Hoping to lose some weight or maintain pounds you've lost? It's time to hit up the produce aisle and grab some healthy fruits. Fruit not only helps target belly fat, but it can also reduce the risk of some types of cancer and other chronic diseases.
Plus, fruits provide essential vitamins and minerals, fiber and other nutrients crucial for good health. Indeed, fruits are part of a well-balanced and healthy eating plan, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If you want to get some of the best fruit, try joining a CSA farm share, which is when a farm offers a certain number of "shares"—a membership or a subscription—to the public.
If you can't get to the grocery store, canned or frozen fruits are also nutritious options. Just be sure to choose ones without added sugar, syrup or other ingredients that pack on calories. And remember to combine your weight-loss plan with a daily exercise regimen (after speaking with your health care provider).
Here are some fruits to integrate into your eating plan that can help you shed pounds.
This juicy fruit is loaded with water and low in calories, making it ideal to eat for weight loss. Consuming watermelon will ensure you're hydrated. And when you're getting plenty of water, your body can work optimally. Also, when you're hydrated, you won't confuse thirst with hunger and overeat unhealthy fare. Combine watermelon and some savory and spicy ingredients for a refreshing twist with our simple and quick watermelon gazpacho recipe. Or, try our salad that offers the sweetness of watermelon, tartness of lime, saltiness of feta and olives, and semi-spicy herbaceousness of arugula.
It's true that all berries are good for you. But tiny blueberries are the best of the bunch, especially for your figure—the CDC says that one cup of blueberries is 83 calories. Blueberries boast lots of nutrients, which helps them fight fat by boosting your metabolism and efficiently burning calories. And since they're brimming with fiber, they'll help keep you satisfied. Buckwheat flour infuses our hearty pancakes with extra protein, fiber and nutrients, and blueberry sauce is the perfect topping. Or try our smoothie, a great breakfast substitute packed with protein and fiber sure to keep you satisfied until lunchtime.
Pears are high in the fiber pectin, which has been shown to suppress appetite. Plus, all the fiber in pears helps keep you satisfied longer. And pears may reduce your cholesterol levels and your risk of coronary heart disease. Instead of turning to the vending machine, grab a pear—with the skin on so that you benefit from its filling fiber—to curb cravings. These blushing cranberry pears make a simple dessert.
Apples are easy to carry as a snack, and they're low in calories (a medium-sized apple is 72 calories, says the CDC) and lack sodium or fat. So, they can be a component of any weight-loss diet. Apples are one of the best fruit sources of filling fiber, which means you'll be satisfied enough to avoid binges throughout the day. In fact, research has shown that eating a fiber-filled apple before a meal can fill you up so you eat fewer calories. Plus, they can help reduce your cancer risk, promote heart health and give you energy, to boot. They're also helpful at balancing blood sugar, which can help you make better snacking decisions because you won't be desperate to get something into your belly quickly. Check out 10 healthy apples recipes that you're guaranteed to love.
Eating half of a grapefruit before each meal can lower levels of insulin, a fat-storage hormone, which can lead to weight loss. Because grapefruits are loaded with water, they keep you hydrated and satisfied, helping you eat less. Plus, the fruit contains fat-burning enzymes, categorizing it as a weight-loss superfood. And because it takes more energy to digest this fruit, it helps you burn more calories. This fruit powerhouse also is a good source of protein, vitamin C, folic acid and potassium. Cook the cod here in the microwave and mix in the grapefruit and vegetables for a quick and healthy one-dish meal.
A medium, slightly green banana will boost your metabolism and fill you up. A banana is a great way to boost energy and an ideal post-workout snack. Opt for a banana over an energy bar to ensure that you're really getting a healthy treat. Plus, a banana can help prevent muscle cramps and regulate your blood pressure. Start your day with these banana waffles. And instead of a grilled cheese sandwich at lunch, try this grilled peanut butter and banana sandwich.