In a study conducted by BMJ, involving more than 100,000 individuals, scientists made a noteworthy discovery. They found that specific subclasses of potent antioxidants known as flavonoids—specifically, flavonols, flavan-3-ols, anthocyanins, and flavonoid polymers—present in certain fruits and vegetables could potentially prevent weight gain. Among these, the fruits richest in flavonoids, particularly anthocyanins, demonstrated the most significant impact on weight maintenance, with blueberries leading the pack.
Blueberries contain approximately 10 milligrams of anthocyanins in a quarter-cup serving. Surprisingly, each additional 10 mg of anthocyanins consumed was associated with a quarter-pound reduction in weight gain over a four-year period, as per the BMJ study. While this might seem like a minor effect, it can accumulate over time, as the researchers pointed out. The precise mechanism through which flavonoids counteract weight gain remains somewhat unclear. However, it is suggested that consuming flavonoid-rich foods, mainly from the produce aisle, might lead to earlier satiety and consequently deter us from indulging in less healthy options that contribute to weight gain.
Dr. Keri Peterson, an internist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, emphasizes her appreciation for blueberries. Apart from their antioxidant prowess, she highlights the fact that blueberries are a fantastic source of fiber, which helps keep us feeling satisfied for longer periods. “They rank among the healthiest fruits available,” she attests. Berries, in general, are renowned for their satiating properties. Dr. Peterson advises aiming for a daily intake of one cup of blueberries as part of a well-rounded diet rich in lean proteins, complex carbohydrates, healthy fats like olive oil, and an assortment of fruits and vegetables.
The saying goes, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away,” but it’s an added bonus that apples can also assist in maintaining a trim figure. Apples are brimming with flavonoid polymers and are a significant source of dietary fiber, making them one of the top choices among fruits for those seeking weight loss. One medium-sized apple constitutes a single serving. To maximize their benefits, consume them with the skin on, advises Dr. Sharad Paul, an author based in Auckland, New Zealand, known for his book, “The Genetics of Health: Understand Your Genes for Better Health.” Keeping the skin on provides you with extra fiber, antioxidants, and better regulation of blood sugar levels. This, in turn, helps stave off food cravings, overeating, and offers protection against diabetes.
According to the BMJ study, pears also exhibit the potential to prevent weight gain, largely attributable to their high flavonoid polymer content. Dr. Peterson endorses fruits that are rich in flavonoid antioxidants and packed with dietary fiber, as they can be particularly effective in managing weight. “Fiber fills you up and creates satiety, so pears and apples provide a substantial bang for your buck,” she notes. For maximum benefits, be sure to consume the skin of pears, as advised by Dr. Paul.
Strawberries, much like blueberries, contribute to weight maintenance due to their rich anthocyanin content. Integrate one cup of strawberries into your daily diet routine. Enjoy them as part of your breakfast with low-fat yogurt or steel-cut oatmeal, as a mid-afternoon snack, or as a healthy dessert after dinner, suggests Dr. Peterson. She adds, “There has been concern that consuming sweet fruits may lead to weight gain due to their fructose content. However, certain fruits like green apples, pears, and berries such as raspberries, strawberries, and blueberries are among the best fruits to include in a weight management plan, not only because they are less sweet but also because of their high flavonoid content.”
Yes, peppers are indeed classified as fruit. They are not only among the healthiest fruits but also have the potential to curb weight gain when incorporated into your daily diet, according to research. In fact, peppers might even promote weight loss. Capsaicin, the compound responsible for the spicy kick in chili peppers, appears to stimulate white fat cells to transform into energy-burning brown fat, as indicated by a study conducted on rats.