When it comes to the infinite number of foods that you can consume, there are good foods and there are bad foods. Most of us know that bad foods need to be avoided whenever possible, but when it comes to choosing the very best foods for your fitness goals, that is an even harder decision. A majority of powerfoods can actually help you lose weight and at the same time provide your body with essential nutrients that enable it to function properly. Let’s take a look at 5 powerfoods that will help you shed weight in a healthy way.
A medium apple packs 4 grams of soluble fiber (equivalent to 95 calories), making it a tasty and filling snack. Apples are known to satisfy hunger and cravings for a few calories so it is not surprising that they can be part of a healthy diet that expedites weight loss.
Moreover, they are rich in quercetin, an antioxidant that can boost your body’s disease-fighting capabilities. A study from Appalachian State University shows that only 5% of people who consumed more quercetin suffered a respiratory infection during a 14-day period, as compared to the other 45% who didn’t.
Salmon makes a great lunch or dinner option since it is packed with protein and omega-3 fatty acids. Consuming Omega-3 fatty acids is known to increase muscle strength, improve insulin sensitivity, which in turn boosts muscle protein synthesis (muscle growth) and increases amino acid and glucose uptake. In addition, aomega-3s are quickly burnt down for fuel, leaving behind only muscle glycogen to keep them stronger and thicker. They are also known to curb joint and muscle breakdown, as well as improve their recovery.
Eating salmon on a regular basis keeps your mind sharp, improves your eyesight, and prevents chronic illnesses. This powerfood can strengthen the heart muscle, lower blood pressure, and accelerate metabolism.
Avocados are rich in monounsaturated fat, which have been proven to be a key component in enhancing fat burn and weight loss. They are especially effective for shedding all that fat from the stubborn mid-section of the tummy. Furthermore, it is a low-calorie food that is rich in vitamins and other important nutrients that help you become fitter. Also, avocados are also pretty good to keep your hunger pangs at bay and can help you stay satiated for longer periods of time. In a study published in Nutrition Journal, individuals who had half an avocado at lunch reported a 40% less desire to eat even after a couple of hours. At only 60 calories, a 2-tablespoon serving of guacamole can offer you the same level of satiety as half an avocado with even more of a flavor boost.
4. Brown Rice
A half cup of brown rice contains 1.7 grams of resistant starch, a healthy carbohydrate that increases metabolic rate and helps you shed more fat. One serving of brown rice packs 108 calories, which makes it a popular choice among people pursuing a fat loss regimen as well for athletes and bodybuilders. This food is rich in dietary fiber and has more than 80% of the daily recommended amount of manganese, which gives you energy from both carbohydrates and protein.
Another benefit of brown rice is that it has high levels of gamma-aminobutyric acid, which is an amino acid that works in a similar way as a neurotransmitter in the body and helps promote hormone growth up to 400%.
You can prepare brown rice in a way that increases GABA levels: just soak it in hot water for around two hours prior to cooking to induce small germination.
5. Dark Chocolate
European researchers concluded that people who eat 1.5 ounces of dark chocolate - around 200 calories- every day for 14 days produced less cortisol, a stress hormone. Cortisol can result in a temporary rise in blood pressure; constantly high levels can increase the risk of obesity, depression, heart problems and more.
Dark chocolate makes a great snack, and is also a stress buster, and fat shedder. Firstly, it controls your cravings, which allows you to remain steadfast with your weight maintenance or weight-loss goals. Secondly, due to the presence of certain flavanols, this sweet treat has been found to lower blood sugar and also trim down body fat, as per the American Chemical Society’s Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. Lastly, it contains a decent fiber content, which helps keep your appetite controlled and increases feelings of satiety. A 3.5-oz. bar of dark chocolate packs around 16% of your daily recommended fiber intake.
However, too much of anything can be bad, so make sure you are very careful about portion control.