I seldom touched on diet topics in the past because I believe that the “perfect diet” doesn’t really exist and what works will vary depending on the individual, their goals, and their dietary preferences.
And I’m not an nutritionist. (I studied nutrition for my personal training certification, but it was more of a high level overview.)
But I realized that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t share what’s working for me, especially if someone else out there may find it beneficial.
That’s why today I wanted to get into what I’ve found to be the best fruits for weight loss and glowing skin.
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And before we dive in, I want to explain how I came up with this list, because I didn’t just pick these fruits out of a hat!
When I’m looking at what fruits to incorporate into my diet, there are a few factors I am looking at:
Vitamin C Content
Science indicates that Vitamin C levels are closely linked to body mass, and that people with enough of it oxidize 30% more fat during exercise than those with lower levels of the nutrient.
Pretty significant stat, no?
It also aids in the creation of collagen, a protein used to make skin tissues. It also prevents damage to cells caused by aging. (That’s why you see so many beauty serums boasting vitamin C as the active ingredient!)
Fiber is more than a carb that “keeps you regular”. Studies find that it can help lower blood pressure, keep your waistline in check, and regulate your body’s response to insulin.
Although most guidelines suggest a minimum of 25 grams of fiber per day, to enjoy the aforementioned benefits you should aim for at least 30 grams per day.
Personally, I try to get at least 30-40 grams per day.
Yes, it’s a lot of fiber, and consuming that much doesn’t happen by accident.
You also need to make sure that you’re consuming enough water when you have that much fiber to avoid digestive distress.
That’s why finding fibrous fruits are a tasty and strategic way to boost your daily intake as they tend to contain both a lot of water and fiber!
Sugar content in fruit is a factor to be aware of, but honestly not something I’m hugely concerned about. That’s because the way your body metabolizes fruit is different than how your body handles refined sugar.
That is to say, eating whole fruits results in a slow increase of insulin levels while eating a couple of pop tarts will cause a more dramatic spike in blood sugar.
This is something we should try to avoid because insulin is the hormone responsible for moving sugar (glucose) out of the blood to be either used as energy – or stored as body fat.
Not only that, surging insulin levels inhibit fat from being broken down for energy, which as you may have guessed, isn’t conducive to weight loss.
So while sugar in fruit is not as likely to have that effect, some fruits do have a lot of sugar in them (like mangos, even though they are one of my favorite fruits!) so it’s not a bad idea to keep an eye on your fruit’s sugar content just to be aware.
But that’s why it’s also important to eat the fruit whole and not just the juice which strips away all the fiber. (Also, store bought fruit juices often have a ton of added sugar thrown in which is no good!)
Vitamin A Content
I’ve always thought of vitamin A as the “beauty vitamin” because of its role in preventing breakouts, keeping your skin moisturized, and your hair shiny.
Like vitamin c, it also boosts collagen production which is key in reducing wrinkles.
On the weight loss front, research finds a link between adequate vitamin A intake and a fat-burning process called “browning”. In simplified terms, this is the process of changing belly fat or “white fat” into “brown fat”.
And brown fat is the kind that burns calories!
Just the surface…
I would be remiss not to clarify that there are a ton of other minerals and vitamins found in fruit that are important to a healthy, well-rounded diet.
But these are the ones that I look for specifically in the fruits I eat to keep my waistline in check and my skin looking young(er).
So now that we know what we’re looking for in a fruit, we can get into where to look for it!
Without further ado, here are the best fruits for weight loss and glowing skin (according to my research and personal experience.)
Okay first I need to confess something: I am absolutely obsessed with kiwis.
It would be all too easy to let this entire blog post turn into a love-letter to the kiwifruit!
I’ve been eating one almost every single day for the past six months or so.
To start with, there are few foods that rival the kiwi in vitamin C content, gram for gram.
Just one kiwi has your entire days’ worth of Vitamin C content! The only other food I know of that comes close to the kiwi in vitamin C concentration is red pepper.
And although I love red pepper, I find kiwi much tastier.
Secondly, it has 8% of your daily fibre needs, which isn’t bad for such a little fruit.
How I like to eat ‘em
Personally, I love to eat kiwi just on its own!
I just slice it up with the skin on. Yes, you can eat the skin and I highly recommend that you do because it is packed with fibre and folate.
Some people take a look at the brown fuzzy exterior of a kiwi and think “no way”, but honestly it’s not bad at all. I don’t find it the last bit unpleasant, anymore than eating the skin of an apple.
This wonderfully tart berry is both impressively high in fibre and low in sugar. Just half a cup of raspberries meets roughly 20% of your daily fibre needs, while containing only 70 calories and just 8 grams of sugar.
It also offers a respectable dose of vitamin C and manganese, a mineral that plays an important role in metabolism and blood sugar regulation.
Raspberries also contain anthocyanin, a flavonoid with antioxidant properties that help brighten the skin.
How I like to eat ‘em
Raspberries freeze beautifully so I always keep a bag of frozen raspberries around and throw them into my smoothies and yogurt bowls.
It’s a shame that people only get excited about pumpkins around the fall, because they are a powerhouse of nutrients you can take advantage of all year around.
Pumpkin is a fantastic source of beta-carotene, which gets converted into that skin-rejuvenating vitamin A.
I find that after a few days of eating pumpkin regularly, my skin looks noticeably healthier and smoother.
How I like to eat ‘em
Canned pumpkin is convenient and retains the nutrients of a fresh pumpkin for the most part, so that’s what I use.
Aside from making healthier versions of my favorite pumpkin baked goods, I like to throw a quarter cup into my smoothies and it pretty much transforms into a beauty potion!
No matter what I add pumpkin to, it’s almost always accompanied by a dash of cinnamon and a teeny pinch of nutmeg, just to add that autumny pumpkin spice flavor.
Blueberries are not only really high in antioxidants, studies show that they may also affect fat-regulating genes to help minimize belly fat.
They might also help improve blood glucose levels and keep triglycerides (or fat found in the blood) low.
Although not quite as concentrated in dietary fibre as raspberries, it’s still a significant source, with 3 grams in just half a cup.
In terms of beautifying properties, blueberries have you covered too! The antioxidants help battle free radicals from UV exposure, which helps keep your skin from aging prematurely.
How I like to eat ‘em
I keep these next to the raspberries in the freezer and throw them in my yogurt bowls and smoothies in much the same way.
Sometimes I like to throw them on top of whatever chia pudding I have going on that day.
Now, bananas do have a pretty decent nutrition profile – they offer respectable amounts of fiber, potassium, vitamin A, and vitamin B6.
However, it’s not usually associated as a “weight loss food” per se.
Depending on the ripeness, it’s sugar content can be a bit higher, and although relatively low calorie, a medium banana still clocks in at over 100 calories, which is more than a serving of most other fruits on this list.
The reason why it makes my list is because of its versatility as a sweetener and it’s function as a substitute for less nutritious sweets.
And on the beauty front, bananas are great for glowing skin because of it’s potassium and vitamin A content .
How I like to eat ‘em
It seems like I use bananas in everything! I use them as a sweetener for my smoothies, chia puddings, and sometimes my yogurt bowls as well.
I also LOVE to make banana “pancakes” which consists only of 2 eggs, 1 banana, and a pinch of cinnamon. Just whisk all three ingredients in a bowl and then fry them up like pancakes over medium-low heat.
I also use them in my “healthified” bakes. Right now, I am all about banana oatmeal cookies which are so satisfying and way healthier than store-bought cookies.
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My biggest meal of the day is lunch. Here we have banana “pancakes”, Greek yogurt (with chia, cacao nibs, blueberries, and raspberries), sliced kiwi and a “healthified” home made banana muffin. #squatfuel #bananapancakes #greekyogurt #lunchisthebestmeal #eatthefoodyoulove #kiwifruit #chiaseedlover #whatieatinaday
Pro Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Fruit
I know what you’re thinking – how hard can it be to eat a fruit properly?
You’re right of course, but there are a few tips I’ve stumbled across that I find can really help maximize the benefits of your fruits:
1. Use frozen berries to make “frozen yogurt”
Stir your frozen raspberries and/or blueberries into plain greek yogurt, then wait a few minutes to let the melt a bit.
Stir again until you see the yogurt turn bright red and purple. This really gives the yogurt a lot more flavor and it almost turns into a kind of frozen yogurt!
2. Skip the peeler
I touched on this earlier but it’s worth mentioning again.
Some people are not a big fan of the skin found on fruits, I think it must be mostly a texture thing. But fruits like apples and kiwis are considerably more nutritious when eaten with the skin on.
If you’re really having a hard time getting past it, try slicing your fruit really thinly.
3. Wash your fruit
It’s always a good idea to give your fruit a good wash before you eat it, especially if you’re leaving the skin on.
Government guidelines indicate that washing your fruit in water is enough to remove pesticides and bacteria, but I like to take it a step further by adding a bit of baking soda to my fruit washing.
4. Use Cronometer to Track Nutrients
I get that calorie counting isn’t for everyone, and I think for most people it’s not a great long-term strategy to try and keep tabs on every single calorie you consume.
But if you’re developing some new eating habits I find it’s always a good idea to track your food – not just to keep tabs on calorie intake, but also to track nutrients.
I have found the most painless way to do this is with an app called Cronometer. It’s a super easy-to-use calorie-tracking app that has a huge database and a handy-dandy barcode scanner for ultra-fast food logging.
After a week or so of logging your foods, you can look at your nutrient trends to see what nutrient targets your’e hitting regularly and which you need to incorporate more of.
The best part? Cronometer is free to use!
Keep in mind, this is definitely not an exhaustive list of the best fruits for weight loss and glowing skin.
However, these are the 5 fruits that I find myself eating on a regular basis, and that have played a significant role in helping me reach my own fitness and weight loss goals.
I think it is largely because they’re easy to find, easy to store, and easy to eat!
And they’re tasty.
So whether you’re looking for a waistline-friendly snack or a skin-beautifying natural remedy, it may be highly beneficial to add these fruits to your diet.
What are your favorite fruits for weight loss and/or beautifying the skin? Any that you think should have made the list?
Tell me in the comments!