Fruit is rich in nutrients that help fight inflammation and do all kinds of good deeds for your body. If you eat less than you know you should, perhaps you’re discouraged after wasting money on fruit that was mushy or never seemed to ripen. How do you know if you can count on that hard rock to ripen up at home? Experts say the ripe fruit feels “heavy in the hand.” Here are more tips for finding the freshest fruit.

Berries

Go for plump berries with deep color. They stop ripening once off the vine and tread a thin line between ripe and rotting. Staining at the bottom of the container indicates overripeness.

Oranges
The sweetest ones give slightly when squeezed and have shiny, thin skin. It’s OK if Valencias aren’t orange; they can have a green tinge even after they ripen.

Melons
Will ripen after a few days at room temperature. Watermelon bottom will go from white to creamy yellow. Cantaloupes are ready when fragrant.

Kiwis
Set on counter to ripen. Ready when it yields to a soft squeeze.

Mangoes
Ripen at room temp, until slightly soft and very fragrant. A little speckling or bruising is OK.

Pomegranates
They are shipped ripe. Choose a large, brightly colored one with skin intact.

Pineapples
Pick one that’s fully ripe – yellow hue, deep green leaves and slightly firm with a sweet smell.

Apples
Already fully ripe when picked. Look for firm, smooth skin without soft spots.

Bananas
Buy green, when they are less fragile. Ripen at home to yellow with hints of brown.

Peaches, nectarines
Usually sold “ripe when picked” but still fairly firm. Avoid rock hard. Give few days on counter till soft and juicy.

Cherries
Ripening stops once picked. Buy only plump and firm ones with stems attached.