Fruits are juicy, refreshing and delicious. They are also high in fiber, contain natural sugars and help keep unwanted cravings away. You may already know that you should include a variety of them in your diet, but not every fruit is equal when it comes to the nutritional value. There are certain fruits that are higher in fiber and pectin. Both work as natural fat burners that can help boost your metabolism and aid weight loss. Additionally, they are loaded with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants and are also low in fat and calories. But, can eating fruits really help you lose weight?
“To lose weight you need to take less calories but that doesn't mean that you have to eat less. Fruits add bulk to our diets and do not provide many calories. They can be used as a substitute for high calories foods in our diet, making you feeling full and satisfied with an intake of fewer calories. For example, if we add fruits like peaches, strawberries and apple to our breakfast cereals then we can cut down the cereal portion size, thereby reducing calories without starving ourselves. Fruits can be also used as a substitute for high glycemic index foods in our diet and thus can help in weight loss. You should aim for eating five serving of fruits every day and opt for different colours,” explains Dr. Gargi Sharma, Weight Loss Consultant, New Delhi.
(Also read: Eat These 7 Calcium-Rich Fruits To Ensure Healthy Bones And Teeth)
Recently, scientists at Harvard University found that increasing the daily intake of fruit can prevent weight gain, even if you continue consuming the same amount of calories. Researchers suggest that all the benefits of eating fruits come from the flavonoids they contain. Flavonoids are a group of phytonutrients found in fruits and vegetables that impart colour. They are powerful antioxidants with anti-inflammatory properties. Fruits get a bad reputation because of their sugar content but they are actually great for weight loss as they can help in controlling your calorie intake. Dr. Gargi Sharma suggests some that you must include in your diet if you're looking to lose weight.
Watermelon: This juicy fruit provides only 30 calories per 100 grams and keeps you hydrated. It is rich in amino acid arginine which helps in burning fat.
Guava: They are rich in fiber, have low glycemic index and prevent constipation. They also activate the metabolic rate which helps in weight loss.
Pear: A great source of Vitamin C, pear is the perfect fruit for weight loss. It is packed with fiber which keeps you full for longer as it gets digested slowly. Pears are also known to keep your cholesterol levels in check.
Oranges: Add some tang to your diet with this nutrient-dense, low-calorie fruit. Oranges provide only 47 calories per 100 grams. Orange is considered to be a negative calorie fruit which means that it contains less calories than what your body requires to burn it. Simply put, you burn more than you eat.
Blueberries: Popularly known as a superfood, blueberries are rich in antioxidants and help in boosting metabolic rate. Regular consumption is also known to reduce insulin resistance, hypertension and cholesterol.
Strawberries: These beautiful looking berries help in the production of fat burning hormones adiponectin and leptin resulting in higher metabolism.
Peaches: They are very filling as water composes 89 percent of their weight. Being rich in fiber, they help in reducing hunger.
(Also read: 5 Indian Winter Fruits That Boost Immune System)
You may also consider several other fruits which help in losing weight.
Apples:Apples are considered to be low in calories and high in fiber. They are considered to be good for weight loss, Apples are also very filling; hence we eat fewer amounts of other foods during the course of the day. It is also said that apples should be consumed whole, instead of juice, for better result.
Plums: Plums are low in calories, but have good amount of minerals (Potassium, Manganese) and vitamins like A, C and K. Plums contain phenols, a type of phytonutrient, which are strong antioxidants.
Kiwi: Highly nutrient-dense, kiwis are highly nutritious and their high fiber and low calorie content work as magic for weight loss. Kiwis are excellent source of vitamin C, E, folate and fiber. Studies note that kiwi can help in the additional weight loss benefits, like controlling blood sugar, improving cholesterol and others.
Avocados: Avocados are calorie-dense fruits grown in warm climates. The fat content in avocados is considered healthy, which helps in promoting weight loss. Avocados are a great source of vitamins, minerals, healthy fats and fiber. Some studies have found that eating avocados can increase feelings of fullness and decrease appetite.
Apricots: Apricots are rich in nutrients like vitamin A and C, as per USDA. They are also enriched with calcium, magnesium and potassium. This fuzzy and furry fruit contains very less amount of calories, which make them excellent addition to one's weight loss diet. It can fill one's appetite for several hours that helps in keeping check on hunger and cravings.
An easy way to include fruits in your daily diet is to sneak them in as a snack between meals. Fresh fruits make for great low-calorie snacks. This way, you'll be able to control untimely cravings and also prevent overeating. Mix them with yogurt or cereal for breakfast, throw them in salads for lunch or serve them with as a sweet accompaniment for dessert to curb your sweet tooth. Fruits can be enjoyed any time of the day and with every meal.
A lot of us may get carried away with the juicing trend but Dr. Gargi clarifies that if your goal is to keep your weight down, you must eat whole fruits. Juicing is a great way to detox, keep your body hydrated and increase the intake of potassium, iron, Vitamin A, Vitamin C and other minerals but it may not work for weight loss. Juicing leads to extraction of fiber from a fruit which is one of the most important components. A lot of studies and health experts agree that increasing your fibre intake can lead to weight loss. Fiber helps to slow down the absorption of sugar into the blood. It helps in improving digestion and keeps you satisfied for longer period of time. All of these factors contribute in managing your calorie intake which paves the way to reach your goal - whether it is weight loss or simply staying slim.
(This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.)