The greatest nutritional value of's fights hunger, and you can just keep eating it.

Everyone has an understanding of the nutritional value of fruit, but I'd hazard a guess that like me, when you're losing weight, with every intention of keeping it off, it's not the fruit facts concerning health and nutrition that you're looking for, it's how fruit can help you with weight loss.

I have always been a big eater...go figure. I seem to have a large stomach for a very small person. Knowing that you have to put less into your mouth (by less I mean less energy), and use more to get the pounds off is hard when you're a hungry person, especially when if you're like me and you get too hungry you also start getting very grouchy.

Rearranging the fruit facts.

When nutritionists talk about the nutritional value of fruit, they give you a great overview of what wonderful things it supplies to your body to keep you healthy. I appreciate, but in the beginning I just wanted something that would stop the hunger pains, and that wouldn't add extra pounds.

Energy content...Fruits generally are very low in calories, this meant that I could put lots of them into my mouth and therefore into my stomach, feel full, but not be putting in so much energy that my body would feel the need to add to my fat supplies.

I actually worked out that I could eat about 15 apples, for less energy than 2 chocolate biscuits. Firstly, there was no way even my seemingly cavernous stomach could hold 15 apples at one sitting, and secondly 2 chocolate biscuits was never enough to actually make my stomach full!

Fibre...add to the above fact that because many fruits contain good levels of fibre, it would only take a couple to fill me up. Now, I never felt full for very long, but if I was hungry again in an hour, or even half an hour, because of the low calorie level of most fruits...I'd just eat another one, this is one nutritional value of fruit that I clung too.

I was reading a weight loss article in a magazine (many years ago), I can't even remember the name of the mag, or where I was. I can't even tell you what else was included in the article, what I can tell you is that the one thing that stuck with me, even now was when they spoke about the nutritional value of fruit they made a comment that high fibre fruits helped you feel full and less hungry.

This last time I went for weight loss, this was one of the things I remembered, and I drew on it for all that it was worth.

Water...At times, especially when I'm on the go, I forget to drink...another thing guaranteed to make me grouchy! Fruits are high in water content, and sometimes my body would say 'hungry' and it was actually thirsty. Fruit is a way for me to top up water levels and fill the hunger spot. Raspberries, strawberries and oranges have always been great when I'm not sure if I'm thirsty or hungry.

Vitamins and minerals...I know fruits are full of essential vitamins and minerals that our body needs. But it didn't really matter. My focus was on losing weight, and all the rest was secondary. Now I'm more focused on this, but to start with, it wasn't high on my agenda.

What I did notice though was that as I started eating more fruit, my skin looked less dry, and a little more plump. I noticed that I was a little less tired, and a lot less grouchy. I wasn't sure if it was the fruit, the losing weight or a combination of both, but I figured that something was going right, so I'd just keep doing what I was doing.

Variety is the spice of life...The nutritional value of fruit differs with different fruits, no two foods have exactly the same nutritional make up. Fruit facts from the nutritionists suggest getting a variety of colours and textures for maximum benefit.

They're right. With losing weight though, if you're not a big fruit eater already, or you haven't felt up to trying a lot of different ones, just eat what you can and what you like.

If apples, and only one variety, are the only fruit you want, 2 apples is better than none, even if 2 apples is all you eat everyday for a year. You'll still be doing your body a favour.

You can build up to adding variety. To start with I just ate the fruits I already new I liked, apples, oranges, mandarins, bananas (these are high in carbohydrates though, so I did limit myself to 2). I liked other fruits, I've always been partial to fruit, I just somehow got into the habit of eating high fat and sugar snacks, and forgot how much I liked fruits.

Gradually I built into the repertoire, and then realised that I actually ate more fruit because of the variety, but it didn't start out this way. It started out with me eating those fruits that didn't require me to think too much.

Regardless of how high the nutritional value of fruit is, there was one stumbling block for me. If I waited to eat until I was really hungry, no amount of fruit would make me feel like I'd had enough. The greater my hunger level the more I craved, and gave into, fatty and sugary foods.

So to stop that desperate craving I would eat fruit as soon as the niggle in my stomach got noisy. The minute 'I'm getting hungry' started popping into my mind more than once every five minutes, I'd grab fruit, otherwise I knew that soon, I'd just have to have something highly laden with sugar and fats.

The evidence of the nutritional value of fruit to your health, mentally and physically, is unequivocal. The thing is, when you're focus is on losing weight it helps if you turn the information around to see how it can best benefit what you're focusing on right now. For me the nutritional value of fruit was tied to two things - it was bulky and helped fill the hunger hole, and reduce the grouchiness

Secondly, because it was so low in calories I could eat lots of it, and eat it often so it helped keep me from the foods that were high in calories and energy that my body didn't need.

The rest, that was just icing on the cake. A little hungry? What fruit, fresh frozen or canned in no added sugar juice can you eat right now?

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