Eating more fruit is an excellent way to improve overall health and reduce the risk of disease.
Fruits are an excellent source of essential vitamins and minerals, and they are high in fiber. Fruits also provide a wide range of health-boosting antioxidants, including flavonoids.
Eating a diet high in fruits and vegetables can reduce a person’s risk of developing heart disease, cancer, inflammation, and diabetes. Citrus fruits and berries may be especially powerful for preventing disease.
A 2014 study ranked “powerhouse” fruit and vegetables by high nutrient density and low calories. Lemons came out top of the list, followed by strawberry, orange, lime, and pink and red grapefruit.
In this article, we look at the nutrition and the many and varied health benefits of these and other fruits you can find in the supermarket.
Lemons contain vitamin C and other antioxidants that benefit health.
Lemons are a citrus fruit that people often use in traditional remedies because of their health benefits. Like other citrus fruits, they contain vitamin C and other antioxidants.
Antioxidants are essential for human health. These compounds mop up free radicals in the body that can damage the body’s cells and lead to diseases, such as cancers.
Researchers believe that the flavonoids in lemon and other citrus fruits have antibacterial, anticancer, and antidiabetic properties.
Citrus fruits, including lemons, contain active components called phytochemicals that benefit health. These include:
The juice from one 48 g lemon contains the following nutrients in grams (g) or milligrams (mg):
3.31 g carbohydrate
49 mg potassium
18.6 mg vitamin C
3 mg calcium
0.1 g of fiber
Lemons also contain thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B-6, folate, and vitamin A.
Read more about the health benefits of lemons and lemon water here.
How to eat lemons
Use the juice of a lemon to flavor drinking water or squeeze over a salad or fish. Try adding lemon juice to boiling water with a teaspoon of honey to help soothe a sore throat. It is also possible to eat the rind of organic lemons. Some people use the rind in recipes.
Strawberries are a juicy, red fruit with a high water content. The seeds provide plenty of dietary fiber per serving. Strawberries contain many healthful vitamins and minerals.
Of particular note, they contain anthocyanins, which are flavonoids that can help boost heart health. The fiber and potassium in strawberries can also support a healthy heart.
In one study, women who ate 3 or more servings per week of strawberries and blueberries — which are both known for their high anthocyanin content — had a lower risk of having a heart attack than those with lower intake.
Strawberries and other colorful berries also contain a flavonoid called quercetin. This is a natural anti-inflammatory compound.
A serving of 3 large strawberries provides the following nutrients:
4.15 g carbohydrate
1.1 g of fiber
9 mg of calcium
7 mg of magnesium
83 mg of potassium
31.8 mg of vitamin C
Strawberries also contain thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, and vitamins B-6, A and K.
Read more about strawberries.
How to eat strawberries
Strawberries are a versatile fruit. People can eat them raw or add them to breakfast cereals or yogurt, blend them into a smoothie, or make them into jam.
Oranges are a sweet, round citrus fruit packed with vitamins and minerals.Oranges are among the richest sources of vitamin C, with one medium fruit providing 117 percent of a person’s daily value of vitamin C.A 141 g orange also contains the following nutrients:
16.27 g carbohydrate
3.4 g of fiber
61 mg of calcium
14 mg of magnesium
238 mg of potassium
63.5 mg of vitamin C
Vitamin C acts as a powerful antioxidant in the body. This vitamin is also essential for immune system function. It boosts immune function by helping the body to absorb iron from plant-based foods.
The human body cannot make vitamin C itself, so people need to get this vitamin from their diet.Oranges also contain high levels of pectin, which is a fiber that can keep the colon healthy by binding to chemicals that can cause cancer and removing them from the colon.
Oranges also provide the following healthful vitamins:
vitamin A, a compound that is important for healthy skin and eyesight
B-vitamins, including thiamin and folate, which help keep the nervous and reproductive systems healthy and help create red blood cells.
Read more about the benefits of oranges.
How to eat oranges
People can eat oranges on their own as a refreshing snack or by drinking a glass of pure orange juice. Juice oranges at home or choose a brand of fresh juice whose label states it is not from concentrate.
People can also grate orange peel into a salad, yogurt, or as a cereal topping to add extra flavor.
Limes are a sour citrus fruit that provide a range of health benefits.Like other citrus fruits, limes provide a healthful dose of vitamin C. They also have similar health benefits, antibacterial, and antioxidant properties.
The juice of one lime provides the following nutrients:
3.7 g carbohydrate
6 g calcium
4 mg magnesium
51 mg potassium
13.2 mg vitamin C
Read more about the benefits of limes and lime water here.
How to eat limes
Limes work well in savory foods. Try adding the juice or grated peel of a lime to flavor salad dressings or rice dishes. Otherwise, juice a lime and add to hot or cold water for a refreshing drink.
Grapefruits contain flavonoids, which can help protect against some cancers, inflammation, and obesity.
Grapefruits are sour fruits full of health-inducing vitamins and minerals. Grapefruits can be pink, red, or white.
Half a grapefruit contains the following nutrients:
13.11 g carbohydrate
2.0 g fiber
27 g calcium
11 g magnesium
166 g potassium
38.4 g vitamin C
The flavonoids in grapefruits can help protect against some cancers, inflammation, and obesity.
A review study suggests the compounds called furanocoumarins found in grapefruits can help protect against oxidative stress and tumors and may support healthy bones.
Some research from this review suggests that grapefruit furanocoumarins may have anticancer properties, which may be especially effective against breast cancer, skin cancer, and leukemia. Researchers still need to carry out more studies on animals and humans to confirm these properties.People may wish to see a doctor before adding grapefruit to their diet, as it can interact with certain medications.