Friday, May 17, 2013

8 Superfoods for Weight Loss

by Karen Danish, LAP

You know the phrase, “eat more to weigh less,” really does have truth to it, but only if you are eating more of the right foods. A healthy body inside and out starts with a healthy, clean diet. Any weight loss professional will tell you that eating healthy will yield better results than a poor diet with rigorous exercise. So, let’s talk about what foods you should be eating to aid you in your weight loss goals. More specifically, superfoods. These foods are packed with nutrients, vitamins, minerals and fiber and may help trim waistlines.

1. Artichokes. This vegetable helps balance out any snack or meal. It is a great source of fiber and protein, making it a wonderful weight loss food. One medium-sized steamed artichoke has 16 grams of fiber and 10 grams of protein, which helps you recover from vigorous workouts. With just 150 calories, they can also help increase metabolism – the rate at which your body burns calories.

2. Apples. “An apple a day…” well, you know. Studies show that people who ate an apple before a carb-filled meal ate fewer calories overall than those who had a different snack. Apples are full of antioxidants, natural sugars and fiber so they help keep you fuller longer. They may also help prevent metabolic syndrome, which is a condition marked by an excess of tummy fat. They’re easy to take with you, so go ahead and stock up.

3. Pumpkin. It’s more than a special holiday treat. Canned pumpkin is a nutrient-dense food because it’s low in calories and fat but high in essential vitamins and minerals, plus fiber. Use it in soups, chili, pancakes and healthy desserts – all year long!

4. Grass-fed beef. Beef – and most animal products – are high in protein, which helps stimulate metabolism. You’ll feel fuller longer and reap the benefits of a high-iron food, an area where women are sometimes deficient. All-around, grass-fed beef is much better for our diets, for the animals and for the environment.

5. Broccoli. This superfood is at the top of the list. It is an excellent source of calcium, and studies have shown that the more calcium there is in a fat cell, the more fat that cell will be able to burn. Enjoy this veggie steamed or raw for all the nutritional benefits.

6. Onions. Onions help speed up the breakdown of fats in your food, which encourages the body to excrete more fat than it stores.

7. Raw almonds. A handful of nuts are a great source of unsaturated fat and protein. You can give your metabolism a boost with just 12 almonds per day.

8. Kale. These greens have been gaining a lot of popularity these days – and for good reason. One raw chopped cup contains only 34 calories and a generous helping of iron and calcium. These leafy greens are perfect for lunch and side salads as well as mix-ins for power smoothies.

Make sure to incorporate these into your daily meals to take advantage of all the powerful nutrients they provide. Also, make sure to consult your doctor with questions regarding diet or various training plans.

This post was written for Sports Fitness Hut, by Karen Danish, LAP. Karen is a licensed acupuncture physician and a valued staff member at Anne Hermann MD, PA, a Tampa Weight Loss and Nutrition Clinic

Mark Dilworth, BA, PES
Your Fitness University
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