5 Boring Fruits With Amazing Health Benefits

Fancy superfruits like guava, mangosteen, acai, and goji tout sky-high levels of antioxidants and vitamins. And with their standout nutrient profiles, as UC Davis notes, it’s no wonder food marketers often call them “super.” But the truth is, a wealth of research has shown that the ordinary apples, grapes, and other fruits that make our shopping lists week after week boast some pretty impressive health benefits of their own.

Eating even slightly more fruits (as well as vegetables) may lower your odds of developing type 2 diabetes, research has suggested. And note: Eating fancy superfruits wasn’t a requirement to reap these diabetes prevention perks. “The truth is, all fruits promote health and provide a variety of essential nutrients, such as fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, making them worth building into our daily diets, no matter how basic saba sport login and accessible they might be,” says Malina Malkani, RDN, creator of Solve Picky Eating, who is based in the New York City area.

Plus, the accessibility of ordinary fruits may mean a greater likelihood you’ll add them to your plate. One of the great things about common fruit is that “consumers are more familiar with what they are and how they taste, and they are more comfortable with them in the kitchen, allowing them to put those fruits to use in a variety of ways,” says Jessica Levinson, RDN, a culinary nutrition expert in New Rochelle, New York.

Grapefruit May Help Prevent Diabetes and Other Chronic Diseases

Adding grapefruit to your diet may decrease your risk of insulin resistance, a precursor to type 2 diabetes, according to research. When overweight adults ate a half grapefruit, drank grapefruit juice, took a grapefruit pill, or took a placebo once a day before a meal for 12 weeks, those who consumed grapefruit in any form had lower insulin levels (higher levels are a sign of type 2 diabetes). What’s more, the fresh grapefruit eaters lost an average of 3.5 pounds more over the course of the study than the placebo group. (But if you take any medications, talk to your doctor first, as grapefruit can interact with many different drugs, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.)

One reason for grapefruit’s potential health perks? It contains a compound called naringenin that’s also found in other citrus fruits, and according to a research review, it may provide anti-inflammatory benefits and help protect against developing cardiovascular disease. This compound may also help prevent kidney cysts, per in vitro and animal research.

Blueberries Can Help Support Healthy Weight Loss

Blueberries can help keep you healthy and your mind sharp — research has linked blueberries to improved memory and learning, thanks in part to the anti-inflammatory effects of anthocyanin, which are the antioxidants that give the fruit its bright purple hue. Another study showed that when older adults with early stages of cognitive decline took blueberry supplements, they experienced neurocognitive benefits.

Last but not least, research found that eating 1 cup of blueberries each day lowered the odds of developing cardiovascular disease by up to 15 percent. Now that’s a reason to stock up!

Apples Can Play a Role in Zapping High Cholesterol

“That old saying of ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away’ might just have been on to something,” says Maggie Michalczyk, RD, the Chicago-based founder of Once Upon a Pumpkin.

When overweight, postmenopausal women ate around a cup of dried apples each day for a year, they experienced an almost 6 percent drop in “bad” LDL cholesterol, according to a study. What’s more, the women’s “good” HDL cholesterol increased by about 10 percent, and they also lost an average of 2.4 percent of their body fat.

Tangerines Can Help Support Metabolic Health

A flavonoid in this citrus fruit may help protect the body against the group of risk factors known as metabolic syndrome, which includes high fasting blood sugar, high triglyceride levels, and high blood pressure, according to research on animals. When researchers fed mice a typical “western” diet high in saturated fat, sodium, added sugar, and refined carbohydrates that was supplemented with the tangerine antioxidant nobiletin, the mice experienced no increase in cholesterol, triglycerides, insulin, or blood sugar; but mice who didn’t get the nobiletin did see a rise.

Strawberries Should Be Part of an Anticancer Diet

According to one study, when 36 people with precancerous esophageal lesions ate 2 ounces (oz) of freeze-dried strawberries daily for six months, 80 percent saw a decrease in the severity of the lesions. The researchers aren’t sure which of the vitamins, minerals, or other nutrients in the berries are responsible, but they plan to investigate the possibility that strawberries may be valuable as an add-on or alternative treatment to cancer-treating drugs. Note that the study was small and funded by industry — the California Strawberry Commission — so the results may be skewed.

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