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Healthy Snacks: Super Slimming Super Foods

These are the super foods, including super herbs and spices, with superpowers to help you lose weight and keep it off.

First, they are nutrient-rich to help you curb appetite, minimize cravings and ultimately – get you to your ideal weight.

Second, they help you burn more calories by increasing your metabolism – so all day you are energetically, automatically inching toward a lighter, healthier you.  These are the ultimate for healthy snacks and meals.

Let’s break it down now and go from the common foods that become “super” when used consciously and then we’ll go to the rock stars of super foods, super herbs and spices that can help you get your slim on (and keep it on).

GET GOING WITH GREEN TEA

Next to mineral spring water, Green Tea is one of the healthiest beverages to drink. From protecting skin to preventing cancer and to taking on the battle of the bulge, green tea hydrates like water. Plus, the antioxidants in it will up your fat and calorie burn rate.

One study found that five cups a day could help in losing TWICE as much weight, most of it around the danger zone….the middle… the toxin-laden adipoise “brown” fat.

Another study found that when combined with exercise, it can help reduce stress, lowering cortisol, a hormone that stores fat.
This fat-burning is done by the antioxidant *EGCG and caffeine. These two trigger weight loss by stimulating the actions of the hormone norepinephrine and this causes the body to burn more fat. So drink up and burn baby burn!

HIBISCUS TEA

The beautiful flowers of Hibiscus are loaded with nutrients, flavonoids and various minerals and this herb helps in lowering absorption of fats and carbohydrates.

The fats and carbohydrates in your body are broken down by hibiscus so that they can be flushed out of body. Hibiscus flowers also have mild diuretic properties to shed water weight and reduce bloating.

Losing weight is 70% about diet, 30% about exercise, say nutritionists. It seems logical and factual to comprise a good portion of that 70% of these superfoods and superherbs and spice selections.

KALE, THE QUEEN OF GREEN

Kale contains practically all the nutrients your body needs in one nifty, leafy package. It’s an excellent source of vitamins, especially vitamin A, C & K. It’s also chock full of minerals, especially calcium and iron and is high in phytonutrients and trace minerals.

Kale is also high in fiber. One cup of cooked kale provides 10 percent of the recommended dietary allowance. Even better, when you eat it raw, you get fiber and water for more fiber and filling, so you feel satiated faster. Eating kale keeps digestion smooth, preventing bloating and water retention while at the same time super-charging your body’s detox process.

This detox function is important when losing the toxin-laden brown fat around your middle. When this stuff starts to burn off, you need to move the toxic by-products out of your body easily and quickly.

Not only does kale help with detoxing by gearing up your elimination system, kale is now recognized as providing comprehensive detox support at the genetic level due to something called ITCs made from kale’s glucosinolates.

This means you detox every cell, not just certain organs. Another, more indirect way that kale helps you detox is that it helps reduce your cravings for all those unhealthy foods out there that can keep you toxic.

BROCCOLI

Cooked or raw, this cruciferous veggie is well-known for its cancer-preventing powers, but with a punch of filling fiber in less than 30 calories a serving, it’s at the top of the list for weight reduction super foods.

GRAPEFRUIT

This is not a myth! Even if you changed nothing else about your diet, eating half a grapefruit before each meal may help you lose up to a pound a week! Grapefruits are an effective super food for weight loss. It is fiber-packed and water-filled so fills you up.

Several studies have shown that getting a daily dose of fresh grapefruit can lead to some substantial weight loss. Grapefruit also contains powerful antioxidants and phytochemicals that can lower your cholesterol, reduce cancer risk, and rev up your metabolism.

A compound in the tangy fruit can lower insulin, a fat-storage hormone, and that can lead to weight loss. It’s also a good source of protein, and because it’s at least 90% water, it can fill you up so you eat less.

BLUEBERRIES

Best known for their anti-aging effects and cancer-fighting properties, blueberries, albeit tiny, are a powerful figure-friendly super food. Only 80 calories in a 1-cup serving and help you feel full with 4 grams of fiber.

RASPBERRIES

Blueberries typically have the spotlight, but raspberries are actually higher in fiber with a whopping 8 grams per cup. As we know by now, the benefit of fiber includes balanced glucose (blood sugar) levels and reduction in hunger and cravings.

STRAWBERRIES

Research shows that strawberries can stimulate your metabolism and suppress your appetite. They can help control blood sugar and promote weight loss in these three ways:

1. Strawberries can increase the body’s production of a hormone that stimulates your metabolism and suppresses your appetite.

2. They can slow the rate of digestion of starchy foods. This helps control the rise in blood sugar that follows a starchy meal.

3. Strawberries also can help your weight-reducing hormones function properly.

To top it all off (no… not with whipped cream) strawberries contain only 49 calories per cup, and comes loaded with vitamin C, three grams of fiber, and some calcium, magnesium, and potassium.

APPLES

Probably the most common food in the world that becomes a super food when used strategically – here’s how.

Eating an apple before having a meal, is an easy way to eat less. Containing just 50-80 calories, an apple does not have any fat or sodium. A Brazilian study even found that women who ate apples before their meals, lost 33% more weight than women who didn’t!

Bottom line with all fruits and veggies, when you start flooding your body with the nutrients these provide, your cravings naturally decrease. Then, as you decrease your junk food, you decrease the toxins like preservatives and flavorings coming in and then eliminate the dangerous toxic fat around your middle .

LEAN, MEAN PROTEIN

5 Reasons Why Protein is Your Super Food Friend When it Comes to Weight Loss

1. Satisfaction and Calorie Saving: Having protein slows down digestion making us more satisfied and less likely to go back for seconds. If this happens over the course of multiple days, your calorie savings can help with weight loss.

2. Bye-Bye to Carb Highs and Lows: Pairing protein with carbohydrate-rich foods slows down the absorption of sugar – the digestion by-product of starch – from your stomach into your bloodstream, which keeps your blood sugar from skyrocketing and wards off cravings from sugar withdrawal.

3. Burns More Energy: Protein has a higher “thermic effect of food” (TEF) compared to carbs and fat, meaning you’re actually burning more calories to process protein than to process the other two.

4. Fires Up Fat Burning: It may be surprising, but it is a scientific fact that your body cannot effectively burn and use fat as energy if it doesn’t have help from either carbohydrate or protein. As you are losing weight, your body loses both muscle and fat (I know, bummer!)

During this process it is especially important that you continue to eat enough protein in your diet. Having adequate protein coming in from your food fuels fat burning while preserving calorie-burning lean muscle.

5. Aids in Muscle Repair and Growth: Protein needs increase (usually after intense exercise) so increasing your protein intake on days that you exercise is beneficial.

TOP PROTEIN SUPER FOODS

AVOCADO

This creamy fruit is also packed with fiber and protein.
While avocados are relatively a high-calorie food, most of these calories come from monounsaturated oleic acid, a healthy monosaturated fat (MUFA) which has been proven to reduce weight gain and may trigger your body to actually quiet hunger

EGGS

Eggs get a bad rap when it comes to weight loss.

However, studies have found that overweight women who ate egg breakfasts lost twice as much weight as women who started their days with bagels.

The reason we include eggs to our superfoods is because they are the best protein source. Consuming eggs in breakfast enables your metabolism to speed up the calorie burning process.

Also, eggs are included in satiety inducing foods; the ones that let your hunger centers sleep for long hours.
And no worries about the cholesterol myth. The study found that egg-eaters don’t have higher bad cholesterol or lower good cholesterol than non-egg-eaters.

BEANS

You can’t get more common than beans but just like mild-mannered reporter Clark Kent, these unassuming, everyday pantry items become your Superman of super foods just when you need them.

Like many of the best super foods for weight loss, beans are packed with fiber and protein and they are low in calories. Each one of them have their own distinct health benefits. Beans help you feel full longer, which means they may work to curb your between-meal appetite. They also give a big fiber and protein bang for a minimum of calories. And they’re cheap!

Lentils: A staple food of India and most Indian vegans and vegetarians get their protein from it. They’re also a cost-effective way to pack in a lot of different stomach-strengthening nutrients at once, including fiber, complex carbohydrates and proteins.

Black Beans: A whopping 15 grams of satisfying protein in one cup and doesn’t contain any of the saturated fat found in other protein sources, like red meat.

Red Beans: Offer protein and fiber (more than 5 grams per serving!). Kidney beans are also rich in “resistant starch” (resistant starch selectively stimulates the good bacteria in our intestines, helping to maintain a healthy balance of bacteria). A 1/2-cup serving packs nearly 2 grams of this slimming carb.

Garbanzo Beans: Also known as chickpeas. These slimming beans pack more than 2 grams of resistant starch per half-cup serving. They’re also a great source of fiber, protein, and healthy fats.

GRASS FED, FREE RANGE MEATS

Bison, lamb and duck top our list of super food meats generally raised without growth hormones or antibiotic feed, who are nourished by natural grazing and foraging. Duck needs to be more closely inspected before buying for assurance that it has been fed and raised in a natural way.
Beef, chicken and turkey are often pumped up with chemicals and fed un-wholesome feeds. These need to be closely inspected before buying – read the labels carefully – and only by from markets – like Whole Foods and Earth Origins – that you trust will properly verify that their meats are pure.

WHOLE GRAINS

Whole grains, another commoner turned super food superhero, actually help stabilize blood sugar — critical to the success of any weight loss regime.

Quinoa: (pronounced “keen-wah”) A staple of the ancient Incas who revered it as sacred, is not a true grain, rather an herb but will include it here as it is mostly classified in the grain family.

Unlike most grains, quinoa is a complete protein and is high in iron, magnesium, B-vitamins, and fiber.

In studies, quinoa is a proven aid for migraine sufferers and like most whole grains, lessens the risk for heart disease. It also contains superoxide dismutase,-an important antioxidant that helps protect the energy centers of your cells from free radical damage.

Quinoa is an excellent weight-loss food because it’s rich in fiber, protein, and monounsaturated fat, plus low-calorie to boot.

Oats: Good for your body in many ways. They help stabilize blood sugar and lower cholesterol and are high in protein and fiber.

The best option is the less refined oat, like steel-cut, rolled, flakes, and bran. Oat flour is an excellent substitute for wheat flour in baking recipes.

Oats are a good source of minerals like manganese, selenium, magnesium and the sleep aid tryptophan. Many studies show oats also assist with lowering cholesterol and reducing the risk of heart disease.

Oats are rich in fiber, so a serving can help you feel full throughout the day. Just a half cup packs 4.6 grams of Resistant Starch (that healthy carb which boosts metabolism and burns fat).

Brown Rice: Unlike white rice, it offers vitamin E (important for healthy immunity, skin, and many essential functions in the body) and is high in fiber. White rice is stripped of its fiber and most nutrients too.
In its whole brown rice form, it contains high amounts of the minerals manganese, magnesium, and selenium. It also contains tryptophan, which aids in good sleep.
Brown rice is a heartier, fiber-packed alternative to less-than-super white rice. A half-cup serving contains 1.7 grams of resistant starch (there’s that healthy metabolism boosting carb again) and burns fat.

Plus, brown rice is a low-energy-density food, meaning it’s heavy and filling but low in calories. One study found that women who ate a higher-energy-density diet gained three times as much weight over six years than women eating a low-energy-density diet.

YOGURT(not the kind with all the added sugar)

A comprehensive study that was conducted on weight loss found that yogurt was strongly linked to losing weight year after year.

It is a well-documented fact that people who eat curd before or after their meals lose more weight than those who don’t. This is because calcium in yogurt prevents fat cells in your body from pumping more cortisol (imbalance of cortisol is responsible for cholesterol, hypertension, obesity, etc.).

Yogurt facilitates digestion and absorption of food items, strengthens and stabilizes the immune system and is a rich source of proteins and vitamins.

Research suggests you should have at least 300g of yogurt each day, 100 g with each meal.

ALMONDS

Nuts are another superfood rich in healthy fats that help you slim down.

Almonds in particular can help you shed pounds. One study showed people who added a daily helping of the nuts to a low-cal diet lost more weight than people who followed the same diet but swapped almonds for a carb-heavy snack like crackers.
They are loaded with fiber and healthy fats and one of your best bets for snacking. Another study found that almonds as snacks helped control subjects’ appetites without causing weight gain.

But they’re not just a weight-loss food, they’re also good for your heart, your skin and your cholesterol.

SUPER HERBS AND SPICES

SPIRULINA

In its natural form, Spirulina is actually blue-green algae and is extremely rich in protein, minerals, vitamins, carotenoids, antioxidants, and many additional nutrients that are known to be good for your health. Because of this, it can make a positive contribution to your health.

The first and most apparent health benefit is weight loss and more and more studies are proving this to be true.
Spirulina is high in protein and other nutrients so if adding this to your diet, you will need to go slow and read the recommended daily allowance.

In terms of weight loss, the following is just a general overview of how much you should take per day relative to how much you weigh:

• If your weight is around 150 pounds, then you should take about 10.9 grams

• If you are approximately 200 pounds, then you should take 14.5 grams

• If you weigh about 250 pounds, then you should take 18.2 grams

DARK CHOCOLATE

Everybody’s favorite super food and most delicious of the healthy snacks can actually help you lose weight — if you’re smart about it with a nibble of dark chocolate here and there.

Dark chocolate is full of MUFAs; a fat that can kick your metabolism into high gear to burn fat and calories. It may also help by curbing cravings for salt, sweet, or fatty diet-wreckers.

Reach for the dark stuff though, not milk or white chocolate. Choose dark chocolate with 70% cocoa content or higher to reap the amazing benefits.

Dark chocolate slows the pace of sugar’s absorption into the blood stream, which helps prevent insulin levels from spiking, and keeps you fuller for longer. It is also good for heart and blood pressure. What’s not to love?

TURMERIC

Curcumin, one of turmeric’s most thoroughly studied active ingredients, reduces the formation of fat tissue by suppressing the blood vessels needed to form it. This may contribute to lower body fat and body weight gain.

GINGER

Another warming spice that has anti-inflammatory properties and is known to help soothe and relax your intestinal tract.

Research indicates that ginger may have thermogenic properties that help boost your metabolism, as well as have an appetite-suppressant effect when consumed.

GINSENG

Some dieters use ginseng for weight loss because it is reported to speed up a sluggish metabolism and increase energy levels. This could help a person to feel better and be more active and thus increase weight loss.

These claims aren’t always universal and they tend to depend a lot on the person. To an extent they can also depend on the type of ginseng being taken, too. American ginseng, known formally as Panax quinquefolius, and Asian ginseng, or Panax ginseng, are some of the most common varieties to look for if using Ginseng.

CAYENNE PEPPER

There is a compound found in this pepper called Capsaicin whicht gives peppers their heat and may help fight obesity by decreasing calorie intake, shrinking fat tissue, and lowering blood fat levels.

Capsaicin’s heat potential is a thermogenic substance that may temporarily increase thermogenesis in your body, where your body burns fuel such as fat to create heat, with beneficial impacts on metabolism and fat storage.

Research suggests that consuming thermogenic ingredients may boost your metabolism by up to 5 percent, and increase fat burning by up to 16 percent.

CINNAMON

This spice may help to boost your metabolism and also has benefits for blood sugar regulation, making it an ideal seasoning for people with diabetes or pre-diabetes.

Cinnamon has been found to significantly reduce blood sugar levels, triglycerides, LDL (bad) cholesterol, and total cholesterol levels in people with type 2 diabetes, as well as increase glucose metabolism by about 20 times

BLACK PEPPER

Piperine is a substance found in black pepper which not only gives it its pungent flavor, but also blocks the formation of new fat cells.

Black pepper was also found to burn as many calories as taking a 20-minute walk. (WOW!)

MUSTARD

Mustard seeds have been shown to boost metabolic rate by 25 percent, which means you’ll burn calories more efficiently. In fact, just 3/5 teaspoon of mustard seeds daily may help you burn an extra 45 calories an hour.

GUGGUL

Guggul is an age old herbal medicine recommended by Ayurveda for various health conditions including weight loss. And what is more important is that modern studies have also supported the effect of guggul herb in weight loss.

The weight loss effect of guggul comes from its activity on thyroid gland. Thyroid hormones are essential for exact metabolic rate which decides how much calories would you burn in a day. As guggul stimulates thyroid function, your metabolic rate comes to the optimum level and weight loss becomes easier and faster.

Added advantages of guggul are lowered cholesterol levels and a good mood too. And because, it doesn’t stimulate your central nervous system, it is a safe herb for weight loss.

NOW TO PUT THEM ALL TOGETHER…

Here’s a little gift of Maria Whalen’s new >>SUPER FOODS, SUPER DELICIOUS << recipe book to help you jumpstart your super food adventure. It’s a free download and even comes with a free webinar invitation where Maria reveals her INVINCIBLE WELLNESS SYSTEM, using super foods and education, to help your body knock out any illness you may have now and stay trim and super healthy for good.

References and credits:

http://www.ors.od.nih.gov/pes/dats/food/balance/Pages/superfoods.aspx

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23072320

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My Wellness Revolution

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