Delicious Foods That Can Help You Shed Pounds This Summer

Blueberries are high in fiber and low in calories—perfect for weight loss. (iStock photo)
Blueberries are high in fiber and low in calories—perfect for weight loss. (iStock photo)

Summer is right around the corner, a time to shed the cold-weather layers, step into the sunshine and enjoy cookouts, pool parties and beach vacations!

And given that we’ll be out of the A/C and in the heat for these fun festivities, it’s also a time that inspires many people to hit the gym more consistently so they can don their tank tops, shorts and swimsuits with confidence.

As you probably know, exercise alone will not yield the summer-ready results you’re looking for; a healthy diet paired with exercise is essential for not only successful weight loss, but also for achieving any health-related goal. In this article, I’m going to highlight four in-season foods that can help you look and feel fantastic this summer!

Blueberries

I consider blueberries a fat-fighting fruit because they are low in calories and sugar, high in fiber, and terrific for the digestive system. A one-cup serving of raw blueberries contains just 84 calories, 0.5 grams of fat, 1.1 grams of protein, and 21.4 grams of carbohydrates, including 3.6 grams of fiber.

The fiber in blueberries, which is not quickly absorbed by our bodies, increases our metabolism and helps us feel fuller longer. Because the body converts excess sugar into fat, the relatively low sugar content of blueberries make them an excellent fruit for weight loss as well. And finally, blueberries possess a substance called tannin, which functions as a natural astringent within the digestive system and helps reduce inflammation within the digestive tract. An efficiently working digestive system optimally processes, utilizes and disposes of food.

Blueberries are also a favorite fruit of mine because they’re a nutritional powerhouse! They contain a variety of vitamins, including A, E, B-6, B-12, 36 percent of the recommended daily value of vitamin K, and 24 percent of the recommended amount of vitamin C. The antioxidants of blueberries help prevent the production of free radicals that impair the body’s cells and can lead to disease.

Blueberries make great toppings for just about anything, from cereal, yogurt, and oatmeal in the morning to smoothies and salads in the afternoon.

Watermelon

If blueberries don’t tickle you pink, perhaps watermelon will! Watermelon is a wonderfully refreshing summertime staple that is also figure-friendly due to its low calories and high water content. (Watermelons are 92 percent water.) One cup of watermelon balls contains just 46 calories.

Arginine, an amino acid abundant in watermelon, might promote weight loss. For a study, researchers supplemented the diets of obese mice with arginine for three months and discovered that doing so decreased body fat gains by an impressive 64 percent. Adding arginine also enhanced the oxidation of fat and glucose and increased lean muscle; the more lean muscle you have, the more active your metabolism is in helping you burn body fat.

Besides its sweet flavor and hydrating power, watermelon is also a refreshing treat because of something called citrulline. Citrulline, which can be found in the white portion and the rind of the watermelon, is an amino acid that decreases muscle fatigue by helping blood vessels relax. Chop the rind into small chunks and mix it with onions, green peppers, jalapeno peppers, vinegar, lemon juice and seasoning to make a healthy and energizing watermelon rind salsa.

Watermelon is also rich in vitamin A, which does fabulous things like protect us from cancer, cataracts and atherosclerosis, as well as keep our skin, eyes and bones healthy. Watermelon’s sizable supply of vitamin C protects our bodies from infection, maintains healthy bones and teeth, quickens the body’s ability to repair wounds and lowers blood pressure.

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SOURCE: Charisma News
Diana Anderson-Tyler

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