More often than not, snacks specifically marketed for weight loss aren’t always good for your health. While they may indeed contain less fat, they tend to be filled with sugar or salt to make up for the lack of flavour.

Fortunately, you don’t need to invest in any pricey pre-packaged meals. One of the best ways to lose weight is to start eating more natural ingredients more often. To help you out, here are a few examples of fruits and vegetables that can potentially help you shed some pounds:

1. Grapefruit

Grapefruits contain 23 per cent of the Vitamin A you need each day, as well as 52 per cent of your daily recommended Vitamin C intake.

Grapefruits are also full of antioxidants, which are naturally occurring chemicals that can reduce damage caused by compounds called free radicals. These compounds have been associated with some chronic diseases, including Alzheimer’s, diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.

Indulging in half a grapefruit before each meal can help decrease your body’s insulin levels. Because insulin is a fat-storing hormone, this, in turn, can help you lose weight.

This fruit can be enjoyed plain, tossed into a salad, or even roasted and topped with granola and yoghurt.

2. Watermelon

Watermelons contain 30 per cent of your daily recommended intake of Vitamin A and 25 per cent of that for Vitamin C. Because watermelons are basically made of water, they can keep you hydrated and satiated for longer. It’s also low in calories, so make it a point to pick some up the next time you’re in a fresh fruits and vegetables shop in Mauritius—whether in real life or online.

Cut it up into small slices or cubes for a quick snack. You could also throw it into a blender with some ice to create a refreshing watermelon shake, a perfect drink for a hot day. You can also blend it into a gazpacho to add a subtle sweetness to an otherwise tangy soup.

3. Guava

Did you know that guavas contain more Vitamin C than pineapples? While the former contains 131 per cent of your daily Vitamin C intake, guavas can provide a whopping 628 per cent of it. Guavas have also been found to help regulate blood pressure thanks to its sodium and potassium content. This fruit also decreases the amount of bad cholesterol and triglycerides, which are linked to the development of heart diseases.

Cut it up into small slices and enjoy as-is or with a tiny bit of salt. If you’re hankering for a delicious beverage, juice or blend it into a smoothie. It can also be added to salads or coleslaw to add a bit of sweetness.

4. Spinach

Spinach is quite a real contender when it comes to healthy vegetables. For instance, one cup of spinach contains 56 per cent of your daily required intake of vitamin A. It’s also rich in insoluble fibre, which means it can help you feel full for longer. The good news is that you can add it to your regular meals without worry, as a cup of spinach contains just around 7 calories.

There are also many different ways to enjoy this vegetable. A popular recipe involves stir-frying spinach with slivers of garlic in a drizzle of olive oil and soy sauce. It also goes well in any pesto and can be blended into most soups.

5. Carrot

Carrots aren’t just sweet and crunchy. They’re also a fantastic source of beta carotene. This is an antioxidant that the body converts into vitamin A, a fat-soluble nutrient that can contribute to better vision and a healthier immune system. It’s also high in soluble and insoluble fibres, which can keep you from binging on more food than necessary.

Chop them up into bite-sized pieces and dip into hummus for a filling snack. You can also slice or shred it to use as a salad topping or mix it into coleslaw for some added crunch. Alternatively, you can turn it into carrot juice or blend it into highly healthy smoothies.

Trying to lose weight can be an incredibly frustrating experience, but you can definitely pull it off with a bit of planning and preparation. Incorporating fruits and vegetables into your diet won’t just help you lose weight. It can bring you a slew of other health benefits, too.