Fruits form an essential part of a balanced diet for many reasons. The important being that they are a great source of fibre. Fibre regulates your bowel movements and helps food pass through your gut. Most importantly it aids digestion and controls metabolic markers like blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar. By doing so, it affects your metabolism, keeps you full for longer and can help you maintain your weight. While most of may have known this by now, a new study published British Medical Journal gives us another reason to dote on more fruits to keep your weight down.
According to the study, eating fruits like as apples, pears, and berries may be linked to less weight gain. This benefit can be attributed to the presence of high levels of flavonoids in such fruits. Flavonoid is a natural compound known for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory health benefits, as well as adding a vibrant color to the foods we eat.
The findings of the study revealed that increased consumption of food with high levels of flavonoids was associated with less weight gain. Dietary flavonoids are found naturally in fruits and vegetables linked to weight loss, but most studies till now have only looked at a particular flavonoid found in green tea, and have mostly been limited to small samples.
This is the first study to examine the associations between consumption of seven flavonoid sub-classes and weight gain in a large sample study of 124,086 participants based across the US between 1986 and 2011. The participants reported their weight, lifestyle habits, and any recently diagnosed diseases via questionnaire after every two years and also dicussed their diet after every four years.
Researchers from Harvard and the University of East Anglia (UEA) are of the opinion that these findings "may help to refine previous dietary recommendations for the prevention of obesity and its potential consequences". Losing weight or preventing weight gain can reduce the risk of diabetes, cancer, hypertension, cardiovascular disease and several other lifestyle diseases.
They concluded that people may be able to maximize the health benefits of eating fruit and vegetables by choosing those with high levels of flavonoids, such as apples, pears, and berries. The study puts the spotlight on three types of flavonoids - anthocyanins, flavonoid polymers and flavonol. Berries like blueberries and strawberries are the main source of anthocyanins, tea and apples are high in flavonoid polymers and tea and onions are packed with flavonols.