When it comes to dieting, most people believe that a calorie is a calorie is a calorie, but this isn't actually true.
Different foods go through different pathways in the body, changing your metabolic state. Certainly no one believes that eating 100 calories of celery and 100 calories of sugar would do the exact same thing to your body!
This is where superfoods come into play. Some foods are so nutrient rich that they are super beneficial when it comes to your health and well-being and a little known fact here is that some superfoods are also helpful weight loss tools.
We are going to let you in on the top 10 superfoods that will not only give you added health, but will help you drop pounds in a variety of ways.
1. Black Coffee
You would never think that your morning cup of Joe is considered a superfood, but with tons of healthy antioxidants and liver protecting compounds, a cup or two of black coffee will not only keep you awake, but it can help you drop pounds. How? The caffeine in coffee is just enough to help you boost your metabolism and burn more calories.
Too many people turn a simple cup of coffee into a high calorie drink with sugar, maple syrup, cream, and more. It takes some getting used to, but you can learn to love the taste of plain black coffee.
Drink no more than 3 cups each day maximum for best results.
2. Cocoa Powder (Cacao)
Who would ever imagine that a nice hot cup of cocoa would turn out to be a superfood that can help you lose weight? Cocoa powder detoxes the body, lowers inflammation, and improves heart health while stimulating the production of serotonin in the brain. This is the feel good hormone that plays a part in controlling your appetite.
Cocoa powder is actually low in calories as well. It’s the unhealthy things we add to it, such as sugar and butter, which make it unhealthy. The simplest way to add cocoa powder into your diet is to mix it into a milk substitute, such as nut milk, and drink it warm.
3. Green Tea
Hands down, green tea is the #1 healthiest drink on the planet. This tea from Japan is overflowing with a healthy antioxidant that other teas and foods do not have. As if that were not enough, this tea also has a bit of caffeine, which like black coffee, can help to boost your natural metabolism, causing you to burn more fat.
Studies found that those who consumed 5 cups of tea each day not only lost more fat than non-tea drinkers, but they tended to lose belly fat!
Aim for 5 cups of green tea (or green tea extract) each day, especially before exercise, when it appears in several studies to increase the level of fat burned both during and after exercising!
By now you have probably heard that salmon is one of the healthiest foods on the planet. Loaded with high quality protein and healthy fats, salmon has valuable iodine and Omega-3 fatty acids that help reduce inflammation, which studies show is a major contributor in the development of obesity.
You should try to add a minimum of 2 servings each week. If you are simply crazy for salmon, feel free to have 4 servings each week.
Although all fruit is healthy and natural, some are just outstanding when it comes to helping you lose weight. Grapefruit is one of those that deserve special mention. This tangy fruit has been the target of multiple studies, one of which found that those who consumed a half of a fresh grapefruit before each meal lost 3.5 pounds over a 12 week period, without changing anything else in their diet!
While scientists don’t really understand how this works, they do know that the group consuming fresh grapefruit lost weight while those taking a placebo grapefruit extract did not!
Simply by adding at least 1 grapefruit each day, you could duplicate the results! Grapefruit can be a bit tart, so choose the pink variety. Add slices to salads, dip them in yogurt, or just enjoy eating them for their pure fat burning juiciness!
6. Chia Seeds
Chia seeds might be tiny, but they make up in nutrition what they lack in size! Besides being the one of the best sources of fiber in the world, Chia seeds have been shown in studies time and time again to reduce appetite.
When consumed with a glass of water, Chia seeds absorb as much as 12 times their weight, turning them into a gel like pudding in your stomach. This makes you feel full for quite some time.
You can simply add a teaspoon or two to your regular diet plan by sprinkling them over salads, vegetable dishes, or yogurt. You can also let them soak in water overnight and enjoy some Chia “pudding” for a tummy filling but waistline friendly dessert!
7. Flax Seeds
Similar to salmon, flax seeds are considered to be superfoods because they contain a healthy plant based source of Omega-3s, which is great news for vegetarians. In addition, ground flax seeds contain huge amounts of fiber, which make you feel full, but don’t add to your waistline.
Flax seeds need to be ground to release their healthy Omega 3s and fiber. To add flax seeds into your diet, buy them fresh, and then grind them as you need them each day to keep them from growing rancid. Adding just one ground tablespoon each day can make a big difference in your weight loss efforts. So sprinkle it over cereal, oatmeal, into yogurt, on vegetables, and into your favorite salads.
It sounds strange that a type of algae can help you lose weight, but when it comes to nutrition and weight loss, spirulina really pans out! This single cell type of algae not only has protein, essential fatty acids, and half dozen vitamins, but it also contains chlorophyll.
Because spirulina can give your body what it needs in the way of nutrition, something most dieters lack due to limited food intake, spirulina can put back, reducing cravings and appetite suppression.
Spirulina taste terrible, however, so opt for an extract in a pill form. Take as directed on the package.
Although many dieters avoid pistachios due to their high fat and semi-high calorie count, if you use them wisely, pistachios can become a dieter’s friend.
One study found that those who added 1 ounce of pistachios to their diet each day lost one inch more around their waistline than those who did not. Scientists believe that this is due to their high concentration of monounsaturated fatty acids, which release hormones that regulate metabolism and the control of insulin.
Replace one of your afternoon snacks with just one ounce (about a handful) of pistachios and watch your waistline whittle down!
One of the most amazing superfoods around that few people seem to know about. Wheatgrass is super high in more vitamins and minerals than you can shake a stick at, including iron, B vitamins, and much more.
Wheatgrass stimulates and cleanses the colon, which helps the body absorb nutrients from its food more completely, causing you to lose weight.
Just one serving (about 32 grams or a shot glass full) contains enough vitamins and minerals to equal a kilo of fresh vegetables, while adding only 5 calories to your diet. Aim to drink two servings each day, or consume a wheatgrass extract if you don’t like the flavor.