Top 5 Superfoods for Weight Loss
I can't stress enough what the key to weight loss is: burning more calories than you consume by exercising regularly and tracking your calorie intake. But there are certain foods that are the cream of the crop when it comes to keeping your body running like a well-oiled machine -- and making it easier for you to shed those extra pounds. Here are the top superfoods I recommend stocking your fridge and pantry with:
Foods high in B vitamin complexes -- B vitamins are superstars because they help the body convert carbs into glucose aka fuel for the body. They also help with the production of the feel-good hormone serotonin. Vitamins B3, B6 and B12 can be found in wild-caught salmon, shellfish, grass-fed beef and organic eggs.
Foods rich in vitamin C -- Citrus fruits and other vitamin C powerhouses, such as red bell peppers, tomatoes, melons, blueberries, cherries, kiwi and guava, help inhibit cortisol production. Cortisol is a stress-related hormone that leads to an increase in belly fat, so you can see why I want you to quash it.
Dark leafy greens -- These foods contain folic acid, another nutrient that keeps your stress hormones in check. They also contain iron, which helps you maintain your stamina during high-intensity workouts and helps prevents anemia in women. The next time you're making a salad, skip the Iceberg lettuce (which is made up of mostly water) and choose arugula, spinach, kale or romaine. The darker the greens, the more nutritious they are. For bonus points, be sure to combine the greens with some vitamin C -- mandarin orange slices or lemon juice -- which helps with iron absorption.
Quinoa -- This 100 percent whole grain is not only high in fiber (which helps stabilize your blood sugar), it's rich in protein, to help you burn fat and feel fuller longer than eating a more popular grain that lacks nutrients like white rice. Quinoa even beats out other whole grains like buckwheat and oats in the protein department, so get to know this superfood.
Organic coffee -- Yep, you read that right. For anyone who doesn't have an existing health condition that's negatively affected by caffeine, the right cup of morning joe has a ton of benefits. Caffeine has been shown to help fight pancreatic cancer, type II diabetes, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and the list goes on. It's also calorie free -- as long as you ditch the added sugar, artificial sweeteners or cream. And when combined with exercise, caffeine gives you the energy to work out harder and longer. The big but here is you need to stick to pesticide-free beans and limit yourself to no more than 400 milligrams of coffee a day, the equivalent of two strong cups. Got it? Good.