You are here

The 8 Healthiest Fruits That Are Available All Year Long

  • Shutterstock

    Bananas

    The United States imports bananas throughout the year—mostly from nearby Central America—making them "in season" no matter the season, says St. Louis-based registered dietitian Alex Caspero, R.D. That's a good thing as 2012 research from Appalachian State University shows that bananas fuel workout performance just as well as sports drinks do—and they provide more health-boosting fiber, potassium, and vitamin B6. Mix up a banana smoothie or eat the fruit whole with some peanut butter for an energy boost that lasts for hours, says Caspero.

  • Shutterstock

    Avocados

    Thank you, California! Avocados (classified as fruits due to their pits) come from the Golden State year round and contain more than 20 vitamins and minerals—including potassium, fiber, and vitamin C—along with a healthy dose of unsaturated fatty acids, says Abby Sauer, R.D., a registered dietitian with Abbott. Avocado consumption supports heart health, weight management, and healthy aging, according to one report published in Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition. Try mixing mashed avocado with a bit of olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic for a healthy take on alfredo sauce, says Caspero.

  • Shutterstock

    Frozen Raspberries

    Raspberries are among the healthiest foods you can eat, period. Plus, they're packed with antioxidants. And a 2016 Advances in Nutrition review found that eating raspberries reduces inflammation as well as the risk of obesity, metabolic dysfunction, heart disease, Alzheimer's, and type 2 diabetes. Even though the berries do have a short season (peaking in late June and done by early August), you can eat them no matter the season, thanks to your freezer. Because they are picked and sealed at the height of their freshness, frozen raspberries actually have higher antioxidant levels than do never-frozen varieties, according to research from the University of Chester. Caspero recommends blending frozen raspberries into your smoothies or, once you let them thaw, adding them to your favorite protein pancake recipe.

  • Shutterstock

    Apples

    Apples are a fall favorite, hitting their peak ripeness between August and November, but they're available all year long, thanks to cold storage, according to Caspero. One study from the German Cancer Research Center found that people who eat at least one apple per day have a lower risk of breast, colon, kidney, ovarian, and other forms of cancer compared to those who eat apples less often. While they're perfect to pack in your purse, you can also dress them up by topping them with almond butter and cinnamon or mixing them into your morning oats, she says.

  • Shutterstock

    Tomatoes

    It used to be that summer tomatoes were red, juicy, and altogether amazing—while winter crops were basically just colorless mush. But with an increase in commercial greenhouse farming across the U.S., it's easier than ever to get your Caprese on all year long. "Tomatoes contain the nutrient lutein, a carotenoid that plays a strong role in brain function, and can enhance cognitive health and memory," says Sauer. Plus, they're rich in lycopene, another carotenoid that has been linked to a reduced risk of certain types of cancers and heart disease, according to research published in the Annual Review of Food Science and Technology. Check out these 25 tomato recipes you haven't tried before.

  • Shutterstock

    Oranges

    A staple in any immunity-boosting diet, the orange is available year round and, according to Sauer, more than meets your daily vitamin C needs. "Vitamin C is essential to both your body's tissue health and your immune system's ability to fight and prevent infections," she says. Skip the OJ and opt for the whole fruit. While orange juice can spike your blood sugar and insulin levels, whole oranges are so full of fiber that the American Diabetes Association even lists them as one of the best foods for people with diabetes. To give them even more staying power, try dicing up a few orange slices and folding them into your Greek yogurt, such as in this Greek yogurt with oranges and mint recipe.

  • Shutterstock

    Dried Apricots

    Rich in vitamin A (which promotes immune function, vision, and reproductive health) as well as potassium and fiber, American-grown apricots are only in season for a short time in the summer. And while you can find imported varieties during every season, they generally come from far-off countries, meaning they aren't quite as fresh or ripe as you would probably hope. The fix: go dried. Research in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition shows that the antioxidants contained in dried fruits are significantly more potent than those found in their hydrated counterparts. "Dried apricots are the perfect fruit to throw in your trail mix, cereal, or eat by themselves before your workout," says Caspero. "They are also great when added to savory dishes like bean salad or Moroccan tagine." Keep in mind that a dried apricot fits all of an apricot's sugar into one tiny package, so cap your serving sizes around a handful or roughly 1/4 cup.

  • Shutterstock

    Lemons

    The lemon is available year round, but how often do you think to pick up a few at the market? A little lemon here and there can give your day a healthy dose of flavor and, as research published in the Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition suggests, it could also promote fat loss through the up-regulation of certain genes. "While I wouldn't recommend snacking on these by themselves, adding a few squeezed lemon slices to your water can add flavor to help you increase your daily water intake," says Sauer, noting that lemons also contain the electrolytes that your body needs mid- and post-workout. Get hydrated with these fruit-infused water recipes.