Monday, March 23, 2015
Healthy Foods for Weight Loss
A. Fruits for weight loss:
Fruits are not only essential for good health, but can also help one to lose weight efficiently. Researchers have revealed that people who eat fruits are less likely to gain weight. Eating fruits in moderation is excellent for weight loss as it controls calorie intake, while providing essential nutrients. Fruits add bulk to the diet and fill you up quickly, preventing overeating.
Fruits are an excellent source of energy and provide high amounts of water to keep the body hydrated. They improve the blood circulation and digestive system, making the skin beautiful and glowing. A diet rich in fruits is also excellent for the detoxification of the body. Fruits provide energy to jumpstart the metabolism and provide the required sugar content after the night of fasting.
Thus, if you are looking for natural weight loss remedies, a diet rich in fruits may help you without causing any harm to the body. Aim to consume at least 4 to 5 servings of fruit daily to get a good mix of nutrients. Here are some popular fruits to help you shed those extra pounds.
People often follow a carbohydrate restricted diet, but avoid fat completely thinking that it might increase their weight. Avocado is higher on fats than most foods, but it is rich in healthy monounsaturated fatty acids, which are very beneficial for the health. Avocados contain around 20 grams of healthy fats that not only increase the metabolism, but also increase testosterone, the hormones responsible for weight loss in both men and women. It also comes packed with plenty of Vitamin E.
Avocados speed up the conversion of fat into energy, boosting the rate of your metabolism. It also prevents spikes in blood sugar, preventing the body from storing fat. Combine avocados with jalapeno peppers for a more efficient fat-burning process. This extremely versatile fruit can be used as salads, sandwiches and dips. Avocado dip is a much healthier alternative to mayonnaise.
Berries like blackberries, raspberries, cranberries and strawberries are often lauded as calorie and fat burning foods for weight loss. They provide minimal carbohydrates and are relatively low in sugar as compared to other fruits. These berries promote bowel movement, and eliminate toxins and other harmful materials, detoxifying the body. Berries also promote heart health by removing bad cholesterol from the body. It improves satiety, leading to healthy weight loss. A cup of strawberries provides only 50 calories, 3 grams of fiber and 5 grams of fat. The fiber content in berries slows down the digestion and absorption of fructose, the fruit sugar. Berries are a great fruit to incorporate in your weight loss diet.
A study conducted at the University of Michigan found that people who consumed blueberries daily reduced their belly fat by almost 2 percent. The high amounts of antioxidants in blueberries rid the body of toxins that lead to weight gain and other health problems. The nutrients like folate, potassium and Vitamin C in blueberries help to boost the metabolic rate, making the body more efficient at burning calories. Raspberries are the most fiber-rich berries, with each cup providing 8 grams of fiber. Top your fruit salad and yoghurt with berries to suppress your appetite and satisfy your sweet tooth.
Apples contain high levels of fiber that increase the metabolic rate and enable one to stay full for longer time. Pectin in fiber prevents the body from absorbing too much fat. Pectin also releases a strong appetite suppressant that keeps you satiated for a longer time. According to a study conducted in Brazil, people who ate an apple before every meal lost 33% more weight than those who did not. An apple contains only 100 calories per serving. Carry an apple in your bag for a quick, on-the-go snack.
4. Water fruits:
Fruits like cantaloupe, watermelon and honeydew melon contain high amounts of water with minimal carbohydrates. Water fruits hydrate and provide instant energy to the body. It improves digestion and excretes toxins, aiding detoxification and healthy weight loss. Watermelon contains lycopene, a chemical that lowers the risk of cancer, macular degeneration and heart diseases.
5. Dry fruits:
Dry fruits like raisins, prunes, apricots and dates can be added along with fresh fruits for effective weight loss. These fruits are excellent sources of minerals and vitamins, which are very essential for the proper working of the cells. They also improve the immune system, providing protection from viruses and flu.
Coconut contains medium chain triglycerides (MCFA) that increase the liver’s rate of metabolism by almost 30%. They also keep the stomach full for a longer time, preventing irregular hunger pangs. Coconut oil is very beneficial for the functioning of the thyroid gland. All forms of coconut like coconut flour, low fat coconut milk and shredded coconut contain MCFAs.
Lemons are excellent liver detoxifiers. Maintaining the health of the liver is essential for the body’s ability to metabolize and burn fat. It tastes acidic, but can alkalize the bodily fluids and tissues. Drink a glass of lemon daily morning to prevent fat accumulation.
Grapefruit is one of the healthy foods for weight loss. A study conducted at Johns Hopkins University found that those who ate grapefruit daily lost 20 pounds in 13 weeks without any change in their diet. Its high water content helps to increase the feeling of fullness, while providing very low calories. Enjoy a grapefruit as your evening snack instead of junk food. In addition, it takes more energy to digest grapefruit, burning more calories. Grapefruits contain naringenin, an antioxidant that stabilizes the insulin level, preventing weight gain.
Tomatoes come packed with Vitamin C and lycopene, which stimulates the production of cartinine, an amino acid that speeds the body’s fat-burning process. Carotenoids serve as an antioxidant, which helps to lose weight and improves cardiovascular health. Drizzle olive oil and vinegar on tomatoes for a light snack.
Bananas are filled with soluble fiber that curbs the desire to eat comfort foods. The resistant starch in bananas prevents the absorption of carbohydrates in the body. This makes the body burn fat instead of carbohydrates. Potassium in banana helps to build muscles, which in turn burns fat.
Pomegranate is brimming with antioxidants, which enable the body to get rid of unwanted toxins. It contains polyphenols, an antioxidant that boosts the body’s metabolism. It also stops the arterial lipid build-up and lowers your appetite. Drink a glass of pomegranate juice for your breakfast or sprinkle the pomegranate arils on oats or cereals for a tasty treat.
Eating freshly picked oranges cuts a considerable amount of calories from the diet. It keeps the body well hydrated and provides you with an ample amount of fiber. Each section of the fruit provides 85 calories and 5 grams of dietary fiber. Orange is a nutrient-dense fruit. It contains high amounts of Vitamin C, thiamine and folate, which are known for boosting the metabolism.
Papaya is a low carbohydrate fruit and one of the healthy diet foods for weight loss. Low carbohydrate fruits have high water content, which controls the body temperature and expels bad cholesterol from the body. It provides energy to the nervous and cardiovascular systems to function properly. A cup of papaya provides 55 calories and 3 grams of fiber. The fruit contains papain, a unique enzyme that promotes faster transit of food through the gut, aiding weight loss.
Cantaloupes are extremely filling fruits. A cup of cantaloupes provides 60 calories, which is enough to keep you full for a longer time. The fruit contains Vitamin A, C, potassium, fiber, niacin, Vitamin B6, choline and folate that prevent you from indulging in comfort foods.
One of the main reasons why vegetables are effective in weight management is because they are relatively heavy for the number of kilojoules they contain. Vegetables are low in calories and contain high levels of fiber that fill you up quickly. Some vegetables contain active ingredients that can aid in curing and reducing the risk of various diseases. The high water content in some vegetables allows effective weight loss by providing a sensation of fullness. It also prevents dehydration that can occur in a weight loss regime. There are many vegetables for losing weight, but choose those that are low in calories and high in vitamin and fiber. Here are some of the best vegetables to help you lose weight.
Celery is a great weight loss food as it contains a high amount of water and very few calories. It is high in dietary fiber, which produces satiety hormones into the blood stream, giving the brain a signal to stop eating.
Cucumber is one of the best low calorie foods for weight loss. It is extremely low in calories and contains high amounts of water. Apart from the weight loss benefits, cucumbers are amazing for the skin as well. It is used to cure dark circles and reduce puffiness around the eyes. It soothes skin irritation and swellings. It is also an excellent source of silica, a mineral required for strengthening the connective tissues. It is most commonly used in salads, but you can also consume it in the form of juice.
Include plenty of broccolis in your diet if you want to lose weight. It contains no fat at all and has plenty of slow-releasing carbohydrates that require time to digest. It contains thiamin, riboflavin, calcium, iron and magnesium that keep you healthy and nourished. It also keeps the energy levels up throughout the day.
Cabbage is one of the popular low fat foods for weight loss. It contains high amounts of fiber and just 20 calories. Cabbage soup is a very popular low fat recipe for losing weight. However, cabbage can instigate gas formation, which can be reduced by combining it with ginger and garlic.
Beans are an excellent source of protein and fiber, which satiate the hunger and keep you full for longer times. It prevents overeating and consuming too many calories. Protein in beans keeps the energy and sugar levels stable, preventing comfort food cravings. Cut down on your meat intake and eat beans instead. Take beans for your breakfast and stay full until your next meal.
Spinach is an amazing vegetable that you can try for losing weight. It contains nutrients like calcium, iron, magnesium, thiamin, phosphorus and Vitamins A, B6, C, E and K. It also prevents water retention. Cook the leaves lightly or serve it raw with salads. Spinach not only helps to strengthen the muscles, but also stabilizes blood pressure and improves neurological health. The Vitamin K in spinach prevents excessive activation of osteoclasts, which is very essential for your bone health.
Peppers help you to manage weight, making them the perfect addition to your diet plan. It contains an alkaloid substance called capsaicin that causes the body to heat up, burning calories faster. It also boosts the metabolism. Red, yellow and orange peppers are also slightly sweet in taste and can satisfy the sweet tooth as well. They are an excellent source of Vitamin C as well.
22. Alfalfa sprouts:
These sprouts contain the full range of vitamins, which includes Vitamin A, B, B12 and K. It also contains an impressive amount of folic acid, calcium, magnesium, zinc, phosphorus and chlorophyll. Apart from the weight loss benefits, alfalfa sprouts reduce inflammation and lower blood pressure levels. It also increases the activity of the natural killer cells, boosting the immune system. Add it to your stir-fries, sandwiches and salads.
Watercress is a versatile vegetable and adds a burst of flavor to every dish. It has Vitamin K and calcium, which prevents diseases like Alzheimer’s and osteoporosis. Watercress is high in beta-carotene and Vitamin C, which support the immune system. It also reduces the effect of sodium in the diet, controlling heart rate and blood pressure.
Onions are one of the best foods for adding taste to your meals. A cup of onion contains around 60 calories and 2 grams of fat. Another low fat foods for weight loss. Onions contain quercetin, a plant chemical that protects against a wide variety of diseases, including cancer. You can add onions to you casseroles, soups and stir-fries.
25. Leafy Green Vegetables:
Leafy green vegetables like turnip greens, Swizz chard, mustard green and lettuce are very useful for achieving a slim waist. They are low in calories and very high in fiber and vitamins. Steam the green leafy vegetables to preserve the nutrients and flavors. Green leafy vegetables protect against heart attack and atherosclerosis. They also have a low glycemic index.
Grains are also good for weight loss. They offer loads of protein, fiber, minerals, antioxidants and phytochemicals. Fiber in whole grains supports a healthy digestive system. It prevents constipation and other stomach diseases. A diet rich in grains raises the metabolism, helping you to shed weight. It also protects the body from cardiovascular diseases, stroke, diabetes, obesity and even cancer.
Whole grains are excellent for weight loss as the body burns twice as many calories, breaking down whole foods than processed foods. Our body digests the whole grains more slowly than refined grains. Avoid consuming refined grains as the germ and bran get stripped away, leaving a starch heavy endosperm behind.
Quinoa is a nutritious seed that contains fiber and protein. A quarter serving provides 6 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber. This keeps the blood sugar level stable, leaving you feeling satiated. It contains the building blocks for superoxide dismutase-an important antioxidant that protects the energy centers of the cells from free radical damage. Quinoa is ideal for diabetics as it is gluten-free. Cook quinoa with vegetables, olive oil and herbs for a hearty meal. Quinoa is a complete protein, so you do not have to pair it with any other protein source.
Oatmeal consists of complex carbohydrates. They can be said to be one of the superfoods for weight loss! A study at the Loughborough University found that people who ate complex carbohydrates burned more fat than those who ate simple carbohydrates. Oatmeal is loaded with soluble fiber that decreases the appetite by keeping you full for a longer time. It also keeps the energy levels high. Eat oatmeal 1 to 2 hours before going for your workout for a long lasting blast of energy. This will help you to work out for a longer time and more intensely, aiding your weight loss goal. Oats are also rich in protein, which increases strength and lowers body fat. The high levels of protein and fiber stabilize blood sugar levels and lower cholesterol. Eat plain oats and not the flavored ones, which contain lots of sugar.
Farro is nutty-flavored wheat, rich in fiber. This grain is minimally processed and is quite chewy. It has a protective husk on the outside, which protects it from insects, harmful pesticides and pollutants. A quarter cup of farro provides protein, fiber and several micronutrients. Faro also contains high amounts of disease-fighting antioxidants.
Buckwheat is an extremely nutritious grain. It contains high amounts of zinc, manganese and copper. Buckwheat contains the highest content of protein and soluble fiber than any other whole grain. Therefore this is one of the best protein foods for weight loss. Soluble fiber slows the rate of glucose absorption, preventing weight gain.
Barley is one of the most commonly consumed grains and a great addition to a healthy diet. It contains the highest fiber content than all the whole grains. It contains plenty of soluble and insoluble fiber that promotes regular bowel movements. The antioxidants present in barley reduce the risk of heart diseases by lowering the blood pressure and cholesterol levels. A half-cup serving of barley provides 90 calories, 22 grams of carbohydrates and 3 grams of fiber. It is also a good source of calcium, copper, iron, sulfur and phosphorus. This versatile ingredient can be added to stews, soups, salads, and pilaf. It is also ground into flour for baked foods and desserts.
31. Chia seeds:
This tiny black seed is a great source of alpha-linoleic acid, a type of omega 3 fatty acid that prevents the absorption of fat. One tablespoon of Chia seeds contains 5 grams of fiber and 3 grams of protein. Sprinkle a spoonful of Chia seeds into your yoghurt and smoothie.
Teff is another amazing grain for weight loss. This gluten–free grain is high in resistant starch, which manages blood sugar levels and reduces calories. Teff provides 123 milligrams of calcium, almost half of the daily recommended allowance.
33. Brown Rice:
Brown rice is much more nutritious than white rice, especially for people on a diet. The best diet foods for weight loss! Brown rice offers Vitamin E and fiber, which is often stripped off in white rice. It also contains high amounts of selenium, magnesium and manganese. You can also add brown rice to your stews, pilafs and soups.
Salmon is a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which have been shown to reduce the risk of heart diseases. A 4-ounce serving provides 160 calories. Weight watchers should bake or roast salmon to avoid the fat intake. Pair it with steamed broccoli and potato for a nutritious low calorie meal.
Nuts are a high-fat food and avoided by people following a weight loss diet. In fact, eating nuts provides the body with fiber to ward off hunger and prevents overeating. Brazilian nuts are rich in selenium, a nutrient needed by the body to produce thyroid hormones. Thyroid hormones are very essential for keeping the metabolism levels high. Omega 3 fatty acids produce testosterone, a hormone that helps to burn fat at a faster pace. Eat raw and organic nuts, instead of the roasted and salted varieties.
Friday, March 20, 2015
This herb works wonderfully for colds and flu. Drinking a tea made from echinacea can greatly reduce the severity and duration of these two illnesses. It’s also widely used for treating upper respiratory tract infections and sore throat. It’s also an effective anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibiotic and detoxifier.
Thursday, March 19, 2015
With a new year and changes in season, it’s typical to come across countless articles and advertisements about detoxing and cleansing, from companies selling their powdery shakes and strangely-sweetened bars, to professionals recommending crazy fasts and liquid cleanses. While there are plenty of decent detoxing programs out there, the good news is that nature provides lots of help in this department on her own. Below are 10 detoxing superstars you can find in the produce section. Incorporate these often to jumpstart your body’s automatic and natural cleansing work.
Beets are awesome. They are full of nutrients and are a great source of vitamins B3, B6 and C, plus beta-carotene, magnesium, calcium, zinc, and iron. They assist our liver and gall bladder in breaking down toxins, and their fiber is great for digestion and elimination. Shredded raw beets are the best (eat some on top of a big pile of greens with a sprinkle of lemon juice -- those toxins won't even see it coming!).
Lemons jump-start digestion by stimulating the release of enzymes and Vitamin C helps convert toxins into a water-soluble form that can be easily eliminated from the body. Lemons also help stimulate the liver and purify our blood!
Apples also give us lots of fiber and nutrients and help stimulate bile production, which the liver uses to release toxins. The soluble fiber in apples, pectin, is helpful in removing heavy metals and food additives from our bodies. Be sure to eat only organic apples, as conventional apples are some of the most heavily-sprayed foods around.
What we want from green veggies is chlorophyll. Chlorophyll rids the body of environmental toxins, heavy metals, herbicides, and pesticides.
Make sure you get lots of green things in your diet -- leafy greens, broccoli, cucumbers, celery, sprouts, dandelion teas, chlorella supplements... whatevs. Aiding in detox, increasing oxygen content, and purifying the blood, greens are the essential building blocks of any healthy and vibrant diet. (Plus, they make you glow. I'm serious.)
Raw garlic is totally amazing. It has powerful antiviral, antiseptic and antibiotic properties. Garlic helps stimulate the liver into producing detoxification enzymes that help filter toxins from the digestive system. As I like to say, "go garlic or go home!" (Or, perhaps better yet, "go garlic or get sick!")
Sea veggies have crazy antioxidants that help alkalize the blood and strengthen our digestive tract. The alginic acid in sea veggies absorb toxins from this digestive tract. They also have the broadest range of minerals you can find in any food! If you're hesitant to get busy with seaweeds, buy dulse flakes and use in salads, soups, and stir-fries instead of salt.
Broccoli sprouts get their own big shout out! Broccoli sprouts contain important phytochemicals that aid in the detox processs at rates much higher than grown-up broccoli (which is still really, really good for you). These phytochemicals stimulate detoxification enzymes in the digestive tract. They are also extremely high in antioxidants!
Speaking of, you should all know by now that green tea is a great big source antioxidants, one of which are catechins. Catechins increase liver function, which we want. Plus, drinking green tea aids us in hydrating our bodies. Woot woot!
Artichokes increase bile production and both purify and protect the liver. They also have a mild diuretic effect on the kidneys, which aides in toxin removal once the liver breaks them down. Some studies have shown that artichokes may actually regenerate liver tissues (It is seriously all about the liver). They are also super duper high in fiber, which, as we know, helps us with elimination.
Another green food that gets a special mention is cilantro. Cilantro is aces for ridding the body of heavy metals (not the loud and fun kind; these jerks can lead to depression, cancer, hormone and thyroid problems, and lots more). The chemical compounds in cilantro actually bind to these toxins, loosening them from the blood, tissues, and organs and assisting with their elimination from the body. Rock on, cilantro. Rock on.
Congrats! You’ve decided to run a 5K. That’s awesome, because if you can get through those 3.1 miles, who knows what you’ll be able to conquer next — you know people run ultra-marathons across deserts, right?
Signing up for a race can be totally empowering (goals!), but when you actually start to think about running, it can feel intimidating. No worries — we tapped Monica Olivas, a personal trainer, running coach, marathoner and blogger over at RunEatRepeat, to walk you through everything you need to know before you cross that finish line.
Set a date.
As ambitious as you might be, you can’t just jump into a race on super-short notice. Part of the fun is setting a goal and striving to reach it — and giving yourself time to accurately prepare. “Find a race about ten weeks away,” suggests Olivas. “This will keep you on the training plan since you have that end date on the calendar.”
Pick a running partner.
Isn’t every workout better with a buddy? “It’s always more fun (and less nerve-wracking) to run a race with a friend,” says Olivas. “Get them to sign up with you, then train together, too — it’ll help you stay accountable.”
Don’t push yourself to do too much, too fast. “Find a training program that is realistic and works with your current ability,” says Olivas. “Try the app Couch to 5K if you’re not running right now. Most 5K training plans are nine to 12 weeks long and require you to run three to five days a week.”
Stick to your schedule.
It’s easy to come up with excuses for skipping workouts, but that won’t fly when it comes to training for a race. “You have a busy life with work, school, family, wild boar hunting, whatever — but you must stick to your training as best you can,” says Olivas. “Sure, you can miss a day due to illness or travel, but you should complete 90 percent of it.”
What you eat can make you faster or slow you down, so be careful what you’re putting into your body. “It’s important to figure out what your body likes to eat before and after a run,” explains Olivas. “It’s best to do easy-to-digest carbs and a little fat before a longer run. Things like toast or rice cakes with peanut butter work for many runners — but figure out what works for you.”
Train like you run.
“Eat the same food, wear the same clothes, pace yourself the same on race day,” suggest Olivas. “There is a golden rule to never try anything new on the day of the race, so make sure you have your race day outfit and food planned out beforehand.” No one wants surprise chafing, blisters or stomach issues on race day!
Don’t worry about breaking a personal record, standing on a podium, or winning any medal. “Your number one goal should be to finish the race — no matter how long it takes!” says Olivas. “Next time, you can give yourself a time goal. The first race should be a learning experience.”
You signed up for this, remember? So even if it hurts, even if you’re tired, whatever, it’s not like your running laps for high school PE. “You only get one chance to run your first 5K — enjoy it!” reminds Olivas. “Remember the excitement, the crowds, and the accomplishment. Take pictures and soak it all in.”