10 foods that keep you full until 5 p.m.

Water-absorbent foods satisfy your hunger while detoxifying your body.
© 2013 Weider Publications // © 2013 Weider Publications

Staying focused and alert throughout the day can be a bit of a challenge. Getting a good night’s rest is crucial, but so is filling up on the right foods. By now you should be looking at food as fuel, not only for your muscles but for your mind and energy stores.

As soon as hunger strikes, your productivity dips. This is where Keren Gilbert, M.S., R.D., founder and president of Decision Nutrition, comes in. She’s identified 10 hydrophilic (that's a fancy way of saying “water-loving”) foods to keep you full all the way until 5 p.m.

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Chia seeds

By definition, hydrophilic foods hold onto water, and according to Gilbert, “Consuming water-absorbent foods helps detoxify the body.” One of the most well-known water-loving foods is chia seeds. They have the ability to hold up to 12 times their weight in water. Consuming chia seeds regularly can help keep you hydrated and help your body retain electrolytes.

An easy way to sneak the seeds into your diet: Try the freshly-squeezed Great Greens juice at Jamba Juice. It's a refreshing blend of apples, cucumber, spinach, chard, kale, lemon and chia seeds.

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Oatmeal

Oatmeal is probably already a staple in your diet, but here's why you should keep it there: It's the perfect example of a hydrophilic food because you can actually see it gel as it cooks. Beyond its ability to fill you up, oatmeal also contains soluble fiber, protein, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, manganese and iron. However, choose wisely. Gilbert warns that not all oats are created equal, and notes that steel-cut oats will keep you fullest the longest.

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Pears

Gilbert encourages everyone to have a hydrophilic food with every meal and snack. One that won't be hard to fit in? Pears. This delicious fruit contains a complex carbohydrate called pectin. Pectin acts as a detoxifier, a gastrointestinal tract regulator and an immune system stimulant. "Because of their high pectin content, pears trump apples in the hydrophilic food category," says Gilbert. "And, like other hydrophilic foods, pears help with digestion, lowering cholesterol and regulating the body’s absorption of sugar."

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Barley

This grain has a high capacity to absorb water and also boasts around 6 grams of fiber per serving. Use it as a salad topper, side dish or pasta substitute. It's also been known to help lower blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol.

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Brussels sprouts

"These mini cabbages contain enough soluble fiber to keep us full for hours," says Gilbert. "In addition, Brussels sprouts have a great detoxifying quality." Need an idea of how to prepare them? Try our simple roasted Brussels sprouts recipe.

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Kidney beans

"All beans are high-hydrophilic foods, and kidney beans make the top 10 list for their high antioxidant value," says Gilbert. Kidney beans contain 6 grams of fiber per half cup, and also contain folate, which supports heart health.

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Chickpeas

Chickpeas are incredibly high in soluble fiber. Translation: They'll keep you full for hours. What's more? Eating beans may decrease the risk of coronary heart disease.

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Oranges

Who doesn't love a nice juicy orange? They're packed with vitamin C, soluble fiber and pectin. But don't peel away all of that white stuff. Gilbert says the thick white outer layer called the pith contains a lot of pectin and vitamin C, and is more than acceptable to eat.

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Agar

Agar is a gelling agent made from seaweed. It’s 80 percent soluble fiber and contains no calories, carbs, sugar or fat. "The best way to incorporate Agar into your diet is to make a pudding out of it for a snack," advises Gilbert. "Peanut butter agar pudding gives you a boost of protein as well as hydrophilic fiber."

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