People tend not to eat healthy because they think that there is an inverse relationship between healthy food and palatability. What if there are healthy foods which not only taste good, but can promote weight loss at the same time?
I looked through some superfoods, did some research, and narrowed down the 10 superfoods that taste great, are loaded with flavour, packed with nutrients, and best of all, have fat-burning potential. You may be surprised to know which ones made the list!
#10 – Avocado & Avocado Oil
Choosing to cook with oils which which rich in mono-unsaturated fats have been found to help reduce abdominal fat. Avocado oil is one such oil – It is rich in monounsaturated and oleic fatty acids, may decrease risk of negative health markers associated with weight gain. In fact, avocado oil is able to specifically reduce fat deposit in the stomach area. It was further found that oleic acid, trigger your body to reduce hunger pangs.
Consumption of avocado can also improve cardiovascular function, better eye health, lowering LDL and triglycerides, and lower risk for certain cancers.
#9 – Grapefruit
Grapefruit is sour, but also very tasty once you get past the acidity. The Grapefruit Diet, which advocates various degrees of grapefruit consumption with meals, has been around since the 1970s!
However, despite what fans say, grapefruit DOES NOT contain some mysterious substance which melts fats. The nutritious fruit – one serving contains 53 calories and 2g of fiber, is not only high in vitamins, but also a low glycemic index food, unlike its more common citrus counterpart – the orange.
A study which examined the effects of grapefruit on weight and insulin resistance, led by Dr Ken Fujioka, showed that consuming half a fresh grapefuit before meals produced weight loss compared to control groups. In addition the post-meal blood sugar levels are also lower, demonstrating its beneficial effects on insulin resistance.
Another study showed that while grapefruit’s weight loss effects are a result of pre-loading before a meal – participants who consumed grapefruit or grapefruit juice saw improvements in their blood cholesterol, with an increase in high density lipoproteins (HDL- the “good” cholesterol).
Try to drink one glass of grapefruit juice in the morning, or eat a grapefruit before each meal, and you may see some beneficial changes to your weight and blood cholesterol levels!
#8 – Oatmeal
It is common knowledge that whole grains are beneficial to your health. As a whole grain, oatmeal contains slow-digesting fiber that keeps your blood sugar levels stable. Beta-glucagon, one of the main ingredients present in oatmeal, has the capability of absorbing water and swelling up to feel your stomach. You just need a small bowl to make you feel full.
Highly regarded as a superfood, oatmeal is also able to lower cholesterol levels, reduces high blood pressure, and lowers your risk of suffering from type 2 diabetes.
#7 – Broccoli
High in dietary fibre, vitamins and minerals, broccoli is an effective superfood that can help you with weight loss. It is low in calories and fat. One cup of cooked broccoli has only 55 calories! With its high water content and fiber, it creates bulk without contributing significant calories to your daily meal.
By adding a cup of broccoli to your diet, you can meet your daily nutritional requirements for Vitamins C & K, and lose weight at the same time!
#6 – Eggs
New studies have shown that consuming eggs don’t adversely affect your blood cholesterol levels or increase your chance of heart diseases. Eggs, although not typically known as a superfood, are actually beneficial for you. They are high in protein, healthy fats and make you feel full without adding too much calories to your meal. If you are on a calorie-restricted diet, you can increase your consumption of eggs as they are nutritionally dense.
Next time you eat eggs, make sure you don’t throw the yolks away as most of the nutrients are there!
#5 – Salmon
Oily fish like salmon is packed with goodness! Salmon contains good quality protein and healthy fats. It is an excellent source of vitamin B6, B12, D and selenium. It is also a good source of niacin, omega-3, protein and phosphorus.
Although salmon does not have fat-burning capabilities, salmon is an excellent source of lean protein. Replacing salmon with red meats in your diet will help you reduce your overall calorie intake, and eventually help you lose body fat!
#4 – Beans and Legumes
Beans and legumes are undoubtedly one of the best superfoods that are your health. Lentils, black beans, kidney beans are among the most versatile and nutritious foods around. Beans and legumes are high in protein, low in fat, , and high in fiber, folate, iron, potassium and magnesium.
With its high content in resistant starch and fiber, consuming small amounts of beans and legumes can lead to satiety, thus ensuring you eat less which also translates to lower intake of calories.
#3 – Nuts
Nuts make excellent snacks, containing a high amount of protein, fiber and healthy fats. Studies have shown that eating nuts can improve your metabolism and good for people who want to lose weight. Although eating nuts does not directly induce weight loss, it makes you feel full because of the high content of fiber.
You should moderate the consumption of nuts in your diet because they are high in calories. Do not go overboard with it. Adding some nuts to your daily intake will increase its palatability and reduce your consumption of other unhealthy food.
#2 – Chilli
Eating chilli does not only cause your mouth to feel the heat. It also increases your metabolism and activates your body to burn fats. Heidi Allison, author of The Chilli Pepper Diet, found that you can lose 10 times as much weight if you add a dose of dried chilli to your meals. Research has shown that adding 1g of cayenne pepper increases body temperature by 0.02°C. It was further noted that there was an increase in energy expenditure after ingesting 1g of cayenne pepper.
Consuming chilli also helps to reduce craving for salty, sweet and fatty food which leads to reduced appetite for high-caloric food.
#1 – Chia seeds
Arguably one of the most nutritious superfoods, chia seeds contains 12g of carbohydrate per ounce, but 11 of those are fiber! It is a low-carb food with one of the best sources of fiber you can ever find. Chia seeds can absorb water up to 12 times their weight, making it a gel-like substance and keeping you full for a long time.
By increasing your intake of chia seeds, you are essentially reducing your consumption of other high-caloric food and naturally, this leads to weight loss if taken over a period of time.