In the world of losing weight and healthy eating, the term superfoods is getting more popular than ever. We hear and read about it every day. Superfoods would give your health a boost and should be on your plate every day.
But what are superfoods exactly and why are they so important? Which superfoods should you eat in order to lose weight? Let’s dive a little deeper into these so called power foods.
What Is Superfood?
Before we dive into the world of superfoods, lets just talk about what this term actually means. This Superfood hype started in the USA and the products are all coming from a specific range of plants. It is not considered as nutrition, nor as medicine. All superfoods are raw products.
Superfoods are foods that are rich with nutrients, they contain multiple specific characteristics which are different for every superfood. They have many advantages for your health and contain lots of vitamins, minerals, fibers, healthy fats and antioxidants. A superfood is a product that contains more than 10 positive characteristics.
Superfood is a collective term for certain products, but this does not mean that “normal” sorts of vegetables, fruits and nuts aren’t superfoods!
Why Are Superfoods Good For You?
When you add superfoods to your daily menu, you will rapidly notice an increase in your vitality and energy. They improve your overall health, your immune system, increase your serotonin production (serotonin is also called “the happiness hormone”) and contain lots of antioxidants.
This means that your concentration faculties improve, you have more energy and you will have a more positive attitude.
They also help to stay away from unhealthy food. It’s true that when you pay close attention to what you eat and to the nature of these products, you tend to be less attracted to unhealthy food. Because let’s be honest: why put all this energy in eating healthy, when all your efforts would be killed by a 1000-empty-calories-burger?
Losing Weight With Superfoods
Superfoods are often mentioned in the success stories of people who have lost weight. This is understandable when you know all the positive effects they have on your health. You can add these products to your diet, but it is important to realize that they are no miracle products.
When on one hand you rely only on the superfoods to do the work and make you lose weight, but on the other hand you continue living an unhealthy life, than do not be disappointed when there are no results.
It is important to have a plan. Make sure you adopt a healthy lifestyle, eat vegetables, fruits, proteins and fats and be active at least 30 minutes per day. When adding the superfoods to your daily menu, it should be absolutely doable to reach your ideal weight without too much willpower and live a healthy life!
10 Best Superfoods For Weight Loss
1. Goji Berries
- Origin: Goji berries are one of the most important superfoods. They originally come from Asia. The berry is quite large, between 1 and 2 cm and is elongated and the color varies from orange to red. They have a sweet taste and are therefore very popular.
- Nutrients: They contain vitamins A, C, E, B1, B2, B6, Omega 6 Fats, Amino acids, antioxidants, Beta-sito-sterol (lowers cholesterol) and 33 different minerals
- Benefits: One of the great benefits of Goji berries is that they take away the cravings for fat and weet snacks. If you eat a handfull a day, your need for unhealthy food will decrease.
- How to eat: In your yogurt, smoothies, salads or cakes. They can also be eaten like a snack, just like that.
- Attention: Goji berries contains sugars, so they have to be consummated with moderation. Also, if you suffer from pollen allergies, you should be careful with Goji berries, as they could trigger your allergies.
2. Acai berries
- Origin: Acai berries originally come from the Amazon rain forest. They are one of the healthiest berries there are. They are quite large, with a diameter of around 2,5 cm and are dark blue. They have a very particular taste which could be described as a mix between blueberries, nuts and chocolate.
- Nutrients: Acai berries are rich with antioxidants and stimulate the immune system.
- Benefits: Very few calories, which make them excellent weight loss allies.
- How to eat: In South America, the berries are often soaked and mashed. The cold pulp is eaten like that. In our western countries, we often find acai juice in the supermarket, which can be used in smoothies or mixed with other fruit juices.
- Origin: Blueberries originally come from North America. They are gaining in popularity these last years. As the name says they are blue, with a diameter of approximately 0,5 cm. They are light sweet of taste.
- Nutrients: Blueberries are rich with antioxidants, vitamin C and vitamin E. They contain lots of fibers, which makes you fell satiated more quickly.
- Benefits: Blueberries are known to break down belly fat rapidly when adopting them in your diet on a regular basis. They also maintain the balance in your glucose level.
- How to eat: There are many possibilities with blueberries. In a fruit salad, yogurt, cake, cookies, pancakes, jam, etc. Off course not all the options are weight proof! Personally, I love them the natural way in my yogurt for breakfast.
- Origin: Coconut oil is a fat that is extracted from the flesh of the coconut. In a room temperature, the coconut oil is hard. Unrefined coconut oil reaches its melting point between 24-26 degrees Celsius. Refined coconut oil reaches its melting point between 30 and 37 degrees Celsius.
- Nutrients: Coconut oil is part of the saturated fat products. It consists of 86% of fatty acids and are easily absorbed by our intestines.
- Benefits: Coconut oil increases the fatburning process, reduces your appetite and helps burn your belly fat. This is exactly what we need when trying to lose weight, isn’t it?
- How to eat: Coconut oil is often used to bake, grill or fry. It can also replace margarine or butter.
- Origin: The name means Supergrain. The Incas have given this plant the name Quinoa. They are small grains, but are not part of the grain family. Even better, they are gluten free!
- Nutrients: Quinoa grains may be small, they contain an impressive number of nutrients. They are rich in proteins, vitamins, minerals, fibers and antioxidants. They are great for your muscles, heart and nerve system.
- Benefits: Quinoa is a fantastic weight loss ally, the proteins make you feel full quicker than just carbs. You will be less attracted to eat unhealthy food. Quinoa contains vitamin B. When you lack of vitamin B, you might find that you’re not losing weight, as your body might have difficulties processing the nutrients.
- How to eat: Quinoa can be eaten as a cold or warm meal. When served cold, it is great as a salad. When warm, it can be served with vegetables or fish/meat.
6. Chia seeds
- Origin: The Salvia Hispanica plant which produces Chia seeds is form Latin America. Chia seeds can be dark and light and do not have any particular taste.
- Nutrients: Chia seeds are full of Omega 3 fatty acids, minerals, proteins, fibers and antioxidants. They are lightly digestible.
- Benefits: As Chia seeds are filled with fibers, they help burn fat. When Chia seeds are mixed with liquid, they will get a gelish substance around them. This makes you feel fuller and avoids you grabbing for something unhealthy. They are also good for people who practice sports. As they contain a high level of protein, they help maintain your muscles and your level of bloodsugar.
- How to eat: You can make meal, cook them or eat them raw. They have a neutral taste and therefore you can add them easily to drinks or other preparations. As they gain in consistency when getting in touch with liquids, it could be recommendable to week them in liquid for about 20 minutes first.
- Attention: Even though Chia seeds have lots of positive characteristics, they also could have some side effects. Some people might have sensitive intestines and because of the high level of fibers, do not support Chia seeds. It is also known for lowering your blood pressure. If you take any medicine, please consult your physician first.
- Origin: Linseed, also called flax seed, grows on the flax plant, which is the same plant that has always been used to produce linen. They are small (5 mm) dark reddish-brown or golden-yellow seeds and have a nut-like taste.
- Nutrients: Linseed contains vitamin B1 and B2, minerals, Omegas 3, 6 and 9 and many fibers.
- Benefits: Linseed is especially known for its benefits with constipation. It’s fibers fill up with liquid in the intestines and therefore stimulate the intestines. They also give you a full feeling and avoid snacking behaviour.
- How to eat: Linseed can be pressed to make linseed oil, which can be used to make a salad dressing or on your bread with some pepper and salt. When you choose to use the grain, you would want to buy it crushed, as the whole grains are difficult to digest (they will leave your body the way they entered it). You can add it to your salads, yogurt, smoothies or homemade bread.
- Origin: Spirulina is a blue green saltwater gen adapted for consumption. It is produced worldwide to make food supplements and comes in tablet or powder form. It has a fishy taste.
- Nutrients: One of the most important characteristics of Spirulina is that is rich with proteins. Dried spirulina contains between 51 and 71% proteins that contains all essential amino acids. It also contains vitamin B, minerals, a smaller amount of unsaturated fatty acids and chlorophyll, which gives it its green color. From all superfoods and nutrients, Spiruline contains the highest level of chlorophyll. This substance has a purifying characteristic and “cleans” your intestines from all the damaging and chemical nutrients.
- Benefits: The high level of proteins makes you feel saturated rapidly and avoids grabbing for something unhealthy. The chlorophyll has a purifying characteristic and “cleans” your intestines, it envelopes the toxic and damaging substances in for example red meat in your intestines, helping slow down the harmful process in your intestines. This does not mean that you can eat red meat without moderation, once a week is more than enough!
- How to eat: If you want to use Spirulina to lose weight, you could buy the tablets. You can take a table 15 to 30 minutes before your lunch and dinner with a glass of water. If you don’t like swallowing tablets, you can buy the powder and mix it through a smoothie for example. The recommended dosage is once or twice 4 grams per day. It is always best to get advice from your physician before starting to take any food supplements.
- Origin: Broccoli originally comes from Asia and was known before only in Italy. In Europe, it is cultivated in the Mediterranean countries, especially around Verona in Italy.
- Nutrients: Broccoli is very rich in minerals like potassium, calcium, phosphorus, iron, zinc and sodium. It also contains vitamins like vitamin B1, B2 and B6 as well as a high level of vitamin C and vitamin A.
- Benefits: Broccoli contains lots of fibers, which give you a full feeling. It counts only few calories, so you can eat lots of it. For these reasons, broccoli is a great vegetable if you want to lose weight.
- How to eat: It can be eaten raw or cooked. In order to preserve as many vitamins and minerals as possible, the best way is to steam it. There are many possibilities with broccoli, you can use it for oven dishes, pastas dishes, with fish, meat, etc.
- Origin: The origins of spinach lie in Persia. It grows all over the world, except for the tropical areas.
- Nutrients: Besides lots of fibers, there are vitamins (A, B1, B2, B6, C, E and K), minerals (potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, folic acid, copper, zinc, iodine, selenium and iron), omega 3 fatty acids and antioxidants.
- Benefits: Like broccoli, the fibers make sure you are satiated and avoid grabbing for unhealthy snacks. It is low in calories, which means you can eat lots of it.
- How to eat: There are hundreds of possibilities with spinach, that is why I like it so much. You can steam it or cook it, stir-fry it, add it in an oven dish or make an omelet with it. It is a great component for a salad, a soup or a quiche. You can also make spinach-smoothies or shakes.
What About You?
There are many more superfoods then the ten I have described in this article, but I can tell from my personal experience that these have worked for me and I have added them to my lifestyle. Like I said in the beginning of the article, these superfoods alone will not make you lose weight or live a healthy lifestyle if you are not prepared to change any bad eating habits you might have. It is important to eat a healthy menu every day and to do some sports.
What are your experiences with superfoods? Are you a fan as well? Do you know any other superfoods? I would love to hear all about it, so please leave a comment!
Thanks for reading and see you around!