Best Superfoods for Weight Loss
So-called superfoods are nutritional powerhouses that help build bones, prevent chronic diseases, improve your eyesight, and even keep your mind sharp. But did you know new evidence suggests these foods can also help you get—and stay—slim?
Read on for the top superfoods for weight loss, and how to pack them into your daily diet!
RELATED: 10 Superfoods for Weight Loss
A cup of black beans packs a whopping 15 grams of satisfying protein and doesn't contain any of the saturated fat found in other protein sources, like red meat.
Try this recipe: Spiced Black Bean Hummus With Marinated Peaches
There's no reason to be afraid of eating fats—as long as they're the right fats.
RELATED: Avocado Toast, 4 Ways
Oleic acid, a compound in avocados' healthy monounsaturated fats (MUFAs), may trigger your body to actually quiet hunger. Stick to a quarter or a half of an avocado and watch that belly fat melt away. The creamy fruit is also packed with fiber and protein.
Try this recipe: Avocado, Lettuce, and Tomato Sandwiches
Lean sources of protein help you feel full without adding fat. However, 50% of women ages 18 to 50 don't know if they get enough of this essential nutrient.
Up your intake with salmon; it's a leaner choice than red meat and is chock-full of MUFAs to boot. A 2001 study found that dieters eating a MUFA-rich diet lost an average of 9 pounds, while their low-fat diet counterparts gained, on average, 6.
Try this recipe: Pan-Grilled Salmon With Pineapple Salsa
Best known for their anti-aging effects, blueberries, while tiny, are a powerful figure-friendly eat: A 1-cup serving sets you back only 80 calories, and helps you feel full with 4 grams of fiber.
Try this recipe: Blueberry-Lemon Sorbet
Cooked or raw, this cruciferous veggie is well-known for its cancer-preventing powers, but with a punch of filling fiber in less than 30 calories a serving, it's bound to prevent weight problems too.
Try this recipe: Broccoli Salad With Sesame Dressing and Cashews
Brown rice is a heartier, fiber-packed alternative to less-than-super white rice. A half-cup serving contains 1.7 grams of Resistant Starch, a healthy carb that boosts metabolism and burns fat.
Plus, brown rice is a low-energy-density food, meaning it's heavy and filling but low in calories. One study found that women who ate a higher-energy-density diet gained three times as much weight over six years than women eating a low-energy-density diet.
Try this recipe: Wild Salmon and Brown Rice Bowl
Just one pear packs 15% of your daily recommended amount of fiber. One study found that women who ate three pears a day consumed fewer calories and lost more weight than those who didn't. Ditch the peeler though; the skin is where all that filling fiber is hiding!
Try this recipe: Warm Pear With Cinnamon Ricotta
Even if you changed nothing else about your diet, eating half a grapefruit before each meal may help you lose up to a pound a week!
A compound in the tangy fruit can lower insulin, a fat-storage hormone, and that can lead to weight loss. It's also a good source of protein, and because it's at least 90% water, it can fill you up so you eat less.
Try this recipe: Ginger-Citrus Fruit Salad
One of several varieties of beans to make the list, red beans offer protein and fiber (more than 5 grams per serving!). Kidney beans are also rich in Resistant Starch; a 1/2-cup serving packs nearly 2 grams of this slimming carb.
Try this recipe: Red Bean and Poblano Chili
Nuts are another superfood rich in healthy fats that help you slim down.
Almonds in particular can help you shed pounds: In one study, people who added a daily helping of the nuts to a low-cal diet lost more weight than people who followed the same diet but swapped almonds for a carb-heavy snack like crackers.
Try this recipe: Almond-Ciabatta French Toast
This steamy sip hydrates like water, which can help fill you up and shed pounds. Plus, the antioxidants in green tea will up your fat burn and calorie burn. One study found that five cups a day could help you lose twice as much weight, most of it around your middle.
Try this recipe: Minty Iced Green Tea
Bananas are a slimming superfood at the heart of Health's CarbLovers Diet. A slightly green, medium-size banana will fill you up and boost your metabolism with its 12.5 grams of Resistant Starch. Even a ripe banana still ranks high on the list of foods containing RS, with almost 5 grams.
Try this recipe: Chocolate-Dipped Banana Bites
Eggs get a bad rap when it comes to weight loss. But the breakfast staple is loaded with protein that will curb your appetite. One study found that overweight women who ate egg breakfasts lost twice as much weight as women who started their days with bagels.
And don't worry about cholesterol: The study found that egg eaters don't have higher bad cholesterol or lower good cholesterol than bagel eaters.
Try this recipe: Scrambled Egg Burritos
Chocolate lovers, rejoice! A nibble of dark chocolate here and there can slow down digestion so you feel full longer and eat less at your next meal.
Dark chocolate is full of MUFAs; studies show eating a diet high in these healthy fats can rev your metabolism to burn fat and calories. It may also help by curbing cravings for salt, sweet, or fatty diet-wreckers.
Try this recipe: Light Chocolate Chunk Cookies
At only 59 calories, you may not expect much from an orange, but thanks to a hefty dose of fiber, it ranks highest among fruits on a list of 38 filling foods put together by Australian researchers. Feeling full can help you eat less throughout the day.
Try this recipe: Blood Orange and Duck Confit Salad
True, potatoes are high in carbs, but they are three times as filling as a slice of white bread, and top all the foods on the same satiety index as oranges. Plus, potatoes are also rich in Resistant Starch, which helps your body burn fat.
Try this recipe: Two-Potato Salad With Mustard-Chive Dressing
Nut lovers don't have to stick to almonds. These tiny bites pack the same heart-healthy fatty acids that quell hunger hormones and burn belly fat. One study found that swapping healthy unsaturated ones like those found in nuts for saturated fats helped overweight people lose weight without reducing calorie intake or upping their exercise.
Plus, at only 95 calories for more than 80 nuts, you can enjoy them guilt free.
Try this recipe: Sautéed Brussels Sprouts With Parmesan and Pine Nuts
Fresh goat cheese and feta contain a fatty acid that helps you feel full and burn more fat. Look for cheeses labeled "grass-fed," as those will have the highest content of this healthy fat.
Try this recipe: Olive–Goat Cheese Bruschetta
The same fatty acid is found in milk, and milk's proteins can keep you feeling satisfied. The added calcium may also help; in one study, women burned more fat and calories when they had 1,000 to 1,400 milligrams of calcium per day.
Try this recipe: Very Chocolate Milk Shake
Also known as chickpeas, these slimming beans pack more than 2 grams of Resistant Starch per half-cup serving. They're also a great source of fiber, protein, and healthy fats.
Try this recipe: Pancetta and Chickpea Soup
This starchy side makes a slimming complement to a low-cal meal by adding some satisfying fiber and nearly 2 grams of Resistant Starch in just a half-cup serving.
Try this recipe: Spicy Sausage, Barley, and Mushroom Stew
Another diet-friendly whole grain, quinoa is rich in hunger-fighting protein. You'll stay full longer on fewer calories and avoid overeating at other meals.
Try this recipe: Toasted Quinoa With Chiles and Corn
Hot peppers get their spicy kick from a compound called capsaicin. And the same compound is responsible for heating up your insides, causing your body to burn extra calories. It’s really easy to incorporate hot peppers into your diet: Eat it raw, cooked, dried, or in powdered form. And when in doubt, throw some cayenne or hot sauce onto your meal!
One serving of collard greens boasts your entire daily recommended amount of vitamins A and K, along with 7.6 grams of fiber. Plus it only cost you a mere 6 calories. Between the low-cals and belly-filling fiber content, collard greens and other leafy greens are an ideal option when you’re looking to stay healthy or slim down.
By now, you probably know that coffee can help curb your appetite. But did you also know it can boost your metabolism? Since coffee contains the antioxidant chlorogenic acid (CGA), it can actually increase your body’s use of fat for energy. Research has additionally shown that CGA can slow the release of glucose and lower insulin resistance to inhibit weight gain after eating a meal.
To get our top stories delivered to your inbox, sign up for the Healthy Living newsletter