How To Boost Your Weight Loss With Super Foods

super-foods-image-design-1Have you ever heard of the term super foods? While looking for ways to boost your weight loss, you may have come across the term in passing.

It’s a popular term when talking about certain types of food, such as fruits and vegetables. They’re known as the unsung heroes of the diet to help improve the metabolic rate, keep the body going, and provide energy when you need it the most.

The problem is that when you look at them, initially it can seem like they are boring. It may feel like you have no variety, and that makes it very difficult to lose weight. But this certainly isn’t true. With the majority of super foods, you can add them to meals to spruce them up! You’re not cutting other foods out of your diet at all, but adding in the super foods to boost your weight loss efforts.

While they’re not a miracle cure, they are beneficial. They also help to boost the health while you are losing weight.

Here’s all you need to know about super foods and using them for your weight loss efforts.

It’s Not All About the Fruit and Veg!

Selection of Autumn fruits and vegetables on kitchen counter

There are a lot of misconceptions about super foods. When you take a first look at the list, you will find a lot of plant based foods. There are plenty of fruits and vegetables that you can enjoy, which can make the list seem boring and unadventurous.

Want some great news? It’s not all about the fruit and vegetables. Sure, these foods make up the base of the list, but there are dairy and fish products on the list too. Salmon is just one of the best options you can add to your diet.

That’s all great, but what’s so important about eating these so-called “super foods?” What exactly do they do and how exactly do they help your diet?

Honestly, the term is more for marketing purposes. Give something the title of being super, and everyone wants to jump on it. People want to be superheroes, while they know that super villains are extremely powerful. It makes sense when they hear the term super food that they want to jump in on that, too.

The term is focused on the type of benefits that someone gets from eating the type of foods. They are extremely healthy for a person, as they’re full of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that the body desperately needs.

Super foods are often marketed as weight loss miracles. Really, they just help to get the body in the best shape possible to lose weight easily and keep it off in the long term. They are lower in calories while offering the protein and fibre that the body will need to feel fuller, so you don’t end up eating as many calories throughout the day. Your body creates that needed calorie deficit to burn the extra calories you’ve held over the years.

There isn’t quite a medical definition for super food. That doesn’t mean they don’t offer medical benefits, but there isn’t quite a term in the medical dictionary that encompasses why we need to eat them or what they will do for the body.

Studies have shown that certain types of foods help to battle against chronic disease. They can prolong life and help someone get the antioxidants they need to fight against cancers and dementia.

They’re Easy to Get Into Your Diet

One thing you may not realise is that super foods are extremely easy to get into your diet.

We know deep down that fruits and vegetables are good for us. We know that we need to eat more of them, but we often think that they’re difficult to get into our diets. All the fatty foods just seem so much easier.

The truth couldn’t be further away from those thoughts. Really, fruit and vegetables are extremely easy to get into our diets.

Like Ive said above, this isn’t about completely changing your diet only to focus on super foods. The whole benefit of super foods is that you can add them into your normal, everyday life. It’s all about adding them into your current lifestyle to boost your efforts.

This could be through adding one or two extra vegetables to your salads or pasta dishes. You may decide to throw in some fruits to your snacks or add something extra to your sandwiches for work. You really can seamlessly add in the super foods to your diet.

Just which Super Foods do You Need to Get?

Now that you know what super foods are and how easy you can get it into your diet, it’s time to look at the foods you need to add in and what you gain from them exactly. You may be surprised at the number of foods that are on the list to give you variety in your diet.

Get Lycopene from Tomatoes

Caprese Salad

Egg and Tomato Salad

The first superfood to add to your list is tomatoes. You likely already get these in some of your pasta sauces, salads, and sandwiches. It’s worth making sure you have them every other day or so.

Tomatoes are full of an important antioxidant called lycopene. This antioxidant is what makes eating tomatoes so important: it’s very hard to get lycopene from anywhere else. There have been studies that show you can protect your skin from harmful rays of the sun just by getting this antioxidant into your system. It’s one of the best defences against skin cancer. You’ll also find that it fights against some other cancers and aids with reducing cholesterol level.

High cholesterol leads to problems with blocked arteries, high blood pressure, and heart disease. So, not only are you losing weight with this super food, but you’ll also improve your longevity.

On top of that, tomatoes are very low in calories. They are mostly water based, and offer plenty of vitamin C without all the extra acids and bitterness that some oranges and lemons have.

Tomatoes are also an excellent source of fibre. Eating them with other fibre and protein filled foods will help you lose weight since you’ll be encouraged to eat less throughout the day. The fibre breaks down slowly, which also helps to keep the blood sugar levels and insulin response down.

I really can’t stress just how easy it is to get this super food into your diet. You likely already eat it without even realising, because it is one of the simplest and cheapest options available. If you don’t, consider getting it through tomato based pasta sauces, salads, sandwiches, and even just eating them on their own as snacks!

Get Phytonutrients from Blueberries

Blueberry Cobbler

Blueberry Cobbler

Out of all the super foods, you’ve likely heard about blueberry benefits the most. Blueberries are chock full of antioxidants to help right against cancer, dementia, and other age-related problems. Antioxidants are essential to the body, but we tend not to get that many because we don’t eat the right type of foods. Fruits are full of them without you having to think about portions really. Blueberries and other types of berries are especially beneficial.

The antioxidants in blueberries are more specifically known as phytonutrients. Rather than just fighting against the development of free radicals in the body like many other antioxidants, they neutralise them. They actively help the cells to grow back normal and healthily, preventing many of the signs of aging and problems with cell damage in the future.

Like tomatoes, blueberries are extremely easy to get into the diet. They’re delicious when baked into muffins and bread, and you can add in many other antioxidant-filled fruits at the same time. Mixing them with black berries and raspberries tend to work out the best since they all have similar textures and juices.

You can also throw in a handful of blueberries to salads, your morning porridge, or even into a tub to snack on throughout the day. They also work blended with a green smoothie so you can benefit from many superfoods at the same time.

Throw In the Acai Berries

Acai Berry Smoothie

Acai Berry Smoothie

Blueberries and raspberries are among the best fruits that you can get easily from the grocery store. But they’re not the best fruits for antioxidants when it comes to world fruits. Acai berries are among the best options around, and you can get them from the majority of health stores or online. In fact, they have become so popular that a lot of grocery stores are now starting to stock them in larger amounts.

Acai berries are a dark red in colour, but you can buy powders and acai supplements from some health stores. They are full of various antioxidants that help to fight against the free radicals in your body and improve your circulation. You’ll also find your immune system is better supported.

As well as the antioxidants, they are full of vitamins A and C, helping to support tissue and cell growth. There are also claims that the acai berries help to support weight loss by encouraging the body’s metabolism to speed up. These claims still need to be researched, but the fibre in them will at least make you feel fuller.

And getting this super food into your diet is extremely easy. You can add the fruit to others and enjoy a super food fruit salad or throw them in with vegetables. It’s also possible to crush them to make juice. You just need a glass or two of acai berry juice to gain all the health benefits you could possibly need.

Pour some acai berry juice into a traveling mug and drink it on the way to work. You really have no excuse with this one.

It is also possible to make the juice into ice cubes. You can then add them to your water to give a little hint of the flavouring while you drink it.

Switch the Spinach Out

Stir Fried Spinach

Stir Fried Spinach

Right now, you may eat plenty of spinach. You’ve heard it’s great for iron levels and is an excellent source of calcium, zinc and many other minerals.

Well, it’s time to make a change to its cousin kale. Kale is full of some of the same phytonutrients as blueberries, which means it fights against the likes of cancers and dementia. As a woman, you may worry heavily about the development of ovarian or breast cancer. The phytonutrients within kale have been linked to neutralising the free radicals that cause both of these female cancers, meaning you can live a long and happy life.

Studies have shown that the phytonutrients also help to boost the liver’s ability to produce enzymes needed to fight cancer. So, if the free radicals still get into the cells and damage them to the point where they become cancerous, you have a better chance of fighting off the disease.

It is also full of the minerals like calcium and iron. If you have low iron problems, especially during certain points in your menstrual cycle, it is worth getting more kale into your diet. You’ll naturally boost the amount of iron in your body for it to absorb and get into the bloodstream. While all dark leafy vegetables are food for this, kale is one of the best options available as it is chock full of iron.

Likewise, it is full of calcium. Many people believe that calcium is only available through dairy products, but that is certainly not the case. Your body needs calcium to build strong bones and teeth. By getting more through your diet, you reduce the risk of developing osteoporosis later in your life.

So, how do you get kale into your diet? It’s another one that you can do without thinking. When making salads, switch lettuce for kale. It does have a slightly more bitter taste, but you can counter that with your other salad vegetables. You can also add kale into your omelets, pasta dishes, and much more. Kale is also a great base for your green smoothies if you want to try them.

Get Protein through Beans

Black Bean Mexican Rice

Black Bean Mexican Rice

No, you can’t use any beans. When it comes to superfoods, black beans are the ones that you want to get. Just a cup full will give you 15g of protein, without even thinking about meat if you’re a vegetarian. You can also get fat, but not the saturated kind.

What does that mean for you? Well, you don’t have food that will clog up your arteries. While the body needs fat, it needs the right kind. Saturated fats just lead to the arteries being clogged up with fat. The blood can’t get through the arteries properly, so your heart struggles to get everything it needs and get the right amount of blood to the rest of your organs. You’re at a higher risk of developing heart disease or having a heart attack.

Black beans are also full of fibre. With both protein and fibre working together, you’ve got one of the best super foods to boost your weight loss efforts. The two food groups that break down the slowest are in abundance on this one food!

Fibre is also an excellent way to keep your digestive system working in full. When your digestive system is backed up, you can end up feeling bloating. Your mood slumps, as you try to work through the food that has caused all this. With this super food, you don’t have to worry, which offers that little extra to aid with your weight loss efforts.

And then there’s the iron and antioxidants that are in large amounts with your black beans. Antioxidants help to keep your immune system fully functioning. When you feel 100%, you’ll find it easier to stick to a diet. You don’t reach for the bad stuff as much so you can create a better calorie deficit. You also feel well enough to move more, helping you burn more calories and tone your muscles.

The iron will also help with energy levels. When your iron levels drop, you will start to feel fatigued and suffer from a shortness of breath. The last thing you want to do is hit the gym! By getting more black beans in your diet, you’ll have better energy levels to go for your runs or make it to those aerobic classes—whatever it is you do for exercise. You’ll find it much easier to stick to an exercise plan and still have the energy to make your meals and enjoy your food.

But how do you get black beans in your diet? It’s not as difficult as it may initially sound. The first thing is to look at making a chilli or pasta dish that incorporates them. Add them in instead of or with your kidney beans and throw them in with the tomato based sources: two super foods for the price of one!

You can also throw black beans into salads, especially bean salads. They work extremely well with white beans, kidney beans, and much more. All these other beans are also excellent sources of protein and fibre, just not as much as the black beans.

If you’ve never tried black beans in the past, use this chance to explore something new. This helps the super food boost your weight loss efforts even more. We tend to get bored of following the same foods and meal plans, so adding something new and exciting helps us stay on track a little easier.

Reduce Cancer Risk with Broccoli

Broccoli Cream Soup

Broccoli Cream Soup

You’ve heard that broccoli is good for you. The problem is you never really wanted to believe it. It looks like mini trees, and who really wants to eat that?

Well, you should start to add it to your diet. Broccoli really is one of the best vegetables for your health needs, and it will help you with your weight loss efforts. It’s the super food that extremely cheap and versatile at the same time.

Did you know that you can get the majority of your daily intake of folic acid with just a cup of broccoli? If you’re pregnant, there’s never a soon enough time to add it to your diet. You will make sure your little one grows perfectly. And one cup full really isn’t that much when you consider the size of broccoli!

It’s also chock full of vitamin C, which is one of the most important vitamins to add into your diet. The body can’t make this one or store it in any way. That means once you eat it, it will be absorbed and used. If you go a week or so without vitamin C, your body doesn’t get it at all. You’re left with an impaired immune system, so you’re more susceptible to colds and other illnesses.

On top of all this, broccoli is full of phytonutrients that help to prevent the growth of tumours. They can also help you recover from tumours if you have them and are facing some treatments because of them.

You also get plenty of iron, calcium, and many other nutrients. Overall, broccoli is one of those vegetables you should add to your daily intake if you want to live a long life, full of strong bones and energy. And when it comes to weight loss, strong bones and energy are essential. You’ll have the ability and mindset to get out and exercise, while you stick to a healthy and balanced diet.

Getting broccoli to your diet is extremely simple. You can switch your chips and dips for raw broccoli sticks. Add in some carrot and cauliflower for a few more nutrients. Create a tomato salsa to dip your broccoli into so you can get rid of some of the bitterness within the vegetable.

Cooking it is also a simple option. Throw it into your stir-fries and other Asian-inspired dishes. You can also add it into pasta bakes or just enjoy it on the side of your fish or meat with your potatoes.

Get Healthy Fats on a Daily Basis

Healthy Homemade Avocado Toast

Healthy Homemade Avocado Toast

Have you heard that avocados are worth adding to your diet? They are certainly one of the super foods to think about adding to your diet on a daily basis.

This vegetable/fruit—which one do you class it as?—is full of healthy fats. Yes, your body desperately needs some fats, but the right type. Saturated fats aren’t healthy, but that’s not what you get with this green ingredients. They don’t saturate in the body, meaning that they don’t clog up the arteries. However, the fats do help your body absorb all the minerals that you take in with all the other super foods.

The downside is that avocados are higher in calories than most other fruits and vegetables. That is if you eat a whole one on a daily basis. You can get away with half or a quarter of an avocado with your salads or to add to your sandwiches. You can also throw some into your omelettes or even into pasta dishes and green smoothies.

Instead of making your traditional sandwiches with lettuce and tomatoes, opt for avocado and tomatoes and get two super foods in one.

You can Switch Avocados for Olives

Vegetable Salad in Olive Oil

Vegetable Salad in Olive Oil

If you don’t like avocados—they can be bland and bitter for some—then you could opt for olives instead. Whether you love green, black or white olives, you’ll get the same monounsaturated fats from the super food.

Olive oil is created from olives, and it is considered one of the best types of oils to use in your cooking. However, olives on their own are much better for you when it comes to your weight loss efforts. One olive has just 7 calories, so you get all the benefits without the majority of the extra energy!

And olives still have all the fibre within them. When they’re breaking down in your body, they’re not as likely to create the insulin response since there won’t be the glucose. You don’t have to deal with the sugar crash, which often leads to you eating far more calories than you really need to. On top of all this, you’ll have the energy throughout the day to keep your exercise efforts up.

To add olives into your diet easily, just throw them into a salad or add them to your pasta dishes. If you’re a pizza fan, you can also add them in with your other toppings or just have them on their own for a snack. Many restaurants will offer olives as a side or starter dish, so consider opting for them when it comes to your next meal out.

Boost Your Blood Clotting Capabilities

Kale Salad

Kale Salad

While kale offers larger amounts of iron and other minerals, there’s one thing that it’s not as good as compared to spinach: helping you to clot your blood. Spinach is full of vitamin K, which is a necessary vitamin that many people forget about. It’s because of this that we create the white blood cells needed to clot blood and keep it thicker in our bodies.

Clotting the blood helps to build stronger bones, too. This is necessary if you want to live a long and happy life while losing weight. You see, if you don’t get enough calcium in your diet, losing weight can lead to osteoporosis and cause your bones to become brittle. While you’re exercising, you may find that you’re more susceptible to broken bones.

It’s time to avoid these problems by adding this superfood to your diet. Spinach can be drunk through a green smoothie, or you can opt for throwing it in salads instead of lettuce. You could even consider replacing lettuce in sandwiches with it or opting for using it as a bed for your cooked salmon and other super foods.

Get Your Omega-3 Each Week

Salmon Steak

Salmon Steak

I’ve already mentioned salmon in passing. This is definitely one of those super foods that you want to add to your list, but you don’t need to eat it every day. The best thing about fish is that you just need to have it twice a week to get all the health benefits.

Salmon isn’t the only super food for omega-3 fatty acids. All those oily fishes, like mackerel and tuna, are worth opting for on a regular basis. And they can easily be added into your diet. The downside is they tend to be quite expensive. This is why only adding them in once or twice a week is great. You can get a large selection of frozen oily fish and only defrost a little at a time.

Omega-3 is a necessity. It balances out the omega-6 in the body, helping to reduce inflammation and improve the circulation throughout your system. Inflammation is one of the biggest causes of chronic pain. Our body reacts to something—often something that is good for us—and creates pressure on various nerves. Carpel tunnel, fibromyalgia, and more are all linked to inflammation in the body.

Of course, the inflammation also makes it difficult to keep the blood flowing properly. The organs don’t get everything they need, and this can lead to them not working as they should.

On top of all this, high levels of omega-6 are linked to high cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, and more. We’re more likely to suffer from cardiovascular disease and stroke.

Let’s not forget the benefits to the brain with omega-3 fatty acids. They help to keep inflammation within the brain down, improving memory function and protecting the cells within this part of the body. You’re at a lower risk of developing age-related brain diseases, such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease by getting more oily fish into your diet.

Salmon, in particular, is full of B vitamins and selenium. The selenium has been linked to the prevention of cell damage. Not only does this help protect your mind, but you also protect your body from the development of cancer.

And how do you get salmon into your diet? Well, first you can cook a salmon fillet and enjoy it with those healthy vegetables already mentioned above. You can also add some to your breakfast or flake it up into some pasta with a tomato based source.

Fill Up with Fibre-Filled Oats

Apple Mango Cream Cheese Oat Bars

Apple Mango Cream Cheese Oat Bars

Now we can’t forget the health benefits of getting more oats in our diets. They are another super food and have no link to fruits and vegetables! See, I told you there were some different types of foods.

Oats are packed full of fibre, making them a great way to start your day. After that long fast while you sleep, your body needs energy, and it wasn’t nutritious energy. By getting oats, you’ll give your body something to break down slowly, making you feel full all the way up to lunch time. You can even add plenty of fruit to add yet more fibre and plenty of nutrients. Remember when I mentioned blueberries and porridge just above?

Fibre isn’t all made up the same. Oats include a special type, which has been linked to lowering your cholesterol levels and lowering the risks of heart disease and other cardiovascular problems.

And oats aren’t just good for the fibre. They’re full of potassium, magnesium, and phytonutrients. The magnesium levels help with the regulation of blood sugar within the body, especially if you opt for wholegrain oats. At the same time, that fibre is helping the Oats digest slowly, which also encourages the oats not to sugar so quickly. Your body releases less insulin, so you aren’t at as high a risk as others of developing type 2 diabetes due to your body not becoming insulin resistant.

You don’t have to worry about eating porridge every single morning for the rest of your life. Oats are great for making healthy snacks, including oat biscuits and adding into muffins. You can pack your healthy snacks full of nuts, seeds, and other super foods to keep you going through the day.

Don’t Forget the Eggs

Healthy Scafata with a Poached Egg and Asparagus

The debate over whether chicken or eggs came first doesn’t matter. When it comes to superfoods, it’s the egg that you want to focus on.

Eggs are an excellent source of protein, especially the yolk, with just 72 calories. In fact, if you cut out the yolk you will still get a great amount of protein into your diet. For those who are vegetarians but still eat eggs and other similar types of animal products, they are a great way to make sure you keep your protein levels up.

Research has even shown that this superfood will help you lose weight. You just have to add it to your morning routine, and you’ll be good to go! And there are so many ways that you can do this.

Eggs can be high in cholesterol, but this is the good cholesterol that you want. Good cholesterol will protect your arteries by creating a barrier and allowing the blood to flow through the arteries freely. Having a high amount of good cholesterol in your body can help to remove the bad cholesterol from it. The downside is many tests will only check your overall cholesterol, rather than tell you which type is higher.

The most effective way of adding anegg to your diet is by opting for an omelette. You can throw in all the other super foods mentioned above, including kale and beans. Raw egg is sometimes added to green smoothies, but do be careful with this addition. Unfortunately, there are health risks, and you should always consult your doctor first. You can also boil eggs and add them to your lunchtime salads if you want a little variety.

Stronger Bones with Prunes

Traditional Czech Cake With Plums And Prunes

Traditional Czech Cake With Plums And Prunes

Did you know that it’s not just the calcium that helps to build stronger bones? Polyphenols are an excellent addition, and you can get them through eating dried plums—better known as prunes!

Okay, so they sound like the food to eat when you get old, but they are definitely something you should add to your diet a little more often. Just try adding them once a week at first. It’s best to limit the amount, anyway. While they are a super food, prunes are dried fruit and contain a lot of sugar. The benefit of prunes compared to other dried fruit is that there is still plenty of fibre and other nutrients that aren’t lost through the dehydration process.

The amount of fibre is definitely beneficial. We’ve already looked at how this can help boost your weight loss by feeling fuller.

Prunes are among the easiest super foods to add to your diet. Throw them into a tub with some nuts and seeds as a snack while you’re at work. You can also blend them up with some Greek yoghurt or almond milk to create prune juice. Of course, you could just eat them on their own when you really want a snack.

Throw in Some Walnuts

Pumpkin Cheesecake With Almonds And Walnuts

Pumpkin Cheesecake With Almonds And Walnuts

While oily fish is a great way to get the omega-3 fatty acids into your body, you do need to watch out for the amount that you eat. Yes, there is such a thing as having too much of a good thing.

So, when you still need to get those omega-3s, take a look at adding some walnuts in your diet. Do I need to go into the reasons why? Omega-3 is one of the best fatty acids to add into your diet, and it really doesn’t matter where you get it from, as long as you get it!

The benefit of walnuts is that they also contain plenty of fibre to help keep the digestive system working. The fatty acids also help to improve co-ordination.

Just throw some walnuts in with those fruits that we’ve already mentioned above. You can also add them to salads or just eat them on their own. Consider blending them up into some homemade smoothies and if you’re going to bake cakes or muffins, don’t forget to include them!

The downside to walnuts is that you may be allergic to them. If you have a peanut allergy, you’re not necessarily going to be allergic to other nuts. Talk to your doctor to find out what it is about the peanuts that you’re allergic to and consider another testing to find out.

Super Food Recipes You Need to Try!

Now that you have a list of great super foods to add to your diet, it’s time for some new recipes to try out. There are just so many ways that you can mix all the ingredients together, and none of them is really that difficult to do in the kitchen. You just need to be able to follow the instructions.

Kale, Almond, Banana Smoothies

Green fresh healthy smoothie with fruits and vegetables

Let’s start with something simple, like a smoothie. You’ll just need a blender to mix everything together.

Start with:

  • A cup of kale
  • A half cup of chopped almonds
  • A banana
  • A cup of soy milk (better than almond milk for weight loss, but you can add almond milk instead if you want)

Pop all of them in the blender and just mix together. You can pour straight into your glass and be on your way. Store any extra in the fridge and have later on.

You could add some acai berries or chia seeds to this recipe if you want to add a few other superfoods to the mix. If you don’t like almonds, considering substituting for walnuts or sunflower seeds instead.

Sweet Potato and Egg Hash

Fried Eggs and Sweet Potato Hash

Eggs are your excellent source of protein, while sweet potatoes give your body the complex carbs with that little bit of sweetness. They’re better for you than regular potatoes, and can often curb the sweet craving so you keep the calories down and boost your weight loss efforts.

There’s no need to follow an exact recipe for this. Just throw in a mixture of your favourite super foods into the mix. This can include:

  • Tomatoes
  • Onions
  • Avocados
  • Spinach/kale
  • Olives
  • And maybe even some salmon

Just make sure you have three or four sweet potatoes (depending on size) and four eggs.

You can also add some cayenne pepper and other spices if you want to add that little extra bite to your morning meal.

How do you make it? It’s simple:

  • Chop up your sweet potato into cubes. Add them to a frying pan with a drop of olive oil.
  • Throw in your other ingredients, except the eggs. You’ll need to cook until softened and slightly brown.
  • Crack your eggs over the top of your hash in the four corners of your frying pan. Cook until your eggs are just the way you like them.

Breakfast is served! You can enjoy with a morning cup of coffee and know that your stomach is satisfied all the way until lunchtime.

A Delicious Salmon and Avocado Salad with a Stacking Twist

salmon salad

When it does come to lunchtime, consider adding some fish to your diet. You can create a salmon salad but with a slight twist. Instead of throwing it all together on the plate with either your salmon on top or crumbled among the vegetables, create a stacking sandwich with your fish acting as the bread.

You just need some avocado, tomato and spinach with your salmon breast. Slice the breast through the middle lengthways, and layer your avocado, tomato and spinach within in. Create the sandwich and enjoy with a squeeze of lemon over the top.

It really is simple, and you can prepare it before you go to work. It will take just five minutes if you need to do it at lunchtime.

For something a little different, you could add some butternut squash slices into the vegetable mixture too and sprinkle with some almonds, walnuts or even basil pesto.

Make a Banana Sushi Snack

Sushi rolls with smoked eel and banana

Banana sushi is just something fun to create and allows you to pack together some different types of super foods.

Just peel a banana and then cover with your favourite nut or seed butter (depending on your allergies). You can then top with some hemp seeds, chia seeds, acai berries and walnuts. Just throw in a mixture to get some different tastes and enjoy your superfood snack.

Slice up the banana, so it is easy to pick up pieces with your fingers and eat as a snack. It’s also a great option to add for guests in your home.

This isn’t really an option for work but is great to have with your kids in the house. They can realise from a young age that healthy can be fun and interesting.

Create a Super Food Trail Mix

Trail Mix in Bowl on Blue Towel

Trail mixes are great for snacks and lunch boxes. You can make your own superfood version, by taking a mixture of super food snack items and throwing them into a bag.

Some of the best options include:

  • Walnuts
  • Dried plums
  • Raspberries
  • Blueberries
  • Chia seeds
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Acai berries
  • Pistachio nuts
  • Raisins
  • Cranberries
  • Hazelnuts

All of them have their own benefits and ways that they will help you lose weight. The best part is that you won’t need to eat too much of it before you feel full. The trail mixes are also great alternatives to bags of crisps or bars of chocolate when you want to eat something late at night or while you’re watching a movie.

It’s Time to Get Super With Your Food

Now is the perfect chance to start adding some super foods to your diet. There are just so much available, and they’re not all fruits and vegetables. You don’t have to find inventive ways to get them into your diet, and you likely already include plenty of them.

Put your health first while you boost your weight loss efforts. The benefit of many of these foods is that they are full of fibre and protein, which are both essential for helping you feel full throughout the day.

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5 Foods To Naturally Build Collagen For Glowing, Youthful Skin

 

If you wish the face you see in the mirror looked younger and more vibrant, then we need to talk.

A lot of our beauty woes are because after the age of 35, our body starts producing less and less collagen. That means our skin loses firmness and gradually starts to wrinkle and sag. Many of us try expensive cosmetics, supplements and even surgical procedures when the best solution might be much simpler.

Some of the most basic foods can do wonders for our skin.

Unfortunately, the standard American diet (SAD) pretty much ensures we’ll fill our bodies with processed, sugary items that only accelerate the skin’s aging. So I want to share five of the simplest things you can eat to rev your body’s collagen production and get that glow back.

1. Bone broth

When you eat bone broth, you’re really eating cooked collagen. This is a powerful way to restore collagen in your skin and make those wrinkles disappear. Sure, you could find a lot of products with “collagen” on the label, but dietary collagen is more potent — it mainlines collagen to your cells.

Additionally, the gelatin derived from the collagen you get in bone broth heals your digestive tract which is a surefire way to prevent inflammation and aging skin.

2. Vegetables

Dark leafy greens like spinach and kale offer antioxidants that protect against the free radicals that breakdown collagen. Red veggies like beets, tomatoes and red peppers are full of lycopene, which boosts collagen and protects against sun damage. Orange produce like carrots and sweet potatoes are loaded with vitamin A, which restores collagen that’s been damaged.

3. Fish and lean, grass-fed meat

Omega-3-rich fish like mackerel, salmon and tuna along with grass-fed meat (which is also high in omega-3) protect the fatty membrane around skin cells. The omega-3s plump up the cells, making them bouncy and full, which translates to more youthful-looking skin.

These foods also help reduce inflammation and provide essential amino acids to keep your skin firm and elastic.

4. Berries

Blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries … they’re all loaded with antioxidants that fight those skin-ravaging free radicals while boosting collagen.

5. Garlic

Garlic offers lipoic acid and taurine, both of which help rebuild damaged collagen. It’s also an excellent source of sulfur, an essential part of collagen production.

So the next time you’re tempted by an ad for Botox, grab a big bowl of bone broth and a handful of berries instead. There are lots of foods out there that can help keep your skin beautiful and youthful from the inside out, but just getting plenty of these basics will be a big improvement for most of us.

There are lots of other foods that can help keep your skin youthful. But just getting plenty of these basics would be a huge improvement for most of us.

 

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Exercising for Cellulite Reduction

Exercising is great for your body and overall health, whether you are doing it for fun or to banish cellulite from your thighs and butt. Incorporating some of the exercises below—in conjunction with an anti-cellulite cream—will give you an extra edge in your fight against cellulite.

What Are The Best Cellulite Exercises?

Of all the different cellulite treatments, exercise is by far the most reliable. The best exercises for getting rid of cellulite can be divided into two categories: cardiovascular and anaerobic. Cardiovascular exercises usually involve your whole body and increase the circulation of your blood, while anaerobic exercises use weights to target the muscles that surround your cellulite.

Cardiovascular Exercises

Cardiovascular exercises can help rid you of cellulite in several ways. For starters, they increase circulation, which helps your body filter out toxins and the stubborn fat formations responsible for the prominent appearance of cellulite. They also target large muscle groups, such as the quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes, where cellulite is often found. Some of the most effective cardiovascular exercises are:

  • Swimming
  • Walking
  • Using a treadmill
  • Bicycling
  • Using an elliptical
  • Rowing
  • Using a stepper
  • Playing squash
  • Cardio Kickboxing

Anaerobic Exercises

Did you know that your body burns an extra 50 calories per day for every pound of muscle you have? This is where anaerobic exercises come in. These exercises alter your body by using weights and weight machines to target specific muscles and build up muscle tissue. By targeting your quads, hamstrings, and glutes with weight-based exercises, you increase blood flow to these areas and increase the amount of fat which is burned around the thighs and buttocks.

Anaerobic Workout Tips

If you have access to a gym, find out which machines can help you perform squats and leg curls and make them your new best friends. These types exercises are the most efficient means of targeting the muscles that you need to strengthen in order to diminish the appearance of cellulite from your legs and butt.

Start out with a weight which is challenging, yet not too heavy. If your first few repetitions are easy but your muscles start to feel fatigued by the end of the set, then that is probably the best weight for you. You should not be breezing through your exercises, but you should not be straining with the weights after your first rep, either. Experiment with different weights to find the best set for you.
In order to strengthen your muscles, increase the amount of weight you use by 5-10 pounds about once every week. Try doing three sets of exercises on each machine you use, rotating from one machine to the next, with a two minute break between each set. Bring a small notebook with you to keep track of which machines you use, how much weight you lift on them, and how many sets you complete, in order to track your progress.
If you don’t have a gym membership, there are still ways to practice these exercises at home with inexpensive equipment (such as an exercise ball) or even common items that you can easily find in your own home. For example, squats can be performed on a dining room chair: just sit down slowly over the chair, but stop right before your posterior touches the seat and slowly stand back up. For extra benefits, hold yourself in place for three seconds before rising from the squat. Just remember to make use of the repetition and set guidelines outlined above. Most importantly, check with your doctor prior to beginning any exercise routine, especially if you have not been doing intense exercises such as these for a long time.

5 Reasons To Foam Roll Every Day

 


By Nora Tobin

What I’m about to tell you isn’t ground-breaking, but it’s important, so listen up: start foam rolling!

It’s one of those things that seems like it would be simple and easy, but for some reason most people forget about or put it off because it seems like one more thing they need to add to an already-intense workout. But trust me, while the process may seem tedious, it works wonders for your body and mind. Here are five reasons to foam roll everyday and a few exercises you can incorporate into your routine.

1. Break up scar tissue.

Breaking up scar tissue and adhesions between the skin, muscles and bones is crucial for a healthy body. When you foam roll, you put targeted pressure on your fascia, releasing trigger points where you’re feeling pain. The process relieves pain caused by shin splints and IT band syndrome, both of which are very common in runners, and more generally, usually clears up problems caused by tight fascia and muscles.

2. Improve your range of motion.

Foam rolling releases tension in the muscles, allowing the body to move more freely. This takes pressure off the joints and allows for more dynamic moves during physical activity. This is important for everyone from high level athletes to the weekend warrior.

3. Save money.

A massage is pricey and is not usually a weekly or daily occurrence. Fortunately, foam rollers achieve the same physical benefit as massage for a much cheaper price. A one-time purchase of a foam roller will give you hours of massage without putting a dent in your wallet.

4. Improve circulation and removes toxins.

The process of foam rolling stimulates the lymphatic system and helps push toxins out of the body. This helps with better oxygen delivery to the cells, improving circulation and rejuvenation.

5. Improve performance and speed results.

Starting and ending a workout with foam rolling is an ideal way to enhance the quality of the training session. When you start with foam rolling, you’re getting rid of any stagnant energy in the muscles. It’s a great way to prepare the body for movement and allows you to get deeper in each position. By ending the workout foam rolling, you’ll recover faster and rebuild muscle. This leads to faster gains and better results.

Convinced? Here are two simple foam rolling movements you can do every day.
Quad Foam Roll

Start by coming onto your right side with the foam roller right under your right quad. Place all the weight into your hands and let your feet come off the ground. Slowly move the foam roller up and down the leg by shifting your weight forward and back.

Begin rolling the IT band (side of the quad) from your hip down to the knee. Once you’ve spent 30 seconds on that side, switch to the rectus femoris (front of the quad). After 30 seconds, switch to the adductor longus and gracillis (inside of the quad and groin). Repeat on the other leg. You can continue to switch back and forth between legs for however long you like.
Hip Foam Roll

Start by sitting on the foam roller with your left leg crossed over your right, hands directly behind you. Gently rock from side to side to release tight glutes. After 30 second switch sides.

Come onto your stomach with hands on the ground, foam roller under the iliacus (front of your hip). Gently roll this area out for 30 seconds before switching sides.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

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What to Eat to Get Rid of Cellulite

Approximately 9 out of every 10 women have cellulite. Pockets of fat cells that push up against connective tissue cause these lumps and bumps to settle on your curves. And even though cellulite is common, getting to the root cause can be complicated. A number of factors can play a role in the development of cellulite:
  • Environmental stress
  • Excess estrogen, caused by a hormonal imbalance or being overweight
  • High or imbalanced blood sugar
  • Genetic predisposition to having cellulite
  • A diet high in sugar and salt
  • Lack of exercise

With all these different potential causes, it may seem difficult to pinpoint why you have cellulite and to find the right tactics to will improve it. Fortunately, most of the causes can be helped through a healthy lifestyle and, especially, the right diet.

Eating well will help you maintain a healthy weight and prevent added cellulite and other body fat from taking up residence on your figure. In addition to keeping you slim, certain foods have properties that are especially helpful in fighting off cellulite and its causes. Try including these foods in your diet to help minimize the appearance of cellulite.

1. Lean Meats

Cellulite can develop as a result of a breakdown in the skin’s connective tissue, known as collagen. Collagen is a type of protein, so eating high-protein foods like lean meat can help to strengthen collagen fibers and reduce cellulite. Plus, diets high in lean protein sources can help prevent blood sugar imbalance, another cause of cellulite.

2. Red Wine

Resveratrol, a compound found in grape skin, might have estrogen-lowering abilities. Red wine has a naturally high concentration of resveratrol, so the occasional glass may have a positive effect on your hormonal balance and your cellulite.

3. Flax Seed

Flax seed is a good source of the protein collagen. Collagen is the main component of connective tissue. Getting enough collagen in your diet could help your body build stronger skin and connective tissue that will reduce the appearance of cellulite.

4. Blueberries and Blackberries

According to Lori L. Shemek, PhD, a certified nutritional consultant, dark colored berries like blackberries and blueberries boost collagen production in the body.

5. Chili Peppers

Vitamin B6 is another nutrient that fortifies connective tissue. Chili peppers give you a nice B6 boost; plus, they contain capsaicin, a phytochemical that has metabolism-boosting effects.

6. Salmon

Salmon is high in protein, omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants, which are all useful for eliminating cellulite. Omega-3 fatty acids are involved in repairing skin tissues; protein helps build connective tissue; and antioxidants help breakdown fat cells. More reasons to enjoy eating this healthy fish!

7. Sunflower Seeds

Sunflower seeds are another B6-rich food. The body uses B6 to repair and strengthen connective tissues. Sunflower seeds are also a natural diuretic. Diuretics aid in the elimination of excess water and bloating, which can make cellulite more noticeable.

8. Cocoa

Natural cocoa is loaded with antioxidants that can help your body break down fat cells. Plus, the caffeine in cocoa can dehydrate fat cells. Dehydrated fat cells will give your skin a smoother appearance. Remember to get your cocoa from low-sugar sources. Diets high in sugar can make cellulite worse and promote weight gain.

9. Vitamin C

Foods high in vitamin C, such as oranges, lemons, broccoli, bell peppers and kale, can help strengthen your connective tissue, and in turn, reduce the visibility of cellulite fat.

10. Water

Get plenty of hydration to plump your skin and make it look less lumpy. Drinking water can also help your body eliminate toxins from fat cells, which will make the cells less visible.

… And Don’t Forget Exercise!

Regular exercise is an excellent cellulite fighter! It helps strengthen connective tissues and reduces total body fat. This combination of benefits makes exercise a very effective tool in separating yourself from cellulite.

Remember: a lifestyle that includes proper hydration, regular exercise and a diet of whole natural foods is your best defense against unwanted cellulite.

– See more at: http://www.fitnessrepublic.com/nutrition/healthy_eating/what-to-eat-to-get-rid-of-cellulite.html?utm_source=newsletter#sthash.d3lwzDRc.dpuf

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How Caffeine Helps Fat Burning and Exercise Energy by Mark Dilworth, BA, PES

Here’s a great article on caffeine, fat burning, and energy by Mike Dilworth. Perfect for those of us who LOVE coffee Enjoy!  Bab

How does caffeine affect your fat burning and exercise energy? First, more caffeine is not necessarily better. One or two cups of coffee will help your exercise performance. Improved exercise performance will increase calorie burn and fat burn.

Researchers from the University of Luton reviewed 39 published caffeine studies. They found that caffeine users improved endurance exercise performance and short/high intensity exercise performance by 12.4% when compared to groups using placebos.

Caffeine is a part of many people’s daily diets. It is found in many foods and drinks. Research has shown that one cup of coffee has positive effects on decision-making, alertness and reaction time.

There are also several studies that report that regular coffee drinking (with or without caffeine) may help prevent diseases such as type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease and liver disease. Coffee is antioxidant-rich due to the high level of polyphenols. This helps protect your body’s cells from damage due to free radicals in your body.

Designer coffees loaded with sugars don’t help your fat loss, weight loss and health. Keep that in mind when you go to your favorite coffee house.

The risks associated with moderate caffeine use are pretty small (about 3-4 cups a day). If caffeine is part of your diet, use it wisely. The U. S. Food and Drug Administration has stated that caffeine does not increase the risk of or contribute to heart disease, cancer, bone loss or high blood pressure. If you already have one of these conditions, you may need to consult with your doctor before drinking coffee regularly.

Of course, coffee does not work magic. You still need to consistently do things such as eat right, exercise regularly, sleep well, etc. For instance, I can drink 2 cups of coffee before a workout that helps me burn 700 calories. That’s great only if I don’t eat 1,200 calories two hours after my workout!

I have to mention a little about energy drinks.   Any fat loss and weight loss goal achievements will be accomplished by your hard work and a well designed fitness program.

You can accomplish your fitness goals without ever drinking 1 ounce from an energy drink.   Energy drinks often cause you to crash lower than the previous “energy high” provided by the drink.

You don’t need energy drinks to accomplish your fat loss and weight loss goals. You will get plenty of energy from proper nutrition and adequate sleep.

Remember also that energy drinks are many times loaded with sugar which might hinder your nutritional goals. Energy drinks are also usually loaded with caffeine. Save your money on energy drinks and try a good cup of coffee.

Enjoy your workout today–with or without caffeine!

Mark Dilworth, BA, PES
My Fitness Hut

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