The 7 Best Fruits to Eat for Weight Loss, According to Studies
Summer has many perks, one of which is the access to fresh fruit, which is not only one of the healthiest foods we can eat, full of antioxidants, vitamins, and also fiber that studies show can help us lose weight, reduce appetite, lower blood pressure, and boost immunity. Soluble fiber from fruit dissolves in water as it gets digested and forms a gel-like substance that slows the pace of absorption in your stomach and digestive system, making you feel full for longer, and keeping your blood sugar stable.
Women should aim for at least 25 grams of fiber a day and men need 38 grams, according to the USDA, and their survey data indicates that dietary fiber intake among U.S. consumers is only 16 grams per day. Even the government standard is considered The "daily Adequate Intake" so more fiber is better.
In addition to fiber, certain fruits have also been scientifically proven to lower inflammation, which helps prevent obesity and other major diseases. Studies show people who eat more fiber have lower BMIs, healthier blood pressure, and less insulin resistance, which is when insulin gets locked in the "on" position and blood sugar rises and your body responds by storing calories as fat. So eating more fiber helps promote natural weight loss that seems effortless.
We compiled a list of the seven refreshing fruits with some of the highest-fiber content to eat this summer and enjoy for their natural sweetness. Eat any of these daily to reap the health benefits, consume more essential nutrients and vitamins, and to promote natural weight loss.
Kiwis might just be your favorite fruit to eat when you read that kiwis were found to reduce waist size. In a study, researchers found that consuming two kiwifruits per day increased vitamin C and fasting glucose (lowering blood sugar). Eating kiwis helped produce a "significant reduction in both diastolic and systolic blood pressure, as well as a significant reduction in waist circumference and waist-to-hip ratio."
In addition, kiwifruit is shockingly high in fiber for its small size, just like passion fruit. One kiwi has 2.1 grams of fiber, which is unusually high for tropical fruit since most of them have higher water content.
Avocados have a bad reputation: Many people mistakenly think that their high-fat content will make them fat, but the exact opposite is true. Avocados actually help reduce appetite for at least five hours after eating one, according to Lori Meyer, an RD who has reported on the health benefits of avocado.
A recent study in the National Institute of Health found that avocados keep you full for six hours after consumption. The researchers attributed this hunger suppression to the perfect combination of fat and fiber in the whole fruit (yes avocados are members of the fruit family) and the study concluded that people who eat an avocado daily take in fewer calories throughout the day, which may result in weight loss. For best results, try to eat an avocado in the morning, to feel satiated and avoid snacking.
Avocados are also high in fiber, which may be one reason they help us stay full longer (fat also keeps us feeling full). One 3.5-ounce avocado has 7 grams of dietary fiber, or 27 percent of your recommended daily amount (which is at least 25 grams for women 38 grams for men).
The next time you're in the tropics or see this exotic fruit in your grocery store, try it. Guava, for the uninitiated, tastes like a cross between a strawberry and a pear, with a subtle sweetness and tangy aftertaste. Guava has numerous health benefits, including lowering blood pressure and cholesterol, and appears to promote weight loss.
A study published by the National Library of Medicine evaluated the effect of ripe guava fruit supplementation on blood glucose and lipids in healthy people. The researchers found that "supplementation of ripe guava fruit with its peel reduced BMI as well as blood pressure." The study concluded: "Guava fruit without peel is more effective in lowering blood sugar as well as serum total cholesterol, triglycerides, and LDL. It increases HDL [ the good type of cholestrol] levels also."
Papaya is one of the few tropical fruits with a high fiber count, a total of 3 grams per one small fruit. Diets high in fiber have been linked to weight loss because calories are released into the bloodstream steadily, keeping blood sugar low, so you don't store fat, but instead burn energy over the next several hours.
Papaya has also been proved to reduce "adipose tissue weight," which is belly fat by a scientific term, as well as allow fat stores to shrink by lowering stress levels within the fat itself, according to a study. When the body is losing weight, "energy stores are mobilized from adipocytes and adipocytes become smaller," according to another study. Adipocyte hypertrophy is associated with "increased stress, decreased metabolic flexibility, and systemic diabetes," the study authors explain, so when we eat papaya it appears to reduce these symptoms, which may result in weight loss.
Native to South American, the passionfruit may be only slightly bigger than a golf ball but is mighty when it comes to fiber, with 1.9 grams per piece. A study showed that the seeds' insoluble fiber helped to lower cholesterol and triglyceride in the lab. If you eat more than three passion fruits in one serving you will drive up your fiber fruit to a quarter of your daily needs.
A study of diabetic rats given passion fruit daily for 30 days found that the juice significantly "reduced their total cholesterol, triglyceride, and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels."
Eating passion fruit is may help us lose weight since in the lab the same study found that the fruit lowered the animals' triglyceride levels and that eating the seeds lowered their total cholesterol, liver cholesterol. The same researchers also identified 13 carotenoids in passion fruit that promote anti-obesity, anti-diabetic, and anticancer activities.
Pink fruit is known for being high in fiber and low in calories. One grapefruit contains 4 grams of soluble fiber per 102 calories. This summer, if you start your morning with a grapefruit, pair it with a fiber-filled smoothie and you're more than halfway to reaching the daily recommended amount for both men and women, for very few calories. However, be mindful that when you juice grapefruit or any fruits and veggies for that matter, you will not reap the benefits of fiber since the pulp is where the fiber lives.
Aside from its fiber, grapefruit has been shown to help dieters lose weight. Researchers conducted a randomized trial study of 91 obese patients that eating grapefruit kept blood sugar and insulin in check. The grapefruit eaters show "a significant reduction in two-hour post-glucose insulin level," compared with the group given placebo. The study found that eating just half of a fresh grapefruit before meals was associated with significant weight loss. The effect was also seen when people were given grapefruit juice, but the weight loss was greater among those who ate the fruit.
Unlike most fruit, Kumquats are supposed to be eaten with the skin on, which is where all the fiber and nutrients are. These small fruits may look like tiny oranges but are completely unrelated. There are seven grams of fiber in five whole kumquats, an astonishing amount for such a small fruit. Eating 16 kumquats is enough to meet recommended daily fiber amount for women (25 grams). When you're looking for a healthy, low-calorie snack that will fill you up, try kumquats, and don't worry about cleaning up any peels.
In addition to their fiber content, kumquats also contain a powerful oil called limonene which can be extracted from the peel and used for anti-inflammatory purposes. Limonene oil is so powerful that according to a study published in the National Library of Medicine, it appears to reduce the risk of obesity and other chronic health conditions. It's being studied as a potential basis as an anti-cancer drug, according to the same study.
If you're looking for a year-round fruit with high fiber content, there's always the good old apple, which has 4.4 grams of fiber for every apple you eat.