The science is clear: Eating the right foods can lead to a longer life or longevity.
Most fruit is inherently nutritious for longevity and good for you. With all of the antioxidants in colourful berries and fibre from whole fruits to the banana’s potassium content, fruit is easily the best way to naturally curb your sweet tooth. Some stand in higher on the list than others though.
When it comes to the most nutritious fruits, we want to take into consideration the healthiest fruits for longevity, weight loss, and good choices for diabetics because natural sugar is still sugar, after all. We’ll take into account disease fighting properties and components that provide preventative benefits from keeping your eyesight sharp to providing a source of healthy brain food.
Any variety will do, but including plenty of berries in the diet might be the key to longevity. A 2013 study focused on the polyphenol (an antioxidant) intake of participants showed that the individuals with the highest intake were at 30% reduced risk of death. Pretty cool, huh? Blueberries are also a good fruit for diabetics considering the average serving of 3/4 cup contains just 16 grams of carbohydrates with a low glycemic index score of 41. Perhaps their low sugar and GI also makes berries the best fruit for weight loss.
These seedy (and messy) little fruits are nutritional powerhouses for longevity. They’re often touted as one of the healthiest fruits and for good reason. Pomegranates arguably have the most powerful antioxidant properties of all fruit. A unique compound found in pomegranates called punicalagin is fantastic for the heart and blood vessels. This antioxidant can lower cholesterol and blood pressure, ultimately warding off disease and preventing things like heart attacks and strokes, easily tacking on a few extra healthy years.
The phrase “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” holds more truth than you might think. Adding an apple to your morning routine could keep you in tip-top shape. Besides, with all the variety, there’s an apple for every eye. Green apples are lower in sugar than red apples making them helpful for weight loss and a good fruit for diabetics. Granny Smiths are even beneficial to regulating blood sugar. With tons of soluble fibre, apples can help you stay satiated making them an ideal afternoon snack. Every apple variety boasts anti-cancer properties, the red coloured fruits being highest in antioxidants. Just remember to eat the skin!
Cranberries aren’t just for the beloved holiday sauce, and we’re certainly not giving props to the gel you might find in a can. Nope, we’re talking the fresh stuff. Dried cranberries and cranberry juice pack the same power, but keep in mind concentrated sugar content especially if you’re diabetic. Fresh cranberries are low in calories, pack in some vitamin C, have loads of antioxidants, and score low on the GI scale with a glycemic load of 2. Fresh cranberries are good for protecting the cardiovascular system and the liver. You can boil them down with a natural sweetener or other berries for a lovely sauce or jam.
This might be the most obscure of the healthiest fruits on our list, but don’t give up on the search for one of these if you aren’t having luck at the supermarket. Chances are, you can find them at an ethnic grocer. This winter fruit is one of the best foods for a long life and overall health. Guava boosts immunity and lowers your risk of cancer with its potent antioxidant content. It’s one of the best fruits for diabetics considering its high fibre count and low glycemic index. Vitamin A can even help keep your eyesight in good shape while its magnesium can help to lower stress. Finally, its B vitamins will keep your brain sharp leading to a better quality of life, even as you age.
Ah, yet another fruit we often overlook or don’t consume often. While apples and bananas are fine and dandy, papaya is a true superfood. The ripe papaya is sweet, juicy and luscious with a tropical flavour you’ll want to indulge in. These fruits can help boost digestion with their enzymes which is more potent in an underripe fruit. Papayas contain loads of antioxidants and vitamin C which helps protect the heart and is even thought to prevent Rheumatoid Arthritis. The fibre in the fruit is able to lessen your risk of colon cancer by binding to cancer-causing toxins in the colon.
With 52% of your daily vitamin C and 23% of your daily vitamin A per 100 grams, this low-sugar citrus fruit is a stellar addition to your breakfast staple dish. It’s famously known as one of the best fruits for weight loss. The juice from grapefruits can prevent kidney stones, cleansing the liver, and even preventing prostate cancer. Thanks to its high antioxidant levels, this fruit has some serious super powers. Pink grapefruit has even been shown to reverse the damage of cigarette smoke in the lungs and prevent lung cancer. Pretty crazy, huh? Finally, grapefruit is good for gum health making it helpful in preventing oral cancer.
These little guys are serious powerhouses for a long and healthy life. By the way, if you’re not eating the skin, you should be! The fuzzy fibre keeps you full and helps cleanse your digestive tract of toxins. Kiwi is also great for restoring alkaline balance, which essentially means its high mineral content counteracts all of the acidity we take in. Alkaline balance can lead to better sleep, skin and energy for a more vibrant life. Kiwis fight blood clotting making them one of the healthiest fruits for fighting heart disease and reducing triglycerides (the “bad” cholesterol).
Tart or sour cherries
Now here’s a fruit where the juice is nearly as nutritious as the fruit itself. It might be easier to find tart cherry juice than it is to find the whole fruits anyways. Listen up if you’re looking to get better sleep. Cherries are packed with anthocyanins which provide anti-inflammatory effects similar to Ibuprofen without any negative side effects. Less inflammation in the body can help to prevent cancer, cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, and Alzheimer’s disease, which inevitably means a longer life. Tart cherries also protect muscles and promote quicker recovery after a tough workout. Finally, due to tart cherry juice’s natural way of making melatonin, this stuff is great for a bedtime elixir.
Cantaloupe or rockmelon
While most melons are a good choice when it comes to choosing healthy fruits, cantaloupe is the shining star in this category. Their high levels of vitamins and minerals boast benefits such as cancer prevention, a boost for the immune system, healthy skin due to the beta-carotene, and lessened stress and anxiety symptoms due to their high potassium. Cantaloupe has also been connected to improved insulin metabolism, so this is a suitable fruit for diabetics. It’s one of the best fruits for longevity.