Fruit truly is the perfect food. It’s the easiest for our bodies to digest, and our system has to do almost nothing to break it down.
All fruit is good for you, but we should eat it when it’s ripe to properly digest it and use it for energy.
Think of all the colors, shapes, and textures of fruit as different antioxidants and phytonutrients to load up on. And then include a variety of fruits in your diet to take advantage of all the benefits they have to offer — from fighting colds and warding off inflammation to making your skin glow and your hair shiny.
Instead of sitting down to a piece of toast or an egg white omelet tomorrow morning, do something amazing for your health and indulge in one of these delicious fruit plates.
1. Anti-inflammatory plate: Cherry, pineapple, blueberry
Anthocyanin is the main antioxidant in both blueberries and cherries and is what gives these fruits their gorgeous deep blue and red colors.
Grab some tart cherries over sweet ones as they are shown to contain higher amounts of phenolic compounds, delivering a stronger anti-inflammatory punch.
2. Immune-boosting plate: Grapefruit, kiwi, strawberry
Feeling a little run down? Kiwi, grapefruit, and strawberries can give your immune system the boost it needs to keep you healthy.
Kiwis are rich in vitamin C, which helps support the immune system and prevents free radical damage that can lead to inflammation in the body.
Grapefruit and strawberries are also some of our top vitamin C foods (containing more C than oranges!) that can help boost immunity and fight off sickness. Rich in both vitamins A and C, strawberry seeds also contain minerals that support immune function.
Helpful hint — don’t wait until it’s too late and you’re already sneezing. This would be a great fruit plate to get in before a long flight so that your immune system is strong and ready to go.
3. Antioxidant plate: Fig, red grape, pomegranate
These three fruits are high in antioxidants and disease-fighting compounds that protect our bodies from free radical damage and keep us looking and feeling youthful.
The resveratrol in red grapes — and red wine — offers powerful antioxidant and anti-aging properties that help combat disease and signs of aging. Grapes are also high in lutein and zeaxanthin, which keeps our vision strong and can minimize the harmful effects of ultraviolet rays.
Pomegranates contain higher levels of antioxidants than most fruits and can help to reverse free-radical skin damage.
Figs are not only dangerously delicious — they are also rich in minerals including potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, and copper and they are a great source of vitamins A, E, and K.
Incorporate some of these antioxidant fruits on your plate to help you fight disease, age gracefully, and keep strong.
4. Detoxifying plate: Goji berry, watermelon, lemon
We can’t detoxify without the help of foods that will hydrate and flush toxins out of the system.
So, let’s start with watermelon, which is 92 percent water and also contains a major detoxifying agent called glutathione. It is also a source of lycopene and vitamins A and C, which further aid in detoxing and fighting free radicals.
Super alkaline upon digestion, lemon is also a strong detoxifier and has antibacterial and antiviral qualities. I like to squeeze it over my fruit, add it to green juice (with lots of parsley and cucumber for a major de-bloating combination), or drink it with warm water first thing in the morning to help cleanse the body and get the digestive system going.
5. Beauty plate: Blackberry, papaya, cantaloupe
Here’s what you should be eating on the morning before your next big event!
Papaya is full of antioxidants and nutrients that assist in the production of collagen. It also contains an enzyme called papain that helps to counter skin damage.
Blackberries are delicious low-sugar fruits that are packed with antioxidants and vitamins A and C.
We don’t want to miss out on cantaloupe. It contains beta-carotene, which is converted into vitamin A in the body and helps make our skin glow and our hair strong and shiny.
6. Energy plate: Banana, avocado, apple
The next time you’re looking for some fuel or wanting to charge up your pre- or post-workout, throw together this energy plate. These nutrient-rich fruits (yes, avocado is a fruit) will replenish and keep you going for hours.
Bananas provide us with quick energy and are a great choice pre-workout. The healthy fats in avocados slow down digestion and are better to incorporate into your post-workout meal.
Apples are high in fiber and will keep you full for long periods of time. Take your pick or choose all three... If you’re looking for a burst of energy, this plate is for you.
Why it matters
All of these fruit combinations are powerful and provide a variety of health benefits.
From antioxidant and anti-inflammatory boosts to gorgeous, glowing skin and strong immunity, look to fruit for medicinal qualities and begin experimenting with some of these combinations today!
Nathalie is a registered dietitian and functional medicine nutritionist with a BA in Psychology from Cornell University and a MS in Clinical Nutrition from New York University. She’s the founder of Nutrition by Nathalie LLC, a private nutrition practice in New York City focusing on health and wellness using an integrative approach, and All Good Eats, a social media health and wellness brand. When she isn’t working with her clients or on media projects, you can find her traveling with her husband and mini-Aussie, Brady.
Additional research, writing, and editing contributed by Chelsey Fein.