Although the word “superfood” is frequently used to describe foods that seem generally nutritious, it’s hard to pinpoint what gives them their name. It concerns the effectiveness of said foods: Superfoods have a ‘super’ effect on the immune system, mental health, energy levels, and general life quality. They achieve this due to the variety of nutritional benefits they offer, all while being delicious too. Let’s look at some superfoods that can be great for packing a nutritional punch while helping you stay in shape:
The ideal beverage to help with weight loss is green tea, which has only 2 calories per cup. To observe a noticeable result, try to incorporate two to four cups of green tea daily into your diet in place of sugary drinks or creamer-laden coffee. With about 28 mg of caffeine per cup of green tea, this can be a good substitute for those who are heavily reliant on coffee or black tea for an energy boost. Green tea aids in scavenging the damaging free radicals that lead to weight gain as a result of bodily inflammation. Add in the fact that green tea contains L-theanine, an amino acid that aids in improving cognitive performance, as well as the antioxidant qualities from phytonutrients, and this tea really does seem super.
Sweet potatoes are slow-to-digest complex carbohydrates with a host of health benefits. They contain a variety of antioxidants, including sporamins (where they store proteins), catalase, and zinc superoxide. Adding these to your diet ensures that your body is shielded against inflammation by these antioxidants. Inflammation is a proven reason for weight gain, and treating this at the source with foods that help and heal your body, such as sweet potatoes, should help keep it under control.
Sweet potatoes are full of soluble fiber, which helps with weight reduction by taking up space in the stomach without putting . This keeps you satisfied for a longer period of time, which further will keep you from overindulging. Additionally, fibre encourages bowel movements and stimulates the growth of beneficial microorganisms in the gut, which are a great aid to proper digestion and nutrient absorption. Adding a healthy amount of sweet potatoes to your five-a-day can enhance metabolism and digestive capabilities and therefore help with weight reduction. According to some studies, sweet potatoes also help in reducing appetite. This makes you less likely to snack or give in to cravings, keeping your daily calorie average lower overall. Surprisingly, sweet potatoes also boast lower calories than their regular potato counterparts, which is great for volume eating without the guilt.
Oats are the humble superfood that you may already have in your kitchen. They are far from regular breakfast cereal: oats are a complete grain full of fibre, antioxidants, and necessary vitamins and minerals, and without any gluten too. Most commonly eaten as oatmeal, oats offer several medical benefits, according to studies. These consist of decreased blood sugar levels, weight loss, and a lower risk of cardiac issues. The best form of oats is groats or steel-cut, as these are the closest to nature. They?re an excellent source of plant-based protein as well, so a great way to get protein and nutrients without any meat involved. Add to this that oats help reduce ?bad? cholesterol, and you have a superfood that?s filling, accessible, and affordable.
The hormone insulin, which aids in the absorption of blood sugar by cells, is produced by the pancreas when glucose in the blood increases. Oats have a low glycemic index, which means that take longer to digest. This is in contrast to carbohydrates which cause immediate blood sugar spikes; rather, this produces a gradual increase. This helps keep insulin levels in the blood low. Lower insulin levels can be linked to weight reduction because they enable cells to efficiently take in sugar. When there’s higher sugar, insulin helps convert it into fat stores. Hence, oats help keep blood sugar levels stable, negating the need for the body to process them into fat.
Salmon is an oil-rich fish, so much so that its oil is often sold as a supplement in itself. This is because it is a fantastic source of vitamins, particularly of the B variety. Salmon actually contains over the daily requirement of B12, as well as niacin, riboflavin, thiamine, pantotheic acid, folic acid, and vitamin B6. Just having salmon twice a week can help bring down your risk of heart diseases by 25%.
A fillet of salmon is not only nutritionally dense, it’s also low in calories and contains a whopping 80g of protein. Protein has a regulatory effect on the body?s hunger hormones, making one feel full for longer and countering the addictive, appetite inducing effect of simple carbs. It also aids in muscle recovery after a workout, helping the body synthesise more muscle mass. Salmon is also anti-inflammatory, and inflammation tends to hold on to excess water in the body, increasing water weight. Interestingly, research also points to the omega-3 fatty acids present in salmon helping to decrease belly fat.
Avocados, which most people think are either part of the fruit or vegetable family, are categorised as berries. These nutrient dense foods are full of fibre and substantial protein, which not only helps to keep digestion in order, but also keeps you feeling full and satiated for longer, preventing snacking. They also keep up your energy levels in a sustained way. Avocado is sometimes called nature?s butter because it?s full of healthy fats, and can be used as a substitute for butter on sandwiches or in certain baked goods.
A recent study suggests that eating an avocado every day might help improve the body composition of women by reducing or redistributing their abdominal fat. A randomised controlled experiment with one meal each day for 12 weeks included one hundred and five overweight and obese people. Women with greater visceral abdominal fat, the type that contributes to heart problems, saw it decrease when they included avocado as part of their daily meal. These are promising results for those looking to trim away unhealthy fat while still maintaining good nutrition. Of course, no diet for weight loss is complete on its own; pairing it with a healthy cardio workout like boxing makes it more effective and helps to increase cardiovascular wellness while getting rid of calories. For some starter boxing equipment to help with your fat loss goals, check Starpro Combat.