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The 30 Healthiest Fruits On Earth — The Ultimate Fruit Health Rankings

The 30 Healthiest Fruits On Earth -- The Ultimate Fruit Health Rankings

For the longest time I’ve pondered a deep, multi-layered question and have gotten approximately zero help from Google — what’s THE single healthiest fruit on earth? 

My first instinct points to pomegranate or blueberries, given their uber-high antioxidant content, but that’s just one micro aspect of fruit nutrition. What about oranges for their immune-boosting vitamin C, bananas for their potassium, cantaloupe for its vitamin A, or apples, the one-a-day-keeps-the-doctor-away fruit?

Antioxidants, potassium, vitamin A, omega-3′s, and fiber content are all legitimate metrics to gauge a superfruit, but they’re not the ONLY criteria and they don’t function in a vacuum. Overall nutrition is defined by a food’s end-to-end portfolio of macro and micronutrients, vitamins, and compounds. It gets ridiculously complicated really quickly.

That’s where The 30 Healthiest Fruits On Earth — The Ultimate Fruit Health Rankings comes into play, to make sense of complex fruit nutrition in a simple, direct way.

We’ve done extensive research, crunched the numbers, and developed the single most comprehensive fruit ranking system to my knowledge, which scores 30 popular fruits based on 12 dimensions of nutrition and health. It accounts for a variety of major nutrients and health indicators within the dietary spectrum, and provides a holistic look at how the top 30 fruits really stack up against one another. Dimensions taken into account include:1

  • Calories
  • Sugar
  • Fiber
  • Antioxidant Content (mmol/100 g) Antioxidants protect the body against cellular damage from free radicals and help prevent a variety of health complications, including: cancer, diabetes, premature aging, inflammation, heart disease, and others.23
  • Omega-3′s – Omega-3 Fatty Acids are healthy fats that reduce the risk of all-cause mortality, cardiovascular disease, heart attack, and arthritis, reduce triglyceride levels, and improve circulatory health & cholesterol.4
  • Glycemic Load – Glycemic Load (GL) is a standardized metric created by NutritionData.Self.com that applies the Glycemic Index (GI) to dieting. The GI and GL measure how quickly a food tends to increase blood sugar levels in the body. Higher GL numbers increase blood sugar rapidly, spike insulin, promote fat storage, and lead to diabetes and inflammation. Consider 1-2 low, 3-4 medium, and >5 as high.5
  • Vitamin A – Critical for healthy vision, skin and hair, immunity, and reproduction.6
  • B Vitamins – Includes thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, B6, folate, biotin, B12, and pantothenic acid. Help with cellular metabolism, allow the body to derive energy from food, produce red blood cells.7
  • Vitamin C – Powerful antioxidant, helps with wound healing and immunity and improves iron absorption.8
  • Vitamin E – Powerful antioxidant, helps with a variety of circulatory functions.9
  • Vitamin K – Critical for blood clotting.10
  • Potassium – Electrolyte, important for proper function of all cells, tissues, and organs, critical for heart function and muscle contraction.11

 

*Note: As we countdown the 30 healthiest fruits, all final fruit scores indicate composite rankings of the 12 factors above, with calories, sugar, fiber, omega-3′s, antioxidants, and Glycemic Load weighted more heavily.

 

The 30 Healthiest Fruits On Earth — The Ultimate Fruit Health Rankings, 30-26

 

30. Grapes

Grape Nutrition Facts, Grape, Grapes

 

 

Grape Nutrition Facts (100 g): 

  • Calories — 69
  • Sugar – 15 grams
  • Fiber – 1 gram
  • Omega 3′s – 11.0 mg
  • Antioxidants – 0.64 mmol12
  • Glycemic Load – 6
  • Vitamin A – 1%
  • B Vitamins – 15%
  • Vitamin C – 18%
  • Vitamin E – 1%
  • Vitamin K – 18%
  • Potassium – 5%

 

Composite Nutrition Score, Grapes: 23

 

 

29. Figs

Figs, Fig, Fig Nutrition Facts

 

 

Fig Nutrition Facts (100 g): 

  • Calories — 74
  • Sugar – 16 grams
  • Fiber – 3 grams
  • Omega 3′s – 0.0 mg
  • Antioxidants – 0.96 mmol
  • Glycemic Load – 6
  • Vitamin A – 3%
  • B Vitamins – 19%
  • Vitamin C – 3%
  • Vitamin E – 1%
  • Vitamin K – 6%
  • Potassium – 7%

 

Composite Nutrition Score, Figs: 25

 

 

28. Bananas

Banana, Bananas, Bunch of bananas, banana bunch, banana nutrition facts

 

 

Banana Nutrition Facts (100 g): 

  • Calories — 89
  • Sugar – 12 grams
  • Fiber – 3 grams
  • Omega 3′s – 27.0 mg
  • Antioxidants – 0.23 mmol
  • Glycemic Load – 8
  • Vitamin A – 3%
  • B Vitamins – 35%
  • Vitamin C – 33%
  • Vitamin E – 1%
  • Vitamin K – 1%
  • Potassium – 10%

 

Composite Nutrition Score, Bananas: 28

 

 

27. Sweet Cherries

Cherries, cherry, sweet cherries, sweet cherry nutrition, nutrition sweet cherries

 

 

Sweet Cherries Nutrition Facts (100 g): 

  • Calories — 63
  • Sugar – 13 grams
  • Fiber – 2 grams
  • Omega 3′s – 26.0 mg
  • Antioxidants – 1.42 mmol
  • Glycemic Load – 5
  • Vitamin A – 1%
  • B Vitamins – 10%
  • Vitamin C – 12%
  • Vitamin E – 0%
  • Vitamin K – 3%
  • Potassium – 6%

 

Composite Nutrition Score, Sweet Cherries: 31

 

 

26. Pears

pear, pears, pear nutrition facts

 

 

Pear Nutrition Facts (100 g): 

  • Calories — 58
  • Sugar – 10 grams
  • Fiber – 3 grams
  • Omega 3′s – 0.0 mg
  • Antioxidants – .21 mmol
  • Glycemic Load – 3
  • Vitamin A – 0%
  • B Vitamins – 6%
  • Vitamin C – 7%
  • Vitamin E – 1%
  • Vitamin K – 6%
  • Potassium – 3%

 

Composite Nutrition Score, Pears: 32

 



 

Sections: 25-21 | 20-16 | 15-11 | 10-6 | 5-1 | Recap

 

 
 

References, Notes, Links

  1. All data is based on a 100 g serving size from the nutrition facts database at Nutritiondata.Self.com []
  2. Antioxidants 101 []
  3. The total antioxidant content of more than 3,100 foods, beverages, spices, herbs and supplements used worldwide. MH Carlsen, BL Halvorsen, K Holte, SK Bøhn, S Dragland, L Sampson, C Willey, H Senoo, Y Umezono, C Sanada, I Barikmo, NBehre, WC Willett, KM Phillips, DR Jacobs JR and R Blomhoff. []
  4. Omega-3 Fatty Acids & Health []
  5. Glycemic Load, NutritionData []
  6. Vitamin A Fact Sheet []
  7. B Vitamins, Medline Plus []
  8. Vitamin C Fact Sheet []
  9. Vitamin E Fact Sheet []
  10. Vitamin K []
  11. Potassium []
  12. The total antioxidant content of more than 3,100 foods, beverages, spices, herbs and supplements used worldwide. MH Carlsen, BL Halvorsen, K Holte, SK Bøhn, S Dragland, L Sampson, C Willey, H Senoo, Y Umezono, C Sanada, I Barikmo, NBehre, WC Willett, KM Phillips, DR Jacobs JR and R Blomhoff. []

 

Bryan DiSanto

Owner & Editor-in-Chief at Lean It UP
Bryan DiSanto is the Owner & Editor-in-Chief of Lean It UP, ACE-CPT & CSN, NYU graduate, ex-fat kid, and all-around fitness/nutrition nutjob.

When he’s not working on his (or somebody else’s) abs, whipping up Eggocados, or running a Tough Mudder, he’s probably off yelling at a Carolina Panthers game somewhere.

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  • Cari

    Hi, I really enjoy your site, especially your article on the 30 healthiest fruits. I would like to use your text and images in our web site gourmetwoldbasket.com linking to you and giving your full attribution. Please see our site and look up the dundee fruit company tart cherries http://dundeefruitcompany.gourmetworldmarket.com/product/11892-tart-cherries-pie-cherries-in-water to see how you were referenced.
    If I do get your ok to use your site, we will continue to use you as we have for this product.
    If you were amenable, a link back to us would be appreciated, but not necessary.

    This comment should probably not be posted

    • http://LeanItUP.com/ Bryan DiSanto

      Hi Cari — that’s completely fine, thanks for the heads up and the mention!

  • Cari

    Hi, if a tea is made from the leaves of a fruit bush, such as blackberry, are the same health benefits applicable to the blackberry leaves as they are to the fruit?

    • http://LeanItUP.com/ Bryan DiSanto

      Nope! The leaf and fruit itself are completely different animals.

  • Aditya

    How would Tomato, which is technically a fruit, compare with these 30?

    • http://LeanItUP.com/ Bryan DiSanto

      I purposefully didn’t include tomatoes or avocado, because they’re not traditionally thought of as fruit (although they technically are).

      Tomatoes are easily top-10 though. They’re insanely healthy, low-cal, nutrient rich, and loaded with lycopene — a potent antioxidant.

      • Carrie

        Hi Bryan – I was also curious about tomatoes and avocadoes. How do they add up on your nutrient index?

        • http://LeanItUP.com/ Bryan DiSanto

          I ran the numbers for both tomato and avocado:

          Avocado — 59 composite, good for #3 overall
          Tomato — 46 composite, good for #9 overall

          I’ll update the article with both so that they’re included.

  • Jeremy

    What about watermelon?? Did i miss it on the list? Watermelon has all but taken the cake on lycopene content.

    • daniel gruszczyk

      yep there is watermelon on the list somewhere (forgot what place though)

      • http://LeanItUP.com/ Bryan DiSanto

        Hey Jeremy — watermelon’s number 17, page 2.

  • Jeremy

    AH! found it! i was having real trouble opening up your list as they are posted on different pages and loaded with advertisements. You can disregard the last message! :)

  • jetty

    gunabana/soursop. it is proven to beat cancer and remove cancer 1500 times faster than chemotherapy! wow

  • daniel gruszczyk

    you missed out red/black/white currants – that are way healthier than grapes at least (your place 30) according to the criteria you have set up.

    • http://LeanItUP.com/ Bryan DiSanto

      Currants aren’t included because I didn’t view them as a “common fruit,” just like persimmons, dragonfruit, or asian pears. It has nothing to do with their level of nutrition/health.

      If that’s something of interest, I can definitely take a look at the data and see where they’d fall.

      • daniel gruszczyk

        Nah it’s fine. They are indeed rare in the west (more popular in the east – I remember them growing everywhere when I was young), so I guess you were right to leave them out to make space for more popular fruits. Good ranking by the way – made me stock up on blackberries ;)

        • http://LeanItUP.com/ Bryan DiSanto

          Awesome, and smart move — they’re such an underrated fruit.

      • Anon

        Well… it does say on the title ‘On Earth’

        • http://LeanItUP.com/ Bryan DiSanto

          Touche.

          • Anon

            But either way I give you my respect for making this!

  • Joe Kanna

    what a wonderful description about each fruit. very useful. thanks. to know more about black berry see in – http://trendsvcv.blogspot.in/2013/11/black-berry-best-fruit-of-all.html

  • da Boss

    I love everything on this list except apples. I’ve never really like them. Pomegranates/grape fruits have got to be the best fruit ever.

    • elgaemr812

      with u man

  • Travis Zuehls

    What happened to goji or goose berries? Their ORAC scores are off the charts.

    • http://LeanItUP.com/ Bryan DiSanto

      They were intentionally excluded — I tried to keep it to 30 common fruits without getting too weird (don’t view it as them not making the cut). I’m a HUGE fan of goji berries though. Delicious + uber-nutritious.

      We did a whole write-up if you’re curious: http://www.leanitup.com/uberfood-goji-berries-the-unheralded-do-it-all-performance-enhancing-powerberries/

      • Travis Zuehls

        That’s what I was assuming. Also, Avocados and Tomatoes weren’t on the list either but are mainly sold in veggie section. IMO Avocados are the most complete food on the planet along with spirulina. If I was forced to survive off one food for a year I would chose Avocados

        • Martin Strauss

          If I WERE forced to… Americans don’t even know basic English… I guess that is why Obama is president and the FED steals our wealth daily and we willingly give it to them.

        • http://LeanItUP.com/ Bryan DiSanto

          I’m with you, I’ll totally eat avocados all day errrrryday. They’re probably my favorite food.

          Same train of thought – they’re both technically fruit, but not thought of that way (IMO). I ran the numbers on both for an older comment, just FYI:

          Avocado — 59 composite, good for #3 overall
          Tomato — 46 composite, good for #9 overall

          Tomatoes, especially, have no upper limit (they’re more or less calorie-free and pumped with nutrition).

  • Travis Zuehls

    When you ran a analysis did you equally weight each factor on a various weighted scale based on which one’s contribute more to overall health?

  • Heather Gram-Chavez

    What a useful list! Honestly when I opened the article I was afraid I’d see a lot of fruits from other areas I’d never find at my local grocery store (although I live in a large city, I shop at a smaller store – Aldi). I’ll be keeping this list handy while shopping! I also tend to have tomatoes and avocados in my cart, as others have mentioned.

    I wondered a few things:

    1) A friend of mine is always going on about coconut (and coconut water). Was this left off due to it being less common also? Where would it be on your scale?

    2) Have you done any research on juices as opposed to solid fruit? I’d assume the sugar content would be higher but I could be mistaken – I am not a nutritionist by any means!

    • Travis Zuehls

      Dried fruits and juicing increases the GI load of fruit. It varies between fruit but the overall result is negative and is a major factor in determining overall health of a these foods. Juicing also takes out the fiber. Coconut is extremely low in GI load, high in fiber, average in terms of vitamins and minerals. However 100 grams would result in an over dosing your daily requirement of Sat fat and nearly OD on total fat. Also, there is a high omega 6-3 ratio which leads to inflammation. I would assume it wouldn’t make his top 30.

      • Heather Gram-Chavez

        Thanks, Travis!

    • http://LeanItUP.com/ Bryan DiSanto

      Thanks Heather!

      1. Keep loading up on tomatoes and avocados. They’re nutritional gold.

      2. Originally it was, but now that it’s become so mainstream it definitely belongs in this category. I’m a coconut junkie. Even though it’s saturated fat, it’s predominantly from an MCT (medium chain triglyceride) called lauric acid. Fat type and quality matter, which is why the “saturated fat” label is becoming increasingly irrelevant. There’s a lot of research to suggest that the fat from coconut helps boost overally health, body composition, and skin; plus it’s antiviral and antimicrobial.

      Coconut water is an awesome source of hydration, potassium, and other electrolytes and it makes a killer natural sports drink. It’s phenomenal around workouts, and in small amounts otherwise. Just be aware that it’s still almost all sugar, so I wouldn’t chug the stuff all day.

      Plus they’re both ridiculously delicious. Just be cognizant that coconut meat is high in calories.

      Check out the middle of this article for compiled research: http://www.leanitup.com/pop-top-coconut-5-seconds-coco-jack-giveaway/

      3. Always go solid fruit > juice (not dried, as Travis mentioned). It’s more nutritious and preserves all of the fiber, and takes longer to digest. Pre-made juices often remove the “bulk” and isolate the sugar, even though it’s still natural. My reco would be to blend fruit if you want it in liquid form — it still maintains all of the goodness, plus you can throw in a shot of protein powder.

      Coconut = YES.
      Fruit > Juice.

      Hope that helps!

  • Kaushal Pradhan

    wooooow…. thanks a lot for this info…. i m very impressed with this site… a perfect info of all 30 fruits with nutrient details and pics,…thanks a lot admin for this all info….superb and fantastic work…..

    • http://LeanItUP.com/ Bryan DiSanto

      Thanks a ton Kaushal!!!!

  • fireflyflew

    woooh! Passionfruits made it to the list! I knew it, and I sooo love ‘em!

    • fireflyflew

      btw, passionfruits useful info at delifreshusa.wordpress.com

  • abajan

    Avocado not on the list? Wow!

    • http://LeanItUP.com/ Bryan DiSanto

      I intentionally excluded both with the original ranking. Avocados and tomatoes are both uber-healthy and would sit at the top of the list:

      Avocado — 59 composite, good for #3 overall
      Tomato — 46 composite, good for #9 overall

      Eat away.

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