Tired of root vegetables and winter squash? As the weather gets warmer, fresh fruits are more likely to grace your refrigerator. Fruits are naturally low calorie, sweet, and nutritionally invaluable, as they provide a range of vitamins and minerals. These five fruits pack a powerful nutritional punch and can help blast away those last few winter pounds with their high fiber content.
Raspberries are chock full of fiber and contain essential nutrients including vitamins C, manganese, and vitamin K. Manganese helps burn fat by boosting your metabolism, while fiber helps slow down your digestive process, leaving you feeling full for longer. A single cup of raspberries packs 8 grams of belly-filling fiber, more than a 25 percent of your total daily needs, in only 64 calories.
There’s a reason why pears are considered a natural laxative – they’re packed with fiber! Just one medium-sized pear is loaded with 6 grams of fiber and only 100 calories. They’re also a great source of vitamin C and can help keep your cholesterol in check. The fiber acts like a sponge, absorbing the cholesterol and pulling it out of your body. Need a new, healthy dessert idea? Try poached pears!
Blackberries are rich in antioxidants like catechins, which give them the natural ability to help activate fat-burning genes in belly-fat cells. They’re also loaded with polyphenols – chemical compounds that may prevent fat from forming. Just a cupful of blueberries packs 8 grams of fiber and more than a quarter of your daily needs for vitamins C and K. Vitamin K is important for bone health and blood clot formation.
An orange a day can keep the doctor away, with 1 orange fulfilling more than 90% of your daily vitamin C recommendation. Vitamin C is important for maintaining collagen, an important structural component of connective tissue, bones, and skin. Vitamin C also has antioxidant properties, which aid in removing harmful substances from the body. Also, Oranges are 87% water, which makes them an incredibly hydrating fruit, giving you a natural energy boost.
Passion fruits tend to shy away from the public eye, but their delicious sweet and tart flavor are sure to impress. ¼ cup of passion fruit has over 6g of fiber, and a substantial amount of vitamin A and B vitamins. Vitamin A is essential for good eye sight and B vitamins aid in metabolism of foods, making sure you get the energy you need from the food you eat. Try scooping out the pulp of a passion fruit on top of plain Greek yogurt for natural sweetness and flavor.
Tanya Zuckerbrot MS, RD, is a Registered Dietitian in New York City and the author of two bestselling diet books: The F-Factor Diet and The Miracle Carb Diet: Make Calories and Fat Disappear – with Fiber.