Let’s start by answering “What is a fruit?” It’s fleshy product of a tree or other plant that contains at least one seed and can be eaten as food. Although most fruits are sweet, some like avocadoes and tomatoes contain at least one seed and are fruits as well.
Two features of fruits are their water content and their fibre content.
Water content: Keeping hydrated is one of the most important things you can do when losing or maintaining weight. Staying hydrated is just as important in winter as it is in summer.
Drinking water is the best way to stay hydrated and rehydrate. The second-best way is to look at what foods you are eating and if your diet is based on mainly fresh produce with no or low processing this can include low sugar fruits. However, you need to balance the water content of the fruit with the energy (calories) that the fruit serve yields.
Proper hydration has many physical and mental health benefits including:
Regulating body temperature, helping digestion, converting food into energy, transporting nutrients to cells, lubrication of joints, muscle function and optimal bowel comfort.
Fibre: Like protein, fibre has a satiety effect, keeping you fuller for longer.
Let’s look at fruits that have fibre and a high-water content that can contribute to your hydration and help with your weight and fat loss, as well as adding many health benefits. They range from very low carb to higher carb so check that they are listed on your eating plan. Frozen fruits have the same nutrition as fresh fruits.
Do not juice your fruit as this increases sugar and calories and reduces the fibre.
- Strawberries provide disease-fighting antioxidants and vitamins and minerals including vitamin C, folate and manganese. Shown to reduce inflammation which can help protect against heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some types of cancer. A couple of strawberries goes well in a protein shake, with chilled water and ice mixed in an electronic blender.
- Rockmelon is rich in vitamin A and may boost immune health.
- Tomatoes contain vitamins A and C, are rich in lycopene, which may help prevent the development of prostate cancer. Enjoy cold or cooked.
- Grapefruit is a healthy citrus fruit that is 88% water. Low in calories, high in minerals, vitamins and antioxidants. Can help reduce high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
- Oranges are high in vitamin C and potassium and may boost your immune function and heart health. Flavonoids may prevent cell damage and reduce inflammation.
- Pomegranate is high in vitamins and minerals and contains some protein. Antioxidants can help prevent some forms of cancer and reduce inflammation. Polyphenols and conjugated linolenic acid help burn fat and boost metabolism.
- Watermelon contains vitamin C, vitamin A and magnesium and lycopene.
- Apples are high in flavonoids, contain polyphenols and beta-carotene. Aids digestion and bowel movements and can help lower cholesterol levels and blood pressure and reduce risk of type 2 diabetes.
- Peaches are a very nutrient-dense fruit, so include the skin for extra antioxidants.
- Pineapple has anti-inflammatory properties.
- Kiwi fruit contain an enzyme known as actinidain which can help digestion and help with irritable bowel syndrome. Vitamin K prevents blood clotting and reduces fat in the blood and vitamin C improves immune health.
- Avocado is a fruit, looks more like a vegetable and contains monosaturated “healthy” fat. They are high in fibre and low-glycemic so slows down absorption of carbs. Avocados have a little bit of almost every nutrient needed for optimal health. Vitamin E and glutathione are antioxidants that fight oxidative stress and reduce health problems. Avocados have more potassium than bananas and contain copper which are essential for heart health and normal blood pressure. They are filling and hard to overeat. High satiety, a natural appetite suppressant and ow in carbs.
Tips for staying hydrated while losing weight:
- Water is calorie free and does not stimulate insulin, the hormone associated with fat storage. Add a squeeze of lemon or lime juice for flavour.
- Low-sugar fruits add to your hydration without too many carbs and calories. Remember do not juice your fruit as it removes fibre and concentrates calories.
- Frozen berries are just as nutritious as fresh, so a great addition to add flavour and variety in protein shakes.
- Improve hydration and get extra vitamins and minerals by choosing your fruits carefully.
- Avoid dried fruits as they provide no hydration.
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