The word “superfood” has been in widespread use over the past few years. You will certainly have seen it in fad diets or in ads promoting the wide range of health benefits of what they claim to be the latest superfood, from anti-aging to aiding weight loss. But what is it exactly that makes a food a superfood?
According to the American Heart Association, superfoods are beneficial to overall health when they are mixed into a heart-healthy diet. This is a balanced diet comprised of protein, whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and dairy products. Typically, it will include many types of nuts, seeds, legumes, fish and healthy oils.
In this article, you’ll read about foods that contain other non-essential but highly beneficial ingredients, such as antioxidants.You’ll also get a list of nutritious meals that will keep you full while helping you lose weight.
The saying says “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”, and it sure does. Apples contain antioxidants and phytonutrients that fight free radicals. As well as that, they are packed with dietary fibers which will help keep you feeling full all day.
A study compared a group of women aged 30-50 who consumed apples as part of their diet to a group that consumed oat cookies daily. The study found that the fruit group lost few pounds than the oat group.
What helped Tarzan and monkeys survive the forests? Bananas.
Bananas are packed with powerful nutrients, which makes them a superfood. This potassium-rich fruit boasts a high fiber content that provides extra energy whilst helping you cut down on sweets.
By merely studying the color of blueberries, you’ll already know that they are packed with numerous antioxidants, mainly flavonoids, that fight off free radicals. Like strawberries, they are rich in appetite-reducing fiber. Consuming berries can help reduce your risk of heart disease and certain cancers.
Unlike red meat, black beans don’t contain any saturated fat. Just one cup of this superfood will provide you with 15 grams of protein.
When discussing fiber-rich food, oats would probably top the list. A half cup of oats is packed with 4.6 grams of healthy starch that boosts metabolism and is effective for burning body fat.
There is no need to fear fats, because healthy fats can be found in some fruits such as avocados and peanuts. They are packed with oleic acid, a monounsaturated fat that suppresses hunger. Incorporate at least half of this fiber-rich, creamy fruit into your diet, and see how it works on your belly.
Brown rice is one of the best alternatives to white rice. It is a low energy density food that is low in calories but which leaves you feeling full. The carbohydrate found in brown rice provides long-lasting energy, boosts your metabolism and burns body fat.
One serving of kidney beans provides at least 5 grams of protein and fiber, which keep you feeling full throughout the day without craving sweets or junk food.
Nuts are one of the most popular superfoods that can be consumed in many ways, raw or straight from the box. Almonds in particular are rich in fiber, protein, antioxidants, and healthy fat. Adding them to a low-calorie diet will help you shed fat more easily. Other examples of nuts as superfoods are peanuts, pistachios, and walnuts.
Lentils are rich in protein and fiber that help promote satiety, thus helping you fight cravings and avoid binge eating.
Hard-boiled, sunny side up or scrambled, eggs help you curb your appetite. They are rich in protein and numerous vitamins and minerals that help you maintain a healthy weight. This superfood increases your HDL or good cholesterol and consuming three eggs a day is deemed safe.
Foods made from soy like tofu are rich in polyunsaturated fat, dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals while being low in saturated fat. You can consume soy products as a good source of protein instead of red meat.
Treat yourself in moderation with dark chocolate: it is rich in antioxidants and other nutrients that help weight loss, stabilize blood sugar, and reduce appetite.
Quinoa is similar to brown rice, which is a good source of fiber and protein while being low in calories. Foods with a low glycemic index are linked to weight loss and improved overall health. Grab a quinoa snack and be energized whole day.
Cinnamon adds an exciting flavor to boring foods like oatmeal. It can be added to yogurt, smoothies, and even chilli. As a superfood, it initiates weight loss by imitating the biological activity of insulin resulting in the metabolism of glucose. High blood sugar levels increase fat storage; cinnamon effectively blocks this activity and thus encourages weight loss.
The antioxidants found in green tea aid the fat and calorie-burning processes in the body. Drinking at least 2.5 cups of green tea per day has been found to help you lose weight.
The unsaturated fatty acids found in olive oil reduce hunger pangs and help you shed fat by shrinking abdominal fat storage in the body.
Mushrooms can be used as a substitute for red meat in your favorite savory dishes. One cup of mushrooms contains just 44 calories, compared to red meat which has six times the amount of calories found in mushrooms.
Hot Chili Peppers
Chili peppers are considered a superfood because of their ability to kick-start your body’s fat burners. Studies have shown that you can lose ten times as much weight if you add a sprinkle of hot chili to your food.
Don’t be overwhelmed by the number of superfoods mentioned in this article. When it comes to eating a healthy diet and losing weight, variety is key. Make your own recipes or mix and match ingredients to make your meals exciting and interesting to eat.