6 Low-Calorie Foods That Are Packed With Nutrients
Even though zero-calorie chocolate cake hasn’t been invented yet, there are some almost zero-calorie foods that are really tasty and just happen to be rich in nutrients too.
In order to stay healthy, we need to juggle increasing our daily intake of nutrient-rich foods while limiting the number of calories we consume. As well as being very low in calories, these six fruits and vegetables are rich in minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants. As if that’s not enough good news, they’re also really popular due to their high score in the taste department and their versatility. So whether you like to eat them raw, with a dip or chopped into a salad, or add them cooked to just about any meal you can think of, here are the foods you shouldn’t hesitate to start munching on now.
As well as only containing a mere 16 calories per 100 grams, cucumbers are low in carbohydrates, sodium, fat and cholesterol. Plus, cucumbers are mostly made up of water, so they are extremely effective in keeping your skin hydrated. Talking about skin, learn to love cucumber skin as it provides most of the nutritional value. The seeds are also very beneficial, and they both provide fibre and beta-carotene, a form of vitamin A that is known to be great for your eyesight. There really are a few foods that are as cool as cucumbers, which are also good sources of phytonutrients, the plant chemicals that have protective or disease preventive properties. Botanically considered as a fruit, cucumbers also have small amounts of vitamin K, vitamin C, magnesium, potassium and manganese.
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We all know oranges are loaded with vitamin C, but this citrus fruit touts various other benefits. Since vitamin C is extremely important in collagen production, oranges can help keep skin damage-free and looking radiant. What’s more, don’t be so quick to pick out the pith (the white part of the rind) as it nearly has the same amount of vitamin C as the flesh. It also contains sources of pectin, high levels of fibre, anti-cancer agents and important bioflavonoids, the powerful antioxidants that can protect our bodies against a wide range of diseases, including cancer and heart disease. Then there’s the very cheery fact that one medium sized orange only has about 80 calories.
This is another versatile and nutritious vegetable you can snack on or add to your meals without feeling an ounce of guilt. There are only 25 calories in a 100-gram serving of cauliflower, plus it has powerful anti-inflammatory properties that help you steer clear of cardiovascular problems and aid digestion. Cauliflower, which is brassica like cabbage and broccoli, can even be described as one of the healthiest foods on Earth as it contains antioxidants and phytochemicals, both of which help to fight off chronic disease. It’s also an excellent source of folate, fibre and vitamins C and K.
Who doesn’t love this juicy and sweet quintessential summer favourite? Well, watermelon’s refreshing taste isn’t the only reason to continue munching away. With only 30 calories in a 100-gram serving, it must be one of the tastiest fat-free foods, low in calories and sodium. Additionally, watermelon is rich in amino acids and antioxidants, which provide numerous benefits and boost your metabolism.
Made up of about 92 percent water, it’s not only great at keeping you hydrated, it’s also soaked with nutrients. Each bite has significant levels of vitamins A, B6 and C, as well as some potassium. It also has high levels of lycopene, the phytonutrient that reacts with the human body to generate healthy reactions and is linked to heart and bone health. Watermelon is a powerful source of antioxidants and thought to have anti-inflammatory properties too.
As well as being low calorie at 41 calories per 100-gram serving, carrots have a lot to offer your health. They are a valuable source of antioxidants, including carotenoids, and these, particularly beta-carotene, may play a role in cancer prevention. The body converts beta-carotene into vitamin A, which prevents cell damage and premature ageing. What’s more, vitamin A protects eyesight. The root vegetable, which is a popular go-to snack thanks to its slightly sweet taste, has been found to be useful for the management of cognitive dysfunctions and may offer memory improvement and cholesterol-lowering benefits too. Carrots also have anti-inflammatory properties, are high in fibre and can help regulate blood sugar. Furthermore, they are rich in vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, vitamin B8, pantothenic acid, folate, potassium, iron, copper and manganese.
They reign as one of the delicacies of the vegetable world with their distinct, savoury flavour yet there’s only 32 calories in a cup. Asparagus is a detoxifying food due to all the amino acids that act as a diuretic, flushing excess fluid out of your system. It also helps speed the metabolism of toxins. This spring superfood is also a powerhouse of vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A, C, E, K and B6, folate, iron, copper and even protein. The bright green tender shoots are also soluble and insoluble fibre providers, which can further help with weight loss. Plus, they’re full of anthocyanins, which have antioxidant effects that could help your body fight damaging free radicals.