There are superfoods that help with brain health and function, prevent diseases, improve bone strength or emotional health but what about foods that help with weight loss? Some foods can boost metabolism or trigger hormones that help you slim down. These superfoods are a wonderful addition to a healthy diet and exercise plan, even though they also work on a poor diet.
Salmon is packed with healthy fats, quality protein and beneficial nutrients that promote weight loss, burn fat and help build muscle. Some may regard salmon as a food that’s too fatty for weight loss, but it contains omega-3 fatty acids, which work to fuel fat burning, block fat storage and fight inflammation. When buying salmon, ditch farm-raised for wild-caught.
Green Tea contains ECGC, an antioxidant that facilitates the release of fat from fat cells. This reaction converts fat into energy at a faster pace, revving up metabolism. Consuming a few cups of green tea each day has wonderful benefits, with one study showing that people who consumed 4-5 cups of green tea per day and exercised 25-minutes lost an average of two pounds more than athletes who didn’t consume green tea. Just make sure you drink regular green tea and not the bottle type that’s filled with sugars.
One spoonful of coconut oil contains 14 grams of fat, 12 of which are saturated fats. Yes, they were once regarded as bad fats, but now it is known that coconut oil contains a type of saturated fats that is beneficial — lauric acid. This is an extremely healthy medium-chain fatty acid that is easy to digest and rapidly converted into energy. It means it won’t be stored as fat in your system. MCFAs also boost metabolism, which slims the waistline and fights belly fat. One study showed participants who consumed two tbsp. of MCFAs or LCFAs before meals registered an average increase in energy expenditure by 120 calories per day.
Beans are high in fiber content and known to help with digestion, but can also regulate blood sugar levels. A can of organic black beans can be a great side to add to your next dish and a good replacement for rice or bread. Restaurants can usually switch a side for you with black beans which great if you’re on a diet because they make you feel full but also give you a boost in energy levels. Black beans can be used in a burrito that contains brown rice, fresh salsa and avocados.
In recent times, spinach may live in the shadow of kale, but it is a superfood that shouldn’t be ignored. Spinach has few calories and high protein content, and even though kale has more protein, one study shows spinach can boost weight loss by 43%. This is largely due to the fact that spinach contains thylakoids, which can reduce food cravings by up to 95%, helping you feel satiated and thus consume less food.
Avocados help with satiety after a meal, which means you will feel fuller if you add them to your dishes. Simply consuming half an avocado with your lunch can stop you from consuming anything else after a not so satisfactory meal.
One study followed 26 healthy overweight participants and required them to add avocados to their meals or replace some foods with the subtropical fruit. The end result indicated that the avocado group had a reduced urge to snack between meals by up to 40% over a period of three hours. 28% of the subjects reported feeling full even five hours after consuming avocados.
Grapefruit is hard to enjoy due to its tartness, but can be added to smoothies or you can make fresh grapefruit juice and take it on the go. Grapefruit can activate fat burning hormones, suppress appetite and make you feel full. In more recent times, it has proven to be the weight loss promoter it was touted.
One study divided 91 obese patients into four groups, one being given a placebo, one grapefruit capsules, one had to drink grapefruit juice, while the last consumed fresh grapefruits. Over a period of 12 weeks, the subjects had to consume what they were given three times per day before each meal. After 12 weeks, the fresh grapefruit group lost the most weight (3.5 pounds), with grapefruit juice and capsules coming at numbers two and three respectively.
If you love hot food, you’re in luck, because hot peppers can help you lose weight as well, not just give your meal a kick. Hot peppers contain an active compound called capsaicin, which promotes abdominal fat loss because it’s great at converting food into energy. Capsaicin heats up the body, which translates into better calorie and fat burning, with one study showing it can increase you energy expenditure by up to 200 calories, but also burn existing fat.
And more great news: even though hot peppers were thought to burn a hole in your stomach, it turns out it actually prevents stomach problems by killing bad bacteria.