Natural Health Journals

The Best Superfruits!

What are “superfoods” and “superfruits”? Neither the Oxford English Dictionary nor the Merriam-Webster Dictionary recognizes either term; but as our language evolves, one of these days, they may.

With the advances of modern technology, scientists have been able to break food composition down to the essential nutrients. “Superfoods” are foods that possess a maximal amount of these nutrients. “Superfruits” are a sub-classification of “superfoods” and accordingly possess a greater-than-usual amount of nutrients in their flesh, skins or even seeds.

The old adage goes: “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Unfortunately, that is not always true. If one suffers from a deficiency of vitamin B-6, apples will do little good. Bananas, however, are an excellent source of the vitamin. One would have to eat 8-10 apples a day, to receive as much vitamin B-6 as one banana.

There is no fruit that can supply you with a maximum amount of every nutrient. Eating a combination of fruits is the best way to ensure that you get a rich assortment of nutrients.

Below is a nutrient content table that identifies some of the essential nutrients, and amounts contained, in some of the most popular fruits. The figures represent one whole raw, unprocessed fruit, with skin intact; skin is sometimes the more important source of nutrients.

As fruits go, the banana appears to possess the overall maximum number and level of nutrients, as it has the most iron, potassium, magnesium, vitamin B-6, and riboflavin.

Mangoes are another fruit that’s packed with essential nutrients; they have an extraordinary amount of vitamin E, vitamin K, and niacin.

It would appear no fruit possesses any vitamin B-12 or vitamin D. These essential nutrients must be obtained from other food sources. Beef has the highest vitamin B-12 content. As for vitamin D, some excellent sources of this important nutrient are enriched dairy products, eggs, sardines, salmon, mushrooms, and sunshine!

Some nutrients, such as iron, are contained more or less in equal amounts in most fruits. So, people with iron deficiencies (anemia) would be served equally by all fruits.

When consulting the nutrient content table, one should consider the recommended daily allowances when deciding how much fruit to eat. For instance, the entire recommended daily allowance of vitamin C can be achieved with just one orange, grapefruit, or mango — while one would need to eat more than 10 apples to achieve an equal amount of Vitamin C. As with all foods, moderate consumption is the best policy for fruits.

(The highest content of a specific nutrient has been highlighted for the fruits below.)

Nutrient Apple Banana Pink grape- fruit Lemon Mango Orange Tomato
Fiber (g)

3.3

3.9

2.8

1.6

3.3

3.1

1.5

Calcium (mg)

8

6

54

15

23

52

12

Iron (mg)

.17

.39

.2

.35

.33

.13

.33

Magnesium (mg)

7

32

22

5

21

13

14

Potassium (mg)

148

422

320

80

348

237

292

Sodium (mg)

1

1

0

1

2

0

6

Zinc (mg)

.06

.18

.18

.03

.19

.09

.21

Vitamin A (ug)

4.14

3.54

140

.58

111

14

51

Vitamin B-6 (ug)

.06

.43

.12

.05

.246

.08

.1

Vitamin B-12 (ug)

0

0

0

0

0

0

16.9

Vitamin C (mg)

6.3

10.3

76

30

75

70

0

Vitamin E (ug)

.25

.12

.32

.09

1.86

.24

.66

Vitamin K (ug)

3.0

.60

0

0

8.7

.1

4.7

Vitamin D (ug)

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Thiamin (mg)

.02

.04

.10

.02

.06

.114

.1

Riboflavin (mg)

.05

.08

.01

.01

.08

.052

.02

Niacin (mg)

.125

.75

.60

.06

1.35

.4

.73

Fruits offer the added benefit of dietary fiber. If you eat them daily, they will help keep your bowels regular — no need to turn to awful-tasting fiber drinks or worry about constipation, if you make a habit of eating fruits. In addition, for those watching their sugar intake, including diabetics, fruits are an excellent choice, as the sugars in them are absorbed into the bloodstream more slowly than the sugars in fruit juices or sugary foods such as pastries, thus avoiding spikes in blood sugar levels.

By Jamell Andrews

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