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In the United States, we are obsessed with health and besotted with ratings. Maybe that's why we at FOOD & WINE found a new study in The Journal of the American College of Nutrition so provocative. Paul Lachance, professor of nutrition and food science at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey, evaluated 29 popular fruits and ranked them in order of their nutritional density--that is, how well each delivers a range of important vitamins, minerals and other compounds. His study, funded by The International Kiwifruit Organization, found (perhaps unsurprisingly) that kiwi is the most healthful: two kiwis provide a whopping 230 percent of the recommended Daily Value for vitamin C. Filling out the top 10 list (in descending order) are papaya, cantaloupe, strawberry, mango, lemon, orange, red currant, mandarin orange, and avocado. Of course, one of the best ways to get your nutrients is to eat these fruits straight up and at their peak. For more ideas, we turned to Florida, the state that grows most of the U.S.'s citrus and tropical fruits, and asked for easy, healthful recipes from chefs at five of the best restaurants in or near Miami: Bex, Cafe Maxx, Chef Allen's, Mark's Las Olas, and Norman's. What we got is an amazing array of dishes, from raita made with kiwi to mango-jerk tuna. Enjoy them and feel good about yourself.
Published January 1998
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