What are fruits?

Fruit is the sweet and typically fleshy, seed-bearing product of a flowering plant or tree.


Although all fruit is healthy there’s no single fruit or vegetable that provides all the nutrients you need, so it’s important to eat a wide variety and as a minimum, get your 5-a-day.

Discover our full range of health benefit guides and check out some of our favourite fruit recipes.

Sausage, mustard & apple hash in a silver pan

What are the healthiest fruits?

1. Apples

Apples are packed with pectin, a soluble fibre that supports digestion and may have an immune modulatory effect. Cooking varieties of apple are the richer nutritional sources, but all apples are beneficial, especially when eaten whole.

Rich in protective polyphenols, studies also suggest that including foods like apples in your regular diet may reduce the risk of certain cancers and from developing conditions such as type 2 diabetes.

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Discover the health benefits of apples.

Try our tasty apple recipes, including spiced carrot and apple muffins, sausage, mustard and apple hash, and red cabbage with apples.

2. Avocado

Avocados have been applauded for their nutrient density, with just half an average fruit counting as 1 portion of your 5-a-day. They’re an excellent source of monounsaturated fat and vitamin E, and a good source of folate – all of which benefit the heart. Avocado also supplies more soluble fibre than most other fruit and contain a number of useful minerals including iron, copper and potassium.

Discover the health benefits of avocado.

Enjoy avocado in our tomato penne with avocado, spicy chicken and avocado wraps, and avocado and black bean eggs.

3. Bananas

Bananas are another high pectin fruit, this soluble fibre helps promote feelings of fullness, may reduce bloating and has a soothing effect on the gut.

In addition to pectin, bananas contain resistant starch, a type of fibre that has prebiotic properties – it fuels the healthy gut bacteria so they increase in number and as a consequence produce more beneficial compounds called short chain fatty acids.

Discover the health benefits of bananas.

Go bananas for our delicious recipes, including vegan banana pancakes and crunchy peanut butter and banana pots.

4. Blackberries

Anthocyanin pigments are responsible for this berry’s rich colour as well as many of its protective properties. Although low in calories, blackberries have even more vitamin C, folate and fibre than the much-acclaimed blueberry.

Discover the health benefits of blackberries.

Make the most of blackberries with our blackberry muffins, blackberry and apple oat bake, and frozen blackberry smoothie.

5. Blackcurrants

Tart to the taste, blackcurrants are one of the richest berries for their health-promoting nutrients. With 30 times more vitamin C and 40% more protective polyphenols than blueberries, these are the undeclared stars of the fruit garden. Numerous studies suggest they’re of benefit for high blood pressure and other cardiovascular illnesses.

Add the tart taste of blackcurrants to our very berry oat crumble, blackcurrant compote and blackcurrant no-churn ice cream.

Stack of Blueberry & lemon pancakes

6. Blueberries

Reputed for being rich in naturally occurring plant compounds such as ellagic acid and anthocyanins – these compounds in blueberries have protective properties, which help the body combat a long list of diseases.

Discover the health benefits of blueberries.

Add juicy blueberries to our blueberry baked oats, banana and blueberry muffins, and blueberry and lemon pancakes.

7. Cherries

Another valuable source of anthocyanins, cherries appear to have anti-inflammatory effects. Initial research has shown that these plant compounds may be beneficial in inflammatory conditions including arthritis. However, more research is needed to replicate these results in human studies.

Discover the health benefits of cherries.

Add cherries to our vegan cherry and almond brownies, cherry smoothie and crunchy granola with berries and cherries.

8. Cranberries

The juice of these little red berries is probably best known for helping to manage urinary tract infections (UTI). Cranberries contain pro-anthocyanidin compounds, which have natural antibacterial benefits and may help prevent escherichia coli from attaching to the surface of the bladder and urinary tract.

There are many studies supporting cranberry juice as a means to help prevent a UTI and its reoccurrence, but it appears to be less effective once the infection has taken hold. Some studies also suggest it may not work for everyone.

If you choose to drink cranberry juice for its potential UTI benefits, opt for an unsweetened 100% juice.

Discover the health benefits of cranberries.

Enjoy cranberries in our oat and cranberry bars, cranberry and raspberry smoothie, and cranberry, pumpkin seed and caramel flapjacks.

9. Grapefruit

Eating citrus fruit regularly is thought to improve heart health since a diet high in citrus flavonoids – the plant compounds found in the likes of grapefruit – may help lower the risk of stroke. Grapefruit is also rich in potassium and fibre which help manage blood pressure.

Discover the health benefits of grapefruit.

Add zingy grapefruit to our prawn, avocado and tamarind salad, sweet potato pancakes with orange and grapefruit, and hot-smoked salmon and grapefruit salad.

10. Grapes

As the skin and seeds of grapes are loaded with nutrients and protective plant compounds, it’s best to enjoy grapes whole. The plant compounds in grapes, including resveratrol and quercetin, are thought to benefit the cardiovascular system, protecting it from inflammatory damage.

Discover the health benefits of grapes.

Use up the grapes in your fridge to make our turkey salad with grapes and walnuts, baked feta with sumac and grapes, and rainbow fruit skewers.

Rainbow fruit skewers

11. Kiwi

Compared with other commonly eaten fruit, kiwi is unrivalled for its nutrient density, health benefits and ability to support heart health. Regularly eating the fruit appears to increase high-density lipoprotein (HDL) – the so-called ‘good’ cholesterol – reduce other blood triglycerides (fats) and minimises platelet aggregation, which over time may lead to atherosclerosis. Kiwi also helps manage blood pressure, thanks to its effects on the angiotensin-converting enzyme.

Discover the health benefits of kiwi.

Try kiwi in our watermelon lollies, kiwi smoothie and fruit and seed yogurt.

12. Olives

Rich in polyphenols, olives may help reduce the risk of chronic diseases including atherosclerosis and cancer. Oleocanthal is one such polyphenol and appears to share the same pharmacological activity as ibuprofen, acting as a potent natural anti-inflammatory. This useful property has been associated with positive effects in those living with rheumatoid arthritis.

Discover the health benefits of olives.

Add the salty hit of olives to our chicken and olive casserole, pesto and olive-crusted fish, veggie olive wraps with mustard vinaigrette.

13. Oranges

Like other citrus fruit, oranges contain health-promoting compounds which research suggests may support the body and protect us from conditions such as heart disease and cancer. Don’t discard the peel because it contains higher amounts of certain nutrients, which means using the zest in recipes will give your diet an extra boost.

Discover the health benefits of oranges.

Put oranges to good use with our recipes for halloumi, carrot and orange salad, orange and dark chocolate yogurt bowls, and Moroccan orange cake.

14. Papaya

A tropical fruit loaded with vitamin C and fibre, unripe papaya is a source of the enzyme papain which is useful for breaking down protein and tenderising meat. Being orange in colour, papaya is a source of carotenoids – in particular, bioavailable provitamin A in the form of beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin and lycopene.

Add tropical papaya to our summer salmon with papaya salsa, seared beef and papaya salad with soy dressing, and jerk chicken salad.

15. Pears

Good for the heart and blood pressure, pears are rich in folate and potassium and are a useful source of both soluble and insoluble fibre. Enjoy the fruit with the skin intact for optimal benefits.

Discover the health benefits of pears.

Get cooking with our recipes for flourless chocolate and pear cake, goat’s cheese, pear and walnut tartines, and pear and blackberry bircher.

16. Plums

With equal and, possibly more, antioxidant activity than blueberries, the darker the skin of the plum, the richer its beneficial plant compounds. These compounds are believed to support memory, boost bone health and have anti-inflammatory properties.

Discover the health benefits of plums.

Use plums to make our rustic harvest fruit tart, sticky plum flapjack bars, and spiced plum and blackberry crumble.

Rustic harvest fruit tart cut into slices

17. Pomegranates

With studies suggesting pomegranate juice has an antioxidant activity three times higher than that of red wine and green tea, it would be fair to expect some pretty impressive health benefits. Current studies don’t disappoint with research underway to examine the effects of pomegranate juice on the inflammatory markers of patients hospitalised with covid-19.

Discover the health benefits of pomegranate.

Enjoy pomegranate in our recipes, including pomegranate chicken with almond couscous, chicken tagine with lemon, olives and pomegranate, and beetroot and halloumi salad with pomegranate and dill.

18. Strawberries

Deliciously sweet, low-calorie and with just seven berries comprising 1 of your 5-a-day, strawberries are a top healthy treat. Rich in polyphenols, eating strawberries may help to improve digestion, brain function and support heart health.

Discover the health benefits of strawberries.

Enjoy strawberries in our strawberry smoothie, vegan strawberry pancakes, and avocado and strawberry ices.

19. Tomatoes

Supplying naringenin, a flavonoid with anti-inflammatory properties, tomatoes may help our fight against diabetes, heart disease and even have anti-allergenic properties.

With much of the goodness found in the skin, it’s well worth eating tomatoes whole.

Discover the health benefits of tomatoes.

Add colourful tomatoes to our tomato and spinach kitchari, spiced salmon and tomato traybake, and roasted aubergine and tomato curry.

20. Watermelon

As its name suggests watermelon has a high water content – approximately 92% – and may, as a result, help maintain hydration. It’s a useful source of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C and potassium, and is especially rich in carotenoids, such as lycopene. In fact, the type of lycopene watermelon provides is more readily available, making this fruit an extremely valuable source.

Discover the health benefits of watermelon.

Add refreshing watermelon to our watermelon, prawn and avocado salad, watermelon smoothie and watermelon and spinach super salad.

Enjoyed this? Now read …

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Kerry Torrens BSc. (Hons) PgCert MBANT is a registered nutritionist with a post graduate diploma in Personalised Nutrition & Nutritional Therapy. She is a member of the British Association for Nutrition and Lifestyle Medicine (BANT) and a member of the Guild of Food Writers. Over the last 15 years she has been a contributing author to a number of nutritional and cookery publications including Good Food. Find her on Instagram at @kerry_torrens_nutrition_


All health content on goodfood.com is provided for general information only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or any other healthcare professional. If you have any concerns about your general health, you should contact your local healthcare provider. See our website terms and conditions for more information.

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