Eating regularly throughout the day increases your metabolism and can prevent cravings that often lead to overeating. However, the types of foods you eat can also have a dramatic impact on your body, so we came up with a list of top ‘superfoods’ to include in your daily meals. Eating these meals will help you stay in shape and feel great while doing so.
Please note: this is not an all-inclusive list of top superfoods and some GREAT foods are not listed here.
Packed with protein, eggs contain all the essential amino acids and can help get you lean by assisting in rebuilding and repairing the damage done through exercise. This, in turn, helps to increase your metabolism.
Studies have proven that eating eggs for breakfast can prevent overeating later in the day, as the generous protein and healthy fat content they have gives them a high satiety factor. Eggs are also packed with carotenoids and are therefore great for your eyesight (due to high lutein content), your hair (due to high Sulphur and B12 content), and have even been linked to a lowered risk of breast cancer if you regularly consume them!
Meal suggestion – Three egg whites and one whole egg are a great base for an omelet packed with veggies. This is a perfect breakfast that combines protein + healthy fat + complex carbs!
This powerhouse of a carbohydrate is slow burning and therefore offers a sustained release of energy. This will keep you fuller longer and leave you bursting with energy. Oats are packed with both soluble and insoluble fiber, which not only promote healthy digestion but also make them that much more filling. Furthermore, soluble fiber has been shown to increase HDL, or good, cholesterol levels.
Meal suggestion – add a scoop of protein powder (chocolate protein powder = chocolate oats) and one tbsp ground flaxseeds to your oatmeal once it’s cooked. Adding protein slows down absorption even further and both ingredients provide a dose of protein, healthy fat, and even more fiber from the flax!
Dried Goji Berries
These top superfood berries have 18 amino acids and provide protein as well as carbohydrates, not to mention a multitude of vitamins and minerals. They are quite low in calories at only 35 calories per two tablespoons. Goji berries make a healthy mid-afternoon snack when you feel the need to eat something sweet. Traditionally found in Chinese medicine, they have been used to boost the immune system, protect the liver, and improve circulation.
Meal suggestion – combine Goji berries with raw almonds and sunflower seeds to make your own trail mix with added protein and essential omega-3 fats. It’ll make a satisfying snack that will keep you going until your next meal.
This fatty fish is packed with Omega-3 fatty acids – often referred to as ‘fat burning fats’. Omega-3 fats increase your metabolic rate so that you burn more calories overall. This tasty fish is packed with protein, so it provides many of the essential aminos your body needs and is more filling than regular fish.
Wild-caught cold water fish, like salmon, are higher in omega-3 fatty acids than warm-water fish and lower in contaminants than farmed salmon. In addition to being an excellent source of Omega-3s, salmon boasts generous levels of selenium, niacin, and vitamin B12, and is a good source of phosphorus, magnesium, and vitamin B6.
Meal suggestion – Baked salmon with sweet potato fries and steamed veggies. This combination is full of protein and slow-burning carbs, as well as a variety of nutrients. Consider making this a staple at least 1-2 times per week, switching up the side dish.
Each apple contains three to five grams of fiber making them a tasty, satisfying snack either after meals or in-between. For a fun twist, consider pairing them with other top superfoods and protein, such as 0% Greek yogurt. Apples are packed with flavonoids and polyphenols, both of which are powerful antioxidants.
Meal suggestion – Baked apples are a healthy, yet really tasty, dessert. Simply remove the core from the apple. Mix together 1 tsp Splenda, ½ tsp ground cinnamon, some raisins, and a few chopped walnuts. Place mixture in the center of the apple. Drizzle with agave syrup and pour a little water in a dish around the apple. Bake for 30 minutes.
Nut butters are often considered unhealthy due to their high fat content, but they should be a staple in your diet. They do contain fat, but much of this comes from the healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated kind which can lower bad (LDL) cholesterol and even increase good (HDL) cholesterol! Nut butters (and sunflower seed butters) are also a good source of protein and contain no harmful trans fats or cholesterol!
Meal suggestion – for a quick and easy snack, spread two tablespoons of peanut or almond butter onto a cut-up apple, pear, or banana. This is very filling and the fat content ensures you’ll stay satiated until your next meal.
Greek yogurt is much lower in sugar than typical yogurt varieties and much higher in protein! A recent study in the International Journal of Obesity showed that individuals on a reduced calorie diet who ate yogurt three times a day lost 61% more body fat than those who didn’t. As Greek yogurt also contains probiotics, it can reduce bloating by promoting healthy gut bacteria and the high calcium content gives you stronger bones.
Meal suggestion – Make a fruity parfait using 1 container 0% Greek yogurt, assorted berries, ½ cup raw oats, ½ banana sliced, and 1 tablespoon wheat germ. This makes a great dessert or snack which is packed with protein, carbs, as well as vitamins and minerals (especially iron). Alternatively, mix in a low sodium onion soup mix for a tasty crudité dip.
Don’t be scared by the high fat content of an avocado, as it’s predominantly from heart-healthy monounsaturated fat. Furthermore, avocados contain oleic acid which improves fat levels in the body and helps to control diabetes. Just one avocado contains an impressive 10 grams of fiber and 30% more potassium than one banana!
Stay creative in the kitchen
Finding ways to incorporate top superfoods into your meal routines is a great way to get nutrients while still enjoying your food. Next time you’re grocery shopping, get creative and find new ways to incorporate these foods into your meals.
It’s important to consult your doctor regarding substantial dietary changes or concerns as each of our bodies functions differently.