Shedding pounds or maintaining your weight can prove to be difficult, especially during the winter months. In order to tackle weight loss properly, you need to incorporate a few seasonal foods into your daily diet. Here are a few winter foods that support weight loss.
Meyer lemons are a cross between lemons and oranges, and represent a food that could boost your metabolism. Specialists have discovered this fruit contains a compound called d-limonene, which can help improve the liver’s ability to fight toxins that may otherwise slow down your metabolism by up to 30 percent.
Polenta is a dish that contains corn — a high-fiber and low-fat complex carbohydrate. This is an excellent source of multiple vitamins, including vitamin C, niacin and folic acid. The insoluble fiber in polenta has appetite-suppressing properties, effectively filling you up, while also lowering cholesterol and reducing weight.
Honey is an ideal natural sweetener, as its sugars increase energy levels and prevent fatigue. Honey is also high in antioxidants that can strengthen the immune system, but also comes with antimicrobial benefits, as its compounds work to soothe sore throats and eliminate bacteria. What’s more, due to how its natural sugars improve the oxidation of alcohol in the liver, honey is perfect for curing hangovers.
Kimchi is a traditional fermented Korean side dish made using vegetables and a variety of seasonings. Kimchi is high in probiotics, and this is important because it helps maintain an ideal ratio between the good and bad bacteria in your gut, promoting optimal digestive health and weight loss. Kimchi resembles sauerkraut, which is also packed with friendly gut bacteria, but more and more people prefer this Korean side dish.
Cactus pears, also known as prickly pears, are known to fight inflammation. Because weight gain has inflammatory-enhancing effects, it’s important to maintain inflammation in check. There are also studies that indicate prickly pears have the capacity of protecting the liver from the negative effects of high blood sugar. What’s more, prickly pears lower cholesterol, improve digestion, enhance bone health and promote a healthy digestion.
Potatoes are high in vitamins and minerals, even more so when we’re talking about the heirloom varieties. Most of the time, the starch in potatoes deters people, but that shouldn’t be the case. Potato skin is very rich in fiber and it works to slow the release of starch. Mixing fingerling potatoes with steamed vegetables and olive oil makes you get almost half of your daily fiber needs in one sitting. Plus, these potatoes can also regulate blood sugar.
Malanga is a staple root vegetable that can be found in Oceania, Africa and the tropical regions of Asia. This vegetable can be prepared and eaten like a potato, but it’s an amazing choice for those with gluten sensitivity. Usually, malanga is ground up and used as flour to make bread and baked goods. This root vegetable is also fiber-rich, so it will curb your appetite and promote healthy digestion.
Watercress is a peppery-flavored green leafy vegetable rich in phytonutrients and antioxidants that work to cleanse the bladder and kidney, clean the blood and enhance energy levels. Watercress is packed with vitamins A, B, C and K, but also contains zinc, which promotes kidney, liver and gall bladder health. What’s more, watercress has the ability of regulating vital body processes that also have an impact on weight loss.
When it’s winter outside, a hot cup of cocoa can be very warming and comforting. It may sound surprising, but hot chocolate is actually good for you. A Cornell University study suggests hot cocoa has more antioxidants per cup than tea or red wine. When preparing it, just make sure you ditch the whip cream for skim milk to ensure you won’t gain weight.
Chia seeds are full of fiber, protein and other health-promoting nutrients. Protein is essential for weight loss, because it prevents hunger pangs and cravings. These seeds are known to help maintain normal blood sugar levels, but also deliver a sustained boost of energy, which means they’re an ideal food to consume before workouts. Chia seeds are packed with antioxidants to boost immunity, and contain heart-healthy fatty acids that ensure cardiovascular well-functioning.
In the winter months, the holidays and football season make it so that you consume plenty of chips and dips. What you can do is replace the sour cream in your dips with fat-free Greek yogurt. This way you won’t ingest 5 additional grams of fat in every 2 tablespoons. Greek yogurt can be used in baked goods as well in order to ditch the oil and reduce fat content. This type of yogurt contains 23 grams of slow-to-digest protein, which works to keep you feel full and satisfied, with no cravings. Greek yogurt also contains calcium, B12 and probiotics, working to improve your gut health and immunity.
Navy beans contain 6 grams of fiber and 8 grams of protein for every half cup. This is why beans are known as an appetite-suppressing powerhouse, keeping you fuller for longer. Fiber can maintain normal blood sugar levels and lower cholesterol levels. Navy beans are a great choice for soups and other recipes if you’re looking to incorporate more weight loss friendly and healthy protein sources into your meals.