Losing weight needs a multi-pronged approach and you cannot just depend on exercise to do it for you. What you eat is just as important. While cutting down on foods rich in trans fats and sugar is a given, you can also use food to supplement your weight loss efforts. There are certain foods which not only help you reduce your calories but also strengthen your body by fortifying your immune system. Including more of these foods into your diet can make you healthier along with helping you reach your weight goals faster.
1. Citrus Fruits
Citrus fruits are tasty and packed with nutrients that boost immunity. They’re a great source of vitamin C which is known for its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. It also helps maintain the integrity of your skin, which acts as a protective barrier against infection. Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant, helping you protect your immune cells against harmful compounds formed in response to viral or bacterial infections. Because these fruits are mostly filled with water, they add fewer calories and help keep you hydrated.
If you’re on a diet, you just cannot ignore kale because of the many health benefits it offers. Kale is low in calorie, high in fiber and has zero fat. One cup of kale has only 36 calories, 5 grams of fiber and 0 grams of fat. It is great for aiding in digestion and elimination with its great fiber content. It’s also filled with so many nutrients, vitamins, folate, and magnesium. Antioxidants present in kale, such as carotenoids and flavonoids, help protect against various cancers.
Yogurt and other probiotics are essential to keep your gut healthy. Your immunity is directly linked to your gut health. Probiotics like yogurt are beneficial bacteria that live in your gut and help stimulate your immune system. They help foster good bacteria while reducing the growth of harmful organisms in your gut. They also help maintain the health of your gut’s lining, which may help prevent unwanted substances from “leaking” into the body and provoking an immune response. Unsweetened yogurt is also low in calories and a healthier dairy option to milk.
Garlic belongs to the allium family, which includes onions, leeks, and shallots. It has been used to prepare medications for thousands of years across various cultures. Allicin, the main active compound in garlic, is known to improve your immune cells’ ability to fight off colds and the flu. Garlic also has antimicrobial and antiviral properties that may help it fight bacterial and viral infections. Garlic is a great way to add flavor to your food while helping your build immunity.
5. Nuts And Seeds
While the calorific value of nuts and seeds is high, you don’t need to have them in large quantities because they’re tightly packed with natures best life-giving nutrients. Nuts also contain healthy fats that your body needs for muscle growth. Selenium, copper, vitamin E, and zinc found in nuts play a role in maintaining a healthy immune system. For copper and vitamin E, have sesame seeds and almonds, and pumpkin seeds and cashews for zinc.
Ginger is another food that you must add to your diet if you want to lose weight. In a study published in the Journal of the Science and Food of Agriculture in 2014, researchers found that overweight rats who were given gingerol (a compound found in ginger) were able to lose weight after a 30-day supplementation period. The rats also showed improvements to blood sugar levels and leptin levels. Gingerol also helps lower the risk of infections caused by E. coli, Candida, and Salmonella. The best way to have ginger is to have it fresh. You can add it to your tea, salads, or curries and sauces.