Types of Fruits: List of Fruits with Their Benefits, Pictures and More

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List of Fruits: Categories, Benefits and More
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Many of us are familiar with the benefits of eating various kinds of fruits. Fruits are among the foods that rank high in nutritional value and have many antioxidants that are essential to our health. The 5 main types of fruits contain many vitamins, minerals, fiber and nutrients that we need for a healthy diet. If you also include tropical fruits as a type of fruit, then there are actually 6 types of fruits.

When we talk about fruits in culinary terms, we usually refer to sweet or sour fleshy structures containing seeds that grow on plants or trees.

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However, in botanical terms, a fruit is any seed-bearing structure. This means that, technically, tomatoes, eggplants, peas, beans, and wheat grains are all different types of fruits.

This article will cover fruits in the way most of us understand the term “fruit” when we use it for culinary purposes rather than botanically.

Types of Fruits: Introduction

The 5 main types of fruits are:

Drupes. A type of fleshy fruit containing a large seed, for example, peaches, cherries, and apricots. Botanically, other types of drupe that could also be a classified under this category are some berries. For example, raspberries and blackberries are made up of a number of drupelets.

Berries. In the culinary world berries are small juicy sweet or sour fruits that don’t have a stone or a pit, such as strawberry, raspberry, blueberries and blackberries. But in botanical terms a ‘true berry’ is a fleshy fruit formed from the ovary of one flower with a seed or seeds embedded in the flesh. These include blueberries, gooseberries and cranberries.

Pomes. Fruits in this category have a fleshy area surrounding a core containing seeds. For example apples and pears are types of pomes.

Hesperidia (Citrus Fruits). These fruits have a thick tangy rind and sectioned pulp inside, such as lemons, oranges and limes.

Pepo. This type of fruits have multiple seeds throughout the flesh or grouped together in the center. Melons and are among some of the largest kinds of pepo fruits. This category includes various sizes of fruits from large watermelons to tiny cucamelons.

Tropical fruits. Although not always classified as a kind of fruit, the list of tropical fruits include bananas, pineapples, mangoes, papayas, and guavas.

Some examples of fruits that we usually refer to as vegetables include pumpkins, tomatoes, cucumbers, corn, and peppers. Botanically, tomatoes for example, are classified as berries. Pumpkins, on the other hand, are classified as a pepo fruit.

Let’s have a look in more detail at the various types of fruits and their benefits:

Drupes

A drupe is a type of fruit that has a single seed in the center surrounded by a hard layer like a shell.

The hard internal part of drupe fruits is surrounded by a juicy, fleshy fruit wall. Stone fruits are common types of drupes. (1)

Drupes are generally sweet, juicy fruits that are rich sources of vitamins and minerals as well as fiber.

Sweet fruits that are in the list of drupes are divided into 2 different types of stone fruit:

Clingstone. The stone in this type of drupe usually clings to the fruit flesh and is difficult to remove. Some types of peaches, plums, and cherries are clingstone fruits.

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Freestone. As the name suggests, freestone drupes have a stone which comes out easily and doesn’t have to be cut free. Many varieties of peaches and plums come in both freestone and clingstone.

There are other types of drupe that could also be a classified as a kind of berry. For example, raspberries and blackberries are made up of a number of drupelets.

Different types of fruits that are drupes

Some examples of delicious fruits that are classified as drupes include mangoes, apricots, cherries, nectarines, peaches, plums, and dates.

Among the type of drupes that are “botanically” referred to as fruits are olives, almonds, walnuts, coconuts, and cashews. What we call “nuts” in the culinary world are actually drupes that we eat the seed instead of the fruit.

Health benefits of common drupe fruits

As with most fresh fruits, stone fruits with a juicy sweet flesh are a good source of nutrients that are essential for your health. Here are some common popular drupe fruits that are very good for you:

Cherries. Types of cherries include sweet cherries and sour cherries. A 2018 review on the benefits of cherries says that they are a good source of vitamin C and a type of antioxidant called polyphenols. Eating cherries and drinking cherry juice is associated with lowering inflammation, resolving joint pain, and reducing the effects of oxidative stress. (2)

Learn how drinking tart cherry juice can be an effective home remedy for relieving joint pain and gout.

Plums. Consuming 3 plums will give you 19 mg of vitamin C and 2.7 g of fiber which is 30% and 12% of your daily requirements. Another benefit of plums is eating them in their dried form, commonly called prunes. Eating dried plums can help to increase bone density, prevent obesity by using them as a healthy snack, and treat constipation. (3, 4, 5)

Mangoes. One of the fruits in the list of tropical fruits that is a drupe is the mango. Mangoes are rich sources of vitamins C and E as well as potassium and magnesium. The high levels of nutrients in mangoes mean that they are good for your heart health, digestive system, and reducing the signs of aging. (6, 7, 8)

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fruits pictures

Types of stone fruits

Berries

Berries are among the most popular types of fruit because of their varied taste, color, and texture. In fact, many people rate berries in their list of the healthiest foods on the planet.

Usually, berries are small juicy edible kind of fruits and they can have a sweet, sour, or tart taste. All varieties of “true” berries don’t have a stone in the middle. However, their flesh usually contains seeds as in the case of blackcurrants, grapes, blueberries, gooseberries, and persimmon.

Interestingly, in the botanical sense, raspberries or strawberries are not classified as berries, but in the culinary world they are.

Although citrus fruits (hesperidium) are “botanically” berries, they are classified as modified berries, not true berries. We will discuss citrus fruits in the list of hesperidium fruits.

Different types of fruits that are berries

Berries can be among some of the sweetest fruits available or some of the sourest fruits in the world.

Some examples of sweet berries in culinary terms are strawberries, blueberries, and some varieties of raspberry. The list of sour berries includes cranberries, gooseberries, and some types of raspberry.

Other popular fruits that are classified as berry fruits include grapes, goji berries, and elderberries.

Health benefits of common berries

Berries are an extremely healthy food because they pack a lot of goodness and antioxidants into a small package.

Dark-colored berries and red-colored berries are extremely good for you because they contain a powerful antioxidant called anthocyanin. This healthy compound has been linked to the prevention of chronic diseases like heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. (9, 10, 11)

Let’s look briefly at the health benefits of some of the most popular berries.

Blueberries. Studies have shown that blueberries have a number of positive effects on the cardiovascular system. Supplementing your diet with these tasty blue berries can help lower blood pressure fast, reduce cholesterol, and prevent inflammation. Blueberries also have vitamins and antioxidants that can help to prevent age-related vision loss. (12, 13)

Raspberries. Although technically a drupe, raspberries are included in the list of the healthiest berries in culinary terms. Raspberries, especially black raspberries, are rich in antioxidants that benefit your heart health. Eating more raspberries also helps protect your cognitive function and improve memory. (14, 15)

Strawberries. Although not a “true berry” botanically, these delicious red berries are among the healthiest fruits that you can eat. Strawberries are one of the popular berries for their sweet taste and health benefits. Eating strawberries has been linked to lower inflammation, heart disease risk, protection against obesity-related disorders, and even cancer. (16)

Berry fruit images

Types of Berries

Pomes

The fruits that are classified as pomes have a relatively hard flesh that surrounds a core containing seeds.

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The fruits in the pomes category are extremely popular. For example, apples and pears are in the pome fruit list. The French word for apple, pome, actually comes from the Latin pomum that originally meant fruit.

The characteristic feature of the pome variety of fruits is their central core. The endocarp, which is the innermost layer which surrounds a seed, can have a leathery or stony texture.

Did you know, that apples come in a staggering number of varieties? According to researchers at the University of Illinois, there are around 7,500 varieties of apples grown throughout the world. (17)

Common fruits that are pome fruits

The most common types of pome fruits are apples and pears. Pome fruits that are consumed less frequently include quince, rowan, and whitebeam.

Health benefits of common pome fruits

Apples are one of the most common types of fruits in the world and they have many health benefits.

Apples are a hard fruit and a great snack if you want to lose weight, improve your digestive system, and get a dose of vitamin C. For example, one medium-sized apple contains nearly 15% of your daily vitamin C requirements and 17% of your fiber needs. One apple only contains around 100 calories. (18)

A review into the varieties of apple fruits and their benefits found that they contain many types of strong antioxidants. Consuming apples has been linked to a lower risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, asthma, and other chronic health conditions. (19)

One of the health benefits of apples is that their juice can be fermented and turned into apple cider vinegar (ACV). You can find out more about the many benefits of apple cider vinegar and also discover a recipe to make your own ACV.

fruits images

Apples and pears are popular pome fruits

Hesperidia (Citrus Fruits)

Citrus fruits are types of fruits that have a thick tangy rind and come in various colors from green to yellow to orange. In the botanical term, citrus fruits are a variety of berry (modified berry).

Most citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons, limes, and grapefruit have a soft juicy flesh that is in segments. The segments are filled with tiny liquid-filled carpels that contain citrus juice.

The protective spongy rind covering the citrus flesh also contains many health benefits. The rind contains volatile oils that are often used to make essential oils. You can also scrape the outer layer of citrus fruit skins to get the zest to add to flavor food and beverages.

Different varieties of citrus fruits that are good for you

All kinds of citrus fruits have many benefits due to their high levels of vitamin C. Some of the most commonly-known fruits in the list of citrus fruits are lemons, limes, grapefruits and oranges.

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Other varieties of fruits belong to the hesperidia (citrus fruits) family include bergamot, clementine, kaffir lime, kumquats, pomelo, and yuzu.

Health benefits of common citrus fruits

Citrus fruits in general are among the most popular types of fruits. Citrus fruits are used to make food, beverages, and cosmetics, as well as essential oils and spices. (20)

Varieties of citrus fruits help treat inflammatory conditions, protect cardiovascular health, kill off free radical scavengers, and have anticancer properties. (20)

Lemons. Lemons are definitely on the list of the yellow fruits and are of the most common type of citrus fruit to consume for its health benefits. These yellow citrus fruits are packed with vitamin C and antioxidants. Consuming lemons or lemon juice (lemon water) can help to strengthen your immune system, lower cholesterol, improve iron absorption, and lower your risk of heart disease. (21, 22, 23, 24)

Grapefruit. Grapefruits are one example of fruits that are good to eat if you want to lose weight and control your appetite. Studies have shown that grapefruit consumption on a weight-loss diet may help you lose weight quicker. What’s more, grapefruit is also packed with fiber and nutrients that you need for your health. (25, 26)

citrus fruits images

Types of citrus fruits

Pepos

Pepo fruit types are generally relatively large fleshy fruits that have multiple seeds throughout the flesh or grouped together in the center. For example, watermelon is a type of fruit that is classified as pepo fruit.

Similar to citrus fruits, varieties of fruits classified as pepos are actually berries in botanical terms. The difference between pepo fruits (berries) and hesperidium fruits (citrus fruits) is the fact that the flesh isn’t segmented.

There are certain kinds of pepo “fruits” that we tend to think of as vegetables. These include cucumbers, pumpkin, squash, and, eggplant. The sweetest varieties of pepos that we associate with fruits are melons and watermelons.

Melons come in all shapes and sizes ranging from large to smaller with various skin color such as cantaloupes with their wiry greenish skin.

Different examples of fruits that are pepos

From all the different types of pepo fruits, usually watermelons and varieties of melons are the ones we associate with being fruits rather than vegetables.

Some popular kinds of melon include Honeydew and Cantaloupe.

Health benefits of common pepo fruits

Let’s look at some of the health befits of the most popular of the pepo fruits.

Watermelon. Refreshing watermelon is about 91% water and is a great way to stay hydrated on a hot summer’s day. Watermelon is a rich source of lycopene, a powerful antioxidant linked to good cardiovascular health and a strong immune system. Because it is low in calories, watermelon is also a good type of fruit to eat if you want to lose weight. (27, 28, 29)

Cantaloupe melon. One of the reasons to include cantaloupe melon in your diet is that it contains antioxidants that are good for your eyesight. As well as being a good source of fiber and hydration, cantaloupe melon also benefits your digestive system and weight-loss diets. (30, 31).

images of fruits

Melon and watermelon are popular types of fruit

Tropical Fruits

Tropical fruits are not botanically classified as a type of fruits. But most people assume that the tropical fruit category contains exotic fruits such as dragon fruit, rambutan, lychees, and passion fruit.

Just looking at pictures of tropical fruits or hearing the names of tropical fruits can transport you to exotic lands. However, the taste of tropical fruits such as pineapple, papaya, mangoes, dragon fruit, rambutan, lychees, and passion fruit is what sets them apart from other types of fruit.

images of tropical fruits

Tropical types of fruits

Varieties of plants that produce tropical fruits grow around the equator and include countries in the Caribbean, the north part of South America, Central Africa, Asia, and islands in the Pacific Ocean.

Examples of tropical fruits include papaya and mangoes which are drupes, pineapples which are actually a collection of berries that have fused together, and guabana (soursop) which technically is a kind of berry.

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