Anthocyanins are a colorful way to prevent cardiovascular disease


Image: Anthocyanins are a colorful way to prevent cardiovascular disease

It is often said that presentation is everything when it comes to meals, but there’s an even better reason to fill your plate with colorful foods. The pigment that gives foods like berries their rich red and purple hues also doubles as powerful protection against cardiovascular disease.

Studies have shown that this pigment, anthocyanin, not only offers antioxidant effects; it also protects people from chronic diseases. Indeed, one of its most impressive feats is lowering the risk of the cardiovascular conditions that take millions of lives each year, such as stroke, heart attack, and atherosclerosis.

In a systematic review that involved more than 600,000 participants, British researchers looked at the impact that dietary anthocyanins had on cardiovascular events. They discovered that those who had the greatest dietary anthocyanin intake enjoyed a 9 percent reduction in their risk of developing coronary heart disease; when it came to death due to heart disease, their risk was 8 percent lower compared to those who consumed the lowest amount of anthocyanin.

The study, which was published in Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, is the strongest argument yet for increasing your fruit intake. The Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion suggests that people eat a minimum of two servings of fruit per day; just 32 percent of Americans reach that goal.

Choose the right fruits

It’s easy to spot fruits that contain anthocyanins because of their red, purple and blue colors. Some of the best sources include strawberries, blackberries, grapes, pomegranates, cherries, blueberries, raspberries and bilberries. They can also be found in red cabbage, eggplant, and purple potatoes. It probably won’t come as much of a surprise to learn that the fruit’s skins contain the most anthocyanins given their rich color, so make sure you also eat the skin – and be sure to choose organic to avoid pesticide exposure. The review’s authors say that just one to two portions of berries per day are enough to get the anthocyanins you need to protect your heart.

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Anthocyanin’s many benefits

The review is supported by several other studies, including one from 2012 that was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. That study showed a link between a higher intake of anthocyanin and significantly lower systolic blood pressure, arterial pressure, and pulse wave velocity. It also confirmed an earlier study that showed eight weeks of taking blueberry supplements reduced participants’ systolic and diastolic blood pressure by 6 and 4 percent respectively.

In addition, anthocyanins can help prevent neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. They accomplish this by improving the communication between nerves and boosting blood flow to the brain. Their antioxidant effect also means they can stop brain damage caused by oxidative stress.

If you’re still not sold on the benefits of anthocyanins, consider this: They can fight cancer cells by attacking them and spurring cell death, in addition to activating the enzymes that rid your body of cancer-causing substances.

Studies have also shown that consuming foods rich in anthocyanins can lower your insulin resistance and protect beta cells in the pancreas, which helps normalize blood levels. That means anthocyanin-rich fruits can help inhibit diabetes.

Cardiovascular disease continues to be one of the top causes of death in America, affecting 84 million Americans and causing roughly one out of every three deaths. Those are very frightening statistics, so you owe it to yourself and your loved ones to consume more anthocyanins and take other steps known to reduce your risk, like exercising and eating as healthier diet overall.

Pomegranates are some of the best foods you can eat to prevent cancer


Image: Pomegranates are some of the best foods you can eat to prevent cancer

Why do you need to make pomegranates a part of your diet? Apart from being refreshingly delicious, pomegranates are packed with vital nutrients and offer many health benefits, among which is protection from cancer.

Fruits are an essential part of a healthy diet. A significant chunk of their nutritional profile is composed of antioxidants. These are compounds that fight free radicals, which are unstable molecules that tend to accumulate in your body because of factors like natural body processes, your diet, the presence of disease, and your environment.

High concentrations of free radicals in your body lead to oxidative stress, which damages your cells and tissues. The effects of oxidative stress can range from prematurely aging skin to serious diseases, including cardiovascular conditions, neurodegenerative diseases, and cancer.

Antioxidants modify free radicals and turn them into harmless substances your body can either process or expel without incident. In this way, they are an essential part of a substantial protection against cancer.

Pomegranates are rich in antioxidants. One cup of its seeds gives you 30 percent of the recommended daily intake (RDI) for vitamin C, known as one of the most powerful antioxidants in nature. Pomegranate peel and juice also have an abundance of punicalagins. These compounds have antioxidant properties that are three times more potent than those of either red wine or green tea, which by themselves are known for being antioxidant powerhouses.

But the cancer-fighting benefits of pomegranates do not stop with their antioxidant load. A review of the fruit’s value in cancer therapy, published in the journal Pharmacological Research, emphasized its anti-inflammatory, antiproliferative, anti-angiogenic, anti-invasive, and anti-metastatic properties as great reasons it is so effective against cancer.

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Inflammation is, under normal circumstances, actually a good thing. As part of your immune response, it tells you that your immune system is up and functional. It becomes problematic when it is prolonged and persistent, becoming a risk factor for cancer and a number of other diseases. The punicalagins and other antioxidant compounds found in pomegranate are linked to reductions in inflammatory activity in breast cancer and colon cancer cells.

Angiogenesis, the formation of new blood vessels, is a key factor in metastasis or the proliferation of cancer cells to other parts of the body. Once cancer has metastasized, it becomes a lot harder to treat, so preventing angiogenesis is an important step in disrupting the disease’s progression. The extracts of pomegranate peel have been confirmed, in a study published in the journal Research in Pharmaceutical Sciences, to have both antiangiogenesis and antiproliferative effects against melanoma.

Pomegranates can also induce apoptosis, or cellular death, according to research published in Growth Hormone & IGF Research. At the end of the day, cancer cells are simply mutated cells. Causing them to undergo the natural process of cellular death by administering substances with apoptotic effects is considered one of the safest ways to kill tumor cells and treat cancer. In the study, pomegranates were shown to cause the death of prostate cancer cells.

Other health benefits of pomegranates

Here are yet more reasons to eat more pomegranates:

  • Pomegranates lower blood pressure – Hypertension increases your risk of dying from a heart attack. Some studies have found that drinking pomegranate juice for two weeks can effectively reduce your systolic blood pressure.
  • Pomegranates reduce joint pain – The discomfort caused by arthritis can be debilitating. The anti-inflammatory compounds in pomegranates can help mitigate the damage caused by osteoarthritis on the joints.
  • Pomegranates treat impotence – Impaired blood flow is considered one of the reasons behind erectile dysfunction. The antioxidants in pomegranates help improve blood flow and may even aid in improving erectile response.
  • Pomegranates protect from infections – The compounds in pomegranates have been shown to protect against bacterial and fungal infections. Among the microorganisms this fruit can boost your resistance to is Candida albicans, the cause of yeast infections.
  • Pomegranates may improve memory – Some studies indicate that pomegranates can help improve the memory of those who have just gone through surgery. Other inquiries found that it can enhance both visual and verbal memory.
  • Pomegranates improve exercise performance – One study found that taking pomegranate extracts 30 minutes before exercise can improve your blood flow. This can delay the onset of fatigue and improve your workout’s efficiency.

 

Sources include:

Science.news

ScienceDirect.com

Cancer.gov

NCBI.NLM.NIH.gov 1

NCBI.NLM.NIH.gov 2

NCBI.NLM.NIH.gov 3

Healthline.com

An ancient pear endemic to Italy is a little-known superfood with high concentrations of antioxidant compounds


Image: An ancient pear endemic to Italy is a little-known superfood with high concentrations of antioxidant compounds

The Apennine mountains of central Italy are home to an ancient and rare variant of the European pear (Pyrus communis) called the Cocomerina pear. A study conducted by local researchers revealed that this pink-fleshed pear is a superfood bursting with natural antioxidants.

“Cocomerina” is derived from “cocomero,” the term for watermelon. This variant of pear is called that because of its sweet-smelling and pink flesh, which grows more vivid in color as the fruit ripens.

It is one of the so-called “ancient fruits,” which are very old and only found in a few small areas. The Cocomerina variant of the European pear is restricted to the Apennine area of Romagna and Tuscany. The early-ripening cultivar is harvested in August, while the late-ripening one is collected in October.

Many pears contain large amounts of anthocyanins, flavonoids, and polyphenols.  These plant-based compounds have powerful antioxidant properties that protect cell tissue and membranes from free radicals. (Related: The strange-looking tropical fruit graviola is a POWERFUL superfood against cancer.)

Methodology

Researchers from the Universita di Urbino – Carlo Bo (UdU Carlo Bo) studied the nutritional value of the Cocomerina pear. They harvested ripe specimens of the early-ripening cultivar, as well as both ripe and unripe examples of the late-ripening cultivar.

The cores were removed from the sample fruits before they were chopped up and prepared into fruit extracts. Each extract was analyzed to determine the amount and types of anthocyanins, flavones, flavonoids, flavonols, and polyphenols that it contained.

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Armed with the knowledge of the bioactive plant compounds present in the fruits, the researchers tested the extracts for their antioxidant activity. They measured the effectiveness of each extract when it came to scavenging DPPH free radicals, as well as its capacity to absorb oxygen radicals.

Furthermore, they evaluated the ability of the extracts to prevent inflammation. In the 5’-lipoxygenase assay, they measured the amount of extract required to inhibit 50 percent of the inflammatory activity of lipoxygenase.

Phytochemical content of Cocomerina pear extract

To begin with, the UdU Carlo Bo researchers noted the different amounts of phytochemicals found in the cultivars of the Cocomerina pear. The late-ripening cultivar has higher levels of polyphenolic compounds. Likewise, its ripe fruits contain more polyphenols than unripe samples.

The unripe fruits of the late-ripening cultivar have the best number of flavonoids. Interestingly, the ripe fruits of both ER and LR strains contain similar levels of flavonoids.

When it came to flavones and flavonols, the ripe fruit of the early-ripening cultivar demonstrated the highest level. Dihydroflavonol levels were much higher in the late cultivar, however.

Comparison of the unripe and ripe fruits of the late-ripening cultivar showed that the levels increased alongside the maturity of the fruit. So ripe fruits of the Cocomerina pear contains more phytochemicals than unripe fruits.

The amount of anthocyanin in late-ripening cultivar is 126 times greater than in the early-ripening one. Ripe LR cultivars contain more anthocyanins than unripe ones.

Free radical scavenging and antioxidant activity

All three extracts were able to scavenge DPPH free radicals. The ethanolic extracts made from the unripe and ripe pears of the late-ripening cultivar were much more effective.

Next, the extracts were also effective at inhibiting the activity of the inflammatory enzyme 5’-lipoxygenase. Again, the late-ripening cultivar’s extracts displayed greater effectiveness.

The antioxidant activity was greatest in the ripe fruits of the late-ripening cultivar. When compared with commercial pear cultivars, the Cocomerina pear extracts showed comparable or superior activity.

The researchers concluded that the Cocomerina pear possesses significant antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities. These health benefits could encourage the conservation and recovery of this ancient fruit.

For more stories about cocomerina pear and other fruits that serve as superfoods, check out Fruits.news.

Sources include:

Science.news

Academic.OUP.com

TAndFOnline.com

Pubs.ACS.org

25 Popular Fruits—Ranked by Sugar Content!


By Olivia Tarantino

Experts say we’re basically shoveling sugar into our mouths by the spoonful, but what does that mean when it comes to eating sweet, antioxidant-rich fruits?

You know it’s in your soda, your protein bars, and your cereals. Heck, it’s even lurking in your marinara sauces and salad dressings! We’re talking about added sugar, of course. And this little ingredient is making a big impact on your waistline. The pervasiveness of added sweeteners in our diets is linked to an increased risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. But in the epic rush to avoid sugar, many health-conscious consumers and low-carb dieters are starting to cut back on eating fruit.

Superficially, it could make sense; if you were to look at certain fruits’ nutrition labels, they may boast over 20 grams of the sweet stuff. But this sugar isn’t the same as the kind that’s used in your ice cream. Isabel Smith, MS, RD, CDN, founder of Isabel Smith Nutrition, and New York City-based celebrity dietitian and fitness expert, weighs in: “It’s key to look at added sugars differently than sugar in fruit, because in fruit we’re getting so much more nutrition [compared to refined sugar].” We’re getting free-radical-fighting antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, water, and fiber.

This total package is what makes eating fruit so good for you. In fact, countless studies have found that increased fruit consumption, regardless of the fruit’s sugar content, is tied to lower body weight and a lower risk of obesity-associated diseases. Experts believe it’s because when you eat whole fruits, you’re also getting plenty of fiber. And this fiber helps you feel full while slowing the digestion of the fruit’s sugar (which keeps your blood sugar from spiking). On the other hand, refined sugars are just empty carbs that lack these healthy nutrients, which is the reason why they’re metabolized quickly, lack the ability to make you feel full, and contribute to weight gain.

However, the old adage is still true: too much of anything isn’t a good thing. “Added sugar isn’t the sugar in fruit, but we still want to be mindful of how much fruit we’re eating because it does contain sugar,” explains Smith. She usually recommends getting in 2-3 servings daily, and to eat a serving at a time—and yes, that goes for smoothies as well. “Smoothies can be large whacks of carbs and sugar, especially if there’s no protein or healthy fat that acts similarly to fiber to slow digestion and prevent blood sugar from spiking.” As far as sugary fruits go? You can still eat the exceptionally sweet ones, but Smith recommends you eat these in smaller portions and pair them with extra fiber, healthy fats, or protein such as a scoop of plant-based protein powder or greek yogurt to slow digestion and blunt the sugar spiking effect.

Ranked from Most to Least Grams of Total Sugar per Cup of Raw, Fresh Fruit

1. Figs

Sugary fruits ranked figs
Sugary fruits ranked figs
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Total Sugar: 1 cup, chopped, 29.3 g Fiber: 5.2 g

While you may only know this sweet fruit from its inclusion in the famous Fig Newton cookies, you’ll have to eat the fruit raw—and without the coating of sugar and flour—to best reap the health-protective benefits like its high fiber, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and vitamins A, E, and K content. Figs also contain prebiotics, which help support the pre-existing good bacteria in the gut, improving digestive wellness. But because of their high sugar content, be sure to enjoy by eating only one or two whole ones at a time. Try wrapping figs in prosciutto and add a dollop of goat cheese. Both the meat and the cheese have extra protein to help fill you up so you don’t feel the need to keep munching.

2. Pomegranate Seeds

Sugary fruits ranked pomegranate
Sugary fruits ranked pomegranate
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Total Sugar: 1 cup, arils/seeds, 23.8 g Fiber: 7.0 g

No wonder pomegranate juice doesn’t need any added sweeteners. It’s sweet enough on its own! But it’s not just sugar pomegranates are high in; their arils (the seeds) are also pretty mighty when it comes to their nutrient content. Pomegranates contain three types of antioxidant polyphenols—including tannins, anthocyanins, and ellagic acid—which all help fight and prevent damage to your body caused by free radicals. One pomegranate also provides about 30 mg of vitamin C, which is important for skin and immune health. They have a fairly high fiber content, so as long as you stick to the serving size, don’t be afraid to pop the arils as a snack, sprinkle them onto salads, yogurt, or even on top of chicken dishes.

3. Mango

Sugary fruits ranked mango
Sugary fruits ranked mango
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Total Sugar: 1 cup, pieces, 22.5 g Fiber: 2.6 g

These glowing fruits are packed with eye-protecting vitamin A, heart-strengthening B6, and immunity-boosting C. Not to mention, their variety of antioxidants—quercetin, isoquercitrin, astragalin, fisetin, gallic acid and methyl gallate—protect the body against colon, breast, leukemia and prostate cancers. When you’re adding it to your smoothie, make sure you add a healthy scoop of protein powder and a handful of raw oats to add to your protein and fiber content and slow down the digestion of its sugars.

4. Tangerines

Sugary fruits ranked tangerine
Sugary fruits ranked tangerine
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Total Sugar: 1 cup, slices of two tangerines, 20.6 g Fiber: 3.5 g

You might also know these mini oranges as those little sections that grace your Chinese salads—mandarin oranges. These rank high for their sugar content, but you should know that a single tangerine, even the largest tangerine, has only 12.7 grams of sugar in it. So a cup is about 2 medium sized tangerines total.

5. Bananas

Sugary fruits ranked banana
Sugary fruits ranked banana
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Total Sugar: 1 cup, sliced, 18.3 g Fiber: 3.9 g

Bananas can help you sleep, build lean muscle, and burn fat, but compared to other fruits they’re pretty high in sugar and carbs, so no monkey business: stick to one five-inch portion a day. This ensures you’ll reap all the fruit’s benefits—without expanding your waistline. Cassie Bjork, RD, LD, says “I encourage consuming protein and healthy fat with the banana to slow down the absorption of the sugar from the banana into your bloodstream. This is the most effective strategy for keeping blood sugar levels stable, which means consistent energy levels and weight loss (since stable blood sugar levels allow the pancreas to secrete glucagon, the fat-burning hormone!)”

6. Sweet Cherries

Sugary fruits ranked cherries
Sugary fruits ranked cherries
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Total Sugar: 1 cup, with pits, 17.7 g Fiber: 2.9 g

Besides sweet corn, nothing quite represents summer’s harvest like sweet cherries. One cup of the little red guys has about 306 milligrams of potassium (nearly that of a small banana), which helps keep blood pressure in check. Cherries also contain good amounts the antioxidants of quercetin and anthocyanin, which help protect against cancer and cardiovascular disease. Their solid hit of fiber helps to slow down the digestion of their high sugar content, but to be on the safe side, we’d suggest eating them in Gimme Some Oven’s Cherry Pie Smoothie. The recipe combines fresh frozen cherries, nonfat Greek yogurt, old fashioned oats, vanilla extract and almond extract to create a delicious drinkable dessert.

7. Plum

Sugary fruits ranked plum
Sugary fruits ranked plum
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Total Sugar: 1 cup, slices, 16.4 g Fiber: 2.3 g

Low in calories, this stone fruit is a sweet way to satisfy your hunger. Not only that, but new studies by Texas AgriLife Research suggest plums may help ward off metabolic syndrome — a name for a group of risk factors, of which belly fat is a predominant determinant, that increase the risk for obesity-related diseases including diabetes. The belly-good properties of stone fruits come from powerful phenolic compounds that can modulate fat-gene expression.

8. Pineapple

Sugary fruits ranked pineapple
Sugary fruits ranked pineapple
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Total Sugar: 1 cup, chunks, 16.3 g Fiber: 2.3 g

Feeling low on energy? A cup of pineapple might just be the antidote. That’s because pineapple is one of nature’s best sources of manganese, a trace mineral that is essential for energy production. A cup provides 76 percent of your daily recommended intake, making pineapple nature’s answer to Red Bull. For more ways to boost your energy without the bull, check out these 23 Best Foods for Energy.

9. Kiwi

Sugary fruits ranked kiwi
Sugary fruits ranked kiwi
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Total Sugar: 1 cup, sliced, 16.2 g Fiber: 5.4 g

Did you know you’ve been eating kiwis wrong this whole time? It may be brown and fuzzy, but don’t let that turn you off. “The skin of kiwi fruits contain cholesterol-lowering fiber, antioxidants, and immune-boosting vitamin C,” says Lisa Moskovitz, R.D., founder of The NY Nutrition Group. Just as your would rinse a peach or a pear to lower your exposure to pesticides and chemicals, washing kiwis is essential if you plan to bite right in.

10. Grapefruit

Sugary fruits ranked grapefruit
Sugary fruits ranked grapefruit
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Total Sugar: 1 cup, sections, 15.9 g Fiber: 3.7 g

Despite a higher sugar content, grapefruit is brimming with good-for-you vitamins and antioxidants. So just keep your serving to half a fruit. According to a study in the journal Metabolism, eating half a grapefruit before meals helped reduce belly fat and lower cholesterol levels. Participants of the six-week study who ate grapefruit with every meal saw their waists shrink by up to an inch! Researchers attribute the effects to a combination of phytochemicals and vitamin C in the grapefruit. Consider having half of a grapefruit before your morning oatmeal, and slicing a few segments to a starter salad.

11. Apricot

Sugary fruits ranked apricot
Sugary fruits ranked apricot
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Total Sugar: 1 cup, sliced, 15.3 g Fiber: 3.3 g

These sun-like fruits are sure to brighten your day and help you shed your winter weight. You might already know to eat dried apricots in moderation because of their high sugar content, but their fresh version isn’t as bad. Pick up fresh apricots during their short season in late spring to load up on vitamin A, a vitamin that helps your skin glow, and potassium. Besides flushing out extra water weight, potassium also keeps your metabolism running high, and is crucial for the digestion of nutrients such as carbohydrates and fat, as well as the absorption of energy from these nutrients.

12. Grapes

Sugary fruits ranked grapes
Sugary fruits ranked grapes
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Total Sugar: 1 cup, 15.0 g Fiber: 0.8 g

You can thank grapes’ sugar content for that pounding headache you get after downing a couple glasses of wine. And while both red and green grapes are high in sugar, they’re also rich in antioxidants. You may have heard that red wine is touted as a “healthy” alcoholic drink because of its resveratrol content—a plant compound that has been linked to improving heart health, burning fat, and boosting weight loss. But wine contains only a fraction of the resveratrol and other protective phenolic compounds found in grapes, so experts recommend the best way to boost your consumption of polyphenol compounds is by directly increasing fruit consumption.

13. Blueberries

Sugary fruits ranked blueberries
Sugary fruits ranked blueberries
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Total Sugar: 1 cup, 14.7 g Fiber: 3.6 g

Touted for their high antioxidant content, blueberries are best known in health circles for anthocyanins, the phytonutrients that give them their blue-red tint and their dense antioxidant punch. That punch translates into serious brain food, as blueberries have been found in studies to protect our noggins against both oxidative stress and the effects of age-related mental decay manifested in Alzheimer’s and dementia. High in fiber, these berries are are good to just pop in your mouth! Not only will you fight aging, blueberries may also help perk things up in the bedroom.

14. Orange

Sugary fruits ranked orange
Sugary fruits ranked orange
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Total Sugar: 1 cup, sections, 14.0 g Fiber: 3.6 g

If you’re a runner try switching your apple-a-day to an orange-a-day to help lessen muscle soreness after your run! Why? According to a study in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, consuming vitamin C before a workout can reduce muscle soreness and prevent the formation of free radicals. A single orange supplies 116 percent of your DV for vitamin C. A bonus: Oranges are a great source of selenium, a trace element whose antioxidant power maintains thyroid function, fights fatigue and boosts metabolism.

15. Honeydew Melon

Sugary fruits ranked honeydew
Sugary fruits ranked honeydew
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Total Sugar: 1 cup, diced, 13.8 g Fiber: 1.4 g

A cup of honeydew carries is low in calories and is primarily made up of H20, making it a great food to keep in your flat belly arsenal year-round. Rather than fiber, the high water content is the thing that keeps you full, which can help you lose weight over time, but it also brings more immediate slimming results to the table thanks to its natural bloat-busting, diuretic effect. But without fiber, you’ll likely experience a spike in blood sugar, so be sure to pair honeydew with veggies like fennel and olives in a salad to add some fiber.

16. Pear

Sugary fruits ranked pear
Sugary fruits ranked pear
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Total Sugar: 1 cup, slices, 13.7 Fiber: 4.3

Pears are so sweet that it seems impossible they only contain about 100 calories each, but it’s true. This fall fruit is a good source of vitamin C and contains 6 grams of fiber per medium fruit (24% of your daily value). Pears help keep hunger at bay thanks to pectin, “a soluble fiber that attracts water and turns to gel, slowing down digestion,” says Jennifer Glockner, RDN, “which may help to reduce blood cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease and colon cancer.”

17. Apple

Sugary fruits ranked apple
Sugary fruits ranked apple
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Total Sugar: 1 cup, chopped, 13 g Fiber: 3 g

This humble fruit is so much more than just a seasonal filler for pie—although, we’ve got to admit, that’s a pretty great way to use them, too. Apples are not only a portable, no-mess snack, but also powerful fat fighters. Isabel Smith, MS, RD, CDN says they’re a great snack for people with diabetes and insulin resistance because they’re high in fiber to slow sugar spiking. You know what else is high in fiber? These 30 High Fiber Foods!

18. Peach

Sugary fruits ranked peach
Sugary fruits ranked peach
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Total Sugar: 1 cup, slices 12.9 g Fiber: 2.3 g

If you want to lose weight, just pick up a peach! According to Texas A&M University researchers, the stone fruit contains phenolic compounds that modulate different expressions of genes to ward off obesity, high cholesterol, inflammation, and diabetes—now that’s something to feel peachy about!

19. Nectarines

Sugary fruits ranked nectarine
Sugary fruits ranked nectarine
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Total Sugar: 1 cup, slices, 11.3 g Fiber: 2.4 g

The smoother cousin of a peach, nectarines just barely edged out its look-a-like for lower sugar content and higher fiber. Like peaches, nectarines are also high in beta-carotene and vitamins A and C. They’re also full of potassium, an important mineral for proper cellular functions in the body, including regulating metabolism, maintaining pH balance, assisting with protein synthesis and helping with the digestion of carbohydrates.

20. Cantaloupe

Sugary fruits ranked cantaloupe
Sugary fruits ranked cantaloupe
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Total Sugar: 1 cup, cubes, 9.4 g Fiber: 0.6 g

It’s also one of the Low Carb Fruits to Help You Lose Weight Fast. Cantaloupe is juicy, light and extremely high in water content. But that’s not the only reason it’s hydrating. The melon is also high in potassium, with 1 cup providing 14 percent of your DV. Not to mention that same cup provides over 100 percent of your DV of vitamin A, the fat-soluble vitamin that helps maintain eye and skin health in addition to boosting immune function.

21. Watermelon

Sugary fruits ranked watermelon
Sugary fruits ranked watermelon
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Total Sugar: 1 cup, diced, 9.4 g Fiber: 0.6 g

For being so low on our list, you’re probably wondering why watermelon gets a bad rap for being high in sugar. It could partly be because it tastes so sweet, and it’s low in slow-digesting fiber, causing it to rank high on the glycemic index; however, in reality, it has a very small impact on your blood sugar levels because it’s low in total carbs. Good news, because watermelon has some impressive health benefits. Research conducted at the University of Kentucky showed that eating watermelon may improve lipid profiles and lower fat accumulation. We’re looking forward to those summer watermelon-eating contests!

22. Strawberries

Sugary fruits ranked Strawberries
Sugary fruits ranked Strawberries
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Total Sugar: 1 cup, halves, 7.4 g Fiber: 3.0 g

Strawberries are basically nature’s candy. Pop a cup of these into your mouth to increase your vitamin C intake and, in turn, help boost your immune system and reduce stress. When it comes to how to prepare them, be sure you’re eating them whole—slicing up strawberries exposes them to light and oxygen, which can break down their precious vitamin C!

23. Blackberries

Sugary fruits ranked Blackberries
Sugary fruits ranked Blackberries
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Total Sugar: 1 cup, 7 g Fiber: 7.6 g

All berries are an incredibly rich source of antioxidants, but blackberries are particularly potent in this regard. And with more grams of fiber than there are grams of sugar, you can snack on them knowing they’ll be furthering your weight loss goals. The dark color of this particular berry tips you off to their high antioxidant content. These lush-looking berries help protect against heart disease and fight against age-related cognitive decline.

24. Raspberries

Sugary fruits ranked Raspberries
Sugary fruits ranked Raspberries
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Total Sugar: 1 cup, 5.4 g Fiber: 8.0 g

Raspberries may be small, but they’re mighty—think of them as nature’s magical weight loss pill. Packing the highest fiber count of all these other fruits, raspberries boost feelings of satiety without doing any damage to your waistline. Eat them solo or throw them in Greek yogurt for a quick snack.

25. Cranberries

Sugary fruits ranked Cranberries
Sugary fruits ranked Cranberries
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Total Sugar: 1 cup, whole, 4.3 g Fiber: 3.6 g

Cranberries are so low in sugar that when the FDA proposed requiring food labels to list added sugar as a separate category from sugar, Ocean Spray (the cranberry juice company) wrote a letter requesting exemption because, “…cranberries… are naturally low in sugar, giving them a distinctly tart, astringent, and even unpalatable taste.” (And yes, that is a direct quote from their official letter to the FDA.) Yep. Ocean Spray basically said that cranberries need sugar to taste good. But they don’t! Eat them without the sugar in an antioxidant-packed oatmeal bowl. Create a one cup serving of mixed fruits—cranberries, apples, and blueberries. Combine with walnuts and add to a bowl of oatmeal. In an analysis of the cancer-fighting phenol antioxidant content of 20 fruits, cranberries were found to have the highest amount.