20 Foods That Help You Lose Weight
20 All-New Superfoods That Are Helping You Lose Weight
A member of the ancient grain family, teff is breaking into the list-making ranks of quinoa, amaranth, and millet. "Full of iron, vitamin B6 and magnesium, this gluten-free grain is typically used to make flour," says Goldfarb. It's also got a high concentration of copper, an important mineral for your nervous system to function properly, according to recent research. And while it's most commonly seen in Ethiopian bread called inerja bread, you can use teff in tons of ways beside traditional baking: in homemade granola bars, a bowl of porridge, or boiled like rice for a nutrient-dense side dish. Because it's high in fiber, it helps spur digestion and aids in weight loss, too.
"There are so many great alternatives to cow's milk out there now, and hemp milk is one of the most unique options," says Goldfarb. Great for children and adults with a lactose intolerance, hemp milk has a thicker texture than the traditional kind and a slightly nuttier taste. "Hemp seeds are loaded with omega-3's, essential fatty acids that the body cannot produce on its own," she says. Not only are omega-3's good for brain health, but a recent study also found that they increase your fat-burning power when you workout. And since most natural sources are sourced from fish, hemp milk is an especially good choice for vegetarians or vegans. Use it in your coffee, in your cereal, or drink a glass straight up.
Next time you're steaming broccoli or slicing a beet for your salad, pause before hitting the trash can—the usually tossed parts of vegetables, dubbed food waste (think: broccoli stems and beet roots), are now nutritional, chef-worthy gold. "They're often as hydrating and nutrient-rich as the veggies they came from," says Danielle DuBoise, a holistic health coach and co-founder of Sakara Life, an organic meal delivery service. "Beet greens have a mild flavor, similar to that of spinach; mix them with lighter greens, like romaine and arugula, for the perfect salad," she says. Likewise, broccoli stems are crunchy and surprisingly sweet—perfect for a crudite platter.
If brown rice is good for you, then black rice isgreat. Not only is it gluten-free and high in fiber like its brown counterpart, but the "forbidden rice" is also insanely rich with antioxidants, says Goldfarb. In fact, research shows that one spoonful of black rice has more antioxidants than a spoonful of blueberries, while also having more vitamin E and less sugar than the fruit. Plus, it's fun to cook with: "Black rice gets stickier than the other varieties, making complicated dishes like risottos easier," says Elmaleh, who loves to see it served alongside quality cuts of beef or fish.
Odds are you've seen some sort of pickled vegetable served up at a restaurant as a side dish, but now they're in the spotlight for their high pre- and probiotic levels. "The fermentation process produces lactic acid, which contains probiotics that are essential for gut health," says DuBoise. And because fermented slaws like kimchi and sauerkraut use vinegar, you can "add spice without inundating it with extra calories," says Elmaleh. The chef says red vegetables, like beets, are great for pickling because they keep their color instead of turning, well, a less-appetizing shade of brown. Don't forget to mix some with Greek yogurt for a trendy savory treat.
A little like cabbage and a smidge like turnip, the kohlrabi is anything but basic, says Tingle. "Kohlrabi is low in calories, is versatile thanks to its crunchy texture, and packs a huge health punch," says Elmaleh. "I often use it in salads as it pairs well with apples and something creamy, like a whole-grain mustard." DuBoise and Tingle love making kohlrabi soup (just boil and puree with spices) to get the veggie's high levels of iron, beta carotene, and potassium, the latter of which provides your body with the energy it needs to muscle through a tough workout.
Gluten-free and high in fiber, seaweed—and its multiple types, including nori and kelp—is a nutritional powerhouse, especially because of its high content of iodine, a mineral missing from most foods (which is why it's usually in table salt), explains Goldfarb. Iodine is key to keeping your thyroid healthy, she says. And it's surprisingly versatile in the kitchen: Try a nori sheet as a wrap instead of sandwich bread, or sprinkle flakes of dulse seaweed into your dinner (it goes with pretty much anything). Pro tip: Next time you're cooking dried beans, toss in a strip of kombu—it helps break down the high fiber content of the beans, so you'll have less gassiness later on, says Goldfarb.
This grain is rich in vitamins A and C, phosphorus, zinc, and fiber, and because it's easy on the digestive system, it tastes great boiled or tossed into a soup, says Goldfarb. But if you're having trouble finding it on shelves, take a peek at your flour, as it's usually ground up in there, or combined with other ancient grains like quinoa, teff, and millet. And with a high concentration of potassium and magnesium, amaranth can help you sleep better, which we all could use a little more of.
"Black garlic is really just aged garlic," says Elmaleh. "The flavors get sweeter and the garlic is mellower." He suggests treating it like umami in Japanese cooking, as a base for sauces and vinaigrettes, or used raw or roasted. And while it has double the antioxidants as regular garlic, the health benefits in an actual serving are likely small because we eat it in such small quantities, explains Goldfarb. That shouldn't hinder you from loading up, though—just maybe check your breath after.
If you're still stuck on kale, try this refreshed variety. Scientists and farmers are playing with veggie seeds, growing unique hybrid plants that have a new taste and look but all of the same nutrients. Kalettes, a mix of kale and Brussels sprouts, taste both sweet and nutty, making them easy to eat both raw and cooked. And "designer" produce like kalettes isn't genetically modified, so they contain the best nutrients of both veggies—making these little guys weight-loss powerhouses thanks to their high fiber, low calorie, antioxidant-boosting benefits.
"The moringa plant is a complete, vegan-friendly protein that provides all nine of the essential amino acids your body needs from food," says DuBoise. While the plant itself, which is found in the Middle East, consists of leaves, seeds, and fruits, moringa is usually sold at health food stores as a powder. Which makes it perfect to toss into your morning glass of green juice: You'll boost your metabolism while also getting satisfying fiber and a hit of protective antioxidants.
Although algae may conjure the image of, well, pond scum, the simple plants are way more than that—they're now known for being nutritional superstars. "Algae provides your daily dose of chlorophyll, which offers a number of health benefits, floods your system with oxygen, and is packed with nutrients like iron, protein, and B vitamins," says DuBoise. One type of algae, chorella, is a popular supplement for vegan athletes, notes Goldfarb, because it has muscle-reparative proteins similar to ones normally found in animals. There's spirulina, too, which is commonly added to smoothies for its high-protein punch, but it can also be worked into soups, salads, dressings, pastas, and baked goods.
"Baobab is an African fruit loaded with antioxidants and adds tons of flavor to a smoothie," says van Wyrk. Its high vitamin C content—reportedly six times that of an orange—helps to protect your immune system, not to mention ward off wrinkles, as she notes the stuff now popping up in skincare products thanks to its youth-boosting properties and free-radical protection. Baobab is another great source of calcium, too, and one fruit actually has twice as much as what you'll find in a glass of milk. Be careful how much of it you consume, though: It has a ton of fiber, so it'll definitely, err, get things moving.
"This ancient grain, which is also gluten-free, is high in prebiotic fiber, so not only will it help you feel fuller, longer, but it will feed the existing, healthy bacteria in your gut, too," says Tingle. It's also chock full of manganese, says Goldfarb, which aids in the development of connective tissues as well as—bow-chicka-bow-wow—the production of sex hormones. And if you've got the blues, "complex carbs like millet help your brain produce serotonin, the neurotransmitter that makes you feel happy," adds Tingle. Better mood, better sex—we're already in love.
Not to be confused with blackberries (which is very easy to do, considering their similar appearance), black raspberries are small fruits that are big on antioxidants. Research found that the fruit, when injected into rats, reduced the rate of malignant tumors by a whopping 80 percent, suggesting the superfood could potentially be a powerful ingredient in the battle against cancer. "You can find them frozen at Whole Foods," says Goldfarb, who likes to toss them in a smoothie. With less sugar—and thus not as sweet as blackberries—black raspberries have a unique flavor. And because they contain the same antioxidants as black rice, the health benefits are similar.
Step up your gluten-free baking game with banana flour, suggests Tingle. "Made from unripe bananas, not only is it packed with potassium, but it also avoids the typical post-baked goods sugar spike thanks to its resistant starch, which the body breaks down more slowly," she adds. And it's crazy easy to substitute into any recipe that calls for white flour. The secret? Reducing the amount of flour a recipe calls for by 30 percent, says DuBoise. So if you're looking to curb a chocolate chip cookie indulgence (like this recipe), use just over one cup of banana flour instead of the three and a half cups the recipe calls for. Likewise, Goldfarb recommends it for anyone who suffers from a gluten or wheat-intolerance; but really its high levels of resistant starch makes banana flour a healthier choice for everyone.
Praised by the beauty world for its anti-inflammatory powers (it's sprayed on practically every model during Fashion Week), nutrition gurus are now looking to drink the stuff. It's rich in the antioxidant flavonoid, the same one found in our one true weight-loss love, dark chocolate, as well as vitamins A, B3, C, D, and E. It's also used as a holistic health treatment for a sore throat, tension, and diarrhea, so feel free to sip when you're sick—grab a bottle at Juice Served Here and from every bottle sold will be sold to clean water projects in Flint, MI.
Video: 20 Superfoods That You Should Eat To Lose Weight Fast
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