When it comes to dieting in the New Year, you should be thinking more and not less. Whether you’re trying to lose a few pounds or just support a healthy energized body, the key is stocking your pantry full of more of these healthy staples!
1.Dark Green Leafy Vegetables
Swap your iceberg or butter lettuce for more nutrient-dense and flavorful substitutes. Dark Green Leafy Vegetables are loaded with an abundance of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. They are rich in chlorophyll, the equivalent of “plant blood,” and at the center of chlorophyll is magnesium, a mineral needed in over 300 enzymatic reactions in the body.
Try arugula, kale, collard greens, turnip greens, swiss chard, spinach, mustard greens, and romaine lettuce.
2. Cruciferous Vegetables
Cruciferous vegetables provide fiber which helps keep you full and keeps your colon healthy. They also provide glucosinolates, which are known to produce anti-cancer effects. They also contain indole-3-carbinol which is thought to have a beneficial effect on hormone balance, for both males and females. If you have at thyroid condition, it is best to consume these in cooked forms.
Try green leafy vegetables such as kale, collard greens, and mustard greens, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts.
These seeds are known for their relatively high composition of anti-inflammatory omega three fatty acids and fiber. Make sure to grind flax seeds before consuming as humans cannot break down the whole seed.
Try flax seeds, chia seeds, and hemp seeds.
A recent study showed that those that consumed a half of an avocado with lunch were fuller and ate fewer calories throughout the rest of the day than those that didn’t. (1)
Unless you’ve been living under a rock the last few years, you’ve probably heard about some of the coconut’s nutritional benefits. There are currently more than 1,500 clinical studies to date investigating the health benefits of coconut in almost every facet of the body. While the coconut oil gets most of the attention, there are vast benefits to using the whole coconut including the water, the meat, coconut flour, and coconut oil.
Recent studies have finally dispelled the idea that dietary cholesterol raises blood cholesterol levels in healthy individuals. Good news, because the protein in eggs has been shown to help weight control (2). Egg yolk is also one of the few rich sources of choline, an essential nutrient for metabolism as well as brain health. (3)
7. Fatty Fish
All seafood is good for you, generally a lean nutrient packed source of protein. However, fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel have a higher proportion of anti-inflammatory omega three fatty acids.
8. 100% Grass-fed Meat
100% grass fed meat is naturally leaner and more nutrient dense than it’s conventional raised counterparts. Studies have found grass-fed meat contain more conjugated linoleic acid (also knows as CLA, a fatty acid naturally found in beef that is thought to cause weight loss) more omega three fatty acids than conventionally produced cuts. It also contains a high proportion of iron and B-vitamins compared to other protein sources. (4)
9. Dark Chocolate
Now here is one that almost everyone can get behind. Dark chocolate contains punches of flavonoids and polyphenols which help to dilate blood vessels and potentially lower blood pressure. Aim for 70% cacao or more, about an ounce a day with as little sugar as possible. (5)
Each spice, including your typical pepper and garlic, as well as your exotic turmeric and ginger, are like little nutrient powerhouses. The more of them you can use every time you cook something the more benefits you will receive and the better your food will taste!
1) Wien, Michelle, et al. “A randomized 3×3 crossover study to evaluate the effect of Hass avocado intake on post-ingestive satiety, glucose and insulin levels, and subsequent energy intake in overweight adults.” Nutrition journal 12.1 (2013): 1.
2) Vander Wal, J. S., et al. “Egg breakfast enhances weight loss.” International Journal of Obesity 32.10 (2008): 1545-1551.
3) Zeisel, Steven H., and Kerry-Ann Da Costa. “Choline: an essential nutrient for public health.” Nutrition reviews 67.11 (2009): 615-623.
4) Daley, Cynthia A., et al. “A review of fatty acid profiles and antioxidant content in grass-fed and grain-fed beef.” Nutrition journal 9.1 (2010): 1.
5) Faridi, Zubaida, et al. “Acute dark chocolate and cocoa ingestion and endothelial function: a randomized controlled crossover trial.” The American journal of clinical nutrition 88.1 (2008): 58-63.