While you may be following a comprehensive diet plan that includes fruits and vegetables, it’s more important to eat the right fruits at the right time. “Fruits are a powerhouse of nutrients like fibre, Vitamin A, C and digestive enzymes. Consuming seasonal fruits is a good idea as fruits of various colours have specific benefits and antioxidant properties,” says Mumbai-based nutritionist Khushboo Sahijwani.
Fruits should ideally be consumed first thing in the morning. “It can be had as a pre-workout and post-workout snack and as a mid-meal snack during the day,” says Munmun Ganeriwal, nutritionist and founder, Yuktahaar.
Sahijwani advises that it is best to not combined fruits with milk or yoghurt. “Ayurveda is not in favour of combining fruit with milk or yoghurt as it can diminish the digestive fire, change intestinal flora, produce toxins and cause sinus, congestion, cold, cough and allergies.”
And if you think skipping meals and eating fruits is a good idea, think again. “A main meal can be substituted for a bowl of salad but not fruits. Consuming fruits at night can also increase your sugar and lead to weight gain rather than loss. Also, try not to combine sugary and acidic fruits like orange and banana or pineapple and chickoo,” says Sahijwani.
Sahijwani and Ganeriwal suggest the top 10 fruits that will help you lose weight:
“Papaya contains papain, a digestive enzyme, that helps to digest proteins and clean the intestinal walls. A better functioning digestive system increases the body’s metabolic rate and helps to burn the fat,” says Ganeriwal. Papaya is also an excellent source of fibre and Vitamin A. “You should consume this fruit if your diet is rich in non-vegetarian food. It is also recommended first thing in the morning,” says Sahijwani.
Rich in the enzyme Bromelin, pineapple also aids in digestion. “It is a rich source of fibre and Vitamin C. Pineapple can be consumed in the morning or as a mid-meal snack,” says Sahijwani.
The king of fruits is loaded with nutrients like fibre, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and beta carotene. “Mangoes boost your immune function, help to retain normal blood pressure, good vision and strong bones. If this fruit is consumed with your meal, it can definitely add weight to you belly as it is rich in sugar. But if it is consumed like any other fruit — in the morning or as a mid-morning snack — then it’s perfect,” says Sahijwani. The soluble fibre, pectin, along with the vitamins and minerals in it helps to keep you satiated for a longer time. “The high levels of folic acid reduces serum cholesterol levels, especially LDL cholesterol in the body. It can be eaten as a fruit or Aam Panna or pickle,” says Ganeriwal.
While some people think that bananas can make you fat, it’s actually the timing that makes all the difference. “A banana first thing in the morning on an empty stomach can get your sugar level back to normal (they tend to fall after the 8-10 hrs overnight fast that the body goes through),” says Sahijwani. Bananas also contain fibre and resistant starch (RS) that not only supports weight loss, but also aid in digestive health. “Resistant starch stimulates the breakdown of stored fat. The best way to eat it is as a fruit or in the form of banana chips, banana milkshake, and banana flower sabzi,” says Ganeriwal.
This is technically a fruit and not a vegetable. The nutrients in avocado are plenty and it is a superfood as well. “It’s rich in Omega 3 fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals, and the satiety you feel is really high. This can easily replace an evening snack. It can be consumed by itself, or as a salad or in a guacamole,” says Sahijwani.
These cute looking berries are best consumed in its natural form, so don’t combine it with milk or curd. “The acid in the fruit hinders the digestion of milk and together they get curdled in the stomach leading to gas, bloating, and indigestion,” says Sahijwani. They can be had between 8 to 10am in the morning or early evening. They are packed with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory enzymes, contain a lot of fibre which boosts digestion, and suppresses the appetite.
This antioxidant-packed fruit has loads of Vitamin C and helps you digest your food better. It’s a perfect mid–meal snack.
These fibre-packed seeds will make you feel full in no time. Rich in antioxidants (3 times that of green tea), they have anti–viral and anti-tumour properties as well, says Sahijwani. A rich source of Vitamin A,C and E as well as folic acid, it also helps in blood circulation. Pomegranate contains tannins, anthocyanin and high level of flavonoids and polyphenols in them. “These elements promote fat reduction and prevent insulin resistance thereby reducing the risk of obesity,” says Ganeriwal.
Berries and grapefruit
In India, it’s hard to find fresh berries and grape fruit. But dried berries are readily available and can be consumed. Have a handful as a mid-meal or evening snack. “Grapefruit helps in weight loss as it’s rich in fibre and suppresses the appetite,” says Sahijwani.