11 Cravings-Crushing Foods

Hunger will be a thing of the past when you start working these hunger-suppressing foods into the mix.

November 20, 2014
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A food is considered hydrophilic if it fills up with water and, in turn, fills you up, satisfying your appetite. The term originated from the Greek words for water (hydro) and friendship (philia).

More: 50 Foods You Should Never Eat

If losing weight is a goal for you, then you want to make sure you get some soluble (water-absorbing) fiber in your diet, too. Hydrophilic (water-loving) fibers dissolve and form a gel in the intestines. The gel helps steady blood sugar, which in turn stops food cravings and makes us feel full longer. Being well hydrated also aids digestion.

Chia seeds smoothie bowl
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Chia seeds

Does the word "chia" ring a bell? Yes, these are the same seeds that sprout into Chia Pets, the terra cotta figurines in the shapes of various animals. But as a food, these small seeds have a practical purpose: They can absorb up to 12 times their weight in water, which means they are filling.

Because they are flavorless, they can bulk up your favorite snacks and meals without compromising taste! The seeds also help maintain electrolytes to encourage hydration and the efficient absorption of nutrients. The chia seed is rich in omega-3s, antioxidants, fiber, iron, magnesium, and calcium, too.

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This vegetable is high in fiber and low in calories—one cup of cooked okra is only 36 calories.

Many people shy away from okra because of its slimy consistency, but you can alleviate the goo factor by adding it to soups and stir-fries. And okra is high in vitamins C, A, and B6, folate, calcium, iron, potassium, and magnesium.

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This is my favorite breakfast food because it is so satisfying, and overnight oats recipes are having a moment. Add chia seeds to your oatmeal, and there is no better way to start your day! Oatmeal has 6 grams of protein per serving and contains phosphorous, potassium, selenium, manganese, and iron.

Oats also protect your cardiovascular system: A 15-year study published in the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine found that oatmeal lowers cholesterol and reduces the risk of heart disease. (Just make sure your oatmeal doesn't contain mercury.)

Barley soup
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This grain, which is also highly water absorbent, has a delicious, nutty flavor and a pasta-like texture. Try adding it to salads, soups, and side dishes. It is sold in three forms: hulled, pearled, and pot.

I recommend the pot barley—it retains its nutritive punch and is the easiest to work with. (Try this chicken-barley recipe to get started.)

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Fruits containing pectin, such as apples and pears, are highly water absorbent. They help with digestion, lower cholesterol, and regulate the body's absorption of sugar. Eat the pear's skin—it contains the antioxidant quercetin.

Brussels sprouts
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Brussels sprouts

Brussels sprouts, part of the cruciferous (cabbage) family, have enough hydrophilic fiber to keep you full for hours. It is also a food recommended by the American Cancer Society because it contains chemicals that can stimulate enzymes in the body that detoxify carcinogens.

Brussels sprouts can be steamed, sautéed, or roasted, but don't overcook them—they'll lose their nutritional value and flavor (try these 7 unexpected ways to eat Brussels sprouts for original ideas!).

Kidney beans
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Kidney beans

All beans are highly hydrophilic foods. They also decrease the risk of coronary disease.

I picked kidney beans because they are great in chili and thick soups. Use the beans instead of meat or tuna fish for the protein in a salad. (Get up-to-speed about these 5 more reasons to eat beans.)

Chickpeas hummus
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High in fiber, chickpeas will keep you full for hours. For a snack, I love grabbing some crudités veggies and spreading them a chickpea spread made with roasted chickpeas.

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Oranges are an excellent source of vitamin C (as are these other fruits). Instead of peeling and disposing of the pith—the white layer beneath the orange skin—eat it. It too contains pectin and vitamin C.

Oranges are also wonderful sources of vitamin A, B-complex vitamins, potassium, and calcium. (When you're choosing fruit, be sure to avoid the produce on this dirty dozen list.)

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Agar is a gelling agent made from seaweed. Widely used in Southeast Asia, agar consists mostly of hydrophilic fibers that reabsorb glucose in the stomach, quickly pass through the digestive system, and then inhibit the body from retaining and storing excess fat.

You can make delicious pudding using agar. It's easy to prepare and less than 50 calories per serving (the agar itself is calorie free).

Nori roll
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Nori, dried seaweed, is used to wrap sushi. Nori is around 35 percent fiber, most of which is hydrophilic. It's sold in thin, flat sheets at health food stores or online.

Adapted from The HD Diet

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