Superfoods to the Rescue


As life turns back to the mundane home-work-home routine, post Ramadan and the Eid festivities, it is time to give your body a wellness break with lifestyle changes that promise to make health a priority and give your weight loss goals a boost…

Superfoods to the Rescue

You are, indeed, what you eat – whether the issue is on the weight gained or the weight that needs to be shed

Some foods can bring on the weight in haste. Like fried snacks and junk food that only know to pile on body as excess weight. But in the seemingly boundless world of foods, there are other, more tamer foods, that know how to keep your weight in check and balance it with your fitness regimen.

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Check out some of the popular superfoods that have the potential to do the bidding in your weight loss mission.

Apple Cider Vinegar: With studies making this a popular item in weight loss programmes, people have found ways to dilute it and drink it. But there are ways to include it in everyday cooking as a condiment. Studies have shown that vinegar can reduce blood sugar spikes after meals.

Avocados: Unlike other fruits that are high in carbs, avocados are packed with healthy fats and also contain a lot of water. As an accompaniment to your salad, it can increase the nutrient level of the vegetables.

Bananas: This is a super slimming food. Opt for the slightly green, medium-sized banana to fill you up and boost your metabolism. This contains 12.5 grams of Resistant Starch.

Beans and legumes: Lentils, black beans and kidney beans are some of the items from the beans and legumes family that can aid your weight loss plan. They are high in protein and fibre and also tend to contain some resistant starch. A cup of black beans is said to contain 15 grams of protein without the addition of saturated fat that is found in other protein sources, like red meat.

Boiled potatoes: Nutrient-rich potatoes have all your body’s requirements – they are particularly high in potassium. Boiled potatoes are the best to reach a filling stage without indulging in other food items. When boiled potatoes are consumed after cooling, they form a fibre like substance that is healthy to say the least.

Chia seeds: This is among the most nutritious foods, despite containing 12 grams of carbohydrates per ounce, as 11 of those grams are fibre. It can absorb up to 11-12 times its weight in water, turning gel-like and expanding in the stomach.

Chicken Breast: Surprising as it may sound, meat is a weight-loss friendly food. High in proteins, it can help you burn 80 to 100 calories a day. Opt for chicken breast or lean beef if you are on a moderate-to high carbohydrate diet.

Chili Pepper: Chili peppers contain a substance called capsaicin, which is known to help reduce appetite and increase fat burning. In fact, it is used as a common ingredient in weight loss supplements.

Coconut oil: Coconut oil is said to be high in fatty acids, which easily boost satiety and increase the amount of calories burned. However, since coconut oil contains calories, it should be used as a substitute to other cooking fats and not as an addition.

Coffee: Coffee has properties to help curb your appetite and also boost your metabolism. It contains the antioxidant chlorogenic acid (CGA) and can actually increase the body’s use of fat for energy.

Cottage cheese: It is high in protein with very little carbohydrate and fat. It can make you feel full easily without giving additional calories. Like all dairy products, it is high in calcium which can aid in burning fat.

Cruciferous Vegetables: These include broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and brussels sprouts, which are high in fibre and can make you feel really full. It contains a combination of protein and fibre. Broccoli has less than 30 calories a serving.

Dark chocolate: Contrary to what you think, all chocolates are not fattening. The darker variety can slow down digestion and make you feel full. Simply nibble a piece or two to rev up your metabolism.

Grapefruit: This fruit is said to play an effective role in weight control. Several studies have proven its benefits on weight loss as well as reductions in insulin resistance. Eating half a grapefruit about half an hour before the meal could help you feel more satiated and thereby reduce the calories consumed.

Green tea: It is a hydrating beverage that can fill you up. The antioxidants in it will increase the calorie burn. A study, in fact, found that five cups a day could help you lose twice as much weight.

Leafy Greens: Spinach, kale, collards and other leafy greens are perfect for a weight loss diet, as they are low in both calories and carbohydrates and high in fibre. They are also nutritious and have several vitamins, minerals and antioxidants packed in them.

Nuts: What makes nuts so very important in the diet plan is that they are not fattening, despite being high in fat. They have balanced amounts of protein, fibre and healthy fats and are known to improve metabolism and lead to weight loss. Almonds, in particular, can help you shed weight. But like everything else, employ moderation and don’t go on a binge.

Oranges: It has a high dose of fibre and ranks highest among fruits on a list of 38 filling foods put together by researchers.

Pears: Even consuming a single pear can give you 15 percent of your daily fibre requirement. According to a study, women who ate three pears a day consumed fewer calories and lost more weight than others.

Salmon: Salmon may not be readily available in the local markets, but if they do, include it in the diet, as it has relatively few calories and is loaded with high quality protein, healthy fats and important nutrients. It can also keep you feeling full for a long time. Mackerel and sardines, which are easily available here, are also excellent for your weight loss programme.

Tuna: This is a low calorie, high protein food, which has gained popularity, in recent times among bodybuilders and fitness models.

Whole eggs: With studies proving that whole eggs are not responsible for heart attacks and they don’t adversely affect the blood cholesterol, it is time to understand its role in weight loss. Whole eggs are high in protein, healthy fats and can make you feel full with very low amount of calories. Eggs are nutrient dense, giving you all the nutrients you need if you are following a calorie restricted diet.

Whole grains: Whole grains like oats, brown rice and quinoa are packed with fibre and contain some amounts of protein, are healthy. A half-cup of brown rice contains 1.7 grams of resistant starch, which is described as a healthy carb that boosts metabolism and burns fat. But refined grains, that are packed with the label of ‘whole grains’ could be highly processed foods that are fattening.

Yoghurt: Yoghurt contains probiotic bacteria that can improve the function of your gut. Interestingly, it is the full-fat yoghurt that is prescribed for reducing the risk of obesity as well as type 2 diabetes.

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FOODS TO AVOID

  1. French fries and potato chips are very high in calories and are known to abet weight gain.
  2. Flavoured yoghurt can pack nearly 30 grams of sugar per 6 oz. serving.
  3. Fizzy and sugary drinks like sodas are unhealthy and contain a lot of calories, which don’t make you feel full too. Include in that list diet soda, which is actually packed with sugar and has no nutritional value.
  4. Smoothies might appear healthy, but they are loaded in calories, carbs and fat. Check out the ingredients to ensure what you are actually getting in your smoothie.
  5. White bread is highly refined and contains added sugar.
  6. White rice is stripped off the fibre and healthy antioxidants; its calories come from carbohydrates which makes you feel hungry faster.
  7. Coleslaw might have all the salad items, but with mayonnaise giving it the taste it’s famous for, even a small serving can give you over 25 calories and high amounts of fat.
  8. Candy bars have a lot of added sugar, added oils andrefined
  9. Although coffee is said to aid weight loss, the coffee creamer can spoil it completely.
  10. Ready fruit juices in the supermarkets are highly processed and packed with sugar.
  11. Pastries and cakes contain artificial trans-fats that are harmful.
  12. Ice creams are high in calories and most are loaded with sugar.
  13. Pizzas that are made commercially contain unhealthy ingredients like refined flour and processed meat.
  14. Margarine is not a better alternative to your butter, as it is loaded with trans-fat.

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