Eating right and managing your weight can be a struggle. However, improving your health and weight can be as simple as knowing which foods have the most bang for their buck. Below are 7 “super” foods that really pack a punch with nutrition. By including these, and other healthy foods, into your balanced diet, you will see great health benefits that go beyond the size of your waistline.
Black beans are not just great in your burrito but are a healthy addition to any balanced diet. High in fiber, folate, protein, and antioxidants, black beans have numerous health benefits for your body (and your waistline).
Their protein and fiber improve digestive tract health and function, consequently regulating blood sugar levels in the body as food is broken down at an even pace.
Their high protein content makes them an excellent substitute for other protein sources, like red meat, that contains saturated fats; and their fiber helps fill you up quickly so you are less likely to overeat.
Black beans are also proven to reduce cholesterol, lower risk of heart disease, and even reduce the risk of cancer.
Their high iron content is especially beneficial to pregnant women, and their low glycemic index makes them a healthy and safe choice for those with diabetes.
The Alligator Pear (as the avocado has been nicknamed) is an excellent source of healthy fat, fiber, and vitamins. Full of monounsaturated fat (the kind of fat you need), avocados can help reduce your cholesterol and your risk of heart disease.
Moreover, their high fiber content—with both insoluble and soluble fiber—works to cleanse your bowels and control appetite. Their numerous vitamins (including B, K, and E) improve metabolism, skin, and bone growth, and numerous digestive enzymes help your body absorb vital nutrients from your food.
“An apple a day keeps the doctor away” isn’t far from the truth. This super fruit is high is both fiber and antioxidants, resulting in numerous health benefits for the consumer.
Studies have shown that eating apples can reduce tooth decay, whiten teeth, protect against Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, decrease your risk for diabetes, heart disease, and cancers, boost your immune system, and control your weight.
Include an apple as part of a balanced breakfast, or munch on apple slices for a healthy snack at work. Your body will thank you.
Kale has been in the spotlight for superfoods lately—and with good reason. Kale is a powerhouse of nutrients and health benefits. Packed with vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin C, and 9% of your daily value of calcium, it is no wonder that people are talking.
These vitamins are high in antioxidants, many of which are associated with reduced risk of cancer and heart disease, lowered blood cholesterol levels, and even improved eye health. At just 33 calories per cup, this superfood will have you feeling healthy and skinny. And who doesn’t want that?
Steel-cut and rolled oats have up to 5 grams of fiber per serving, making them a fitting choice to meet your health and weight loss goals. Besides filling you up at breakfast, oats have numerous added health benefits, including improved immune system function, reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, and lower cholesterol.
These tasty berries are an excellent source of antioxidants and other health promoting properties. High in manganese, blueberries improve bone health and development (particularly important for growing children). Polyphenols (which break down belly fat) combined with low calories (under 100 per cup), also make blueberries are great choice for weight management. Among other things, blueberries have also been shown to improve vision, reduce memory loss, promote heart health, and lower blood sugar.
Yogurt is a great option for those looking to manage their weight and still get their fill. Full of healthy carbs, protein, and fat, a little bit of yogurt can go a long way in curbing your appetite and regulating your blood sugar levels.
Yogurt is also rich in calcium, which contributes to colon health, protecting against related cancers.
Additionally, the culturing of yogurt increases the absorption of vital nutrients and boosts immunity.
How To Use Food To Lose Fat
Have you ever wondered precisely how your body uses the groceries that you consume? We all take our bodies for granted, don’t we? We easily just believe that whatever we need, our body will handle the situation, despite what we eat. This attitude is what gets a lot of us in trouble, or to put it another way “unhealthy.” A lot of what causes deficient health can be located in our daily food ingestion. This article will take a look at how what we devour can use this information to help us lose fat and control the degree of our physical condition.
This is going to be very simple information because an in-depth explanation of how metabolism work would take a full book, but you should be able to get the essence of the theory through this article. Let’s begin.
The basic thing you need to be aware of is that there are three basic food groups that the body employs. These three are carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. They are not all the identical thing and each has a unique job in the world of digestion and nutrition.
Carbohydrates (carbs) are built from molecules that are very easily metabolized by the body and burnt as fuel, much like someone would take wood or paper and fling it into a fireplace or furnace. What happens when this occurs? Power is released and used by the body. So, think about the carbs you eat as the “fuel” for creating energy that your body uses every second of every minute of every day.
With no energy, we would die because it takes energy to move, to think and for your heart and other body parts to perform. The uncomplicated act of moving your eyes requires energy and the carbs are the firewood that allows this to happen. Carbs are used instantly, as soon as they’re introduced into the body and into the digestive process through digestion. This is why they are called the “immediate fuel supply.”
Also be aware of this about carbs. The body can only burn a particular amount. If there are 100 carbs entered in the body and the body only needs 50 of them to exploit for fuel, it will not burn more than those 50. What happens to the remaining 50 carbs? The body provisions them for future use. That’s right, it stores them but first, it converts them into fats. Then it stores them in your butt, your hips, your tummy and in additional areas of the body. Much of it sticks around in your blood vessels.
Fats are used to in reality produce necessary padding and cushions in the body as one of its jobs. It also helps vitamins and minerals operate correctly in the body. Some of the coatings around the nerves are provided by fats. Fats also are used as fuel but only after they are metabolized by the body into a structure that can be burned for energy.
They are transferred into the body cells and broken down into that form and put to use to create that all needed energy. When and if the body runs out of immediate carbohydrate energy supplies, it turns to the stored fats and uses them ONLY when the carbs run out. Until then, they go to the storage depot and they stay there until they are used. If they are not put to use and more fats come into the system and are stored, the fat storage storehouse grows larger and larger. It doesn’t just diminish.
Proteins are the final group to be used as fuel. They are not designed to be used as fuel since we have carbs and fats for that purpose. Proteins are designed to be used to assemble our tissues, organs, and systems. They are known as the “building blocks” of the body. Your heart, your lungs, your brain, and your skin are all made of proteins in unique forms.
The body knows how to build itself and mend itself, which it does with these proteins. Proteins can be used for fuel if unconditionally necessary and only as a last resort like if you’re starving to death.
It is a dangerous situation to be burning proteins because it means that you’re removing pieces of your body to burn as fuel. Can you imagine chopping off a piece of your heart or liver and actually burning it for firewood? That’s what happens when you go into starvation mode.
Now that we understand how the three special food groups work, let’s look at why we gain weight and how we can prevent it by controlling our daily diets.
When we devour something that is made up of lots of carbohydrates our body responds by using as much of those carbs as it can. If it is to burn up those carbs efficiently and use as many of them as it can, it needs your assistance. It needs for you to use as much energy as possible. The more you move around, think or vigorously exercise, the more fuel is burnt. If you provide more energy use than the number of carbs immediately available, the body simply gets in touch with your fat warehouse and commands some fat to be converted into fuel and it burns as much as is required.
If, however, you don’t combine forces with the body and you just lie around or become a couch potato and burn minimal energy, the body merely puts those extra carbs back into the fat storage.
Now, let’s provide a little nomenclature so that you understand what people are talking about when they converse diets in more scientific terms.
You already understand the difference between carbs, proteins, and fats. The word used to describe the amount of energy you use is “calorie.” One calorie is the minimal unit of energy used by the body. So, if you see something that proclaims that you’ll burn 100 calories an hour by doing a specific exercise, you can take advantage of this data to establish how long and how forceful you need to make your workout schedule.
If you know that you need to burn X amount of calories in a one hour period in order to reach a certain level of weight, you’ll know what will be required to do to get to that point by using the calorie count.
“Insulin” is another term you need to understand. Most of us are acquainted with and understand that insulin, which is produced by the pancreas, is crucial to avoid diabetes. Once the pancreas stops producing sufficient insulin, you acquire diabetes and you have to keep an eye on your carbohydrate intake very cautiously and you also have to take either medication to accelerate your pancreas to create more insulin or, if that isn’t effective, you have to take insulin shots.
What most folks do NOT comprehend about insulin is that this is the substance that actually causes the body to store up all that fat. It is the warehouse manager. When you don’t immediately use carbs, it’s insulin that takes the unused carbs and stores them in the warehouse.
When we eat meals high in carbohydrates there is insulin saturating our entire body, just running around the clock, storing fat. That’s what junk food does for you. It calls out the warehouse managers and they do their job very well, 24 hours a day.
“Glucagon” is a different enzyme but it is used very little as long as there are so many carbs running around in the body. However, if and when the carbs begin to diminish and the body cannot obtain enough of them to raze for fuel, it is the glucagon that runs the insulin away and starts to go get that lazy stored fat and put it to use as fuel.
This is a good condition for the body to be in, making use of all that stored away fat. When this happens, you start to lose mass because you’re not putting a whole lot of additional carbs into storage. In its place, you’re burning those stored up fats and with each fat used for fuel, you burn so many calories and after a specific amount is burned, you lose a degree of weight. If you keep this up for a suitable interval of time, you’ll lose a substantial portion of the weight.
So, in review, if the body takes in fewer carbohydrates and you work out regularly and drink lots of water, you will lose weight. It is not necessary that you have to stop taking in ALL carbohydrates but the minimal amount you take in, the more you’ll liberate yourself from excessive weight. Sounds simple, huh? That is the idea. The tough part is actually doing it but it can be a reality if you’re determined to lose that weight properly.
Conquering Food Cravings
Everybody, regardless of how regimented they are with their diet, will every once in a while fall victim to cravings for one food item or another. For people trying to lose weight, these types of urges are much more of a challenge to deal with than for someone simply just sustaining how much they weigh.
Despite whether or not you are trying to lose weight, however, cravings could possibly be the one thing that makes you break your normal dietary habits and overdo the calories you generally attempt to do without.
Most people know that obtaining some kind of exercise and eating healthy, low-fat foods is the key to maintaining good health, but with the hectic and hurried agendas so many people have nowadays, sometimes eating right and getting exercise can be easier said than done. The easiest method to ensure against dietary disaster when you do get those urges during the day is to plan ahead and use a little strategy.
To begin with, try to plan 5 to 6 small meals with one to be eaten close to every three hours of the day and make it a point not to skip any of them. It will take an average of 2 ½ hours for the body to digest a meal, therefore by the time you begin to feel a craving developing, it is nearly time for the next meal anyway.
Try to drink lots of water. Quite often, feelings associated with hunger in between meals are really your body trying to signal thirst. By continuing to keep a bottle of water with you all day and making it a point to take continuous “sips” during the day, you will keep hydrated, feel better, and get rid of one common trigger for cravings to occur.
When you are at home, constantly try to keep some fresh fruit available. If you are hit with a craving, fruit is a better choice than cake or chips. Additionally, make a fat-free dip and cut up some fresh veggies like carrots and celery and keep them in the refrigerator. This provides you with an additional quick and wholesome snack that you can just pick up and eat during a craving.
By no means go to a party, a meeting, or any kind of occasion where there will be food accessible on an empty stomach. This can set you right up to overeat when you get there. Always eat a small meal or at best eat a decent, wholesome snack before you go as this will help to prevent urges from hitting you while there.
If there are certain snack foods which you really enjoy, don’t try to totally cut them out. You will only overindulge in them when you can’t control the urge to have them later. Plan these goodies into your entire day, and simply make them snacks that you have once in a while as well as in reasonable quantities when you do.
Keep in mind that simply because certain food items are fat-free does not mean they may be calorie free. Whenever checking out fat-free snacks, be careful of how many calories they contain and alter your portions appropriately. It is very easy to assume fat-free is “safe” and go way overboard on them.
So when you are hit with hunger pangs, keep in mind these little suggestions and you will have the ability to deal with them without damaging your time and efforts to maintain healthy eating habits.