonoids helps the body to protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.

  • It is also a very good source of B-complex vitamins such as thiamin, pyridoxine, and folates. These vitamins are essential in the sense that body requires them from external sources to replenish.

  • Orange fruit also contains a very good amount of minerals like potassium and calcium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps control heart rate and blood pressure through countering sodium actions.

Principle
Nutrient Value
Percentage of RDA
Energy
47 Kcal
2.50%
Carbohydrates
11.75 g
9%
Protein
0.94 g
1.50%
Total Fat
0.12 g
0.50%
Cholesterol
0 mg
0%
Dietary Fiber
2.40 g
6%
Vitamins
 
 
Folates
30 µg
7.50%
Niacin
0.282 mg
2%
Pantothenic acid
0.250 mg
5%
Pyridoxine
0.060 mg
4.50%
Riboflavin
0.040 mg
3%
Thiamin
0.100 mg
8%
Vitamin C
53.2 mg
90%
Vitamin A
225 IU
7.50%
Vitamin E
0.18 mg
1%
Vitamin K
0 µg
0%
Electrolytes
 
 
Sodium
0 mg
0%
Potassium
169 mg
3.50%
Minerals
 
 
Calcium
40 mg
4%
Copper
39 µg
4%
Iron
0.10 mg
1%
Magnesium
10 mg
2.50%
Manganese
0.024 mg
1%
Zinc
0.08 mg
1%
Phyto-nutrients
 
 
Carotene-?
71 µg
--
Carotene-?
11 µg
--
Crypto-xanthin-?
116 µg
--

The Recipe to Make Strawberry Orange Muffins

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© 2014 Enea Cobani

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