3 of the healthiest fruits in the world
Did you know that bell peppers are actually fruits? As are pumpkins, tomatoes, string beans, eggplants, and many more foods you might have thought were vegetables.
This is because, technically, as scientists explain, "Botanically speaking, a fruit is a seed-bearing structure that develops from the ovary of a flowering plant, whereas vegetables are all other plant parts, such as roots, leaves and stems”
According to this definition of fruits then, here are the three healthiest, most nutrient-dense ones you can eat.
Sweet red bell peppers which protects us against pollutants, inhibits cancer cell growth and supports eye health
Did you know that just one large red bell pepper contains 349% of your RDI for vitamin C? We really cannot get enough of this powerful antioxidant.
First, we cannot absorb iron without it. Secondly, we cannot manufacture collagen without it.
This is a major reason why smokers begin to look older faster - smoking depletes vitamin C in the body, causing a decline in collagen synthesis. So, all the vitamin C - in red bell peppers, as an example - help to protect us from free radical damage, the slings and arrows in our environment caused by toxins that damage our cells and alter DNA in ways that can cause cancer.
Of course, antioxidants also protect us against sun damage and preserve our eye health.
Red bell peppers are also rich in a phytonutrient and antioxidant called lycopene. You might have heard about tomatoes being rich in this compound.
Lycopene helps in the prevention of many cancers, especially lung and prostate cancers. Red bell peppers are also very high in vitamins B6, magnesium, and contain 100% of our RDI for vitamin A - which is so important for our eyes, along with lutein and zeaxanthin, two important phytonutrients for the eyes (but not as much as orange peppers).
Consume them with a good source of (healthy) fats like, grass-fed butter or make your own dressing with extra virgin olive oil to make sure you absorb fat-soluble vitamin A!
Pumpkin are wonderful for the eyes and your skin
Pumpkins are one of the healthiest fruits around. Even their seeds and the pure essential oils extracted from them have powerful nutrients and constituents which have so many benefits for health.
In fact, one cup of cooked pumpkin contains 245% of eye-nourishing vitamin A, 19% of the RDI for vitamin C, and nearly 1/5thof our daily requirement of potassium, 10% of our needs for vitamin E, and 11% of our RDI for B6 and magnesium.
Worth repeating, eating pumpkin is so good for the eyes - as are many orange-colored vegetables. Rich in phytonutrients like beta carotene, pumpkin is one of our richest sources of lutein - both of which help protect us against age-related macular degeneration.
Being so rich in vitamins A, E, and C, it’s wonderful for the skin as well, helping promote collagen synthesis. Simply put, it would be wise to add pumpkin to a bone broth stew to really promote collagen synthesis.
Grapefruit is a super prostate and colon cancer fighter
Grapefruit is not only rich in vitamins A and C, it also contains an abundance of antioxidants like lycopene and limonene that are powerhouse cancer fighters. Again, lycopene is a phytonutrient carotenoid and pink grapefruit (not white) is one fruit (along with lycopene-rich tomatoes, apricots, pink grapefruit, watermelon, papaya, and guava), that have proven to help reduce men’s risk of developing prostate cancer.
In a recent study of 130 male prostate cancer patients and 274 male control patients, those consuming the most lycopene-rich green tea and eating the most lycopene-rich fruits and vegetables had an 86% reduced risk of prostate cancer.
Grapefruit may also help prevent and fight colon cancer. In studies on rats injected with colon cancer cells, specific phytonutrients in grapefruit such as apigenin, hesperidin, limonin, naringin, naringenin, nobiletin helped not only to induce apoptosis (programmed cell death) in colon cancer cells, they also spurred on the growth of new, healthy colon cancer cells!
In fact, that phytonutrient naringenin has actually proven to repair damaged DNA in prostate cancer cells!
Sources for this article include: