Adding strawberries to your yogurt is a great way to sweeten the experience. A handful of pistachios makes a delicious snack. But beyond satisfying your taste buds, these foods may help prevent you from gaining weight over time!
New research in the journal BMJ, found that the flavonoid antioxidants found in these foods — and many other fruits, vegetables, herbs, teas, and nuts — may be helping you keep the pounds at bay.
For the study, researchers asked more than 120,000 people what they regularly ate in order to determine their daily flavonoid intake. The data was then examined in relation to how their weight changed over the course of the next 4 years.
What the researchers discovered was that each daily 194-mg dose of flavonoid antioxidants (this is about the same amount as can be found in 3/4 cups of blueberries) was associated with gaining 0.2 pounds fewer over the 4 years. We know that 0.2 pounds doesn’t really sound like much but as the researchers point out, losing even a small amount of weight — or preventing weight gain — can improve your health dramatically.
The why behind this science tends to be a bit of a mystery, according to the study’s lead author, Monica Bertoia, PhD, a research associate at the Harvard School of Public Health department of nutrition. There have been some small scale studies done in both animals and humans that seems to suggest that these flavonoids increase resting metabolism but, as Bertoia explains, some of these findings are contradictory.
One thing is clear: more research needs to be done. But until that time, there is no harm in loading your diet with these antioxidants. There are many foods that can get you to your 194-mg a day while providing you with a whole host of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Here are a few that can help you hit the mark:
- 1 1/2 cups shredded red cabbage
- 1 3/4 cups chopped parsley
- 2 small plums
- 1 cup sliced strawberries
- 1/3 cup pecan halves
- 3/4 cup pistachios
- 1 large red delicious apple
- 1 1/2 cups blackberries