The importance of maintaining your health and staying in shape can’t be stressed enough in today’s fast-paced environment. There seems to be no time at all for some physical exercise. As a result, you can end up leading a sedentary lifestyle that doesn’t do you any good.
Besides finding it difficult to lose weight, you may become prone to fluctuating blood pressure levels, cardiovascular diseases, and may be even diabetes. In such a situation, a healthy and nutrition-rich diet can do wonders for your weight-loss efforts and your overall health.
Wholesome Foods That Help You Lose Weight
Trying to lose weight is a long journey and it starts in the kitchen. For this reason, ensure to remove all sugary and packaged foods from your cooking space, pantry, and fridge. Refined foods have their nutrient and fiber content stripped off due to excess processing.
However, wholesome and power foods contain healthy fats, essential nutrients, and antioxidants that are great for your overall health as well as your weight-loss regime. Here’s a list of power foods that’ll help you eat your way to staying in shape.
There’s a reason why spinach was the preferred veggie by Popeye (a popular cartoon series). It isn’t just a great source of protein, spinach is also rich in vitamins A & C, antioxidants, and a heart-healthy folate. A cup of cooked spinach contains 41 calories and 5 grams of proteins.1
Ways To Eat It
The best way to consume this green power food is to steam it rather than eating it raw. When you steam spinach the vitamin and calcium content is retained and easily absorbed by the body. For desired results, add spinach leaves to soups, pasta, salads, or stir-fries. You could also steam it and add pepper, garlic, olive oil, and a dash of lemon juice.
2. Sun-Dried Tomatoes
Tomatoes are packed with antioxidants like lycopene and can decrease the risk of skin, stomach, prostate, bladder, and lung cancers. It can also reduce the risk of coronary artery disease. Just a cup of sun-dried tomatoes gives you 6 grams of protein, 7 grams of fiber, 139 calories, and three-fourths of your RDA of potassium. This makes sun-dried tomatoes highly beneficial for heart health and tissue repair. It is also rich in vitamins A and K.2
Ways To Eat It
You can use sun-dried tomatoes as a topping for your pizza, a tangy addition to your salad, or just a snack that you can munch on from time to time.
Almonds have a nutty flavor about them and are a great source of monounsaturated fats which reduce LDL cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease. Also eating a handful of almonds every day can help you attain your healthy weight.3
Ways To Eat It
Eating almonds the wrong way can lead to you missing out on all its health benefits. Soaked almonds are better than their raw counterparts in this regard. To begin with, soak a handful of almonds overnight in a cup of water. Peel their skin off in the morning and they’re ready to eat. Eating unsoaked almonds can lead to pitta aggravation in your blood.
Whether you’re talking about chickpeas and peanuts or soybeans and lentils, beans are a rich in protein that you should include in your diet. Beans are rich in manganese, magnesium, iron, potassium, and folate. It contains more protein than any other vegetable, making it the ideal power food for all you vegans and meat lovers. The fiber and carbohydrate content in beans can help keep your blood sugar levels stable. This way, your hunger and food craving is also kept in check.4
Ways To Eat It
Beans can make a colorful and fiber-rich addition to your salad or soup. This power food can also be used as a good base for dips, salsas, and spreads.
5. Red Meat, Fish, And Poultry
Power food like lean meat, fish, or poultry in your daily diet can provide give you a huge boost of healthy proteins. When it comes to getting beef for your steak or burger patty, grass-fed beef is the way to go as it is naturally leaner and has fewer calories than conventional meat. Some other meaty options that you can try.
- Bison is an excellent choice of lean meat as it has half the fat and calorie content of red meat.
- Ostrich meat is also a good option for lean meat as it has less fat than turkey or chicken.
- Pork, or pork tenderloin to be more specific, is another lean meat option to add into your diet.
- For seafood options try halibut, wild salmon, light-canned tuna, and the Pacific cod are your best bet.
- For poultry foods, chicken, turkey, and eggs are your go-to options.
Ways To Eat It
Usually, chicken and fish are versatile options that you can add to a wide range of dishes. As slices, you can add them to sandwiches or tortillas. In the ground form, you can use it in your pasta dish, sauce, or casserole. You can even cut up most lean meat and use it to make a healthy salad, soup, or stew.
|↑1||Roberts, Joseph L., and Régis Moreau. “Functional properties of spinach (Spinacia oleracea L.) phytochemicals and bioactives.” Food & function 7, no. 8 (2016): 3337-3353.|
|↑2||Story, Erica N., Rachel E. Kopec, Steven J. Schwartz, and G. Keith Harris. “An update on the health effects of tomato lycopene.” Annual review of food science and technology 1 (2010): 189-210.|
|↑3||Spiller, G. A., D. J. Jenkins, L. N. Cragen, J. E. Gates, O. Bosello, K. Berra, C. Rudd, M. Stevenson, and R. Superko. “Effect of a diet high in monounsaturated fat from almonds on plasma cholesterol and lipoproteins.” Journal of the American College of Nutrition 11, no. 2 (1992): 126-130.|
|↑4||Messina, Virginia. “Nutritional and health benefits of dried beans.” The American journal of clinical nutrition 100, no. Supplement 1 (2014): 437S-442S.|