Top 15 Foods That Contain Almost Zero Calories

Updated: 10/28/2019

Calories will provide the energy that our body uses during rest, digestion, and physical activity. Foods low in calories may give fewer calories than expected since the body uses energy to digest and absorb them. If you are trying to lower your intake of calories, consuming more low calories foods is an easy method to achieve that aim. Let’s have a detailed look at these best foods that contain almost zero calories. Scroll down!

Top 15 Foods That Contain Almost Zero Calories

1. Broccoli

Broccoli is a nutritious vegetable on the planet. This is because it is a chock-full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber. It is one of the best natural treatments for many health problems. Cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, have various bioactive compounds, which may decrease cell damage caused due to certain chronic diseases[1]. Many studies have found that eating cruciferous vegetables may help guard against certain types of cancer such as breast, gastric or stomach, and prostate[2] [3] [4]. This vegetable also possesses antioxidant and anti-inflammatory abilities that can guard your brain against damage. One cup of broccoli has 135% of the amount of vitamin C and only 31 calories[5].

To know other benefits of this food, read here, medically reviewed by Dr. Julie Freeman, MA, RD, LD, RYT.

2. Apples

USDA's Economic Research Service[6] shows that apples are one of the most popular fruits in the U.S. A cup of apple slices contains three grams of dietary fiber and 57 calories[7]. They also possess polyphenols, which may contain numerous health benefits. This fruit may be effective at reducing the risk of developing heart disease[8]. Regular consumption of apples may lower the risk for colon and lung cancer[9].

3. Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts are closely related to cauliflower, kale, and mustard greens and a member of the Brassicaceae family of vegetables. They resemble mini cabbages which can be eaten cooked or raw. Brussels sprouts are abundant in vitamin C content that may help protect against DNA damage[10]. Brussels sprouts could defend against cancer-causing agents or carcinogens, and inhibit oxidative damage to cells[11]. A cup (88 grams) of Brussels sprouts only has 38 calories[12].

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4. Arugula

Arugula is a member of the Cruciferous or Brassica family. It includes mostly cruciferous vegetables, such as kale, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and broccoli. It is commonly used in salads and is packed with vitamin K, folate, potassium, and calcium. Arugula contains only three calories per ½ cup or 10 grams[13]. It is rich in cancer-fighting agents[14].

5. Asparagus

foods that contain almost zero calories - asparagus

Asparagus comes in a variety of hues, including green, purple, and white. It is used in dishes including pastas, frittatas, and stir-fries around the world. This popular vegetable is low in calories and contains essential minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants. A cup of asparagus contains only 27 calories and is full of folate and vitamin K, providing 17% and 70% of the DVs, respectively[15]. Vitamin K is an essential nutrient, which is involved in bone health and blood clotting[16]. Purple asparagus exhibits compounds known as anthocyanins that may help to prevent heart disease[17].

6. Cauliflower

Cauliflower is a healthy vegetable that is a significant source of nutrients. It’s very low in calories but high in vitamins. A cup (100 grams) of cauliflower contains 25 calories and only 5 grams of carbs[18]. It also contains carotenoid and flavonoid antioxidants, which possess anti-cancer effects and may lower the risk of some other diseases, including heart disease[19] [20] [21].

7. Strawberries

Strawberries are very versatile and often appear in breakfast dishes, salads, and baked goods. One cup (152 grams) of fresh strawberries contains 7 grams of sugar and 49 calories[22]. They have no fat, and one cup consists of 3 grams of fiber. Studies indicate that eating berries may help guard you against chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer[23]. Intake of strawberries can also be beneficial for delaying memory decline in older females over time[24].

8. Spinach

Spinach is related to quinoa and beets and belongs to the amaranth family. It is enriched with minerals and vitamins and low in calories. A one-cup serving of spinach ((30 grams) has only seven calories[25]. It also embraces kaempferol – an antioxidant, which is related to a decreased risk of chronic disease and cancer[26].

9. Fennel

You can use fennel raw, braised, or roasted.  A cup of raw fennel (87 grams) has 27 calories[27]. It is also abundant in vitamin K, which is important for health because it helps to modify bone matrix proteins, improve the absorption of calcium, and may decrease the calcium excretion in urine.

10. Garlic

Garlic has been used as a natural remedy for various illnesses for centuries. It may reduce blood pressure and combat infections or even cancer[28]. Garlic is a powerhouse of vitamin B6, vitamin C, and manganese and is also low in calories. One garlic clove (3 grams) has only five calories[29]. It also has antioxidants that support the protective mechanisms of the body against oxidative damage[30].

11. Grapefruit

Grapefruit is loaded with nutrients, fiber, and antioxidants, which make it one of the healthiest fruits you can eat. It is healthy food to add to your diet since it is high in nutrients yet low in calories. Half a grapefruit (123 grams) has only 52 calories[31]. Certain compound housed in grapefruit may increase metabolism and reduce cholesterol levels[32].

12. Iceberg Lettuce

Iceberg lettuce is commonly used on top of sandwiches or burgers and in salads. It is low in fiber and contains high water content, which makes it a refreshing option during hot weather. Like most leafy greens, it is low in sugar, fat, and calories. It only has around one calorie per leaf[33]. It is also full of vitamin A, vitamin K, and folate.

13. Watermelon

foods that contain almost zero calories - watermelon

Watermelon is a delicious fruit that is good for you. It consists of only 46 calories per cup yet us high in vitamin A, vitamin C, and lots of healthy plant compounds[34]. Lycopene may help decrease blood pressure and cholesterol. It can also help inhibit oxidative damage to cholesterol[35].

14. Kale

Kale has gained popularity for its impressive nutritional advantages in recent years. You can find this vegetable in smoothies, salads, and vegetable dishes. Kale is very low in calories and very high in nutrients, making it one of the most nutrient-dense foods in the world[36]. Many powerful antioxidants, including quercetin and kaempferol, are found in kale, which have numerous beneficial impacts on health.

15. Tomatoes

Tomatoes can be served cooked, raw, or pureed in a tomato sauce. More importantly, they own a beneficial compound known as lycopene. A study has found that lycopene may help protect against inflammation, cancer, and heart disease[37]. A medium-sized tomato (123 grams) has only 22 calories[38]

There are lots of superfoods that contain almost zero calories. Most of them are vegetables and fruits. Have you tried incorporating these foods into your diet? Do you know other zero calories foods? Feel free to share your experience or views with us by dropping a message in the box below.

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