5 Filling Fruits to Curb Hunger
Most experts will agree that weight loss is next to impossible without adding exercise and reducing calories. While starting an exercise routine can take some effort, cutting calories seems insurmountable when gnawing hunger strikes throughout the day. The good news: foods high in fiber can help curb hunger and satisfy the appetite for longer periods. Here are five filling fruits that can squash cravings.
It takes about 20 minutes for the brain to tell the stomach it is full, which is nearly the time it takes to eat an apple, if thoroughly chewed. Known as "volume" foods, those high in water and fiber, like apples, fill the stomach for longer periods, usually about one to two hours. The soluble fiber, or pectin, in apples lowers the amount of calories and sugar absorbed into the bloodstream after eating. This helps prevent blood sugar spikes that leave the body craving more food. People who are not apple fans can try adding apple pectin to yogurt, oatmeal or breakfast smoothies. Alternatively, try looking for fruit powder supplements that include apples in the ingredients.
Healthy, monounsaturated fats (MUFAs) require time for digestion, which means foods high in MUFAs can help suppress the appetite. Creamy avocados are an excellent source of these healthy fats and soluble fiber. Sliced avocado makes a delicious sandwich ingredient or salad topper, and no Southwestern-inspired meal is complete without guacamole, or mashed avocado mixed with lime juice and zesty spices.
In addition to providing a delicious, high-fiber snack or topper for yogurt and cereal, bananas are high in resistant starch, a carbohydrate that helps curb appetite. However, resistant starch does more than just curb cravings. It travels through the stomach undigested and ferments in the large intestine, which produces an acid that helps the body burn stored fat for energy. This makes bananas extra-beneficial when it comes to weight loss.
In addition to offering a rich supply of vitamins, guava is low in calories, at about 38 per fruit, and high in appetite-suppressing fiber. In fact, a guava contains about the same amount of fiber as a small apple. Widely grown in the tropics and subtropics, guava has a unique, fruity flavor that makes it a delicious ingredient for smoothies.
Occasionally, the best ingredient to squelch sweet cravings is something sour, like umeboshi plums. Very popular in Japan, umeboshi are pickled plums that provide a unique, tart flavor. Sometimes called the "king of alkaline foods," umeboshi have been used for centuries to aid digestion and are said to balance and strengthen the body. Because umeboshi is an acquired taste, some individuals might prefer dill pickles or lemon slices to curb a hankering for sweets.
Foods that are naturally high in fiber are essential when it comes to taming a hungry stomach. To curb hunger throughout the day and improve digestion, many dieticians recommend including some fiber with every meal. The fruits mentioned above add fiber and flavor to meals and provide delicious, between-meal snacks.