As summer approaches, plenty of people are trying to slim down. While "quick fix" fad diets might seem enticing, experts say more sustainable changes—like upping your fruit and vegetable intake—are key to weight loss success that lasts. "For successful long-term weight loss, people should focus on high-quality foods that offer both macro and micronutrients," explains Colleen Chiariello, RD, the chief clinical dietitian at Syosset Hospital. "Nutrients such as protein, fiber, healthy fats (omega-3 fatty acids), antioxidants, phytonutrients, vitamins, and minerals should be the staples of one's meal plan." Foods that contain several of these components are considered "superfoods."
Superfoods have been shown to help support nerve and muscle function, immune health, blood sugar control, heart health, bone strength, and protection from free radical damage, all while also curbing appetite, Chiarello says, making them ideal for people trying to shed pounds. Ahead, find weight loss experts' top superfood picks for anyone on a diet.
"Hemp seeds are frequently referred to as hemp hearts, which is apropos because I 'heart' these little guys when it comes to healthy living and weight loss," says Brigitte Zeitlin, RD, a registered dietitian and owner of BZ Nutrition. Hemp hearts are high in protein, which helps keep you satiated to prevent unnecessary snacking and curbs food cravings, she adds. "I love to use hemp hearts in my morning oatmeal, sprinkled into my plain Icelandic yogurt, or on top of my avocado toast. For dinner, I'll toss some on top of my veggie stir-fry," Zeitlin says.
You've seen it at your favorite coffee shop, your yoga studio, and even in the grocery store, but this naturally sweet beverage is more than just a tasty treat. "Coconut water, particularly the green-dwarf variety, contains biologically active compounds that have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory capabilities," notes Caroline Cederquist, MD, a bariatric physician and co-founder of bistroMD. Plus, there's some evidence that coconut water may help regulate blood sugar levels in those with type 2 diabetes.
And don't feel like you have to buy the fancy bottled stuff to get the benefits: "Try buying a whole green coconut, which usually has holes in the top that you can pop a straw through and drink the water straight from inside," Dr. Cederquist suggests.
"Matcha is like green tea on steroids, giving you almost 10 times the amount of antioxidant benefits of regular green tea," Zeitlin explains. It's high in an antioxidant known as EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate), which studies have linked to a more efficient metabolism. "Boosting your internal calorie-burner helps to burn off those excess pounds even when you're not at the gym," she says. Try it in a hot latte with unsweetened almond milk or in your daily smoothie. Here's where you can learn more about the benefits of matcha.
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You probably know you should be eating more greens—and that's especially true if weight loss is your goal. "From spinach and romaine lettuce to Swiss chard and kale, if you are trying to lose weight (or eat healthier) leafy greens should be included in your meals," says Suzanne Klaus, RD, a dietitian at Forward Fitness. "They are packed with vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. This is great because if you are deficient in certain nutrients, it is harder to lose weight."
What's more, leafy greens are high in fiber content, helping you feel full faster and longer. "When thinking about how to get your leafy greens in, salads are a no-brainer," Klaus says. "I also love adding spinach and Swiss chard to my eggs in the morning. If you aren't a fan of the way they taste just yet, try adding spinach to a smoothie. You won't be able to taste it!"
"Kohlrabi is a relative of wild cabbage, and has been consumed in India for thousands of years," Dr. Cederquist explains. "Just like broccoli, this is a cruciferous vegetable, with anti-diabetic and anti-inflammatory properties. You can find both red and green kohlrabi, and both of these varieties also have an anti-cancer effect as well. Sauté these just like you would cabbage or broccoli, just some water, salt, and steam will do the trick!"
As long as you're controlling your portions, avocado is an amazing food to eat when trying to lose weight. "A little healthy fat with every meal is important for weight loss," Klaus says. "It can help prevent you from becoming ravenous between meals and eating everything in sight. It also helps keep your blood sugar from spiking and crashing, another quality that is great for weight loss." Plus, by pairing avocado with other foods, like in a salad, your body better absorbs the fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K) that are provided by the greens and other veggies, according to Klaus.
"Mushrooms are getting more popular lately as an ingredient in teas, coffees, and soups," notes Stephanie Schiff, RDN, a registered dietitian at Huntington Hospital. "They are low in fat and calories and have a satisfying, almost meaty flavor called umami. Adding them to your diet can help you lose weight since they can help you feel full without adding a lot of calories. Swap half the beef in burgers with finely chopped mushrooms, and you've made your burgers healthier and easier on the waistline."
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This one might not be for the faint of heart, but it has some legit health benefits that make it worth considering. Crickets are 69 percent protein, high in vitamin B12, and a good source of both omega-6 essential fatty acids and omega-3's, says Alana Kessler, RD, a dietitian and yoga instructor. Plus, they contain all nine essential amino acids, she says. It gets better: "They have twice as much potassium as spinach, as much calcium as milk, and they are a source of heme iron—the more easily absorbed form of iron commonly found in red meat." Crickets have so much going for them that companies are now turning them into a tasteless powder form that you can add to smoothies.
They make every superfood list for good reason: "Known for their antioxidant power and fiber content, blueberries are a win for health. They can also be a win for weight loss," says Amy Goodson, RD, a dietitian and board-certified specialist in sports dietetics. "They're low in calories and naturally sweet. If you're craving a treat when trying to lose weight, try using blueberries to sweeten your oatmeal or yogurt—or even puree them as for a sauce to add to your favorite breakfast dish. Remember, fiber helps you feel full faster, which is essential for successful weight loss." Curious how to make blueberries even better? Read how to improve on these eight superfoods.
Turns out, those funky-colored carrots you've spotted in the produce aisle are weight loss winners loaded with healthy antioxidants: "Black carrots are rich in anthocyanins, which are the plant compounds that give them their gorgeous color as well as their health benefits," Dr. Cederquist says. "Try juicing them for a beautiful, purple-colored beverage rich in healthy phytochemicals."
"Bone broth has so many wonderful benefits for someone who is trying to improve their health and lose weight," Klaus says. "Ever wonder why people recommend soup when you're sick? It has a lot of anti-inflammatory and healing properties. If your body has a lot of inflammation, which can be common for those who consume a diet higher in sugar and processed food, fat loss will be more of a challenge," she explains. Bone broth is also beneficial for gut health, which is key for fat loss. "If your gut isn't functioning optimally, you may not be absorbing all the nutrients from your food, and weight loss will be harder."
As for how and when to get it, Klaus likes to have a cup of bone broth in place of her morning coffee. "If you are buying it at the store, look at the ingredients," she suggests. "If there is sugar in it, choose a different brand. If you want to make it at home, you can buy bones from a local butcher and some grocery stores."
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The classic fruit can also keep extra pounds at bay. "Apples contain non-digestible compounds that promote the growth of good bacteria in your gut associated with weight loss," explains Tanya Rosen, nutritionist for Teasane and owner of Nutrition by Tanya. They also contain pectin, an ingredient that slows digestion and helps you feel full, she says. "It's a chain reaction: The slower you digest, the fuller you feel, and the less you crave."
Grabbing one for a snack is always a good move, but Rosen also recommends considering this fruit for dessert. "A baked apple is one of the easiest healthy desserts to make. Just bake your cored apple in the oven with a few shredded almonds, your choice of sweetener, and cinnamon in the middle, and wait until it is soft. I like to top mine with some granola or rolled oats for that extra crunch. Just be sure not to skip eating the peel, which contains much of the fruit's nutritional benefit."
Another gut-friendly pick, kefir is your microbiome's friend, Kessler says. It's chock-full of "good bacteria" and protein, making it a double-win. Add eight ounces of the stuff a day to your diet to reap the nutritional benefits. "Be wary of fruit-flavored kefir, as it contains added sugar," she warns. And if you're not keen on dairy: "The fermented nature of kefir supports individuals with lactose intolerance, but coconut kefir is an option as well if you are dairy-free."
"I know it may sound counterintuitive to add in chocolate to lose weight, but trust me," Zeitlin says. "One ounce of dark chocolate a day can boost your weight-loss game by satisfying your sweet tooth and keeping sugar cravings at bay." That's because it tastes rich and is full of healthy fats, making it less tempting to overeat than the more processed version of chocolate, she explains.
Plus, you need to make room in your plan for treats. "If you overly restrict the sweeter stuff to lose weight, you are setting yourself up for a binge later on, undoing all your hard work," Zeitlin says. "By adding in some dark chocolate daily, you'll feel more empowered to make healthy choices without feeling deprived. Stick to one-ounce of dark chocolate as a treat after dinner, and make sure that it is 72 percent cacao or higher."
"Loaded with protein and omega-3 fatty acids, salmon is one of the most satisfying proteins out there," Goodson explains. "It will help you feel like you actually ate something on your diet plan versus feeling like you need more food. Plus, if you have started an exercise plan while losing weight, the inflammation-fighting omega-3 fats in salmon can help you recover faster." Not a huge fan of fish? "Try it blackened in corn tortillas with veggies and avocado to help acquire the taste for this nutritious fish," she suggests. If you need more superfood inspiration, here are 12 delicious eats you didn't know were superfoods.
A healthy diet should include a wide variety of nutritious foods for sufficient intake of all nutrients, including vitamins and minerals. Foods to include are breads, pastas, lean meats, fish, fruits and vegetables. A healthy diet can help you maintain a healthy body weight and decrease your risk of many diet-related chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and some cancers.
Healthy diets contain a variety of foods
In general, we should include a range of nutritious foods and eat:
plenty of breads and cereals (particularly wholegrain), fruit, vegetables and legumes (such as chickpeas, lentils and red kidney beans)
low-salt foods, and use salt sparingly
small amounts of foods that contain added sugars
reduced-fat milk and other dairy products.
It is also important to drink an adequate amount of water.
Physical activity and healthy eating
A good balance between exercise and food intake is important, as this helps to maintain muscle strength and a healthy body weight. At least 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity, such as walking, is recommended every day.
Keep fat to a minimum
Adult diets should be low in fat, especially saturated fat. Saturated fat, which is the main fat in animal products, fried foods, chocolate, cakes and biscuits, is more easily deposited as fat tissue than unsaturated fat. Saturated fat can also be converted into cholesterol and cause blood cholesterol levels to rise. Dietary fat helps with the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K). Small amounts of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats may have some health benefits when they are part of a healthy diet. Monounsaturated fats are found in nuts, olive oil and avocados, and may help to lower the bad type of cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein or LDL). Polyunsaturated fats are generally thought to lower blood cholesterol levels. Polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in fish, nuts and seeds, are thought to have an anti-clotting effect on blood, to reduce the risk of heart disease and to possibly lower blood pressure.
Eat and drink less high-kilojoule foods
The total amount of energy-dense (high-kilojoule) foods you eat may be as important as the total amount of fat in your diet. To reduce the energy density of your diet, you need to increase the amount of plant foods, such as wholegrain breads and cereals, fruit and vegetables that you eat. This will provide essential nutrients, help to make you feel ‘full’ and also reduce the amount of fat in your diet. High energy drinks such as sports drinks, cordials, soft drinks, fruit juice, energy drinks should also be limited.
Eat foods rich in calcium and iron
It is important for all Australians to eat foods which contain iron and calcium. In particular:
Calcium – is important for bone health especially for infants, women and girls.
Iron – carries oxygen around the body and is especially important for women, girls, vegetarians and athletes to reduce the risk of anaemia.
Drink alcohol in moderation
Alcohol is high in energy (kilojoules) and should be consumed in moderation. Men should drink less than two standard drinks per day and women less than one standard drink per day. One standard drink is 375 ml mid-strength beer, 100 ml wine or 30 ml spirits. Alcohol should not be given to children and is not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women.
Healthy diets for babies and children
There are guidelines to follow that help encourage a healthy diet for your infant or child, including:
Infants – it is encouraged for babies to be breastfed for the first year of life. In most cases, breastfeeding should be the only source of food in the first six months. If you use formula, be careful not to overfeed or underfeed your baby.
Sugar – children should eat only a small amount of foods that contain sugar and avoid food with added sugar, such as lollies, fruit drinks and soft drinks.
Low-fat diets – are not appropriate for infants and young children under two years of age. A diet low in fat, especially saturated fat, may be considered for older children.
Drinks – infants and children should be encouraged to choose water as their preferred drink.
Don’t skip breakfast
Children who skip breakfast generally have poorer nutrition. Their diets contain less:
vitamins such as riboflavin and niacin.
Skipping breakfast becomes more common as children get older. Some schools have introduced breakfast programs because they were concerned about children who skip breakfast. Children generally perform better at school when they have breakfast. They are also more likely to maintain a healthy weight when they consume a healthy breakfast. Adults who eat a healthy breakfast are more likely be a healthy weight and more productive at work.
Tips for healthy breakfasts
Some easy-to-prepare, healthy breakfast ideas include:
fresh fruit with wholegrain breakfast cereal and reduced fat milk. Toast with a thin spread of margarine (polyunsaturated or monounsaturated)
toast with cheese and tomato. Hot or cold reduced fat milk
rolled oats made with quick oats. Add sultanas and reduced fat milk. Toast with a thin spread of margarine (polyunsaturated or monounsaturated). Orange juice
baked beans on toast. Orange juice
fruit or plain yoghurt with fruit.
Where to get help
Dietitians Association of Australia Tel. 1800 812 942
Coconut oil for skin care is one of the most effective oils
It is high in moisture and soothes your skin
Coconut oil can be your guardian in many ways
Coconut oil for skin care is one of the most effective and non-toxic oils available today. Not only is it high in moisture, but also helps soothe and heal skin due to its high content of fatty acids and antibacterial properties. With Valentine's Day around the corner, I'm sure you would want to make your skin super soft and your hair well-conditioned and
nourished. What better way to do it than to use coconut oil for skin and
hair care. I think it's increasingly essential for both men and women to have a
nourished skin and well maintained hair. Coconut oil can be your guardian angel in many ways.
Coconut Oil For Dark Circles -This hydrating oil is excellent for
vitamin E. -It has anti-ageing properties which makes it perfect for massaging the delicate eye area and helps lighten the skin around this area as well.
almond oil in equal quantities, coconut oil massaged around the eyes will help reduce dark circles. Apart from soothing tired looking eyes, it can diminish lines and
wrinkles as well. -Massage the eye area in a slow and gentle movement in upward strokes and leave the oil on for at least an hour before either washing it off or using the following coconut oil skin care eye mask.
Coconut Oil Eye Care Mask 1tsp coconut oil 1tsp paste of Marmara almonds 1tsp fresh grated potato 2tsp milk -Mix all the above ingredients and after massaging the eye area with coconut oil, apply the above mask under the eyes covering the dark circles. Relax and rest for about 15 minutes before washing off with milk and then water.
Coconut oil is excellent for dark circles
Coconut Oil For Lip CareCoconut oil is one of the best remedies for dry and
chapped lips. With Valentine's Day around the corner, I'm sure all of you would want kissable lips! -Coconut oil helps protect dry, chapped lips and makes for a perfect lip balm. -Due to its non-toxic nature, it can be safely applied on the lips as it won't have any damaging effects. -While cleaning our face, we quite often leave out our lips. Here's a super sugar lip scrub with coconut oil to make your lips soft and smooth.
Coconut Oil Sugar Lip Scrub 3 tsp sugar 2 spoons of coconut oil 1 drop essential oil of rose 1 tsp desiccated coconut Mix all the ingredients together and store in a small glass jar. Just take out a little and scrub gently on the lips until the sugar granules start melting. Wash off with cold water and pat dry for soft kissable lips in minutes! (Also Read:
Coconut oil is one of the best remedies for dry and chapped lips.
Coconut Oil For Body Skin Care-With its high
protein content, coconut oil becomes an ideal massage oil for dehydrated and dry body skin. -Warm some oil and massage all over the body. -The presence of fatty acids in coconut oil help retain moisture loss through our pores and therefore keeps the skin soft and supple. -Stretch marks can be reduced with regular coconut oil massage. -Applying coconut oil on dry scars and
wounds can have a healing and soothing effect. -Folds in the skin can also be reduced with regular coconut oil massage.
Coconut Oil For Body Massage 200 ml coconut oil 4 drops lavender essential oil 2drops geranium essential oil Mix all the ingredients well and shake the bottle. Use this to massage the entire body and see the amazing results!
coconut oil is an ideal massage oil for dehydrated and dry body skin.
Coconut Oil For Hair Care -Coconut oil for hair care has been used in India for many years now. As a massage oil, it helps nourish the
scalp and reduces scalp infections. -With high contents of Vitamin E, it is excellent for dry and
dandruff. -Coconut oil massage promotes healthy hair growth and due to its property of preventing moisture loss, massaging this oil into the scalp and hair is known to have amazing results. -You can use coconut oil to make a super hair mask and I promise you that it will leave your hair looking and feeling healthy for Valentine's Day. 4- 5 tsp coconut oil 4 drops rosemary oil 2 drops geranium oil 2 tsp honey Whisk all these nourishing ingredients together and apply over oiled hair. Cover with a shower cap and leave on for about 40 minutes. Shampoo your hair and see how beautiful and soft your tresses look and feel! (Also Read:
Coconut oil helps nourish the scalp and reduces scalp infections
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author. NDTV is not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, suitability, or validity of any information on this article. All information is provided on an as-is basis. The information, facts or opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of NDTV and NDTV does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.
Potatoes are one of the popular ingredients in the world
Potato juice can do wonders to your skin
We have rounded up the best DIY potato juice face packs
Potatoes are one of the popular ingredients in the world, and we can literally eat them with any food! They never disappoint us. This amazing veggie is loaded with many essential micronutrients like
vitamin A, C, B, iron and phosphorous. All of us are pretty much aware of potato benefits. But, apart from its health benefits, did you know that this potato juice can do wonders to your skin too! We have rounded up the best DIY potato juice face packs that will help you to have soft, supple and flawless skin this summer.
1. For Uneven Skin
The secret to have an even skin tone is here! Potatoes are rich in vitamin-B6, which helps to enhance your skin tone and in the formation of new cells. All you need is 2 tablespoon potato juice, 2 teaspoon of almond oil, and 2 teaspoons of raw milk. Mix the ingredients well. Apply it well on your face and neck. Leave for 15 minutes and rinse it with lukewarm water.
The secret to have an even skin tone is here
2. For Acne Acne scars can be annoying and disturbing at the same time. Here we have got you an effective remedy for the same using tomato and potato juice. Take 1 tablespoon of potato juice and 1 tablespoon of tomato Juice. Mix both the juices well, and dab on the acne marks and stubborn dark spots on your face. Keep it for 40-45 minutes and wash it with cold water. You can even practice the same overnight and wash it in the morning.
3. For Tan Removal Potato juice will not only help you to get rid of your tanning, but also treats hyperpigmentation. Take 2 tablespoon of potato juice and 1 tablespoon of organic honey. Mix it well and apply it all over your face and neck. Leave for about 10 minutes and rinse with fresh water.
Potato juice will not only help you to get rid of your tanning
4. For Dark Circles Treating dark circles can be a struggle. But, not anymore! Make your own DIY face pack using potato and cucumber juice at home. Both of the ingredients have inherent properties that help to lighten the dark circles. Take 2 teaspoons of potato juice and cucumber juice. Mix it well and apply under the eyes before going to bed at night. Wash it in the morning with fresh cold water.
5. For Oily Skin Oily skin can lead to acne breakouts and skin dullness. In order to control oil from your face, this face pack has come to your rescue. Take 2 tablespoon of potato juice and 1 tablespoon of fuller's earth (multani mitti); mix them well until the mixture becomes smooth. Apply it on your face and let it dry for about 20 minutes. Rinse with cold water.
These amazing potato juice face packs will give you the best results when used regularly. Always look gorgeous!
Bhringraj oil can be used for treating various hair and skin problems
2. Fenugreek or
methi dana is one treasure spice that may not have originated in India, but has grown to be an essential part of our culinary fare and culture, as if it always belonged to us. It is no wonder then that Ayurveda recognized its potential thousand years back and continues to make most of its health and
Fenugreek seeds are rich in folic acid, Vitamin A, Vitamin K and Vitamin C
3. Amla There is a reason why our mothers and grandmothers swear by for all their skin and beauty needs.
Amla or Indian gooseberry has been an essential part of hair care rituals in India since time immemorial. Massaging the scalp with
amla oil helps boost
blood circulation. This supplies enough nourishment to your follicles, which then increases hair growth. It also looks after the overall scalp health by removing dandruff and dissolving grease and dirt from follicles. It helps restore optimum pH levels of the scalp that boosts essential oil production. One of the biggest reasons behind
Amla is packed with Vitamin C. The potent antioxidant help keeps the free-radical activity at bay, which can also severely impact the health of hair. You can prepare some
amla oil at home too. Heat some coconut oil in a pan and add two teaspoons of
amla powder. Heat the oil until it turns brown. After 2-3 minutes, turn off the heat and set the oil aside to cool. Collect the oil in a bowl. Apply it on your hair, while it is still slightly warm and massage well. (Also Read:
Triphala powder has been known to reduce dandruff too. You can either apply
Triphala powder mixed with
coconut oil on your hair, or make it a part of your diet. Your diet plays a huge role in the health of your hair. One of the reasons why your hair volume is not up to the mark could be your liver condition and