It’s never too late to start changing the way you eat. I’m not talking about subjecting yourself to fad diets or anything that promises X results by X date, I mean filling your body with foods proven to increase your lifespan and the durability of your body and mind. Eating natural foods that aren’t processed beyond recognition is one step towards a healthier mind and body. It’s as simple as adding these to your diet: healthy fats, fiber and fruits, and vegetables.
You’re probably familiar with the concept of foods that are not only natural and healthy but that can also help you lose weight (if that’s what you’re in the mood for). It’s a simple concept, really: get rid of unhealthy sugar and add fruits like blueberries instead, switch up your breakfast to more wholesome carbs and fiber, and increase that legume intake.
But to refresh your memory, here are 10 of the best foods to try if you’re trying to lose weight. Before you make any drastic changes to your lifestyle and diet, please consult a health professional first.
1. Green tea. This nearly-magical beverage is one of the healthiest things you can put in your body. It’s packed with antioxidants that can help you lose weight.
Research has shown that the active compounds in green tea can help mobilize fat from your cells. It works by boosting the effects of your fat burning hormones, according to Healthline.
2. Yogurt. Natural yogurt contains probiotics that can improve the processes happening in your stomach. A healthy stomach can protect against leptin resistance, which is one of the hormonal reasons for obesity. According to a study published in Obesity Research in April 2004, people on reduced-calorie diets who consumed 400 to 500 milligrams of calcium per day from dairy products, getting 1,200 to 1,300 milligrams of calcium per day, increased weight loss by approximately 70 percent.
Make sure you choose full-fat, natural yogurt and not the low-fat or flavored kind. The latter type of yogurt is full of sugar and associated with diabetes and heart disease.
3. Oatmeal. Studies have shown that people who eat a regular oatmeal breakfast instead of cold cereal saw healthier levels of cholesterol and significant weight loss. Why? Because oatmeal provides enough fiber to keep you full and satisfied for an entire morning (or until lunchtime kicks in). Make sure you eat rolled oats rather than the sugary instant packets, according to Healthline.
4. Avocados. What can’t an avocado do? With its incredible dose of healthy fats, it’s both a hunger killer and a belly fat destroyer. Studies have shown that avocados are good for your health and your weight. How does it do this? Well, the healthy fats in the avocado keep you satisfied for longer and fill you up with healthy, natural nutrients. When you feed your body healthy fats, it’s more likely to release stored fats, says Healthline.
5. Barley. This is a fiber-rich grain that hails from the Middle East, most commonly used for baking bread or as a rice substitute. Like any whole wheat and whole grain, it’s an integral part of a healthy weight loss diet. Like our previous healthy fibrous foods, Barley has the power to keep you full for longer, reducing your intake of food by quite a bit, according to Medical News Today.
6. Almonds. Nuts like almonds used to be something to avoid because of the myth of the fatty acid, but studies now suggest that it’s one of the best weight loss stimulants out there. It contains good fats which, like we mentioned before, help the body in many ways (e.g. digestion, bowel movements, a feeling of being fuller for longer), explains Healthline. They’re also delicious and you can get them anywhere.
7. Blueberries. Besides being delicious and a sweet treat, blueberries have tons of health benefits. For starters, they’re an antioxidant, and they contain vitamin C and vitamin E, according to Medical News Today.
8. Miso. This ancient Japanese soup is a mixture of broth and dissolved fermented bean paste with tofu, scallion, and kelp or seaweed. It’s tasty and very flavorful. The magic of miso soup is that per every bowl, there are only 25 grams of calories and 2 grams of protein. On top of that, this soup contains B12 complex and protective fatty acids, says Livestrong.
9. Healthy beans and legumes can help you lose weight in a number of ways. They can curb your cravings for processed foods and unhealthy snacks and boost calorie and fat burning, says the Huffington Post. Beans target belly fat (and stubborn stored fat in general), they help protect your heart and studies have shown that they help with cholesterol and blood pressure.
10. Sauerkraut. Pickled cabbage, like any other fermented vegetable, contains an incredible amount of probiotics and prebiotics. These help keep your gut flora healthy. A balanced gut flora ensures a strong immune system. A healthy gut also protects against chronic inflammation of the stomach and insulin resistance, which are linked to obesity, according to Livestrong.
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