Everyone wants to eat yummy foods, but everyone also wants to eat healthily. This may seem like a dilemma, but we’ve rounded up 25 of the best tasting “weight loss” foods that’ll satisfy your taste buds and be good for your waistline.
A cup of blueberries has only 80 calories, virtually no fat, and lots of dietary fiber. They’re also packed full of antioxidants which indirectly increase metabolism. When the body undergoes a process called oxidation, free radicals are formed, and these little bandits steal electrons from cells. The electron-deficient cell is opened to a host of potential problems. Antioxidants, like those found in blueberries, neutralize and remove free radicals before they steal, allowing cells to work and grow normally. This allows your metabolism to work much more efficiently.
2. Cooked Spinach
Spinach is packed with necessary nutrients and vitamins, plus it’s great for your metabolism. Simply sauté with some garlic for a delicious side dish.
Salmon are swimming with protein. (Sorry.) These fish are a lean protein, and protein builds muscle and takes a lot of energy to digest. Because it’s lean, it’s low in fat. But it’s high in Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s help your metabolism, possibly because they tell your brain that your belly is satisfied. When you feel full, you stop eating. (You stop eating, right?) The highest concentration of Omega-3s is in wild salmon, even canned Alaskan salmon. However, it seems some “wild-caught” salmon started their existence in a hatchery. You might have to do a little research to find out if your “wild-caught” salmon was always wild.
Avocado is a healthy fat with no sugars and plenty of fiber. They’re tasty enough to eat on their own, or make a great addition to any meal! However, you may want to stick to the serving size of one cup as these fruits are not low calorie.
High in healthy fats and loaded with protein, almonds are a tasty, trusted snack that can do lots of good for your body, including giving your metabolism a boost. The protein in each little nut overpowers the calories, forcing your body to use more of its own calories to digest them. Add to that, protein prevents body fat storage and builds metabolically active muscle. To top it off, when you munch on almonds, you’ll get a good dose of dietary fiber. Eat a handful as a snack to bridge your meals.
6. Greek Yogurt
Yogurt is a great way to start your morning. You can add some fresh cut fruit for natural sweetness in plain Greek yogurt, but you may want to watch the sugar content on certain brands. The protein and probiotics are an added bonus to this tasty treat!
Garlic may not be wonderful for your sex life, as many people just can’t handle the pungent smell, although others love it and even consider it an aphrodisiac. Garlic has many benefits for health, including lowering blood pressure, thinning the blood and also contains many vital vitamins. But when it comes to metabolism and digestion, garlic is amazing, and considered by many to be a ‘miracle’ cure. It helps to break down food in the stomach and the intestines, and taken right, is a vital supplement for anyone and everyone.
There are so many ways to eat broccoli that really make it an amazing weight loss food. It’s a good source of vitamins and also works as a detox food.
When you eat asparagus, you are getting a good fill of fiber and antioxidants. Both are good for your metabolism. The green spears also load you up with vitamin B6. Also known as pyridoxine, vitamin B6 supports healthy metabolism by helping convert food to energy. It also helps the body make serotonin, a hormone that is linked to weight loss. Drop some asparagus in a smoothie or decorate your plate with a helping of asparagus and give your metabolism a helping hand.
10. Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate is said to be a mood-boosting food that is also diet friendly. Go ahead and snack on a few squares when your sweet tooth kicks in.
In addition to many other health benefits, green tea extract has proven to increase metabolism by 4% over a 24-hour period. If you drink three to five cups a day, you can burn an extra 70 calories a day. Take that, coffee! If you do the math, that adds up to about seven pounds a year…just by switching what’s in your cup. Of course, green tea also has cancer-prevention properties and improves brain function. Are you considering adding more green tea to your day? That’s smart. See, it’s working already.
12. Sweet Potato
Sweet potatoes are a great source of vitamin A and fiber, which makes them a wonderful addition to any healthy meal.
In general, whole grains like oatmeal are full of nutrients and complex carbohydrates that speed up metabolism and provide long-lasting energy. Ideal to start your day, oatmeal is rich in fat-soluble fiber. This requires a lot of energy, or calories, on the part of your body to digest. You can add other metabolism-boosting foods like almonds or blueberries to your bowl to increase the benefit.
14. Dried Goji Berries
Protein and antioxidants make these berries a sweet snack. In fact, Goji berries are great for metabolism and have even been used as medicine for many years by the Chinese.
One of the leanest meats available, skinless turkey is also a healthy source of B vitamins, potassium and protein, all of which are good for your metabolism. (They’re also good for your cholesterol.) Turkey contains the amino acid tryptophan which produces serotonin. Not only does serotonin strengthen your immune system, it aids in weight loss. Selenium, another component of this Thanksgiving mainstay, acts as an antioxidant and also serves an essential role for thryoid hormone metabolism.
There’s a good reason kale became so popular: it’s super healthy. You can mix it as a salad, bake it in the oven with spices for a crunchy snack, or sauté with seasoning for a quick side dish.
17. Kidney Beans
If eaten cooked (never eat them raw), kidney beans can do a lot of good. They provide slow-burning complex carbohydrates and deliver a ton of dietary fiber. They’re very low in fat and calories but high in iron. Iron indirectly helps your metabolism by helping the blood transport oxygen to your body’s cells. Not only that, these legumes keep you moving by providing energy, protein and potassium. To add this super healthy bean to your menu, sprinkle some in your salad, top off your taco with a handful, or enjoy three-bean chile as shown above. Whatever you choose, just remember to cook the beans first.
18. Acai Berries
These berries are popular right now for their superfood-like qualities. They’re packed with antioxidants and are known as a metabolism boosting food in addition to being sweet. It’s a win-win!
19. Coconut Oil
Research suggests that coconut oil can help give your metabolism a boost as well. The tropical fruit from which the oil comes is a healthy source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. But it’s the medium chain triglycerides within the oil that can help your metabolism. Essentially, these fatty acids that are broken down differently in the body than most other fats, leading to helpful effects on metabolism.
20. Flax Seed
Flaxseed is easily added to any meal. Throw some in your morning smoothie, or opt for flaxseed bread next time you’re at the grocery store. You won’t regret introducing these heart-healthy seeds into your diet!
21. Beet Greens
Even if you aren’t a “beet person,” beet tops make for a nutrient-dense and delicious salad. These veggies have antioxidants and other properties that are known to work wonders for your metabolism.
22. Mixed Nuts
Nuts are packed with tummy-filling proteins and are also considered superfoods. Make sure you snack in moderation as these healthy treats also come with high calories.
Pineapples have vitamins and enzymes that are great for your digestive system. However, this fruit is also full of naturally occurring sugars, so consuming it in moderation is also a good idea.
Another easy and healthy snack, pistachios are full of fiber and protein to help you feel satisfied.
25. Cold Water
In a 2004 study, researchers found that men and women who drank 17 oz of water increased their metabolic rate by 30% for up to 40 minutes. Sounds impressive, but it’s pretty slight. Drinking a glass of ice water burns eight more calories per cup than a cup of water at room temperature. The increase is because your systems have to work harder to keep your body temperature at 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. Another study showed women had greater long-term positive results when they increased their water consumption.
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