We came up with a score for each fruit by adding up its percent of the Daily Value (DV) for six nutrients plus carotenoids.
Best Fruit Score: Better Fruit Score:
Guava (1) 421 Apricots, canned (1/2 cup) 66
Watermelon (2 cups) 310 Lemon (1) 65
Grapefruit, pink or red (1/2) 263 Blueberries (1 cup) 56
Kiwifruit (2) 233 Plums (2) 56
Papaya (1/2 or 1 cup cubed) 223 Banana (1) 54
Cantaloupe (1/4) 200 Cherries (21 cherries, or 1 cup) 48
Apricots, dried (1/2 cup) 193 Lime (1) 47
Orange (1) 186 Peach, large (1) 47
Strawberries (8) 173 Grapes (1-1/2 cups) 46
Apricots (4) 156 Rhubarb, frozen, cooked with sugar (1-1/2 cup) 46
Peaches, dried (1/4 cup) 115 Avocado (1/2) 44
Blackberries (1 cup) 114 Pear (1) 44
Grapefruit, white (1/2) 107 Pineapple (2 slices) 44
Raspberries (1 cup) 106 Apple (1) 43
Tangerine (1) 105 Figs (2) 40
Persimmon (1) 102
Mango (1/2) 94
Honeydew Melon (1/8) 85
Star Fruit (Carambola) (1) 80
Good Fruit Score:
Figs, dried (2) 37
Nectarine (1) 37
Pomegranate (1) 36
Currants, dried (1/4 cup) 35
Pineapple, canned (1/2 cup) 35
Prunes, dried (5) 32
Peaches, canned (1/2 cup) 26
Dates, dried (5) 24
Raisins (1/4 cup, packed) 24
Pears, canned (1/2 cup) 20
Applesauce, unsweetened (1/2 cup) 14
We came up with a “Score” for each vegetable by adding up its percent of the USRDA for six nutrients plus fiber. There is no USRDA for fiber, so we made up our own (NAHRDA?) of 25 grams.
(1/2 cup cooked, unless noted)
Carrot, raw (1) 434 Collard greens 57
Carrots 408 Endive, raw (1 cup) 56
Spinach 241 Collard greens, frozen 181
Red pepper, raw (1/2) 166 Cabbage 47
Kale 161 Artichoke (1/2) 46
Dandelion greens 156 Mushrooms 43
Spinach, raw (1 cup) 152 Cabbage, raw 39
Broccoli 145 Brussels sprouts 128 Boston lettuce, raw (1 cup) 38 Broccoli, frozen 127 Green beans 37 Tomato, raw (1/2) 37
Mixed vegetables, frozen 111 Beets 32
Winter squash 110 Summer squash 31
Swiss chard 105 Onions 27
Broccoli, raw 100 Snow peas 90
Mustard greens 85 Lettuce, leaf (1 cup) 25
Romaine lettuce (1 cup) 78 Lettuce, iceberg (1 cup) 22
Cauliflower 77 Radishes, raw (1/4 cup) 17
Cauliflower, raw 77 Celery, raw (1 stalk) 14
Asparagus 75 Onions, raw (1/4 cup) 14
Green peppers, raw (1/2) 67 Eggplant 12
Parsley, raw (1/4 cup) 66 Cucumber, raw 11
Green peas, frozen 64 Mushrooms, raw 10
Avocado, California (1/2) 63 Garlic, raw (1 clove) 3
KAY’S NOTE: Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables in order to get all the nutrients you need to be healthy. Eating a select food every day, or too often, increases the risk of developing allergies to your favorites.
33 Of The Healthiest Foods – Fruits and Vegetables, You Guessed It!
David H. Murdock, Chairman and owner of Dole Food Company, Inc., writes* that 33 of the healthiest foods that promote longevity are fruits and vegetables. Self-promotion you might think given that Dole Food is the largest producer of fresh and packaged fruits and vegetables in the world.
However, at age 86, Mr. Murdock has the vitality of a man decades younger. He claims that it’s due to eating 30-40 different kinds of fruits and vegetables every week, along with 50-60 minutes of exercise daily.
Although I’m not a nutritionist, I do have 10 years of experience in the food industry and studying what’s healthy and what is not. Mr. Murdoch recommends that people eat a large variety of fruit and vegetables. He says that he eats a “fish-vegetarian” diet. Although he doesn’t say that fruits and vegetables should be the only foods you eat, he mentions fish only briefly, which makes his comment dangerous by omission.
In addition to eating a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, we also need to make sure that our diets contain essential fatty acids, protein, and high fiber. Fiber and some protein can be obtained from fruits and vegetables, but you most likely will come up short on protein and essential fatty acids. For these nutrients, turn to nuts (e.g. almonds, walnuts, hazlenuts) and seeds (e.g. flaxseed, pumpkin, and sunflower). If you’re not a vegetarian, add fish, chicken, pork, and some red meat to your diet to increase your protein. Alternatively, beans are a vegetarian source of protein.
David Mudock’s list of the 33 healthiest foods is based on research from the North Carolina Research Campus which consists of a combination of research from the following universities: DukeUniversity, UNC Chapel Hill, NC State University, UNC Charlotte, North Carolina Central University, NC A&T State University, UNC Greensboro and Appalachian State University.
Pineapple: Speeds post-surgery. Promotes joint health. Reduces asthma inflammation
Blueberries: Restore antioxidant levels. Reverse age-related brain decline. Prevent urinary tract infection.
Spinach: Helps maintain mental sharpness. Reduces the risk of cancers of the liver, ovaries, colon and prostate. Top nutrient density.
Red Bell Pepper: Reduces risk of lung, prostate, ovarian and cervical cancer. Protects against sunburn. Promotes heart health.
Broccoli: Reduces diabetic damage. Lowers risk of prostate, bladder, colon, pancreatic, gastric and breast cancer. Protects the brain in event of injury.
Tomato: Reduces inflammation. Lowers risk of developing esophageal, stomach, colorectal, lung and pancreatic cancer. Reduces cardiovascular disease risk.
Apple: Supports immunity. Fights lung and prostate cancer. Lowers Alzheimer’s risk
Artichoke: Helps blood clotting. Antioxidant Superfood. Lowers “bad” cholesterol.
Arugula: Lowers birth defect risk. Reduces fracture risk. Protects eye health.
Asparagus: Nourishes good gut bacteria. Protects against birth defects. Promotes heart health.
Avocado: Limits liver damage. Reduces oral cancer risk. Lowers cholesterol levels.
Blackberries: Build bone density. Suppress appetite. Enhance fat burning.
Butternut Squash: Supports night vision. Combats wrinkles. Promotes heart health.
Cantaloupe: Bolsters immunity. Protects skin against sunburn. Reduces inflammation.
Carrot: Antioxidants defend DNA. Fights cataracts. Protects against some cancers.
Cauliflower: Stimulates detoxification. Suppresses breast cancer cell growth. Defends against prostate cancer.
Cherries: Alleviate arthritic pain and gout. Lower “bad” cholesterol. Reduce inflammation.
Cranberries: Alleviate prostate pain. Fight lung, colon and leukemia cancer cells. Prevent urinary tract infection.
Green Cabbage: Promotes healthy blood clotting. Reduces risk of prostate, colon, breast and ovarian cancers. Activates the body’s natural detoxification systems.
Kale: Counters harmful estrogens that can feed cancer. Protects eyes against sun damage and cataracts. Increases bone density
Kiwi: Combats wrinkles. Lowers blood clot risk and reduces blood lipids. Counters constipation.
Mango: Supports immunity. Lowers “bad” cholesterol. Regulates homocysteine to protect arteries.
Mushrooms: Promote natural detoxification. Reduce the risk of colon and prostate cancer. Lower blood pressure.
Orange : Reduces levels of “bad” cholesterol. Lowers risk of cancers of the mouth, throat, breast and stomach, and childhood leukemia. Pectin suppresses appetite.
Papaya: Enzymes aid digestion . Reduces risk of lung cancer. Enhances fat burning.
Plums & Prunes: Counter constipation. Antioxidants defend against DNA damage. Protects against post-menopausal bone loss.
Pomegranate: Enhances sunscreen protection. Lowers “bad” cholesterol. Fights prostate cancer.
Pumpkin: Protects joints against polyarthritis. Lowers lung and prostate cancer risk. Reduces inflammation.
Raspberries: Inhibit growth of oral, breast, colon and prostate cancers. Antioxidant DNA defense. Lower “bad” cholesterol levels.
Strawberries: Protect against Alzheimer’s. Reduce “bad” cholesterol. Suppress growth of colon, prostate and oral cancer.
Watermelon: Supports male fertility. Reduces risk of several cancers: prostate, ovarian, cervical, oral and pharyngeal. Protects skin against sunburn.
Banana: Increases Fat Burning. Lowers risk of colorectal and kidney cancer, leukemia. Reduces asthmas symptoms in children.
How many different vegetables and fruit do you eat each week? My family eats a lot of variety, but when I actually counted, I only came up with 15-20 different types of fruits and vegetables. Given that I have two young children, I know that we’re all not eating all of them every week (myself included).
(Edited to be SCD legal.)