Food is meant to fuel us, but it can also nourish our souls. When we eat whole foods as opposed to processed foods, we not only boost our mind, body and soul but we also get the benefits of reaching a healthy weight. When we take the trends and fads, the pressure and the intensity out of weight loss, we find ourselves eating well and eating right. With that said, here are 11 of the best foods to fuel you up and slim you down.
This creamy fruit is full of fiber and protein to keep you full, while the healthy monounsaturated fats work to curb hunger, making them a perfect snack on their own or topping for a sandwich or salad. Want to shrink your waist? The monounsaturated-rich oil pressed from the fruit can ward off free radicals from slowing the metabolism.
Long revered as the best breakfast option, eggs are rich in low-calorie protein, which work to keep you feeling full through the morning, making that mid-morning desire to reach for a donut less likely. Eggs also contain all the essential amino acids making them an ideal source of protein for maintenance and metabolism.
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Low calorie and full of fiber, blueberries are the perfect anytime snack, yogurt topping or addition to a smoothie. They’re also rich in potent antioxidants called catechins, which activate fat-burning genes in the abdominal fat cells to promote weight loss, specifically belly fat.
- Green Tea
While it’s not a food item per say, we often find ourselves drinking calories throughout the day as a means to wake us up or counteract boredom. Green tea is not only a mild source of caffeine, but it’s also loaded with catechins, most importantly EGCG, which is a substance than can boost metabolism.
Along with being a significant source of fiber, broccoli has a high water content, which works to help you feel fuller longer. Steam a head of this cruciferous vegetable and toss in raw, extra-virgin olive oil which works to reduce bad cholesterol levels and the risk of heart attack and stroke.
Nature’s candy comes in an array of beautiful hues and sweet and tangy tastes, and grapefruit is no exception. A compound in it can lower insulin, which is a fat-storage hormone, therefore leading to weight loss. Grapefruit is also a great source of protein, and is 90 percent water, too.
With its high-water content and stomach-filling fiber, this non-starchy vegetable is the perfect weight loss food. It’s also rich in the cancer-fighting phytonutrient sulforaphane, along with folate and vitamin C, which may work to help you achieve your weight loss goals as well. Place steamed cauliflower in the food processor with some garlic, chives and vegetable stock to make mock mashed potatoes you’ll crave time and time again without the guilt.
The kale craze has been going strong for quite sometime now, leading the pack of superfoods to fill up on for optimum health. This dark leafy green is packed with isothiocyanates that boost your body’s detoxifying abilities. It’s also rich in fiber and loaded with vitamin A. Add chopped kale into your salad mix, or steam with some garlic for a healthy side at dinnertime.
- Hot Peppers
If you’re the type who likes a little (or big) kick to your food, then you’ve likely had your fair share of raw, cooked, dried or powdered peppers. Capsaicin, the compounds that gives chili peppers their spice, works to heat up the body and melt away additional calories, so go ahead and douse that hot sauce on your morning eggs or shake that powdered cayenne into your soup or on top of your meat.
High in protein, quinoa is a great option for filling you up, reducing appetite and increasing metabolism significantly. Its high fiber content will also increase feelings of fullness, which can make you eat fewer calories overall. Quinoa also has a low glycemic index, which means it won’t spike your blood sugar. A highly versatile food, this ancient grain is perfect for serving as a side or using as the base of salads and veggie bowls.
- Wild-Caught Salmon
Salmon is rich in lean protein to help you feel full without adding fat. It’s also an excellent source of appetite-suppressing healthy fats like MUFAs to boot. When you opt for wild-caught salmon, you say no to antibiotics and artificial colors found in farm-raised fish.