Warming foods – cayenne, cinnamon, ginger, chillies, garlic.
Include these thermogenic foods in your diet to lose weight faster. Warming foods like garlic, apple cider vinegar, mustard, cayenne, cinnamon, ginger, and chillis have natural fat-burning properties because they increase your metabolism and continue to burn off energy long after you’ve eaten. They are perfect companions to your weight loss plan.
Cinnamon has the ability to reduce blood sugar and increase insulin levels; cayenne pepper is known to normalize blood pressure and body temperature, and increases blood circulation; ginger also stimulates circulations which helps to detoxify your body; and garlic’s key wonder property is a compound called allicin.
Eat warming foods: Add chillis and cayenne pepper to your stir-fries, soups, pastas and meat dishes. Sprinkle cinnamon on your breakfast cereal, yogurt or in your coffee or hot chocolate. Use ginger in stir-fries, salad dressings, juices and teas. Garlic is a key ingredient in many dishes but try to include more raw garlic in your salads and stir-fries. You can also take garlic supplements. Vinegar can be used in salad dressings.
Green tea is rich in anti-oxidants, aids digestion and regulates blood sugar and body temperature. Drink a few cups a day, five is believed to be the magic number, to stimulate fat loss. Green tea also contains theanine which is know for its ability to reduce stress and to improve the mood.
Eggs are an excellent source of protein and essential amino acids and the pleasure comes at a fewer calories than toast. Contrary to previous belief, the research shows that eggs do not have a negative impact on cholesterol as long as you consume moderately. One egg contains around 60 calories and just 5 grams of fat, and only 1.5 grams of that is saturated fat. It’s been proven that having a protein rich breakfast, such as eggs, keeps you full for longer and curbs the cravings.
Eat eggs: Try hard-boiled or poached eggs with a piece of wholegrain toast, or make an omelette with one full egg and two egg whites for extra protein. Add flavours and texture with red peppers, onion, mushrooms, spinach, ham and feta cheese. Sprinkle with cayenne pepper and serve with chilli salsa on the side.
Olive oil contains mostly monounsaturated fatty acids which lower bad cholesterol without affecting good cholesterol in the body. This promotes healthy heart and helps to prevent inflammation. It’s full of antioxidants believed to have protective effects against certain cancers. Olive oil is also a good source of vitamin E, carotenoids, and polyphenolic compounds.
Eat olive oil: It’s the most versatile oil and can be used in cooking, salads, and drizzled to finish the dishes. Go for the greener oil, the extra-virgin variety, as it contains more antioxidants. Make fresh pesto with basil or sun-dried tomatoes, or whip up a bowl of Spanish Gazpacho soup.
Almonds are full of monounsaturated fatty acids and vitamin E which help to cut cholesterol. They’re also a great source of fiber and protein, and contain more nutrients than other nuts.
Eat almonds: Have a handful of almonds as a snack or add them to a cup of yogurt with some strawberries and blueberries for a delicious breakfast. You can add almonds to salads and pesto, and use it as an alternative to peanut butter.
Cocoa is high in fiber which prevents fat absorption in the body. It contains antioxidants (epicatechins), vitamins (A, B1, B2, B3, C, E) and minerals (calcium, magnesium, copper, zinc, manganese and potassium) which all help to burn fat. It also contains compounds that have the potential to protect against cancer, heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. And don’t forget that chocolate contains some mood enhancing chemicals.
Eat dark chocolate: Pick dark chocolate with high % of cocoa – 65% and higher. Enjoy a couple of squares after dinner or melt and drizzle over fresh strawberries.
Avocados are the superheros of the fruit world. Due to its high fat content, avocados have a bad rap but not all fats are the same and some are in fact good for the health and can help to shed the kilos. The monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats found in avocados contain omega-3, 6, 9 essential fatty acids, which have been proven to boost your metabolism and smash cholesterol. Avocado is also said to be rich in anti-inflammatory and antioxidant nutrients.
Eat Avocado: Have a few slices of avocado with your breakfast eggs or spread on toast and sprinkled with a little salt & lemon juice. Prepare a delicious guacamole with red chilli, lime juice, fresh coriander, garlic and salt. Add slices of avocado to your salads, sandwiches and wraps.
Yogurt should be a part of your weight loss game because it is low in calories and high in calcium, vitamins and proteins. It can normalise your blood sugar levels which will control your cravings and prevent overeating. Good bacteria in the yogurt contributes to colon health and helps to decrease yeast infections. It can also boost your immunity.
Eat yogurt: Pick natural, sugar free yogurt with live cultures or probiotics like Lactobacillus acidophilus or Bifidobacterium. Enjoy it for breakfast with stewed rhubarb and nuts or in a fruit salad. Mix with spices and herbs to create wonderful salad dressing, dips, and marinades.
Cauliflower is extremely versatile and is a great alternative to heavy carbs and starchy vegetables. Because it lacks starch and contains lots of vitamin C and folate, cauliflower is perfect for weight loss. It also contains high amounts of vitamin K and omega-3 fatty acids, which help decrease inflammation.
Eat cauliflower: Perfect in stir-fries and curries, roasted in the oven with balsamic and olive oil, tossed in salads, mixed into fritters and veggie burgers, or prepared as a soup.
The grapefruit diet seems as retro as the Deviled Eggs but there is some good research backing up it’s fat fighting properties. Eating half a grapefruit before a meal can actually help people drop weight. It also has cancer-fighting benefits through compounds like liminoids and lycopene. Red grapefruit is especially useful as it has been shown to help lower triglycerides. Not sold yet? Grapefruit has only 30 calories and is very low in sugar, about 6 grams of sugar per 100 gram serving.
Prevention Magazine, Australia – January 2012
Which would you add to your shopping basket? Any recipes or suggestions on how to use these foods in the kitchen?