Fruits A – D

Jakob Kamender / Fotolia

Acai ★★

Its combination of antioxidants, amino acids and omega fatty acids all help slow the aging process by boosting immunity and removing free radicals from the body.1,3 This is mainly due to the anthocyanin content, which is one of, if not the highest of any food.1 It has more grams of protein per serving than an egg, and combined with the omega 3, 6 and 9 fatty acids inside the fruit, it has the potential to improve the look and texture of your hair, skin and nails. It has all the vitamins and minerals of most other fruits.1

One study noted that a diet with Açaí pulp was found to reduce blood cholesterol levels in rats and potentially have a protective effect on the arteries.2

Acai is an anti inflammatory, and has the potential to be a cox-1 and 2 inhibitor, which helps makes it an off-switch for pain, inflammation, and fight cancer as well as protect your heart. It may also help to calm asthma symptoms and boost the immune system to protect against diseases and it is also a great fruit for reducing the effects of aging on our cells.2,3,4

Besides the juice, which is the most common way of getting the fruit in the U.S, Acai fruit is great when frozen and topped with bananas and granola or served like ice cream.

  1. The Dr. Oz Show
  2. Xie C, Kang J, Wu X, et al. Açaí juice attenuates atherosclerosis in ApoE deficient mice through antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities. Atherosclerosis. June 2011;216(2):327-333.
  3. Holderness J, Schepetkin I, Jutila M, et al. Polysaccharides isolated from Açaí fruit induce innate immune responses. Plos One. February 28, 2011;6(2):e17301.
  4. Dr. Joe Mercola, Discover the truth about acai. Located at http://products.mercola.com/acai-berry/. Accessed September 24, 2013.

 

 

Mariusz Blach / Fotolia

Apples

Apples have about 4-6 grams of fiber per apple as well as vitamins and antioxidants. It contains a small amount of vitamins E and K.

A lot of apples’ heath benefits are located in the peel because many of the powerful antioxidants and much of the fiber is there. Apple juice contains less polyphenols than apples but its still a good source of all of apples health benefits.1

The fiber content in Apples can help lower your LDL cholesterol.

Of all the apples out there, Red Delicious and Granny Smith apples have twice as many cancer fighters than several other apples.1

Apples contain very strong antioxidants and have been shown to help stop cancer cells from spreading, specifically lung cancer in both men and women when part of a diet that included Onions and Grapefruits.1

Several studies show that people who eat lots of apples, onions and berries have higher quercetin levels in their blood, resulting in a 60 percent reduction in lung-cancer death rates. Individuals on this particular diet have a one third less incidence of heart disease, and a lower risk for pancreatic and colon cancer.2

As an added bonus, eating Apples with dark Chocolate can help fight off heart disease even more. The flavanoids from the chocolate and the quercitin from the Apples work together to reduce inflammation in your arteries.Some other quercetin rich foods are Mangos, Grapes and Strawberries.

Apples can also help protect your teeth. The fiber and antioxidants help to remove surface stains on the teeth as you chew.
 

  1. Boyer J, Liu R. Apple phytochemicals and their health benefits. Nutrition Journal. May 12, 2004;3:5.
  2. The Dr. Oz Show

 

 

Andean berry

Andean Berry

Good source of vitamin C, high levels of Antioxidants like polyphenols.

  1. Garzón G, Riedl K, Schwartz S. Determination of anthocyanins, total phenolic content, and antioxidant activity in Andes Berry (Rubus glaucus Benth). Journal Of Food Science [serial online]. April 2009;74(3):C227-C232.

 

 

Apricots

Apricot

There is growing evidence that Apricots are an effective anticancer and anti-inflammatory food.1 There are only 20-30 calories per fruit, and it contains a high amount of potassium, which is good for your heart and nerves and may help prevent kidney disease. High in beta carotene (Vitamin A), which is also a powerful antioxidant and gives skin a healthy glow, It is a great food that can help reduce the signs of aging on the body.1

  1. Morimoto Y, Kikuchi K, Ito T, et al. MK615 attenuates Porphyromonas gingivalis lipopolysaccharide-induced pro-inflammatory cytokine release via MAPK inactivation in murine macrophage-like RAW264.7 cells. Biochemical And Biophysical Research Communications [serial online]. November 6, 2009;389(1):90-94.

 

 
Avocado

Avocado ★★

Avocados are one of the richest sources of monounsaturated fats out there and contain Biotin (a vitamin B) for healthy skin. Avocados may help treat osteoarthritis in combination with soybean oil (Avocado Soybean Unsaponifiables or ASU). It has strong anti inflammatory properties that can help the body fight off inflammatory diseases and cancers and can be used as a mask to help heal damaged hair.1,2,3

Traditionally the fruit has been used in African medicines as a treatment for hypertension and diabetes. They also have used Avocado leaf in the treatment, management and control of childhood convulsions and epilepsy.4,5

California Hass avocados has one of the highest contents of lutein (one of many carotenoids) in fruits as well as several other related carotenoids and tocopherol (Vitamin E’s family), which may have the potential to reduce prostate cancer and possibly oral cancer.3 The fruit’s antibacterial effects may have the ability to help fight off H. Pylori, which can cause gastritis (ulcers) and be a factor in the development of gastric cancers.3

Avocados pair well with foods that have lycopene because the healthy fats in Avocados can help your body absorb more lycopene, which is a very strong antioxidant and cancer fighter. Some foods that have lycopene are Tomatoes, dried Figs, Grapefruits, Papayas and Watermelon.

Avocados pair well with citrus fruits particularly Oranges because together they can fight off belly fat and obesity very well. The vitamin C in Oranges is very good at lowering stress levels because it can neutralize cortisol and the monounsaturated fats in Avocados prevent fat from building up around the belly. In turn, this combination is also a great weapon against diabetes because it combats obesity, which is a major risk factor for diabetes.

To get the most out of an avocado, it should stay on the branch until it ripens, which will maximize its carotenoid and phytochemical content.

  1. The Dr. Oz Show
  2. Dinubile N. A potential role for avocado- and soybean-based nutritional supplements in the management of osteoarthritis: a review. The Physician And Sportsmedicine [serial online]. June 2010;38(2):71-81.
  3. Lu Q, Zhang Y, Heber D, et al. California Hass avocado: profiling of carotenoids, tocopherol, fatty acid, and fat content during maturation and from different growing areas. Journal Of Agricultural And Food Chemistry [serial online]. November 11, 2009;57(21):10408-10413.
  4. Gondwe M, Kamadyaapa D, Tufts M, Chuturgoon A, Ojewole J, Musabayane C. Effects of Persea americana Mill (Lauraceae) [“Avocado”] ethanolic leaf extract on blood glucose and kidney function in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats and on kidney cell lines of the proximal (LLCPK1) and distal tubules (MDBK). Methods And Findings In Experimental And Clinical Pharmacology [serial online]. January 2008;30(1):25-35.
  5. Ojewole J, Amabeoku G. Anticonvulsant effect of Persea americana Mill (Lauraceae) (Avocado) leaf aqueous extract in mice. Phytotherapy Research: PTR [serial online]. August 2006;20(8):696-700.

 

 

Bunch of ripe banana fruits isolated

Bananas ★★

Bananas have high potassium levels (450 mg), 3g fiber, and 30g carbohydrates making it a great go to fruit for snacks. It also has about 32mg of Magnesium. The higher levels of potassium also help protect against kidney cancer.2 Bananas also contain Catechins and delphinidin, which may help protect against breast cancer. Bananas may also protect against kidney cancer too. One large study showed that women who ate bananas daily were 40% less likely to develop breast cancer so eating about ½ a banana daily will help women significantly reduce their risks.1

Bananas are best when yellow with a few small brown spots. Like Avocados, bananas left on the branch longer will have more nutrients in it.2

In addition to containing potassium and B vitamins, which can help elevate energy levels, they have an anti-inflammatory enzyme called bromelain, which may increase the production of testosterone.4

Bananas can be used to help with digestion and stimulate your appetite.4 It’s also a very good prebiotic, meaning it helps increase the amount and activity of the good bacteria in your gut.Since bananas contain plenty of vitamin B’s and potassium they can also boost your energy levels, which may help improve libido for men.3They also contain bromelain, which is a chemical that also increases libido for men. Pineapples also contain a lot of bromelain.

  1. The Dr. Oz Show
  2. Lu Q, Zhang Y, Heber D, et al. California Hass avocado: profiling of carotenoids, tocopherol, fatty acid, and fat content during maturation and from different growing areas. Journal Of Agricultural And Food Chemistry [serial online]. November 11, 2009;57(21):10408-10413.
  3. The Dr. Oz Show
  4. The Dr. Oz Show
  5. Sun J, Chu Y, Wu X, Liu R. Antioxidant and antiproliferative activities of common fruits. Journal Of Agricultural And Food Chemistry [serial online]. December 4, 2002;50(25):7449-7454.

 

 

[

World Agroforestry Centre / Flickr

Not much is known about the health benefits of the Baobab fruit. It is a fruit widely consumed in western Africa. It is also high in antioxidants with one study showing the antioxidant capacity of Baobab fruit to be 100 times higher than oranges.1

The pulp is high in fiber, potassium, magneseum and vitamin C and the leaves are high in calcium.1
In 2009, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) determined that dried baobab fruit pulp was “Generally Recognized as Safe” (GRAS) for use as an ingredient in blended fruit drinks at a level of up to 10% and up to 15% in fruit cereal bars.2
 

  1. Chadare F, Linnemann A, Hounhouigan J, Nout M, Van Boekel M. Baobab food products: a review on their composition and nutritional value. Critical Reviews In Food Science And Nutrition [serial online]. March 2009;49(3):254-274.
  2. Agency Response Letter GRAS Notice No. GRN 000273 CFSAN/Office of Food Additive Safety (July 25, 2009). Office of Food Additive Safety, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition Accessed March 4, 2012.

 

 

tyle_r / Flickr

Peppers

Peppers have luteolin, which has been shown to help reduce inflammation in the brain and help protect your vision. This is important for reducing the risks for brain cancer and Alzheimer’s.  A study done on mice showed that it also helped to improve their memory.4
 

Bell peppers

Bell Peppers

This pepper along with the others may have antibacterial qualities to it. It can kill natural bacteria in the gut, yeasts and molds so peppers may be good to help fight off infections in your intestinal lining.5,6

The compound gaining the most attention in peppers is capsaicin. This compound had the ability to kill off cancer cells in lab studies.7

Red peppers can also help lower cholesterol and blood lipid (fat) levels.They also work well with Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans) to help unlock some of its iron content. They are also high in Vitamin C so cooking it too long with leech a lot of the vitamin out. It’s best to eat them raw.  Peppers have twice the amount of vitamin C than Oranges and about 1/3 of the calories. Vitamin C is also a very strong antioxidant.

They’re also a good source of calcium, potassium and iron.1,2  Studies show that they can help reduce the risk of prostate cancer.1 Of all the bell peppers, the red bell peppers seem to have a more antioxidants in them than the green peppers.
Ghost Chili
Ghost Pepper

This type of chili pepper is perhaps the hottest thing on the planet. It is virtually neck and neck with Scorpion chili pepper as the hottest food on earth.

  1. Ambrosini G, de Klerk N, Fritschi L, Mackerras D, Musk B. Fruit, vegetable, vitamin A intakes, and prostate cancer risk. Prostate Cancer And Prostatic Diseases [serial online]. 2008;11(1):61-66.
  2. Sun T, Xu Z, Wu C, Janes M, Prinyawiwatkul W, No H. Antioxidant activities of different colored sweet bell peppers (Capsicum annuum L.). Journal Of Food Science [serial online]. March 2007;72(2):S98-S102.
  3. http://www.sharecare.com/question/health-benefits-eating-bell-peppers
  4. myhealthnewsdaily.com. 6 foods that are good for your brain. Slide 5; Carrots. Located at http://www.myhealthnewsdaily.com/758-best-foods-brain-health.html. Accessed March 10, 2013.
  5. Wahba N, Ahmed A, Ebraheim Z. Antimicrobial effects of pepper, parsley, and dill and their roles in the microbiological quality enhancement of traditional Egyptian Kareish cheese. Foodborne Pathogens And Disease [serial online]. April 2010;7(4):411-418.
  6. Wu C, Lin J, Yang J, et al. Capsaicin induced cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in human esophagus epidermoid carcinoma CE 81T/VGH cells through the elevation of intracellular reactive oxygen species and Ca2+ productions and caspase-3 activation. Mutation Research [serial online]. October 10, 2006;601(1-2):71-82.
  7. Kuda T, Iwai A, Yano T. Effect of red pepper Capsicum annuum var. conoides and garlic Allium sativum on plasma lipid levels and cecal microflora in mice fed beef tallow. Food And Chemical Toxicology: An International Journal Published For The British Industrial Biological Research Association [serial online]. October 2004;42(10):1695-1700.

 

 

Bitter melon Robert Couse-Baker Flickr

Bitter Melon

Bitter Melons contain a compound called cherenitin, which has been shown to lower blood sugar and may help with diabetes. To prepare it, chop thin and stir-fry with other herbs.

When combined with a magnesium supplement bitter melon may also help to reduce hypertension since it is rich in vitamin C and amino acids.1

People in Okinawa, Japan eat bitter melon regularly. Many Okinawans attribute their ability to live longer, healthier lives to bitter melons. Okinawa has one of the highest rates of centenarians (people who are 100 years old or more) in the world. There are about 50 centenarians for every 100,000 people there, which is about twice the rate of the United States.
 

Wild Bitter Gourd

It is a type of bitter melon that has been traditionally used to fight diabetes. It’s also a good weapon against bacteria, viruses and cancer.2

 

  1. The Dr. Oz Show
  2. Tsai C, Chen E, Tsay H, Huang C. Wild bitter gourd improves metabolic syndrome: a preliminary dietary supplementation trial. Nutrition Journal [serial online]. January 13, 2012;11:4.

 

 

Blackberries Martin LaBar Flickr

Blackberries

Blackberries have solid levels of potassium, fiber and Vitamin C. Recent studies show that Blackberries have very high levels of antioxidants, which helps reduce your risks of cancer and cardiovascular diseases.

  1. Cuevas-Rodríguez E, Yousef G, García-Saucedo P, López-Medina J, Paredes-López O, Lila M. Characterization of anthocyanins and proanthocyanidins in wild and domesticated Mexican blackberries (Rubus spp.). Journal Of Agricultural And Food Chemistry [serial online]. June 23, 2010;58(12):7458-7464.

 

 

Black nightshade berry

Black Nightshade Berry

One study showed that Black Nightshade Berry seed extract may play a role in fighting off Hepatitis C infection. The data collected shows that the berry and its seeds may have the potential to be an alternative approach to treating Hepatitis C.
 

  1. Javed T, Ashfaq U, Riaz S, Rehman S, Riazuddin S. In-vitro antiviral activity of Solanum nigrum against Hepatitis C Virus. Virology Journal [serial online]. January 19, 2011;8:26.

 

 

Blueberries

Blueberries ★★★

Blueberries are an excellent source of antioxidants and a good source of fiber. It’s a great for fighting off all kinds of cancers, specifically lung cancer and possibly pancreatic cancer but more research is needed here. It has also been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease. Blueberries are even capable of helping to prevent the formation of cancer cells in the body (carcinogenesis/oncogenesis).1,2,3

1 serving of blueberries provides more antioxidants than most fruits or vegetables. Blueberries are excellent for those with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity and diabetes. This fruit is at or near the top of the list of the strongest anticancer foods.4

Overall blueberries have been shown to improve heart and brain health, which is especially good for those suffering with a loss of balance and coordination, memory loss, and other abilities often associated with older adults and Alzheimer’s patients.4,5

Wild_blueberries Misty wikimedia

Wild blueberries ★★★

They have a very strong antioxidant capacity, as well as the ability to lower blood glucose levels. Their darker color means they have even more antioxidants than regular Blueberries. A diet that includes wild blueberries has been linked to improved motor skills and the potential to reverse age related short-term memory loss.4
 

  1. Philpott M, Lim C, Ferguson L. Dietary protection against free radicals: A case for multiple testing to establish structure-activity relationships for antioxidant potential of anthocyanic plant species. International Journal Of Molecular Sciences [serial online]. March 2009;10(3):1081-1103.
  2. Schneider J, Alosi J, McDonald D, McFadden D. Pterostilbene inhibits lung cancer through induction of apoptosis. The Journal Of Surgical Research [serial online]. June 1, 2010;161(1):18-22.
  3. Mannal P, Alosi J, Schneider J, McDonald D, McFadden D. Pterostilbene inhibits pancreatic cancer in vitro. Journal Of Gastrointestinal Surgery: Official Journal Of The Society For Surgery Of The Alimentary Tract [serial online]. May 2010;14(5):873-879
  4. The Dr. Oz Show and Here
  5. Courier Post Online. Those Jersey blues, If it’s summer it means these healthy blue bombshells are in abundance. Located at http://www.courierpostonline.com/article/20110629/LIVING01/106290301/1004/LIVING/Those-Jersey-blues-If-it-s-summer-it-means-these-healthy-blue-bombshells-are-in-abundance. Accessed September 23, 2013

 

 

boysenberry

Boysenberry

Good sources of vitamin C, fiber, and potassium. It has plenty of antioxidants and a very high polyphenol content, which is good for protecting against cancer. Boysenberry juice is rich in polyphenols. There is some evidence that the seeds may contain more anthocyanins than the juice so eating the fruit whole may be even more beneficial than the juice.1
 

  1. Furuuchi R, Yokoyama T, Watanabe Y, Hirayama M. Identification and quantification of short oligomeric proanthocyanidins and other polyphenols in boysenberry seeds and juice. Journal Of Agricultural And Food Chemistry [serial online]. April 27, 2011;59(8):3738-3746.

 

 

Buddhas hand

Buddha’s Hand

Traditionally Buddah’s hand fruit is beneficial for the pancreas, liver and stomach. People would eat it to treat hypertension and respiratory tract infections. Some of the compounds in Buddah’s hand fruit may help treat high blood triglyceride levels also.

  1. Peng C, Ker Y, Peng R, et al. Insulin secretagogue bioactivity of finger citron fruit (Citrus medica L. var. Sarcodactylis Hort, Rutaceae). Journal Of Agricultural And Food Chemistry [serial online]. October 14, 2009;57(19):8812-8819.

 

 

Cactus pear

Cactus Pear ★★

Cactus Pears contain relatively high levels of potassium (230mg/serving) and fiber (4g/serving) and has high vitamin C levels.

The fruit can be processed into cactus pear jelly and the seeds of the fruit are safe to eat as well. Considered one of the miracle foods.1

Cactus pear in some studies has been shown to help reduce the growth of gynecological cancer cells. In some studies it even killed ovarian, cervical and bladder cancer cells so this fruit has a lot of potential as a weapon against cancer.1,2
 

  1. The Dr. Oz Show
  2. Feugang J, Ye F, Zhang D, et al. Cactus pear extracts induce reactive oxygen species production and apoptosis in ovarian cancer cells. Nutrition And Cancer [serial online]. July 2010;62(5):692-699

 

 

Kabsik Park / Flickr

Cantaloupe

This fruit has 120% of your daily Vitamin A and 80% of your Vitamin C in one serving.  Canteloupes have been linked with a reduced risk of breast cancer.1

 

  1. Zhang C, Ho S, Chen Y, Fu J, Cheng S, Lin F. Greater vegetable and fruit intake is associated with a lower risk of breast cancer among Chinese women. International Journal Of Cancer. Journal International Du Cancer [serial online]. July 1, 2009;125(1):181-188.

 

 

Capers

Capers

Capers contain relatively high levels of Pro-Vitamin A and Vitamin E and contains a powerful cartenoid called lutein, a relative of vitamin A.

 

 

Bing Cherries

Bing Cherry

Bing Cherries are rich in antioxidants and are a great anti-inflammatory fruit. They contain 320mg potassium per serving and has the potential to reduce muscle soreness after running. And there are some signs that they may promote muscle relaxation in the stomach.1,2

 

  1. Kuehl K, Perrier E, Elliot D, Chesnutt J. Efficacy of tart cherry juice in reducing muscle pain during running: a randomized controlled trial. Journal Of The International Society Of Sports Nutrition [serial online]. 2010;7:17.
  2. Rocha B, Gago B, Barbosa R, Laranjinha J. Dietary polyphenols generate nitric oxide from nitrite in the stomach and induce smooth muscle relaxation. Toxicology [serial online]. November 9, 2009;265(1-2):41-48.

 

 

Cherries

Tart Cherries ★★

Tart Cherries have several health benefits with more being found all the time.  It has the ability to reduce pain and inflammation and contains a combination of very powerful antioxidants. It is great fighting heart disease by lowering triglycerides (fat) levels and LDL cholesterol in the blood.

Like Bing Cherries they have the potential to relieve pain and inflammation if they are taken before and after strenuous activity. Tart cherry juice may decrease the loss of strength associated with muscle damage. Eating about 45 cherries per day has been shown to reduce the chemicals in the body that promote inflammation in both men and women.

It is very good at helping with sleep by providing melatonin, a chemical in the brain that triggers sleep. This fruit is especially useful for those who may have trouble sleeping (insomnia) or stress. Other things like artificial light from a computer screen, lamp or room lights around bedtime can decrease the amount of melatonin in the body, making it more difficult to fall asleep. On top of that, Melatonin is an antioxidant and cancer fighter so it’s important to have the right amounts of melatonin in your body. Tart Cherries are the perfect way to do that.

Montmorency Tart Cherry

These sour cherries are special because they contain six times the amount of Melatonin than other cherries. Juices made from concentrate will have an even higher concentration. You can also find this type of tart cherry in the frozen section when they’re in season.

 

Rainier Cherries
h4>Rainier Cherry

 

 

Raw Chocolate

Cocoa ★★★

Cocoa or Cacao is one of the healthiest foods around. It has the potential to reduce cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and help reduce the risk for cardiovascular disease in its pure form or as dark chocolate (70% cocoa content or greater). It can also help protect arteries from plaque buildup and possibly atherosclerosis.

The health benefits are particularly good for women since one of the leading causes of death for women is heart disease.

It is a great source of phytoestrogens, which are compounds in plants that mimic estrogen in the body. These phytoestrogens can help prevent the risk of hormone driven cancers like breast and prostate cancers.

To get the best out of cocoa you need to get unprocessed cocoa, which is quite bitter. Cacao beans are hard to get especially in the U.S so go for unprocessed cocoa powder or you can buy a bag of cacao nibs, which are somewhat processed but still have plenty of healthy compounds in them.

Cocoa has the ability to increase dopamine, which is one of the natural “feel-good” chemicals of the body.
 

Chocolate

Chocolate ★★

Dark Chocolate is chocolate that has 70% or more of its ingredient content as cocoa, with the remaining ingredients comprising the other 30% or less (i.e: milk, sugars…etc). The higher the cocoa content, the more the health benefits. Chocolate bars that have more cocoa will have more health benefits. Dark chocolate bars that have 80% or more are the best if you’re looking to get the most taste as well as health benefits. As the cocoa content goes up the sweetness goes down since the chocolate will have less milk and sugar. Bars that have 85% cocoa are still sweet and still have many of the health benefits.
 

Cocoa Combos

Combining dark chocolate with peanut butter (all natural peanut butter is best) creates a snack that’s rich in monounsaturated fats and helps keep estrogen levels from declining in women.

Chocolate and strawberries are a great tasting combination and a very healthy combo. Strawberries contain melatonin, a hormone that helps regulate our sleep cycles. The combination of mood boosting compounds from chocolate and sleep signaling melatonin can help balance you out. The mood boosting effect of chocolate helps you enjoy your day more while the strawberries help increase the amount of melatonin in your body especially as the day begins to draw to a close. We naturally produce more melatonin as the day wears on but for people who have trouble sleeping or getting through the day, this combination may help get you back on track.

Chocolate and bananas are great at enhancing your mood since bananas have energy boosting B-vitamins. When combined with chocolate, they can boost both your energy and mood. Bananas also contain a compound called bromelain, which is a very strong anti inflammatory compound that can help further reduce your risk of cancer when eaten with chocolate. It also tastes really good.

It’s important to note that chocolate in any form that’s not pure cocoa powder should be eaten in moderation because it is high in fat and calories and it also has some caffeine. Of course, always go for organic, unsweetened, non-alkaline cocoa powder whenever you can. The added sugar and milk in chocolate bars take away from some of the health benefits that cocoa has to offer. Limit the amount you eat to a 1/4 ounce to 1 ounce per day. 1 ounce of chocolate is about one-third of a dark chocolate bar. It should be enough to start experiencing some of the health benefits.
 

  1. Jia L, Liu X, Bai Y, et al. Short-term effect of cocoa product consumption on lipid profile: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. The American Journal Of Clinical Nutrition [serial online]. July 2010;92(1):218-225
  2. Berry N, Davison K, Coates A, Buckley J, Howe P. Impact of cocoa flavanol consumption on blood pressure responsiveness to exercise. The British Journal Of Nutrition [serial online]. May 2010;103(10):1480-1484.
  3. http://www.doctoroz.com/episode/addict-next-door-new-face-heroin-addiction?video_id=4034663755001

 

 

Coconut

Coconut ★

Coconuts are high in saturated fat. However, they are a good source of fiber, which may help keep the fats from being absorbed into the body. They are also a very good source of potassium and can keep you hydrated longer. Click here for information about Coconut oil, which contains most of the healthy compounds found in coconuts.
 

 

mckaysavage / Flickr

Coffee Beans/Berries ★★

Coffee beans are a powerful anti inflammatory fruit. Coffee drinks fair the same. One very large study suggested that 6+ cups per day (regular or decaffeinated) can reduce the risk for prostate cancer and breast cancer. The antioxidants in coffee were very effective at impacting the most aggressive type of prostate cancer. However, most prostate cancers are low grade cancers so the effects of coffee may not be so strong on preventing or reducing the risk of developing prostate cancer. Another Swedish study showed that 5+ cups per day can also have the same benefit. Generally, these particular benefits are especially important for men over age 50.

Another set of studies is now showing that coffee can cut your risk of getting liver cancer by up to 50%.1,2,3,4 3 cups a day or 24 ounces of black coffee (no milk, sugar or cream) in many of these studies prevented new blood vessels from forming around cancer cells effectively starving them of the nutrients they need to multiply. The process that coffee inhibits is called angiogenesis, the formation of blood vessels.

Coffee can help strengthen the blood-brain barrier, which is a coating around the brain that helps protect it from unwanted chemicals. It may also help to enhance short term memory, which means it may possibly help keep Alzheimer’s disease at bay or slow the onset of Alzheimer’s.
 

Pen Waggener / Flickr

 

8 ounces of brewed coffee = 80mg of caffeine

2 shots of espresso (about 1 regular latte or cappuccino) = 80mg of caffeine

 

There is some evidence that coffee may also help increase the levels of sex hormones in the body. It can also help reduce the risk for type 2 diabetes, as well as improve your cholesterol levels and liver function. Drink four 8-ounce cups a day, which translates to about 2 large takeout coffees.

Note: both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffees are effective but caffeinated coffee may be even more effective than decaffeinated coffee and having your coffee black may be more effective than coffee with milk or cream. They may lower the effectiveness of the health benefits.5

Acarlos1000 / Flickr
On the other hand too much coffee can spike stress hormones like cortisol, which puts you in fight or flight mode, making it difficult to relax and thus lowering libido. Avoid drinking coffee before sex. While coffee may not help set the mood, it has other protective and disease-fighting properties.5

There is some evidence that caffeinated coffee may help protect against or slow down the development of Alzheimer’s disease. One study that was done on mice that were bred to develop Alzheimer’s showed that when they were given coffee regularly the onset of the disease was slowed down or they never developed it.6
 

Coffee

Green (unroasted) Coffee Bean Extract

This type of extract seems to be excellent at reducing high blood pressure. Phytochemicals (a type of antioxidant) in the coffee bean, that tend to break down when the bean is roasted, helps to relax and open up blood vessels. Try 200mg per day of green coffee bean extract to help lower your blood pressure.7

  1. Nkondjock, André. “Coffee consumption and the risk of cancer: an overview.”Cancer letters 277.2 (2009): 121-125.
  2. Larsson, Susanna C., and Alicja Wolk. “Coffee consumption and risk of liver cancer: a meta-analysis.” Gastroenterology 132.5 (2007): 1740-1745.
  3. Shimazu, Taichi, et al. “Coffee consumption and the risk of primary liver cancer: pooled analysis of two prospective studies in Japan.” International journal of cancer 116.1 (2005): 150-154.
  4. Hu, Gang, et al. “Joint effects of coffee consumption and serum gamma‐glutamyltransferase on the risk of liver cancer.” Hepatology 48.1 (2008): 129-136.
  5. The Dr. Oz Show
  6. myhealthnewsdaily.com. 6 foods that are good for your brain. Slide 2; Coffee and tea. Located at http://www.myhealthnewsdaily.com/758-best-foods-brain-health.html. Accessed September 28, 2013.
  7. The Dr. Oz Show

 

 
Cranberries

Cranberries ★

Cranberries have very few calories per serving and are an excellent source of vitamin C. Cranberries, cranberry products and cranberry juice can certainly help fight urinary tract infections. They do this by acidifying your urine, which makes it harder for bacteria to stick to the bladder walls. They are an excellent source of high quality antioxidants, specifically flavanoids, and a strong anti inflammatory fruit. They can help prevent cardiovascular disease, inflammatory diseases and Alzheimer’s. They are also a good weapon against many different types of cancer, specifically, breast cancer. It also works well to protect your kidneys, bladder and skin.

Some studies show that it can slow or stop the growth of H. Pylori, a virus linked to ulcers and other gastric ailments.

Cranberry juice can keep plaque from forming on the teeth, which helps prevent them from getting yellow.  It can counter the effects of bacteria that contribute to tooth decay.

Try to avoid cranberry drinks that contain high amounts of sugar per serving. Some brands can have up to 28 grams of sugar per 8oz serving. The added sugar is because cranberries have a bitter taste. You can make your own juice by blending cranberries with water and adding your own sugar, honey or stevia to taste or buying pure unsweetened cranberry juice. The commercial cranberry cocktail products contain far too much sugar and only have about 30% (or less in some cases) of actual cranberry juice.

Cranberry juice can also help prevent heart disease and heart attacks together with flaxseed oil. Fill a shot glass halfway with cranberry juice, add 4 drops of stevia (or a little sugar if you prefer) and fill the rest with flaxseed oil.

All in all you should have ¼ cup of cranberries per day to get the full benefits or drink about 4 cups of unsweetened, lightly sweetened or homemade juice per day.
 

 

Cucumbers

Cucumbers

There are several kinds of cucumbers but the ones we find in stores are a good source of potassium and vitamin C and only contain 10-40 calories.

The outer layer of cucumbers contain silica, which is an important ingredient in connective tissue proteins so it’s great for getting rid of wrinkles.

Try to get un-waxed cucumbers so you can eat the skin without any nagging concerns. Rub and smell it and it should smell like vegetable and not a chemical.
 

 

kahvikisu / Flickr

Currants ★

Currants are excellent for your heart and a strong anti inflammatory fruit.1 The main antioxidants in Currants are anthocyanins. The fruit has anti microbial and anti carcinogenic properties and can help reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.1 In one Finnish study the participants showed a 60% reduction in heart disease and stroke risk.1,2

Black Currants

These Currants have anthocyanosides, which are a type of antioxidant that can help improve vision. They contain 5 times more vitamin C than Oranges, which makes it one of the best immunity booster foods available and makes it a great cancer fighter.

Like Bing and Tart Cherries, this type of Currants can help minimize muscle damage from exercise and sports training. Also, these fruits can help reduce the inflammation caused by allergy-induced asthma.3

Black Currants are available frozen or as a juice, jam or preserves. Currant fruits are also available as a non-frozen fruit or dried out like raisins.

Black Currants are great at nourishing the hippocampus in the brain, which is essentially our memory center. They help us think sharper and more clearly as well as reduce our risk for developing Alzheimer’s as we age.
 

  1. Mazza G. Anthocyanins and heart health. Annali Dell’istituto Superiore Di Sanità [serial online]. 2007;43(4):369-374.
  2. Knegt, P.; Jarvinen, R.; Reunanen, A.; Maatela, J.Flavonoid intake and coronary heart disease in Finland: a cohort study Br. Med. J. 1996, 312, 478– 481.
  3. The Dr. Oz Show
  4. The Dr. Oz Show

 

 

Dates

Dates

Dates are very tasty and sweet and is a great snack to go for when feeling hungry rather than eating junk foods. Dates contain a wide variety of antioxidants and vitamins (Vitamins C and A, thiamine (vitamin B1), riboflavin (vitamin B2) niacin, and minerals. The seeds contain an array of unsaturated fatty acids like oleic and linoleic acids, which are omega 9 and omega 6 fatty acids. Dates contain fluorine, which protects your teeth against decay by hardening the enamel. They contain selenium, which is an important mineral (and antioxidant) that can help prevent cancer.1 Also dates contain high levels of potassium, which is important for your nerves and muscles.2 There are 23 types of amino acids that make up the proteins in dates. Some of these amino acids are not found in more popular fruits like oranges, apples and bananas.1
Generally the longer the fruits get to ripen on the branch the more nutrients it and its seeds will contain.

  1. Al-Shahib W, Marshall R. The fruit of the date palm: its possible use as the best food for the future?. International Journal Of Food Sciences And Nutrition [serial online]. July 2003;54(4):247-259.

 

 

Dragon fruit

Dragon Fruit

 

 

Durian

Durian

Also known as Stinky Feet fruit. But, it tastes like custard. The fruit contains an amino acid called hydrotryptophan, which can help lower fevers.
 

 

>>Return to Fruits<<

Fruits E – H, Fruits J – M, Fruits N – P, Fruits Q – W

Leave a Reply