Summer’s Best Kept Weight Loss Secret
Fresh fruits are readily available in Summer. Not only are fruits good for your health, but they can help you slim down too. Here’s how…
Spoiler alert: fresh food is always a good addition to a healthy diet. What do you know, summer is almost upon us and the fresh vegetables and fruits of the world are blooming and becoming ripe. It’s around this time of year produce hits farmers markets and fruit stands, providing you lots of options. You can hit the grocery store, even, to find your fair share of fruit. What’s more? There are endless options when it comes to the produce aisle; and while berries might be summer’s best kept weight loss secret, other fruits can help too.
So, why fruit?
Benefits of Eating Fruit You’ll Wish You Knew Sooner
Hey, they might be tasty, but fruits are much more than delicious treats to snack on or eat as dessert. Fruits can do so much more than top your yogurt or ice cream. They’re able to improve circulation, maximize your immune system, boost your digestive system, encourage your skin to glow, infuse your hair with shine, and generally promote your overall health. Fruit can also help aid in detox treatments or diets. In fact, fruit diets can work as natural weight loss remedies triggering weight loss that doesn’t harm your body. Besides boosting your overall health, fruits also help you stock up on energy.
Our diets are jam-packed with preservatives and processed foods. They’re devoid of essential nutrients, and they can cause harm to your body. Preservatives and processed foods contribute to weight gain, too. By replacing some of those foods in your diet with healthier options like fresh produce, you’re sure to see a difference not only in your overall health but also in your weight loss efforts.
Fruits Help Keep You Healthier
Since fruits are full of the vitamins and minerals your body needs to run well, they’re essential to your diet. Why? Fruits can aid your natural defense against health complications like heat stroke, high blood pressure, heart issues, diabetes, and cancer. The benefits of consuming fresh fruit, and fruit in general, are truly unmatched. Many of us have mineral or vitamin deficiencies in our diets; consuming good, fresh fruits can help you build up the right amount of vitamins and minerals in your body. As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is a pound of cure; so load your diet up with fruit, and watch over time as your body begins to run in an optimal way.
Bananas, for example, are loaded with potassium. Potassium is essential in the prevention of strokes, high blood pressure, anxiety, or other disorders affecting your circulation. Fruits rich in potassium can also help prevent the development of kidney stones, and even decrease bone-loss. Other fruits full of potassium include prunes, dried peaches, apricots, and both honeydew melon and cantaloupe.
Many fruits are loaded with fiber, too. Fiber is important because it can help reduce the risks of high blood cholesterol and heart disease. Fiber also important to digestive functions; you can thank fiber for proper bowel movements. What’s more is that fiber can help you feel more full, so you’ll stop eating when you’re not hungry instead of consuming empty calories. Thanks to fiber, you’re also combating carcinogens when you consume fibrous fruit.
Some fruits are full of vitamin C, which is seriously important to consume not only for your health, but for the condition of your skin. Vitamin C is a regular ingredient in many anti-aging products. It also heals cuts, repairs bodily tissues, and promotes good dental health.
Your Hair and Skin Will Thank You For Eating More Berries
Skin issues and hair problems can be quenched (almost literally) by eating more fruit. Rather than reaching for over the counter acne medication, boosting your fruit intake can seriously help the condition of your skin. Many fruits like berries, bananas, and apples work to rectify the root issues of acne and other skin problems like eruptions or even sporadic breakouts. The skin of apples contains pectin, which acts as a laxative but it also helps to clear up your acne. Constipation can be a cause! The antioxidant properties of berries benefits your skin by detoxing from the inside out. Papaya is another fruit that lends itself to skincare. They can help eliminate the signs and scaring of acne spots.
Kiwis, strawberries, and pineapple are known for aiding in hair growth. Get luscious locks from vitamin A, which works to bring shine to your hair. Vitamin C, often found in fruits, especially citrus fruits, helps to prevent hair loss, and rejuvenate your hair. Not all of the benefits of fruit are internal, though. You can try creating hair masks out of fresh fruit! Avocado, for example, has loads of vitamin E which can help eliminate scalp issues like dandruff, or itching. This may be no surprise, but coconut oil is a phenomenal ingredient to use on your hair and skin. What isn’t coconut oil good for?!
Nature’s Treasure Trove: Berries
While all kinds of fruit can benefit your health, berries are shown to be some of the healthiest foods on our planet. Many doctors will recommend eating them daily, unless your health care provider has recommended otherwise. Numerous studies show research proving berries are Summer’s best kept secret to weight loss. Research published in the British Medical Journal supports the research and theory of berries helping people to lose weight.
Berries are high in antioxidants, low in energy density, and they help you feel more full after eating. How do these things benefit weight loss?
Berries Are Loaded With Antioxidants Which Fight Aging and Encourage Weight Loss
Antioxidants are useful little guys who act like body guards, protecting and guarding cells from damage. Damage like premature aging, wrinkles, and different kinds of diseases. Antioxidants fight odxidation, rather a process that is associated with cancer, aging, and heart disease. What’s more, is that they’re also linked to weight loss. People who consume more antioxidants frequently weigh less, even if they’re not restricting calories.
Consuming plant-based produce or food rich in antioxidants is proven to lower the percentage of total body fat. This is in comparison with others who have a diet high in sugar or meat. Unfortunately, the average American’s diet is loaded with meat, sugar, fried foods, and processed products but low in fruits and vegetables.
Another benefit of eating berries is the increased ability to prevent urinary tract infections. Blueberries and cranberries are especially good at this. They help to prevent the buildup of bacteria on the bladder walls; just guarding and protecting your system!
Say Thank You To Ketones For Your Boosted Metabolism
Berries are rich in ketones, a substance that’s known to boost your metabolism. Which is to say they boost your fat burning process. Raspberries in particular are known as a strong source of ketones, particularly effective in cutting deep-seated internal belly fat.
Other berries help fight belly fat. You know, that stubborn area we’re all trying to fix? In an animal study, rats that consumed more than two percent of their diet in the form of berries (blueberries, in this case) had incredible results after 90 days. Blueberries are also particularly effective in the reduction of belly fat. So, pop a handful of raspberries or blueberries into your diet daily to boost your belly-fat burning power.
How Do Berries Affect Your Energy Density?
Foods with lower energy density help you lose weight, but what is energy density? Basically, eating more food, with less calories. When you’re dieting to lose weight, it’s essential to eat a greater volume of food, but better food. Food that’s lower in calories, filled with more nutrients, and that will help you feel full faster. Berries have high water content and high fiber, both of which contribute to their energy density. Which is low, fortunately!
Here’s a crazy example of energy density. One teaspoon of butter has the same calories as, approximately, a half cup of blackberries, strawberries, or blueberries.
Fresh berries have a high water content, which is an attribute that helps you feel full faster. Blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, and strawberries all have a very high water content. The cool thing about this is the water creates weight and juiciness in the fruit, but it doesn’t add calories.
Berries You Should Stock Up On This Summer
While we won’t discriminate against all types of fruit, berries are a good bet to improve your weight loss efforts. Let’s take a look at the berries you should be eating as much as you can!
- These berries are an antioxidant warehouse. The deep color of blueberries is due to a high amount of phytonutrients that help neutralize free radical damage. Over time, the aging process begins and our cells start deteriorating, alongside of our skin tissues. Fortunately, blueberries can help slow this process down by reparing tissues when they’re injured or deteriorating. Thanks to research done by Tufts University, we know that blueberries are on top of a list of common fruits and vegetables in their antioxidant capabilities. End of the story? Eat more blueberries!
- Goji Berries
- These little guys are a power-food. Want to help your liver fight contaminates? Goji berries. Want to fight poor overall health? Goji berries. Not only are they great to boost your immune system, they’re fantastically filled with nutrients and minerals your body will love. Goji berries also have 18 essential amino acids, 21 trace minerals, different b vitamins, linoleic acid, selenium, germanium, and beta carotene. Need any other reasons to try these berries?
- Occasionally, these berries are deemed the “world’s healthiest food”. Sign us up! Remember those ketones? Although they’re not exclusive to raspberries, the berry is a fantastic source of this compound. Raspberry ketone is effective in managing of obesity, as well as type two diabetes. Also called rheosmin, this compound increases metabolism in our fat cells by working to boost enzyme activity and oxygen consumption. How great is that? By boosting the metabolism like that, we’re less likely to deposit fat in our fat cells, instead using up the fat that’s already there.
- Acai Berries
- Rich in antioxidants, acai berries slow the aging process. These little berries have two times the antioxidant properties of blueberries… so you know how we raved about those berries before? These are also important to add into your diet. They’re powerfully healing, energy boosting, and they can help with heart health as well as cholesterol management.
- These blueberry imposters are tiny, but don’t let that fool you. They’re incredibly beneficial. They’re high in antioxidants, they’re good for aiding in diabetes management, and they can also help protect your vision.
- Strawberries are loaded with phenols, which are phytonutrients responsible for protecting us from diseases. They also help with our brain capacity. This delicious red berry is full of vitamin C, vitamin K, manganese, idoine, folate, omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, copper, b vitamins, fiber, and potassium. Remember how the last two can help you feel full, faster!
- Vitamin C, E, and ellagic acid are all found in blackberries. This is important because they help fight chronic diseases. Also, as they’re a citric berry, they provide minimal carbohydrates so they’re prime ingredients if you’re looking to slim your waist down.
- This might be a surprise, but cherries are full of melatonin which is a natural chemical that leads to good sleep! It also promotes a youthful appearance in your skin. Cherries have a high amount of quercetin and ellagic acid which are antioxidant flavonoids which work to help your cell and tissue help.
- These berries are another citric berry; they too provide minimal carbohydrates. They also help to cleanse both your blood and strengthen your cardiovascular system. What’s more? They also improve your digestion and your appetite, meaning they’re key in leaving to healthy weight loss.
- High in potassium, gooseberries work to protect your intestines. Also rich in vitamin C, they pack tons of health benefits into little tiny berries. A surprising but wonderful aspect of eating gooseberries is that they work to enhance protein synthesis. Meaning, they help the body break food down.
Picking, Storing, and Eating Your Berries
Berries, generally, are best when it’s warm out, which is why summer is the perfect time to boost your berry intake. There are things you want to keep in mind when picking your berries at the farmers market or store. It’s best to pick berries that are a little tender, plump, and bright in color. Brightness signalizes ripeness, so you’ll be sure to have delicious berries if you pick some deep in color. Keep in mind: berries won’t get sweeter after they’re picked, so choose ripe berries!
Containers that are dark, damp, or look like they may be growing mold are red flags; avoid those packages. If you end up with a package of berries where mold is present, be sure to throw out the moldy berries, wash the remaining, and transfer them into a new container.
You’ll want to refrigerate your berries, unless you plan on freezing them. Strawberries and blueberries can last up to five days in the fridge, while smaller berries like raspberries and blackberries can be stored up to three days.
Ways to Increase Your Consumption of Berries and Add More to Your Diet
Now you know what to add to your diet, how do you do it? There are so many ways to add more fruits and berries to your daily diet, and we can’t wait to share. The nutritional benefits of berries, like we’ve talked about, are undeniable and almost unbelievable. And there are endless ways to incorporate them into your diet.
- Drink your fruits and berries by creating smoothies, home-made juices, or infusing your water
- Add fruit to your breakfast. Cereal, yogurt, oatmeal, or even toast are great foods to pair with berries
- Try adding berries to your salads. Panera creates an incredible Summer Berry salad, and you can replicate that recipe here.
How are you adding berries to your diet this summer to boost your weight loss techniques? Let us know your favorite smoothie recipes or your favorite fruits for weight loss.