Top 23 Healthiest Fruits And Vegetables That You Should Include In Your Diet

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Adding the healthiest fruits and vegetables to your diet can help you become an even healthier version of yourself. Read on to check out this list of fruits and veggies you can include in your meals!
RELATED: 10 Delicious Fruits And Herbs With Powerful Health Benefits

Healthiest Fruits and Vegetables You Can Try

1. Grapefruit

This is among the healthiest fruits to eat and should be a part of everyone’s daily diet. Despite being larger in size than its citrus cousins orange and lemon, grapefruits are low in calories.
They are also quite high in fiber (2g) and provides some major nutrients, such as:

  • Vitamins C and A
  • Potassium
  • Folate
  • Thiamine
  • Magnesium

These contents make grapefruit a good booster for your immune system and a great food option for those working toward weight loss.

2. Avocado

It’s sometimes easy to forget that avocados are fruits. This is because they are often in more savory rather than sweet dishes and don’t carry a tart flavor we associate with fruits.
Also called the butter fruit, avocados are full of healthy monounsaturated fat. These healthiest fruits are also a great source of:

  • Vitamins E, C, and K
  • Niacin
  • Riboflavin
  • Folate
  • Magnesium
  • Potassium
  • Lutein
  • Beta-carotene

Avocados are heart-healthy, thanks to its high amount of beta-sitosterol. Beta-sitosterol is a plant sterol that has a similar structure as cholesterol and is often used to lower cholesterol levels.

3. Spinach

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Spinach has high levels of antioxidants.

Spinach is among the healthiest vegetables you can eat. A single cup of raw spinach can provide a whopping 56% of your vitamin A needs, as well as the entire day’s vitamin K requirement.
According to studies, dark green vegetables such as spinach contain high levels of lutein and beta-carotene. They are two kinds of antioxidants that have links to low risks of cancer.
Its high water content also makes spinach a great source for hydration. It induces fullness, reduces cravings, is relatively flavorless, and can be incorporated in soups, smoothies, and fruit shakes.

4. Pineapple

This tropical fruit is low in calories and high in nutrients. It contains:

  • Vitamins C and B6
  • Manganese
  • Folate
  • Copper
  • Potassium
  • Niacin
  • Iron
  • Riboflavin
  • Pantothenic acid

Pineapples are also commonly known for their ability to induce a mildly raw sensation after eating. This is because these healthiest fruits contain bromelain.

Bromelain Definition: A digestive enzyme that can break down proteins into amino acids and peptides

This is especially helpful for those having trouble with digestion. The bromelain from pineapple helps break down protein molecules from undigested food, making them easily absorbable into the small intestine.

5. Carrots

Brightly colored carrots are filled with so much vitamin A that one cup of them can provide 428% of your recommended daily intake.
Carrots also contain beta-carotene, which gives them their orange color and notoriety for providing excellent vision. While it won’t help you see in the dark, it may promote eye health and boost important immune functions.
Carrots also contain high levels of carotenoids that have links to potent antioxidant properties. These may help reduce the risk of heart disease.

6. Broccoli

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A cup of fresh broccoli is recommended to achieve better health.

Broccoli is the poster child of cruciferous vegetables. A single cup of broccoli contains enough vitamins K and C to provide 116% and 135% of your daily recommended intake, respectively.
Broccoli also has high levels of glucoraphanin, a compound that becomes sulforaphane after digestion. Sulforaphane has been associated with health benefits such as lower cholesterol levels, lower blood sugar, and a lower risk for the development of various types of chronic disease.
Bioactive compounds in broccoli are also shown to help reduce inflammation in bodily tissues. This is due to kaempferol, a flavonoid present in broccoli that has potent anti-inflammatory properties.

7. Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts are another member of the cruciferous vegetable family and are easily recognizable as a tiny version of regular cabbage. Despite their diminutive form and low caloric content, they are full of:

  • Fiber
  • Vitamins A, C, and K
  • Manganese
  • Folate

Brussels sprouts are also high in antioxidant content. Studies show that those who ate at least two cups of brussels sprouts every day lessened the oxidative stress in their cells by 28%.

8. Blueberries

Blueberries are the most commonly consumed fruit with the highest levels of antioxidants. The main antioxidants present in blueberries are flavonoids that help increase levels of antioxidants in your body.
Antioxidants help prevent oxidative damage, which can also hasten the aging process of the brain. The antioxidant content in these healthiest fruits may have neuroprotective effects that help prevent neurodegenerative disease that comes with age.

9. Garlic

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According to studies, garlic helps fight symptoms of a common cold.

With its history as a medicinal plant, the health benefits of garlic are undoubtedly great. The components that make garlic so effective are allicin, s-allyl cysteine, and diallyl disulfide.
Allicin, s-allyl cysteine, and diallyl are sulfuric compounds that enter the body via the digestive tract. From there, they travel throughout the body exerting positive biological benefits.
Garlic has also been shown to fight symptoms of the common cold. Studies done on a group of subjects found that the duration of cold symptoms lessened by as much as 61% after taking a garlic supplement.

10. Kale

Kale has grown in popularity for its many health benefits, showing up in many as salad, smoothie, or snack alternative. A single cup of raw kale can account for your entire daily recommended intake for vitamins A, K, and C alone.
Studies also show that kale can increase levels of good HDL cholesterol and lower bad LDL cholesterol. Kale in juice form has also been linked to decreasing blood pressure, as well as the reduction of blood sugar content.

11. Apples

Apples are among the world’s most well-known fruits. They are also highly nutritious, containing copious amounts of:

  • Vitamin C
  • B vitamins
  • Fiber
  • Potassium

These healthiest fruits also contain a good amount of soluble fiber that can help lower blood cholesterol levels. The peel of an apple also contains polyphenols, which are compounds known for potent antioxidant effects.
Eating apples are also associated with a lower risk of diabetes. Studies show that eating an apple a day, or even just a few times a week, could lower the risk of diabetes by up to 28%.

12. Strawberries

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Boost your immunity and heart health by eating fresh strawberries.

These juicy, bright red fruits may be mainly water and carbohydrates, but they are full of fiber and nutrients like:

  • Folate
  • Potassium
  • Vitamin C
  • Manganese

They are also full of antioxidants and compounds such as:

  • Pelargonidin
  • Ellagitannins
  • Procyanidins
  • Ellagic acids

These plant compounds provide many health benefits such as boosting immunity, heart health, and even anti-bacterial properties. Strawberries may also help regulate blood sugar by slowing down glucose digestion and preventing insulin spikes.
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13. Swiss Chard

Swiss chard may sound unfamiliar, but this dark, leafy green vegetable is a cousin to kale and spinach. This hardy vegetable can grow in low light and water conditions.
A small serving of Swiss chard contains your entire daily requirement of vitamins A and K. It’s also full of:

  • Vitamin E
  • Sodium
  • Phosphorus
  • Copper
  • Zinc
  • Magnesium
  • Calcium

Swiss chard is also an effective prebiotic. This means it contains high amounts of insoluble fiber that survives the digestion process and feeds the good bacteria residing in your gut.

14. Red Cabbage

Another member of the cruciferous vegetable family, red cabbage stands out for its vibrant red-purple coloring and high anthocyanin content. It also contains a high amount of glutamine, an amino acid that helps reduce pain and inflammation that comes with gastrointestinal ulcers.

15. Cranberries

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Cranberry helps prevent urinary tract infections.

These nutritious fruits are full of:

  • Vitamins C, E, and K1
  • Copper
  • Manganese

They also contain a high amount of flavonol polyphenols that help minimize damage by oxidative stress.
The juice and extracts of cranberries have also been shown to help prevent urinary tract infections. This is due to their A-type proanthocyanidin content.

A-Type Proanthocyanidin Definition: A compound that helps keep bad bacteria from making contact with the urinary tract and bladder.

16. Cherries

Cherries are small stone fruits packed with:

  • Fiber
  • Copper
  • Manganese
  • Potassium
  • Vitamin C
  • Protein

Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that fights the free radicals causing damage to cells. It also stimulates the immune system by strengthening the protection of the good bacteria in the gut.
The vitamin also can lower the severity of allergic reactions and aid in getting rid of infections. It also improves iron absorption for proper oxygen circulation in the body.
Protein is a building block of the body needed for creating blood, skin, cartilage, muscles, and bones. This nutrient is also essential for producing hormones, enzymes, and other body chemicals.

17. Bananas

Bananas are full of:

  • Iron
  • Vitamin A
  • Niacin
  • Riboflavin
  • Folate
  • Magnesium
  • Protein
  • Dietary fiber
  • Potassium
  • Vitamin C
  • Manganese
  • Vitamin B6

Potassium is the primary electrolyte of intracellular fluid, which contains 40% of the body’s water. Its function is to determine the amount of water it allows in the cells.
Riboflavin or vitamin B2 is essential in breaking down fats, proteins, and carbs faster for energy. This also lets your body use the right amount of oxygen it needs.
Manganese is a trace mineral needed for maintaining bone mineral density, along with copper, zinc, and calcium. This mineral also plays a crucial role in blood sugar control and regulation.

18. Raspberries

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Fresh raspberries also contain vitamins and minerals needed to maintain a healthy body.

These berries contain a wide range of vitamins and minerals:

  • Beta-carotene
  • Alpha-carotene
  • Lutein + zeaxanthin
  • Vitamins C, K, and E
  • Choline
  • Folate
  • Selenium
  • Manganese
  • Copper
  • Zinc
  • Potassium
  • Phosphorus
  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Calcium
  • Fiber
  • Protein
  • Water

Choline is a fat- and water-soluble molecule used to make cellular membranes. It affects gene expression along with vitamin B12 and folate and helps metabolize fats.
Vitamin K is an essential factor in wound healing and bone health. It creates protein for normal blood clotting and healthy bones.
Copper is a trace mineral found in tissues and has an important role in maintaining the immune system and nerve cells and in producing red blood cells. It helps your body absorb calcium and form collagen.

19. Tomatoes

These red veggies also contain loads of nutrients such as:

  • Vitamins A and C
  • Phosphorus
  • Potassium
  • Calcium
  • Fiber
  • Protein
  • Water
  • Lutein
  • Beta-carotene
  • Folic acid
  • Choline
  • Lycopene
  • Alpha-lipoic acid

Lycopene is a pigment that gives tomatoes its color. This antioxidant can help lower the risk of heart disease as it increases good cholesterol and decreases bad cholesterol.
Water keeps the body hydrated to promote proper brain function, regulate body temperature, and flush out waste from the body. It’s also a primary component of saliva, crucial for keeping your mouth healthy and breaking down solid food.
Folic acid aids in maintaining and producing new cells and in preventing changes that may cause chronic illness to your (DNA). Doctors use this to treat anemia due to folic acid deficiency.

20. Sweet Potato

This starchy root vegetable is rich in:

  • Niacin
  • Copper
  • Pantothenic acid
  • Potassium
  • Vitamins B6, C, and A
  • Manganese
  • Dietary fiber
  • Protein

Dietary fiber helps normalize bowel movements as it softens the stool and increases its size and weight. This nutrient also tends to make one feel full longer and let you eat less.
Niacin or vitamin B3 aids in turning food into energy by helping enzymes. It also has an essential role in signaling cells to create and repair DNA.
Vitamin A is a fat-soluble nutrient that aids in the normal growth and development of an infant in a mother’s womb. It also ensures the proper function of organs, especially the eyes.

21. Kohlrabi

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Kohlrabi is a vegetable packed with different essential vitamins.

Related to cabbage, kohlrabi is a great source of these essential nutrients:

  • Folate
  • Manganese
  • Magnesium
  • Potassium
  • Vitamins B6 and C
  • Protein
  • Fiber

Magnesium helps in creating and repairing DNA, in drawing proteins from amino acids, and in turning food into energy. It also aids in regulating neurotransmitters that send messages to and from the nervous system and brain.
It also contributes to the relaxation and contraction of muscles.
Pyridoxine or vitamin B6 is a water-soluble nutrient necessary for the creation of neurotransmitters and red blood cells and for the metabolism of carbs, fat, and protein. It also plays a crucial role in regulating mood.

22. Collard Greens

These are part of the cruciferous family with loads of nutrients like:

  • Vitamins K, E, A, and C
  • Folate
  • Zinc
  • Sodium
  • Potassium
  • Phosphorus
  • Magnesium
  • Iron
  • Calcium
  • Protein

Zinc is a trace mineral important for activating T-cells.

T-cells Definition: Attack cancerous and infected cells and in regulating and controlling immune responses

This nutrient also plays an essential role in wound healing as it keeps the structure and integrity of the skin.
Phosphorus helps manage stored energy, filter out kidney waste, and build healthy teeth and bones. It also aids in producing DNA and in repairing, maintaining, and growing cells and tissues.

23. Asparagus

This spring vegetable is rich in:

  • Chromium
  • Vitamins K, E, C, and A
  • Folate
  • Fiber

Chromium is a trace mineral that helps enhance lipid, carb, and protein metabolism and improve insulin sensitivity. Chromium supplements also help increase energy and boost physical performance.
Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that protects cells from free radical damage and helps eliminate toxins. It also helps moisturize the skin.
Its hydrating effects reduce fine lines and wrinkles. This vitamin can minimize scar appearance as it boosts skin elasticity.
A well-balanced diet shouldn’t be difficult to stick to, as long as you regularly eat these healthiest fruits and vegetables. Supplementing your fruit and vegetable intake with a high-quality vitamin may also be a great and easy way to reach your daily nutrition needs.
Which of these healthiest fruits and veggies is your favorite? Let us know in the comments section below!
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on July 17, 2019, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

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