Spring Forward to a Slimmer You with Healthy, Fiber-Filled foods

grains

Photo credit: Curious Cuisiniere

Spring is a great time to enjoy all the bounty of the season. When you eat foods that are in season, they are not only more affordable, they are also fresher and packed with the highest amount of flavor and nutritional value.

It’s also a great time to consider shedding those extra winter pounds. Spring is actually the best time to find foods that are packed with fiber – a weight-loss super star. You can still have your carbs and slim down if you choose the right ones. These fat-burning foods are good choices to keep you fueled, full and fat-burning all day without sacrificing.

By incorporating these high fiber carbohydrates into your diet, you’ll feel fuller longer, get many of the vitamins and nutrients your body needs, and burn fat while enjoying good, healthy food.

BARLEY- Barley is killer appetite suppressant, with lots of soluble fiber that has been shown to lower cholesterol, decrease blood sugars and increase satiety. It also helps decrease inflammation, stabilize blood sugar levels and helps keep you full, longer.  It acts as a bulking agent, which pushes waste through the digestive tract.

WHOLE WHEAT PASTA – Wholegrain pasta is made from the entire kernel of wheat. This means that the important nutrients, such as fiber, iron and B vitamins remain in the pasta.

LENTILS – Although lentils include all the beneficial nutrients like fiber, protein, minerals and vitamins, they are still low in calories and contain virtually no fat. One cup of cooked lentils only contains about 230 calories, but still leaves you feeling full and satisfied. They are great for blasting belly fat.

CHICKPEAS – Super affordable, tasty and (if you buy dried or canned beans) long-lasting, chickpeas deserve a spot in any health-conscious kitchen. Each serving comes packed with nutrients, from iron to B vitamins. And chickpeas have plenty of nutrients that can help you lose weight, too. How? Chickpeas are a great source of protein. Your body burns a lot of energy, in the form of calories, just breaking down the protein.

OATMEAL – Oats are loaded with complex carbs, but the release of those sugars is slowed by fiber, and because oats also have 10 grams of protein per half-cup serving, they deliver steady, ab-muscle-friendly energy. And that fiber is soluble, which lowers the risk of heart disease.

QUINOA Quinoa is higher in protein than any other grain, and it packs a hefty dose of heart-healthy, unsaturated fats. Quinoa is also a great source of fiber and B vitamins, and it’s gluten-free.

KAMUT Kamut is rich in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, and it’s also high in protein while low in calories. A half-cup serving has 30% more protein than regular wheat, with only 140 calories. Kamut helps to reduce cholesterol, blood sugar and inflammation.

BANANAS Bananas help reduce stomach bloating and are a good source of potassium, which can help lower water retention and prevent muscle cramping during a workout. Bananas are also rich in glucose, a highly digestible sugar, which provides a quick energy boost.

SWEET POTATOES –  Sweet potatoes are loaded with fiber, nutrients and can help you burn fat. The magic ingredient here are antioxidants – they stabilize blood-sugar levels and lower insulin resistance, which prevents calories from being converted into fat. They provide a great energy boost before a work out.

BROCCOLI Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable that’s rich in Vitamin C. Vitamin C builds collagen, which forms body tissue and bone, and helps cuts and wounds heal. It has nearly 1 gram of fiber per 10 calories. Fiber helps keep you regular and helps maintain healthy bacteria levels in the intestines. Broccoli also aids in digestion by helping to keep your stomach lining healthy.

BUCKWHEAT – Like quinoa, buckwheat is gluten-free and a complete source of protein, which means it supplies all nine essential muscle-building amino acids the body cannot produce on its own. Its’ high in magnesium and fiber. Fiber helps slow digestion, which wards off blood sugar spikes and hunger, and helps maintain blood sugar control—all important keys to weight loss.

TEFF – Teff is a mild, nutty whole grain and a complete protein that’s rich in vitamins and fiber. Its rich in calcium and iron. Diets rich in calcium have been associated with lower body weight and reduced weight gain over time.

AMARANTH – Amaranth is high in monounsaturated fats, calcium and magnesium, a nutrient that may aid weight loss thanks to its ability to control blood sugar and ward off hunger.

TRITICALE – This wheat-rye hybrid is a great stand-in for rice or quinoa.  Triticale packs twice as much protein as an egg in one 1/2 cup serving. It’s also rich in brain-boosting iron, muscle-mending potassium and magnesium, as well as heart-healthy fiber.

BLUEBERRIES – A cup of blueberries has 21 grams of carbs, but they couldn’t be better for you.  They are loaded with polyphenols—chemical compounds that prevent fat from forming— and that actively burns belly fat.

Article by: Pereg Natural Foods, a leading producer of premium spices and spice blends, ancient grains, gluten-free flours and an extensive line of quinoa and couscous products. 

 

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