8 Garden Fruits and Vegetables for Weight Loss and Health
By: Jessie Keith
All veggies are naturally low calorie, but a few give an extra boost when it comes to weight loss. Some are extraordinarily filling while others have the perk of containing beneficial compounds that increase weight loss. Others are natural diuretics that increase water loss and reduce bloating. Broccoli, cucumbers, peppers, and melons are just a few tasty fruits and vegetables that provide an extra weight loss boost. If you grow them using organic methods, you have the added benefit of free fresh food that is natural and pesticide free.
You don’t need a lot of space to grow a dwarf or mid-sized apple tree and their bountiful fall fruits are sweet, nutritious, and filling. They also have a secret weapon when it comes to weight loss. Apples are high in polyphenols, compounds that have been shown to reduce body weight. In fact, obese people that ingested three apples a day exhibited significant weight loss (reference). Polyphenols have also shown to reduce the accumulation of “Bad Cholesterol” (LDL cholesterol and triglycerides) associated with heart disease and obesity (reference). So, eating an apple a day will truly keep the doctor away.
Plant apples in spring to give them time to set roots over summer. Choose a sunny spot with well-drained soil amended with Black Gold Garden Compost Blend, and keep them irrigated a month or two until they become established. [Learn more about planting fruit trees here.]
Fresh beans are high in protein and fiber to help you feel full, and they regulate blood sugar. Even better, they contain alpha-amylase inhibitors, or starch blockers, that reduce the absorption of dietary starches by the body. That means that the more beans you eat, the less your body will take up starches that contribute to weight gain.
Beans are one of the easiest veggies to grow. For smaller gardens, bush beans are recommended. Like most vegetables, they thrive in full sun and good garden soil. [Click here to read more about growing amazing beans in the garden.]
Blackberries are sweet and delicious, but they also contain powerful antioxidants shown to reduce inflammation and prevent weight gain. Blackberries contain up to 87% of the antioxidant C3G. Research suggests that eating C3G-rich blackberries may be effective in preventing weight gain and inflammation (reference).
These effortless brambles are very easy to grow as long as you have full sun and good space with rich soil. The thornless variety ‘Arapaho‘ is vigorous, produces loads of berries, and has smooth branches for easy harvest.
Broccoli is filling, tastes great, and has all the right characteristics to help you lose pounds. This nutritional powerhouse is high in vitamins A and C as well as Calcium, and Protein. It is also remarkably high in Omega 3 Fatty Acids (reference). Diets rich in Omega 3 Fatty Acids have been shown to reduce appetite in overweight people and help them lose weight. Broccoli has also been shown to help lower cholesterol and possibly reduce fat storage.
Broccoli is a garden vegetable that likes the cool weather of spring and fall. It requires space, full sun, and friable garden soil that’s rich in organic matter. [Click here to learn how to grow great broccoli!]
There are lots of different cucumber varieties that differ in flavor, quality, and texture, but all are high in water and low in calories. The cooling fruit is a demulcent, which means it reduces inflammation in mucous membranes, and the seeds contain natural diuretics, which induce water loss and reduce bloating.
Cucumber vines need a lot of space but can be trained on a fence or trellis. They require full sun and can withstand hot summer days, but they grow best in areas with more temperate summers. [Get tips on growing all types of cucumbers here.]
Not only does fresh ginger taste great, but it offers a wealth of benefits related to weight loss and overall health. Ginger is high in antioxidants that have been shown to inhibit dietary fat absorption (reference). Ginger has also been shown to have a wealth of anti-inflammatory properties, in addition to many other health benefits.
It’s easy to grow pots of ginger indoors and on a summer patio with partial shade. Fill the pot with fertile, organic-rich soil that is moist but well-drained, such as Black Gold Natural and Organic Potting Mix. In the winter, bring your pot indoors as a house plant. Harvest the growing rhizome pieces by digging and cutting them off as you need them.
Hot and sweet peppers are low in calories, high in fiber, and packed with vitamin C. (One cup of fresh sweet peppers have 317% DV of vitamin C!). They have also been shown to have anti-obesity properties (reference). Slices make great low-calorie snacks that may help manage weight.
Heat and lots of sun are required to grow great peppers. Peppers are a must-grow vegetable because they are so expensive in the store yet so easy to cultivate. There are many varieties to choose from that come in many flavors, colors, shapes, and sizes. [Click here to learn how to grow great hot peppers.]
This sweet treat won’t hurt your waistline. The water-rich fruit is filling, delicious, and one cup contains only 46 calories! It is also a natural diuretic, so it can help reduce bloating. Red-fleshed varieties are also high in lycopene, a carotenoid believed to have cancer-fighting properties, as well as vitamins C and A.
Melons grow from rambling vines that can trail along the ground or be trained on a trellis. They need a lot of sun, space, and fertile soil. [Get melon-growing instructions here.]
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