Feeling satisfied while trying to shed unwanted weight can be a bit of a challenge, particularly because it’s normal to crave sweet, sugary foods.
That’s where fruit comes in: In addition to helping to curb your hunger, it can satisfy sugar cravings and provide you with key nutrients you need.
But how much fruit should you consume each day to get maximum health benefits while dropping the pounds? According to US Department of Agriculture (USDA) guidelines, women should aim to consume between one and a half to two cups of fruit each day. “With these recommendations in mind, it’s still significant to note that all fruits (like all foods!) contain calories and if you overeat them, you’ll consume more calories than your body needs to maintain or lose weight,” says Christine M. Palumbo, RDN, FAND, a nutrition consultant from Naperville, Illinois.
So, which fruits will give you the most bang for your bucks from a nutrition perspective, while also helping you drop the pounds?
We’ve rounded up the 12 best fruits for weight loss, so get ready to load up your grocery cart.
Fruits for weight loss
“These are number one for fiber content,” says Christy Brissette, MS, RD, and owner of 80 Twenty Nutrition. “One cup gives you a third of your daily fiber goal. Fiber helps you feel more full and can stabilize your blood sugar levels so you’re less likely to experience cravings later. Blackberries are also rich in polyphenols, the type of antioxidants found in green tea, which may help prevent heart disease, some cancers, and osteoporosis.”
“These are also high in fiber, and one cup gives you half of your recommended intake of vitamin C and manganese for the day. Raspberries great for strengthening your immune system and for a healthy metabolism, which may help you stay slim,” Brissette adds.
“Pears are very high in fiber, satisfying, and low in calories,” says Palmer. “Plus, they take a while to chew and eat, which means they gives time for the brain to receive cues that you’re satisfied.”
“Strawberries are lower on the glycemic index than other fruits, meaning they don’t raise your blood sugar as high,” Brissette explains. “They’re also high in antioxidants which could help lower your risk of chronic disease. With just one cup, you’re getting 100% of the vitamin C you need in a day. They’re also an excellent source of folic acid, which is great for heart health.”
“Apples are rich in pectin, a type of prebiotic fiber that feeds the good bacteria in your gut and helps boost digestion and gut health,” Brissette says. “Prebiotics may also help promote a healthy weight by changing your gut microbiome, your unique profile of gut bacteria.”
“Citrus fruit is high in fiber and nutrients, and low in calories,” says Palmer. “In particular, grapefruit has been linked with healthy weight management, and it’s very satisfying.”
Cherries are rich in antioxidants called anthocyanins, which may help prevent heart disease by lowering cholesterol and triglyceride levels,” Brissette says. “Cherries are also a source of melatonin, a hormone that can promote better sleep. Not getting enough sleep raises levels of cortisol which is associated with weight gain, especially belly fat.”
“Watermelon is high in water content,” says Palumbo. “Many fresh fruits are about 85% water, so they fill you up, which reduces the temptation to indulge in less stellar food choices.”
Related: 13 Reasons You’re Not Losing Weight
Get ready for a unique taste experience to keep you satisfied until lunch: Pink guava taste like a musky, yummy version of papaya, and one study found that it may help lower blood sugar levels.
Kumquats have high water and fiber content, meaning they’re both filling and nutrient-dense.
Persimmons are another high-fiber food, which can aid in weight loss. “Dietary fiber helps to fill you up, keep blood sugar steady and helps to reduce hunger. So eating fruit instead of other, less-nutritious and higher calorie foods saves you calories.”
Pomegranates are packed with anti-inflammatory benefits and can help with digestion, according to research, which can aid in weight loss.
Next up, here are the 15 best workouts for weight loss.