Most Americans do not consume enough fruit. The daily recommendation is two cups every day, and yet a whopping 68% of the population does not meet this goal. If you find yourself falling into this category, it may be time to make some positive changes, since they might be key to improving your weight.
Fruit is nature's perfect pick-me-up between meals, because it is full of fiber, while low in fat, sodium, and calories. The different types of fruits available are each effective in their own way. Next time you need an afternoon snack leave the chocolate on the shelf and eat one of the healthiest meals for losing weight.
Citrus fruits are full of vitamins and minerals that can assist weight loss. In fact, studies have found that a flavonoid in tangerine can reduce obesity and diabetes. Another case study observed a woman who added one grapefruit to her diet daily, and progressively lost 20 pounds.
Two-thirds of people in the United States do not drink enough water. While it may seem hard to drink the recommended 8 to 10 cups a day, you can hydrate and stay full with watermelon, cantaloupe, or honey dew. Not only are they delicious, the water-density will flush out toxins and improve digestion.
Raspberries, blackberries, cranberries, and blueberries all have something special in common: they are packed with antioxidants. They promote digestion by breaking down food and releasing toxins from the body. They can also strengthen the cardiovascular system, making it easier to be active. As an added bonus, they can help delay aging signs, improving the appearance of your skin, hair, and nails.
This delicious fruit is perfect for taming intense sugar cravings. Coconut can fill you up and make you feel like you aren't on a diet at all. Many people are afraid of coconuts because of their fat content, but it is not a fat to fear. Coconuts contain mostly medium-chain triglycerides, which are not stored in the body as fat at all, but used for immediate energy instead, improving metabolism in the process. They are structurally different from the long-chain-fatty-acids that you can usually find in desserts and fried foods.
Tomatoes are the perfect fruit to blend with your dinner stir fries, roasts, and sauces. The fruit is full of vitamin C, which can prevent aging and give you energy, while stimulating the production of carnitine. Some studies, as of yet inconclusive, suggest that this amino acid may increase the fat-burning potential of the body by one third.
Make sure you eat these fruits fresh and whole to get their maximum benefits. Although fruit juice may seem like a suitable replacement, most often it is not. Even 100% juice contains the same sugar content and calories as soft drinks, and does not fill you like the whole fruit does. Although some experts claim the vitamin and phytonutrient content in organic labeled fruits is slightly higher, do not fret if it is not a possibility for you: in general adding an abundance of fruit to your diet will prove beneficial in your weight loss.
Learn more about the different ways to avoid weight gain during menopause by following the links below.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2010). State-Specific Trends in Fruit and Vegetable Consumption Among Adults. Retrieved April 1, 2014, from http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrh/mm5935a1.htm?s_cid=mm5935a1_w
- United States Department of Agriculture. (n.d). How Much Fruit is Needed Daily? Retrieved April 1, 2014, from http://www.choosemyplate.gov/printpages/MyPlateFoodGroups/Fruits/food-groups.fruits-amount.pdf
- United States Department of Agriculture. (n.d). Why is it Important to Eat Fruit? Retrieved April 1, 2014, from http://www.choosemyplate.gov/food-groups/fruits-why.html
- Harvard School of Public Health. Sugary Drinks. Retrieved April 1, 2014, from http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/healthy-drinks/sugary-drinks/#ref33