A balanced diet is an essential part of any effective weight loss plan, and fruit is just as essential as vegetables, whole grains, and dairy. In fact, men and women who added fruit to their daily diet lost nearly half a pound over a four year period. That may not sound like much, but the right intake of the right fruits can really help to support healthy weight loss. The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends a serving of fruit with every meal, but knowing which fruits provide the most fat-burning and appetite-suppressing potential can be tricky.
Here’s a look at five of the fruits that best promote weight loss.
1. Grape fruit
Perhaps the fruit most commonly identified with weight loss is the grapefruit. This super food contains just 36 calories per half-grapefruit serving, along with zero grams of fat. And not only does it barely weigh in on a daily calorie count, it is also full of Vitamin C. According to World’s Healthiest Foods, grapefruit contains 78 percent of your daily Vitamin C requirement and may even be associated with fat loss.
Grapefruit also helps regulate insulin function, as evidenced in a 2006 study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food. Individuals that ate half a grapefruit before each meal showed healthier insulin levels than those in a placebo group, and also lost more weight—by nearly one kilogram. The best time to eat half a grapefruit is in the morning. Breakfast is already vital to weight loss, and filling that mealtime with a grapefruit is a great way to kick off the day and start up the metabolism.
The symbol of summer, watermelon may also have potential as a symbol of weight loss. Watermelon is aptly named as it is full of water and can keep the body hydrated on a hot summer’s day. And with more water comes more weight loss. According to the American Dietetic Association, drinking just one or two glasses of water before every meal will decrease your caloric intake for that day by 13 percent. Watermelon is also only 30 calories per 100 grams, making it a great snacking option. Its electrolyte properties also make it a natural choice for supporting energy levels that may become depleted during exercise.
Exotic fruits like the papaya are another great choice in aiding in weight loss. Papaya skin contains an enzyme called papain, which improves digestion and therefore quickens the metabolism. And, like grapefruit, papayas contain a high concentration of Vitamin C. They also provide high quantities of folate, potassium, Vitamin A, Vitamin E, and Vitamin K. These vitamins regulate everything from digestion to muscle building, which is an important part of becoming slimmer. Papayas are high in fiber, as well, and can be a filling snack on a hot day.
Apples not only keep the doctor away—they also provide a high source of fiber. In fact, a single apple provides about 15 percent of your daily recommended intake. Fiber is vital in filling the stomach and keeping it satisfied. By expanding in the stomach, it pushes against the lining and sends signals to the brain that the body no longer needs food. And, because it takes more time to break down than other food substances, it increases the metabolism and gives off more energy.The best way to eat apples is as a snack replacement. With just 81 calories per average-sized apple, that’s a pretty good deal.
Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries are fruits that are also high in fiber. And, because they’re sweeter than most other healthy foods, they satisfy cravings for sugary things. And with about 83 calories per cup, there’s a big benefit in terms of keeping caloric intake under control. Like apples, the high fiber content of berries keeps the stomach satisfied and overeating at bay.
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And because they contain a high amount of antioxidants and phytonutrients, they also keep the body healthy. Antioxidants don’t play a direct role in fat burning like other natural substances, but they do operate as damage control when the body is losing weight. That’s because as fat breaks down, free radicals and other harmful toxins are released into the body, which could compromise the immune system. Antioxidants neutralize these free radicals and keep the body operating normally. Berries too make a great snack, and if they are out of season, frozen quantities are always available.
Ways to Incorporate Fruit Into Your Diet
Of course, sometimes it can be difficult to incorporate fruit into every meal of the day—especially for people living the corporate lifestyle who have little or no time for meal preparation. Luckily, there are a few ways to get the proper intake of fruit without the sacrifice of too much time.
The first is to purchase dried fruit.
Dried fruit has a much longer lifespan than fresh fruit and can be packed in a lunch very easily. It also has four times the energy density of fresh fruit, which means the body will have an extra boost it wouldn’t otherwise receive.
The second—and perhaps even simpler—way to support a weight loss plan with fruit is through a fruit-based diet pill.
There are plenty on the market, promising a natural route to weight loss through dried fruit extracts. One of the most popular is the Lichi Super Fruit Diet Pill.
Make sure to read an unbiased Lichi Super Fruit Diet Pill review before purchasing it, however. Beyond that, paying attention to which fruits are in season and taking advantage of discounts at the local supermarket will give any diet an extra boost.