"Just tell me which fruit is the most important nutritionally, and I'll eat it every day." I hear that at least once a week. But no single fruit supplies all of the fiber, vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals important for health, so instead of focusing on that one elusive fruit, try sampling a variety of types. Choose at least two (more is even better) types of fruit each day for the strongest impact on your health.
- Berries, such as raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, and blackberries are high in fiber and important phytochemicals that help fight cancer, and they're simple to add to your food: sprinkle on cereal, blend into smoothies or use as a yogurt topping.
- Cantaloupe and other types of melon are packed with Vitamin A, essential for healthy skin and the immune system and as an antioxidant to protect against chronic disease. Pack melon cubes in your lunch, float melon balls in a summer punch or blend with vanilla yogurt and freeze in Popsicle molds for a summertime treat.
- Mango may sound exotic, but its taste is sublime. It's great in a smoothie and adds a welcome boost to a fruit salad. Plus it's a great source of beta-carotene, which is important for healthy skin and the immune system.
- Apples keep the doctor away for seven reasons: fiber, vitamin C, B vitamins, potassium, boron, magnesium and phosphorus. Try dicing apples into rice pilaf or shredding into a garden salad, or just grab one out of the fridge and you're ready to go.
- Guava, kiwi and papaya are vitamin C powerhouses, perfect to add to your favorite smoothies or use in a yogurt-granola-fruit parfait.
- Citrus fruit, such as oranges, grapefruit and even lemons, are important sources of fiber, vitamin C and flavonoids that help fight cancer and protect against heart disease. At this summer's party, treat your guests to a vitamin-packed citrus cooler by floating citrus-fruit slices in an orange-lemonade punch, or broil a grapefruit half topped with brown sugar and cinnamon until bubbly.