KIWI is not just an incredible magazine; it’s also one of six fruits featured in the Environmental Working Group’s “Clean 15” list of the least toxic produce. Summer is the perfect time to talk about the special nutritional qualities of these mouth-watering fruits. All are low in calories, fat-free, and packed with vitamin C (one of nature’s top anti-inflammatories). Remember: Even though these fruits are among the lowest in pesticide contamination, buy local and organic when you can. There might be some debate about the nutritional superiority of organic foods—but there’s no doubt that eating fewer pesticides is a health-smart choice.
1. Cantaloupe – The melons with rind netting and a rich salmon flesh we call “cantaloupes” are actually a related fruit known as muskmelons. Either way, these melons are one of the best sources of vitamin A, in the form of mixed carotenoids. Carotenoids are responsible for a variety of red, yellow, and orange coloring in fruits and vegetables and are powerful antioxidants that help ward off inflammation and cancer.
2. Grapefruit – If you like grapefruit for breakfast, stick with the pink variety, incredibly rich in an antioxidant called lycopene. Increasing your intake of lycopene-rich foods may reduce your risk of cancer, heart disease, and macular degeneration, a rare but disabling eye disease.
3. Kiwi –Did you know that the incredible Kiwifruit contains about 50% more vitamin C than an orange? Vitamin C is one of nature’s most powerful immune supporting phytonutrients, protecting us against DNA damage that can lead to cancer. Kiwis, originally from China and then brought to New Zealand, are now commonly grown in California as well.
4. Mango – This fragrant yellow fruit, first grown in India, is perhaps one of the most popular fruits worldwide. Rumor has it that it was a mango tree under which the Buddha meditated. In addition to providing plenty of vitamins A and C, mangos are a great source of fiber, aiding digestion and helpful in keeping cholesterol in control.
5. Papaya – Native to Central America, papayas are known for their sweet taste and butter-like consistency. Their deep orange color comes from carotenoids, and papayas pack a strong antioxidant punch with lots of vitamins A, C, and E. One of their unique health benefits is related to papain, an enzyme that assists in the digestion of proteins and acts as to reduce inflammation.
6. Pineapple – A tropical classic long associated with Hawaii, pineapple was “discovered” on the Caribbean island of Guadalupe by European explorers in the 1400’s. Like papayas, pineapples contain a unique anti-inflammatory digestive enzyme, bromelain, often included in natural remedies that treat allergies and arthritis. Pineapple also contains large amounts of manganese, a key mineral necessary for enzyme function to aid in cellular energy production and detoxification.