Weight Loss Tips
Natural weight loss tip: eat more apples. From Gala to Granny Smith to McIntosh…apples are not only crisp, juicy and delicious but they are loaded with nutrients like vitamin C and fiber! In fact, one apple provides 14 percent of the recommended daily amount of vitamin C – a big boost to the immune system!
Another good reason to include apples on your next grocery list is their benefit in terms of weight loss:
- Apples are naturally low in calories yet very filling.
- They are also low in sodium which can help reduce water retention.
- Apples are chock full of pectin. Research published in the journal Nutrition suggests that the pectin in apples promotes weight loss because fiber expands in the stomach, making the consumer feel full for longer periods.
- Eating apples before exercise may also boost endurance. Apples contain quercetin, an antioxidant that boosts the availability of oxygen to the lungs. Research has shown that quercetin taken in supplement form helped subjects bike for longer periods of time.
Research from the Institute of Social Medicine at the State University of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil confirmed that consumption of fruit – namely apples and pears – may contribute to weight loss.
The study examined 411 overweight and non-smoking women from 30 to 50 years of age. They were given one of three, random dietary supplements: apples, pears or oat cookies and were instructed to eat one three times per day. The subjects were put on a diet in which 55% of calories came from carbohydrates, 15% from protein and 30% from fat to encourage weight reduction at the rate of one kg per month.
After twelve weeks the groups eating apples and pears lost an average of 1.22 kg whereas the oat cookie group lost 0.88 kg.
No time to eat an apple? Another way to gain their healthful benefits is through the consumption of pectin supplements. These can be found at many health food stores and through natural supplement websites.
Be sure to drink plenty of water if you take pectin supplements, as increased fiber without proper fluid can cause stomach upset and constipation. It is also important to consult with a health care provider before adding pectin supplements to your daily routine because fiber can slow the absorption of some medications.
Remember that apples are not just for weight loss. The pectin found in apples may also help to regulate blood cholesterol levels. When soluble fiber is dissolved in water, it creates a gummy substance that helps to pull cholesterol from the bloodstream. This gumminess also slows carbohydrate absorption which helps to regulate blood sugars. Apples can also contribute to fresh breath and a beautiful smile by aiding in the production of saliva and stimulating the gums.
In addition to their wholesome benefits and good taste, apples are also very versatile – they can be used as snacks, mixed into salads or combined with walnuts and raisins and topped with a sprinkling of cinnamon for a delicious dessert…enjoy!
Conceicao de Oliveira M, Sichieri R, Sanchez Moura A. Weight loss associated with a daily intake of three apples or three pears among overweight women. Nutrition. 2003 Mar;19(3):253-6.