Whenever we are following a weight management program, typically we tend to skimp on the nutrients. When shedding weight, it is even more important to pack in those nutrients with a nutrient dense diet. Toxins are stored in the fat. Therefore as pounds go away, toxins begin to be released. So it’s even more imperative that you stock up on nutrients. Detoxification requires a LOT of nutrients. Read more here. http://www.2nourish.com/#!nutritional-detoxification/jazj5.
So here is a list of foods to put high on your shopping list.
- Berries: These little gems are packed with phytonutrients, antioxidants and fiber. Berries are low on the glycemic index. http://www.glycemicindex.com/. So, you get more bang for your buck. A typical serving of berries is 1 -1 ½ cups depending on the berry. Use them in yogurt, salads and oatmeal. All good options.
- Salmon & other Omega 3 fish: Protein is one of the foods you don’t want to skimp on for sure! Try eating with meals and snacks. Proteins fall low on the glycemic index, and they take longer to digest. Fatty fish also provide essential omega 3’s for heart and lowering inflammation. A Mexican study shows that fish can help lower leptin. Leptin is a hormone that directly influences metabolism. The hormone activity decides if your body stores calories or burns them for fuel. A study from Mayo Clinic showed that members of a tribe who ate fish as part of their daily routine had leptin levels nearly 5 times less that a tribe who did not eat fish and ate mostly vegetables. The only fish you do not want to have too often is tuna, due to the higher mercury content. Try fish on salads, for lunch and for dinner. Salmon burgers are great!
- Eggs: Eggs have regained their title as a great protein. Recent research claims that they contribute very little to cholesterol. Eggs are considered by nutritionists, to be the perfect food which all other proteins are compared to, and one of the most nutritious foods on the planet. They are a great option for breakfast or a snack.
- Peppers: Get spicy lately? Turns out that hot peppers are drawing a lot of attention due to their benefit to faster fat shedding and overall health thanks to the phytonutrient capsaicin. It boosts the metabolism and lowers the appetite. It can also stop binging in its tracks. If you are not a spicy eater and want to try it, go slow and start low. http://www.fitday.com/fitness-articles/nutrition/how-hot-peppers-can-help-you-lose-weight.html
- Beans: Oh pity the poor bean! These are often overlooked in a weight program. And these little pretties pack a big punch! They are full of resistant starch. That’s the kind of starch that is difficult for our bodies to digest and supply the bugs in our gut, food to live on. They also provide a good dose of protein. ½ cup of cooked beans provides 7 grams of protein. http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/legumes-and-legume-products/4284/2. They take longer to digest and keep you satiated longer. There are so many ways to use beans: bean hummus, chili, in salads. Be creative. Think of new ways to use these little powerhouses.
- Oats: Healthy carbs boost metabolism. Oats are another food that provides resistant starch, and helps to keep you full longer. ½ cup provides 4.5 grams of resistant starch. This breakfast with some nuts, seeds and blueberries can hold you for several hours. Oatmeal is not just for breakfast anymore. Home late from work and don’t feel much like cooking, try oatmeal.
- Leafy Greens: Kale, spinach, Swiss chard, collards, turnip greens, mustard greens, broccoli, and cabbage, all are considered the top leafy greens because of their lower calories, and high fiber content. They are a great way to add skinny filler to the meal. They are dense in nutrition, high in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
- Green tea: Green tea is one of the best drinks for so many reasons. It’s loaded with antioxidants, and phytonutrients that benefit our health. One of these beauties is called Egcg. It’s the antioxidant that helps mobilize fat so we can burn more fat. Green tea is also known to reduce appetite.
- Avocado: Fats have gotten a bad rap for quite a while. Now, we are looking for fats that are healthy. Avocadoes are one of them. They have Oleic acid, a healthy monounsaturated fat (MUFAs) that can help quiet hunger pangs. Newer research suggests that eating ½ avocado per day can help melt fat. It’s also packed with lots of fiber which will help you feel fuller longer. A Mexican study shows that they can save your mitochondria (the little engine in every cell) from attacks by free radicals floating around the cell.
- Grapefruit: It’s loaded with fiber, helps keep you full, and is a great low calorie substitution. Recent research shows that eating half a grapefruit before meals, can lead to greater weight loss. In addition there is a compound in grapefruit, naringen that has been shown to reduce insulin levels. This way your body can use your calories for fuel instead of storing them as fat.
Marietta Amatangelo, MS, RDN/LDN is a Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist in practice for 20+ years.
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