Vitamins in fruits and the nutrients they contain.
The most valuable vitamins in fruits are vitamin C, carotenoids (e.g. beta carotene), and phytonutrients (health-building substances).Though not as nutrient-dense as vegetables, fruits are an important source of vitamins, minerals, and enzymes.
Some fruits are more nutritious than others, but with fruits, as with vegetables and grains, variety is the spice of life. Nutrients that one fruit lacks, another fruit provides.
Fructose is the principle sugar in most fruits , though sucrose is the principle sugar in others, such as oranges, melons, and peaches. Fructose is absorbed slowly into the bloodstream, so gives you energy without triggering the ups and downs of the insulin cycle.
- Apple. An apple a day may not keep the doctor entirely away, but apples are nutritious, convenient, and always available. Apples get an A+ in fiber content, since they contain a lot of the soluble fiber, pectin, that helps to lower cholesterol. They also contain some cancer-fighting flavenoids.
Eating a whole apple is more nutritious than drinking apple juice, since the fiber, vitamins, and minerals may be processed out of the juices. When the flesh of an apple turns brown, it means some of the nutrients have oxidized and are lost. To get the best vitamins in fruits, eat them fresh.
- Apricot. Five apricots contain around the same number of calories as one apple, but they have much more protein, calcium, iron, vitamin K, zinc, vitamin A, and folic acid. Apricots are high in beta carotene, as well as potassium and fiber.
- Apricot dried. Are a particularly good source of beta carotene, potassium, and fiber (3 grams per 10 dried apricot halves). When purchasing dried apricots, read the label. Preservatives, such as sulfites or sulfur- dioxide, are often used to maintain apricots' orange color.
These will be listed on the label. Sulfate can be an allergen for some people. You can purchase sulfate-free apricots in health food stores. Even though they are a less appealing, brownish color, they are equally nutritious. It is not worth consuming extra sulfates just so the apricots look more orange.
- Avocado.Are usually thought of as a vegetable, but they are really a fruit, with more nutrition than any other fruit. Avocados are especially high in protein, fiber, niacin, thiamin, riboflavin, folic acid, and zinc.
Avocados get the lion's share of their calories from fat, and while these are the heart-healthy monounsaturated fats with no cholesterol, you pay a caloric price. While weight-conscious adults might want to stick to an apple a day rather than an avocado a day, the high calorie content of avocados makes them a good food vitamins in fruits for growing children.
The fat content of avocados depends upon the variety. Florida avocados have about half the fat and two-thirds the calories of California avocados. Another healthy fat that avocados contain are Omega 3 fatty acids.
- Banana. Bananas mash easily for baby food and blend nicely into a sweet smoothie. They contain a lot of potassium, so eating a daily banana is helpful to people on certain medications, such as diuretics, which may deplete the body of potassium. Even though most bananas are imported, vitamins in fruits the easy-to-peel feature of the bananas makes it easy to peel the pesticides off.
- Blueberries. On the surface, blueberries don't seem to pack any particular standout nutrient for vitamins in fruits Yet recent studies have shown that blueberries have healthy stuff in their skin, an antioxidant, cancer-fighting phyto, called anthocyanin . Blueberries are excellent vitamins in fruits for making smoothies. Their sweet taste and rich purple color give any smoothie a more appealing taste, texture, and color.
- Boysenberries. Boysenberries are a great source of fiber.
- Cantaloupe. Cantaloupes are high in vitamin C, beta carotene, and potassium.
- Cherries. Cherries contain some beta carotene, and sour cherries contain more beta carotene than sweet cherries.
- Dates. Dates are a good source of fiber, iron, and niacin.
- Figs dried. Dried figs as vitamins in fruits are high in calories and high in carbs, but they also contain abundant amounts of other nutrients, such as calcium, fiber, protein, and potassium. They make an excellent snack and add fiber when they're chopped up and included in cookies.
Because of the high fiber and high calcium content, they get an honorable mention on our "Top Ten Fruits" list. Their high carbohydrate and sugar content could be a drawback for sugar-sensitive individuals, but for athletes, figs would be a great addition to a pre-game meal.
- Grapefruit. Is great as vitamins in fruits, low in calories, high in fiber, with lots of vitamin C. If you get the pink or red variety instead of the white, grapefruit is also rich in beta carotene.
Half the fiber is the insoluble type (good for the intestines) and half is soluble pectin fiber (good for the heart). Remember, though, that a lot of fiber is in the stringy walls that separate the segments. If you're digging out grapefruit segments with a spoon, you'll miss out on much of the fiber.
- Grapes. The skin of red and purple grapes contain cancer-fighting anthocyanin pigments, similar to the ones in blueberries. Green, seedless grapes are not exactly nutritional standouts, but kids love to snack on them, especially on hot days. They're a popular alternative to soda or candy.
- Honeydew melon. Is not nearly as nutritious as cantaloupe. Cantaloupe contains half the number of calories, nearly twice the protein, slightly more fiber, more calcium, and a lot more beta carotene, compared with only a trace in honey-dew.
- Kiwi. Is a great source of vitamin C. Try cutting it in half and eating it out of the peel with a spoon.
- Lemon and lime. Are a moderately good source of vitamin C, with lemons containing about one-third more vitamin C than limes. Lemon and lime juice add flavor to dishes, which can be helpful if you're cutting back on salt.
- Mango. High in fiber, high in beta carotene (similar to apricots and cantaloupe), high in vitamin C -- but much higher in calories than equal servings of similar fruits, such as cantaloupe and papaya.
- Orange.Are vitamins in fruits known for their vitamin C content, but they're also a good source of folate and fiber. They even contain some calcium. As with grapefruit, the white membrane under the skin of the orange contains more vitamin C than the flesh and a lot of the pectin fiber. When peeling the orange, try to leave the white inner peeling on and eat it with the flesh (if you don't mind the slightly bitter taste).
- Papaya. High in calcium, folic acid, vitamin C, fiber, and carotenoids, this near-perfect fruit is becoming more widely available and affordable.
- Peach. The best peaches are tree-ripened and therefore locally grown. They contain some carotenoids and a tiny bit of vitamin C.
- Pear. A high sorbitol content,and as vitamins in fruits plus extra fiber, makes pears ideal for persons suffering from constipation. Most of the vitamin C in pears is concentrated in the skin, as is some of the fiber, so peeled, canned pears are less nutritious than fresh.
- Persimmons. Are high in fiber, carotenoids, and vitamin A. Some varieties are extremely high in vitamin C.
- Pineapple. Its claim to fame as vitamins in fruits is the highest in the essential nutrient, manganese, and that it has digestive enzymes, as does papaya.
- Plum. Contain a bit of carotenoids and some vitamin C. There are many varieties from which to choose.
- Prunes. They contain at least some of many different important vitamins and minerals. Compared with other fruits, prunes are especially high in fiber (half of it the soluble type), protein, potassium, vitamin A, vitamin E, calcium, and iron. They contain a touch of zinc and niacin, and some prunes even contain a bit of beta carotene. Prunes are known for their ability to move the intestines, thanks to their high fiber content and large amounts of the stool-loosening sugar, sorbitol.
- Raisins. This favorite vitamins in fruits snack is high in fiber and iron but also high in calories and sugar. You can get the iron and fiber at a lower caloric cost in other fruits.
- Raspberries. Of all the fruits, raspberries pack the most fiber into the fewest calories. They're also higher in folic acid and zinc than most fruits. It is difficult to wash raspberries thoroughly, making pesticides a concern.
- Strawberries.Have two nutritional claims to fame: they are higher in vitamin C per calorie than any other vitamins in fruits and they are high in fiber. Like raspberries, strawberries lose points because of the pesticide issue. You don't peel them and because of their rough texture, they are hard to clean.
- Tangerine. This member of the orange family contains much less vitamin C, folate, and fiber than an orange, but more vitamin A and carotenoids.
- Watermelon. Watermelon is the top fruit source of the carotenoid antioxidant lycopene.
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