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The 32 Healthiest Fruits On Earth — The Ultimate Fruit Health Rankings

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The 32 Healthiest Fruits On Earth — The Ultimate Fruit Health Rankings

*This article was updated on 5.9.2016. 

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, quickly.

That’s where The 32 Healthiest Fruits On Earth — The Ultimate Fruit Health Rankings comes into play. It quantifies complex fruit nutrition in an objective, direct way.

We’ve done extensive research, crunched the numbers, and developed the single most comprehensive fruit ranking system to my knowledge, which scores 32 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 32 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 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. They help with cellular metabolism, allow the body to derive energy from food, and 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

As we countdown the 32 healthiest fruits, all final fruit scores indicate a composite ranking of the 12 factors above. Calories, sugar, fiber, omega-3’s, antioxidants, and Glycemic Load are all weighted more heavily.

A recap of the full fruit power rankings is available here.

 

The 32 Healthiest Fruits On Earth — The Ultimate Fruit Health Rankings


 

Fruit #32: 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

 

Fruit #31: 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

 

Fruit #30: 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

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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

Bryan DiSanto

Founder & Editor-in-Chief at Lean It UP
ELLO ELLO I'm Bryan DiSanto. I'm the Founder & Editor-in-Chief of Lean It UP, a CPT/CSN/Fitness Coach, Chef trained at Le Cordon Bleu – Paris, NYU graduate, ex-fat kid, and all-around fitness junkie.

I also contribute to Men's Health Magazine.

When I'm not working on my abs (or somebody else’s), whipping up avocado roses and avocado toast, or running a Tough Mudder, I'm probably yelling at a Carolina Panthers game somewhere.

Come be friends with me on Instagram (@BRYDISANTO) & Snapchat (BRYDISANTO).
Bryan DiSanto