There are many foods out there that are good for you but you need to understand that no foods are magically going to make you lose weight. These superfoods are healthy and good for you but they are known for being superfoods because their health benefits go beyond just their nutrient value. Exercise and a healthy balanced diet, these 2 things combined together are guaranteed ways to lose weight. Nutrition is one of the key areas when wanting to lose those pounds which is where the superfoods come into play, these foods have many benefits and would be good choices to add to your grocery list when making changes to your diet to lose weight. I have listed just a few of the many benefits for each food.
These tasty little berries are full of antioxidants, low in fat and calories. Eat 1-2 cups daily and the benefits are: they can help slow down the ageing process and improve brain function, may help to keep your heart healthy and help lower cholesterol.
Broccoli is low in fat, high in protein and contains vitamins A, E, B6 and K as well as potassium, iron, magnesium, riboflavin, thiamine, manganese, selenium and more… Rich in vitamins and minerals this green superfood has many benefits including: helps boost your immune system and reduce tiredness, good for bone health, helps maintain optimal brain function, helps regulate blood pressure and is great for your digestive system. As you can tell this green vegetable is definitely one to add to your shopping basket.
Greek yogurt and natural yogurt – both great, greek yogurt has more protein so it will take longer to digest, which means more calories burned as the digestion process actually uses calories. Yogurt is an excellent source for protein and calcium but the other benefits of yogurt are:
- May help prevent osteoporosis
- May reduce the risk of high blood pressure
- Boosts your immune response
- May help with gastrointestinal conditions
- May help you feel fuller
These are just a few of the many benefits. Check the ingredients of yogurt before buying as not all are equal and some have high sugar content. The more active live cultures the more benefits. I like to mix mine with fruit and oats for breakfast. Yogurt also has benefits for your skin if applied topically, such as moisturising your skin, helping with cleansing skin and reducing break outs, soothing sunburn and even anti ageing. On a side note if you want to be astounded by the benefits of yogurt on mice then Men’s Fitness have just the article.
Packed with protein, fiber, minerals and Omega 3,6 and 9 quinoa also contains all 8 essential amino acids (great for vegans and vegetarians) as well as being gluten free! Quinoa is an ancient seed and has been called one of the most sacred foods of the ancient Incas. The benefits include: low Glycaemic Index, helps to keep blood sugar levels stable – so you wont feel the need to be reaching for a snack, contains antioxidants helping your body fight free radicals, contains iron which is good for brain function and important for muscle function and energy metabolism. It also helps relax your muscles and blood vessels which helps control your blood pressure.
This delicious red berry aids your body’s natural ability to fight illness and disease due to the immune boosting vitamin C, strawberries also help fight against asthma, osteoarthritis and cancer as well as promoting eye health. Low in calories these make a great addition to sweeten your porridge in the morning or by themselves as a snack during the day.
Easy to snack on, apples are good for: the heath of your teeth, lowers cholesterol and are high in pectin which helps keep your blood sugar levels regulated, they contain fibre which will keep you feeling fuller for longer and they are also a good source of vitamin C. Apples are high in fructose so beware of eating too many, one a day should be plenty and don’t forget to wash it before eating to get rid of any pesticide residue.
Whole grain and full of fiber, oats leave you feeling fuller for longer reducing cravings and help improve your metabolism, which means more fat burning power. Don’t choose the instant variety though as these have added sugars and additives.
Low in calories and high in nutrients. Popeye definitely had the right idea choosing spinach as his superfood. It’s easy just to add some leaves into your salad and you will be eating one of the most nutritious foods available – it can benefit vision, increases your natural sun protection, improves brain function and can also help fight the effects of ageing, All due to the various antioxidant and nutrients that spinach contains.
Good for your cardiovascular health, metabolism, good for your vision, brain, hair, skin and the list goes on. Salmon is rich in protein, nutrients and Omega 3 all of which are essential components for our cells, tissues, etc.
Honey is also known for its medicinal properties due to its antiseptic, antioxidant, cleansing and healing properties. Instead of adding sugar to your tea add a teaspoon of honey, the darker the colour the higher the number of antioxidants. Good for soothing a sore throat, giving a natural energy boost, healing wounds, can help fight allergies and is a great ingredient for making your own face masks. It is high in fructose so consume in moderation.
11. Black beans, kidney beans, white beans and chickpeas
These beans contain fiber and protein which will satisfy your appetite after eating and help increase your fat burning metabolism as well as help prevent heart disease, cancer and diabetes.
12. Dark Chocolate
Chocolate! Not the usual type of food that comes to mind when you think of superfoods or losing weight. Dark chocolate contains a high level of antioxidants. If you like a piece of chocolate every now and then choose the dark chocolate variety and you can benefit from not only the antioxidants, which prevent oxidisation and can stop healthy cells from being damaged, but also help protect the body from heart conditions as well as have a mood boosting effect. Research has also shown that dark chocolate can contain more antioxidants and flavanols than fruit. Is chocolate the next superfood?
Don’t be fooled into thinking avocadoes should not be eaten as they contain fat and are high in calories. They contain monounsaturated fatty acids which is the good kind of fat, everyone needs fat in their diet but the key is the right kind and the right amount of it, snacking on an avocado will stop you reaching for the high fat unhealthy variety of foods. They also contain essential nutrients such as folic acid, B vitamins and potassium. By eating avocados they can help your body by helping lower your cholesterol, boost collagen formation, good for your digestion system and they also have anti inflammatory properties amongst other health benefits. Eat a half or whole avocado 3 times per week.
Packed full of protein! Have eggs for breakfast and you will be starting the day feeling satisfied and unlikely to want to reach for a snack mid morning. Contains Vitamins B, D and A as well as essential minerals and trace elements, phosphorus, iodine and selenium. So have an egg in a salad or sandwich and you will benefit by strengthening bones, hair, skin and nails as well as promote the growth of healthy tissues, boost your memory and repair muscles after exercise.
15. Goji berries
Also known as wolf berries in some countries, these little berries are being hailed as the new superfood with various sources claiming benefits such as: helping prevent cancer, protect against alzheimers, increase eye health, anti-ageing properties, lowers cholesterol, lowers blood pressure amongst, enhances immunity and the list continues…. But, according to WebMD there can be side effectsto eating theses berries if you take certain medications for heart conditions, diabetes or suffer from allergies, so before rushing off to buy these berries take some time to do some research beforehand.
High iron content so promotes healthy formation of red blood cells (which makes them a good food for vegetarians), contain B vitamins which are important for healthy functioning of the digestive, nervous and immune systems. Enhanced blood circulation due to the magnesium, healthy bones and teeth from the calcium and lentils also help to stabalize blood sugar levels. A good way of adding lentils to your diet is to add to soups, quiche and salads.
In juice or eating the seeds of the fruit pomegranates were used in ancient times for both medical and health purposes contain no fat and are full of antioxidants but are high in natural sugars. Studies have shown that pomegranates help to reduce blood pressure, fight the signs of ageing and may even enhance your sex drive…yes that’s right… more sex means more exercise!
Like salmon sardines are high in omega 3 (but don’t carry as many of the toxins/contaminants that are common in salmon and tuna, such as mercury) which may help protect against various types of cancer, heart attack and stroke and is also important for normal brain development and function. Sardines are also a good source of vitamin D, which we would normally get from the sun but these days a lot of people don’t get enough due to using high SPF protection continuously. Vitamin D is crucial for the absorption and metabolism of calcium and phosphorus which helps maintain healthy bones. It is also a good for keeping away the common cold – other benefits of vitamin D.
Kale is a form of cabbage and is high in fiber, calcium, iron, beta carotene, Vitamin C, A and K and contains antioxidants (it has been reported that it contains even more antioxidants than spinach) folic acid (also known as folate), magnesium, Omega 3 fatty acids, sulforaphane… there is little wonder why this is classed as a superfood. So how can Kale benefit you - it helps maintain maintains healthy nervous and immune systems, promotes healthy eyesight, may help to protect against premature ageing, good for detoxifying the body, good for your skin, nails and hair and these are just a few of the benefits so think about adding some to your salads or make your own soup and include it with some lentil and carrots.
Do you have a favourite superfood? Is it on this list? Let us know in the comments!