Calories are an exceptional way to nourish your body and provide it with the energy it needs when resting, exercising and for digestion. However, eating too many calories can call for weight gain if not monitored.
Since the body ultimately burns calories when digesting calories, it is possible that eating some foods burns more calories than the food provides. Foods that are already low in calories might become negative-calorie or calorie-free foods as a result.
If you are trying to decrease your daily total calorie intake, eating more low-calorie foods like certain fruits and vegetables can be the best way to reach that goal. The following are 20 of the best foods with almost zero calories you should start eating now.
This juicy fruit is highly nutritious and is one of the most popular fruits in the U.S., according to USDA’s Economic Research Service. One cup of apple slices has 57 calories and almost three grams of dietary fiber. Since the body burns energy to digest the apples, the net amount of calories is lower.
This leafy dark green is commonly used in salads due to its peppery flavor, but it is also rich in vitamin K and contains folate, calcium, and potassium. One-half cup of arugula has only 3 calories.
Asparagus is a flowering vegetable that comes in several colors like green, white and purple. All types of asparagus are healthy, but purple asparagus has compounds called anthocyanins that can help prevent heart disease.
Known as one of the most nutritious vegetables on the planet, broccoli is a member of the cruciferous family of vegetables and can even help fight cancer. One cup of broccoli has 31 calories and over 100 percent of the amount of vitamin C that most people need in a day.
16. Brussels Sprouts
These little cabbage-like vegetables are highly nutritious. Brussels sprouts can be eaten raw or cooked. Research has shown that eating Brussels sprouts may prevent DNA damage due to their high vitamin C content. They only have 38 calories per cup.
Cabbage is a vegetable with green or purple leaves. It’s a common ingredient in slaws and salads. Fermented cabbage is known as sauerkraut. It has very low calories and only contains 22 calories per cup.
Carrots are a very popular vegetable; they can even be found in cake! They are usually thin and orange, but they can also be red, yellow, purple or white. Most people associate good eyesight with eating carrots since they are high in beta carotene that the body converts to vitamin A, which is necessary for proper vision. One cup of carrots has 53 calories and over 400 percent of the daily value for vitamin A.
Chard is a leafy green that comes in several varieties and is extremely high in vitamin K, a nutrient that helps with blood clotting. One cup of 36 grams of chard has 7 calories and contains 374 percent of the daily value for vitamin K.
Clementines resemble mini oranges and are commonly eaten as a snack in the U.S. They are known for their high vitamin C content. One fruit can have 60 percent of the daily value for vitamin C and only 35 calories.
Cucumbers are as refreshing as they are good for you. They can be usually found in salads or used to flavor water. Since cucumbers are mostly water, they are very low in calories, as one-half cup only has 8 calories.
Fennel is a bulbous vegetable with a faint licorice taste. Dried fennel seeds are used to add an anise flavor to certain dishes. Fennel can be enjoyed raw, roasted or braised. There are 27 calories in one cup of raw fennel.
Garlic has an impressive and long list of benefits when consumed, but also has a strong smell and taste. It is widely used in cooking to add flavor to many dishes. Research suggests that it may decrease blood pressure and fight infections or even cancer. One clove of garlic has only 5 calories.
Grapefruits are one of the most delicious and nutritious citrus fruits. They can be eaten on their own or placed atop vegan yogurt, greens or even in a whole grain salad. Certain compounds in grapefruits may decrease cholesterol levels and increase metabolism.
Jicama is a tuber vegetable that resembles a white potato. This vegetable is typically eaten raw and tastes similar to an apple. One cup of 120 grams of jicama has over 40 percent of the daily value of vitamin C and only 46 calories.
Kale is a leafy green that is commonly used in salads and smoothies. It has gained popularity for its impressive nutritional benefits. Kale is one of the richest sources of vitamin K in the world. One cup has close to seven times the amount of vitamin K that the average person needs and only 34 calories.
5. Lemons and Limes
The juice and zest of these refreshing fruits can be found in everything from water, salad dressings, marinades and even alcoholic drinks. Citrus does more than just add flavor, as research has shown that lemon juice has compounds that can act as antioxidants to help prevent diseases. One fluid ounce of lemon or lime juice has only 8 calories.
Microgreens are miniature versions of salad greens that are picked before they are fully grown. A touch of microgreens can add an impressive amount of nutritional benefits for very few calories. One ounce of microgreens has only 6 calories but 340 percent of the daily value for vitamin A.
Strawberries are an extremely popular fruit and taste great on their own or accompanied. Since they are very versatile, strawberries can be found in breakfast dishes, baked goods and even salads. Studies have shown that eating strawberries can help protect you from chronic diseases like cancer and heart disease.
Mushrooms are a type of fungus with a sponge-like texture that can be eaten raw or cooked. Vegetarians and vegans alike use them as a meat substitute in various dishes. Mushrooms contain several important nutrients and have 15 calories per cup.
The papaya is an orange fruit with black seeds that resembles a melon and is usually grown in tropical areas. This delicious fruit is high in vitamin A and is a great source of potassium. One cup of papaya has 55 calories.