The 10 Best Foods for Health & Weight Loss
Forget about trying to achieve optimal health and long-lasting weight loss through expensive drinks and supplements. The most effective way to achieve these goals is by eating nutrient-dense, whole foods.
Whole foods provide all of the macronutrients we need (protein, fat and carbs) as well as all of the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants our bodies require to function at their highest levels. While great health should be your main goal, that great health also benefits you with faster and more permanent weight loss, more sleek, toned muscle, clearer and more glowing skin and healthier, shinier hair. So you not only feel like a million bucks, you look like it, too.
Having said that, not all whole foods are created equal. While you can’t go wrong with fresh, unprocessed foods, some are so exceptionally good for you that they should be a big part of your daily diet. These are foods that are known as “superfoods,” loaded with antioxidants, fiber, healthy fats and other nutrients that are especially crucial to good health.
Here are 10 of the very best of these foods and why it’s so important you get plenty of them in your diet:
1. Organic, grass-fed eggs
Eggs used to get a really bad rap nutritionally. They were blamed for high cholesterol and considered to be unhealthy for those with a high risk of heart disease or high LDL (bad) cholesterol.
But now we know that eggs, particularly organic, pasture-raised eggs, are an extremely healthy protein source that can actually help fight heart disease and high cholesterol. It is important, though, that you stick with organic, pasture-raised or grass-fed eggs, because commercially raised eggs are loaded with antibiotics, pesticides and herbicides and are also much lower in healthy fats than grass-fed eggs.
The reason organic, pasture-raised eggs are now considered such a great food is that they’re extremely high in Omega-3 fats, which are essential to everything from brain function to fighting heart disease. They are also high in HDL (good) cholesterol and actually lower LDL cholesterol. Eggs are also loaded with B vitamins and are one of the best sources of choline, containing as much as 100mg of this important B vitamin in a single egg. At about 80 calories per egg, they are also a very low-calorie source of healthy protein.
Avocadoes don’t just taste great; they’re also amazingly healthy. They are one of the best sources of carotenoids such as alpha-carotene, beta-carotene and lutein, but they also contain the healthy fats that will help you absorb those carotenoids. Carotenoids are fat soluble; they need fat in order to be absorbed by the body. This makes the avocado a great package deal. Carotenoids are antioxidants, which help boost the immune system, reduce inflammation, fight the effects of toxins on your body’s organs and even battle cancer.
3. Nuts (especially raw almonds and walnuts)
Some people tend to think that nuts are too fatty a food to be healthy or to have a place on a weight-loss diet. However, nuts are a nutritional powerhouse. They’re loaded with monounsaturated fats and Vitamin E, as well as a great deal of fiber. All of these things are important tools to lowering LDL cholesterol and your risk of heart disease.
Nuts are also a great snack for anyone on a weight loss diet. They have enough fiber and fat to fill you up, enough carbs to give you an energy boost without spiking your blood sugar, and have that satisfying crunch we often crave from a snack. The healthy fats in nuts also help to regulate your blood sugar, which is a key factor in fat loss.
4. Coconut oil
Coconut oil is one of the healthiest oils you can include in your diet. It contains plant-based (healthy) saturated fats that help to lower total cholesterol and fight heart disease and it’s also packed with antioxidants. In fact, the antioxidant content of coconut oil is so high that it’s considered one of the best anti-aging foods. Antioxidants fight free radicals in the body and reduce or reverse the effects of oxidation.
5. Kale and other dark, leafy greens
Kale and other dark, leafy greens such as collards, turnip greens and spinach are amazing for you. Isothiocyonates in kale have been shown to be effective at fighting no less than five types of cancer, including ovarian, prostate, breast, bladder and colon cancer.
Kale and other leafy greens are also known to be very effective at cleansing the kidneys and liver of toxins and contain as many as 45 different flavonoids, antioxidants that reduce inflammation and boost the immune system.
6. Grass-fed Organic Beef
Beef is another food that has been portrayed as unhealthy in recent years. But new research shows that beef can be extremely healthy protein when it is organic and grass-fed or pasture-raised beef.
Grass-fed beef is incredibly high in Omega-3 fats, which promote heart health, increase brain function, can ward off Alzheimer’s and even reduce the symptoms of ADD and depression.
Beef is also one of the best sources of vitamin B-12, which is only found naturally in animal foods and is highest in red meat. It’s extremely important, though, that you choose organic, grass-fed beef, which is not fed on an unnatural diet of corn or soybeans and isn’t loaded with antibiotics, pesticides and herbicides or hormones.
7. Organic, Grass-fed Butter
Butter is another food that most people think they can’t eat if they want to lose weight, but would you believe that organic, grass-fed butter can actually help you lose belly fat? This is because it’s rich in Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA). Grass-fed cows produce butter that is 3-5 times higher in CLA than the butter from corn-fed cows. CLA not only promotes reduced fat in the abdominal area, it’s also known to be good for your heart and to help fight tumor growth.
8. Wild-caught Salmon
Wild salmon is not only a great, low-fat source of protein; it’s also one of the richest sources of Omega-3 fats. It has been getting great publicity for that, but there are also some very important, but less well-known benefits to wild salmon. It contains several key biopeptides that fight inflammation, help regulate insulin and keep joints and cartilage healthy. It’s important to get wild-caught salmon, though, as farm-raised salmon is loaded with hormones, antibiotics and fed a diet that you would rather I not explain. Farm-raised salmon also has far less of all of these special nutrients.
Quinoa is an amazing food. It can be used in place of virtually any grain such as rice or oats or pasta and yet it’s a seed, not a grain. It’s also one of the single best sources of plant-based protein in the world, with as much as 14g of protein per cooked cup. But the benefits of quinoa don’t stop there.
Quinoa is also higher in some flavonoids than dark berries. These flavonoids are known to fight inflammation, obesity and free radicals. Quinoa contains as much as 43% of the
daily requirement of manganese, 21% of magnesium and almost 20% of folate. All of this in a food that can be eaten as a hot cereal, layered into parfaits, or topped with spaghetti sauce.
10. Chia Seeds
While seeds are becoming more popular and more respected for their nutrient density, chia seeds haven’t really hit the mainstream yet. However, they are incredibly good for you. They are the richest plant-based source of Omega-3 fats, making them a powerful weapon against inflammation and heart disease. They’re also incredibly high in fiber, slowing the digestion and absorption of carbs/sugars and regulating not only blood sugar, but insulin levels.
This is extremely important for those who have or are at high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. It’s also good news for those trying to lose weight. When there is too much insulin in your bloodstream, fat loss virtually stops. Chia seeds can help lower your blood sugar, thus lowering your insulin levels and helping you to shed stored fat.
All of these foods are delicious and easy to find, which makes it extremely easy to benefit from their remarkable nutrient content. Try adding one or two of them at a time to your daily diet, especially if you have never tried some of them. Your body will thank you with renewed energy, better fat-burning and improved overall health.
OK, now that I have shared what foods you should be adding to your dietary regimen, I want to make sure you know how to use them! I know what you are thinking… “Sure, Anyone can tell me that those are good for me, but how do I incorporate them into my diet? What is the best way to cook these foods? Do you have any recipes?”
Do not worry, I am one step ahead of you! Let me introduce these great recipes that not only involve the 10 amazing super-foods that I explained, but they also include A TON of other ingredients that will guarantee you to burn fat faster!
My friend Karine Losier has amazing cooking skills! If you want to know how to enjoy what you are eating with lots of variety in your diet and lose fat while doing so, you will not want to wait one more minute without Karine’s great cookbooks and videos!