I've been asked to begin a blog that shows a "how-to" for the things that bring pleasure to my life. So, the intent of this blog is to share recipes, gardening, composting, sewing, crafts, art, everyday projects and even psychology tips to aid in healing wounds and living the life you're meant to live, a life with purpose!
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Friday, May 13, 2011

Foods that Help You lose Weight!

HERE are 12 Foods that Help You lose Weight!

1. Spicy Red Peppers
The spicy red peppers can kick-start your metabolism because of a special chemical, called Capsaicin. You can add red pepper in its ground form to soups; it also comes in a red chili paste, used by many Asian recipes; marinades and sauces or cook with it in its raw form.
What is capsaicin?
Medical information about Capsaicin from Healthwise: "Capsaicin is the ingredient found in different types of hot peppers, such as cayenne peppers, that makes the peppers spicy hot. You can eat it in raw or cooked peppers or as a dried powder, which you can add to food or drinks. It also is available as a dietary supplement and in topical creams that you apply to your skin."
What is capsaicin used for?
When a capsaicin cream or ointment is used on the skin (topical use), capsaicin helps relieve pain. Capsaicin works by first stimulating and then decreasing the intensity of pain signals in the body. Although pain may at first increase, it usually decreases after the first use. Capsaicin stimulates the release of a compound believed to be involved in communicating pain between the nerves in the spinal cord and other parts of the body.
When you apply it to the skin, capsaicin may help relieve pain.
Supplement use
When you eat hot peppers or take capsaicin as a dietary supplement, the capsaicin may improve your digestion by increasing the digestive fluids in the stomach and by fighting bacteria that could cause an infection. It may also help fight diarrhea caused by bacterial infection.
Capsaicin may help prevent heart disease. It may stimulate the cardiovascular system and may lower blood cholesterol levels and blood pressure. It also helps prevent clotting and hardening of arteries (atherosclerosis ).
Capsaicin acts as an antioxidant , protecting the cells of the body from damage by harmful molecules called free radicals. Capsaicin also may help prevent bacterial infections.
Capsaicin may also make mucus thinner and help move it out of the lungs. It is also thought to strengthen lung tissues and help to prevent or treat emphysema.
Is capsaicin safe?
Experts in the United States generally consider capsaicin to be safe. But it can cause some unpleasant effects, especially for those who are not used to it. Be careful when you cook with or eat hot peppers. Begin with small amounts, and increase the amount as you get used to it.
An allergic reaction to capsaicin is possible. If you are just beginning to use capsaicin, either as fresh or prepared food or in powder form, start with small amounts. If you use a topical cream, you should first apply it to a small area of skin to test for an allergic reaction.
Do not take capsaicin if you have high blood pressure or are already being treated for high blood pressure.
To reduce the burning sensation, remove the seeds from the peppers before you eat or cook with them. Also, if you eat bananas along with the peppers, you may reduce the burning sensation.
Extremely high intake of capsaicin may cause ulcers , but it’s rare for anyone to consume enough for this to be a problem.
2. Kale:
High in fiber and low in calories, kale can help fill you up without filling you out. Basically, any green leafy vegetable will do the same thing. It is also a rich source of vitamins A and K, and vitamin C, boosting the body’s immune and detoxification systems. Eat kale on its own or add it to pasta, salad, soups and other main dishes.

3. Apples:

An Apple a Day does Keep the Doctor Away. ;-)
Apples are rich in antioxidants, are a fantastic source of fiber and provide natural carbohydrates (24 grams of a whole fruit does not remotely compare to what "24 grams of a manmade simple carbohydrate like white bread" does to your blood sugar and weight maintenance). Natural carbohydrates keep you sustained between meals. Eating them raw with their skin is the most nutritious way to consume apples, but they also work well in recipes for salads and desserts.

4. Green Tea:

Clinical studies, (http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/green-tea-000255.htm and http://www.nutraingredients.com/Research/Green-tea-catechins-linked-to-weight-loss-Study, to name two) have shown that green tea consumption may aid in weight loss. These rudimentary studies suggest that the antioxidant, catechins, that is in green tea can help the body burn fat.  Green tea comes in several varieties (http://www.itoen.co.jp/eng/allabout_greentea/varieties/index.html). Originating in China, this herb drink is a staple beverage in many Asian countries.

 5. Avocados:

A funny story, when I was in my twenties, I thought I discovered the most amazing tasty vegetable to aid my diet of salads and canned tuna every day. Lol, yes, I’d put an entire avocado on my salad, believing it was the equivalent to a carrot. While the avocado does not equal a vegetable in calories, or in having zero fat; it is a fruit that is an excellent weight loss choice. Just not for the same reasoning as I thought in my youth. Avocados are a wonderful source of monosaturated fats (often referred to by the affectionate nickname, MUFA, pronounced Moo-Fah), which have been named for decreasing in belly fat.
The good news is monounsaturated fatty acids, or MUFAs for short, have been scientifically shown to effect how the body handles fat. In 2007a study published in the journal Diabetic Care, Dr. Paniagua and his team concluded that a diet rich in MUFAs prevented central fat distribution. This goes along with the claims of the Flat Belly Diet that MUFAs prevent belly fat in particular and changes the thinking that there is no way to "spot reduce" on a diet and exercise program.
The relationship between MUFAS and Fat Burning were shown in a later study conducted by Walker and O'Dea in 2007, in response to Paniagua, confirmed his findings and went on to show that subjects started burning fat after eating a MUFA-rich meal that the fat burning continued. Subjects also not only lost significant belly fat, but also lost fat in their limbs as well while consuming 40 percent of their total calories from fat. That is 5 to 15 percent more than the current recommended daily amount.
The problem with starvation or fad diets lies in the body burning lean tissue, saving its fat for survival because the body thinks food it not coming and the body will prevent death by saving it's fat for later; instead choosing to burn lean muscle. The relationship between MUFAS and Lean Body Mass is becoming more interesting as studies are being done. Not only do MUFAs burn fat, but they were shown to preserve lean body mass during weight loss in a 2004 study published in the Journal of Nutrition. By preserving lean tissue, MUFAs decrease your body fat percentage and the health risks associated with a high percentage. Most weight loss diets alone cause a loss of both fat and lean muscle tissue, so this is a boon to those dieters who are not able to keep lean mass through an exercise program.
Remembering to keep it real. With all that said, MUFAs are not "magic." They are still a fat, and you need to eat them as part of a moderate-fat diet. To lose significant weight, you still need to combine MUFAs with a reduced-calorie diet. To gain the most benefit from MUFAs, use them to replace saturated fats, like those found in meats, full-fat dairy, butter and lard. Weight loss goals need to be realistic and reasonable for best results, but MUFAs can play an important role in helping you meet them.
This creamy green fruit provides the nutrition needed to keep you feeling satiated when faced with the temptation of junk food. This healthy fat ended up being a good thing on my spinach salads, after all. ;-D
6. Lentils:
Lentils are rich in protein and soluble fiber which is an important combination in combating high blood sugar and preventing the body from creating unwanted fat. Lentils come in many varieties and colors and are a common ingredient in soups and curries.

7. Blueberries:

Blueberries are high in phytonutrients, meaning they are full of antioxidants, anthocyanins, vitamin C, manganese and fiber, all of which have been linked with weight loss. Blueberries also provide a sweet substitute for refined sugars and calorie laden desserts.

8. Cinnamon:
Research is suggesting (http://www.thyroid-info.com/articles/cinnamon.htm and http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=68) that cinnamon can help to regulate blood sugar and help the body burn fat. Cinnamon is also high in iron and manganese, both of which are important parts of a balanced diet. Sprinkling cinnamon on sliced apples, oatmeal and wholegrain toast is a natural, sugar-free way of enhancing flavor.  

8. Quinoa:
I know I have been talking about quinoa a lot in my diet postings, but for good reason. The ancient Inca civilization thought of their quinoa crops as sacred, referring to quinoa as “the mother of all grains.” Centuries later, this grain continues to be praised for its nutritious value.
Very rich in protein (8gms) and fiber (5gms) quinoa is an ideal way of satiating hunger without loading up on calories. It stands to reason, if you are full or satisfied, you will not be tempted by the candy bars in the vending machines. Complex carbohydrates, like this one, take longer to digest, leaving you satisfied for a longer period of time. Simple carbohydrates that are found in foods like white floured products (example: white bread) burn quickly, leaving you with a sharp blood sugar drop, triggering hunger, irritability or the “shakes.”
9. Salmon:
The oils found in fish such as salmon (better known as the Omega 3 fatty acid King) have been linked to several health benefits, including weight loss. Replacing beef and pork with salmon as the main component of a meal is a low-fat  protein (packing a whopping 13 gms of protein) solution.
Simply put into words of finding life-style solutions: if you can serve fish two to three times a week, instead of the more fatty red meats, your body will live longer. 
10. Almonds:
Almonds prove that good things really do come in small packages. These bite-sized nuts pack a punch of protein that helps curb hunger between meals. Raw, unsalted almonds are a healthy snack on their own or make a delicious, crunchy garnish for main courses and salads. Compared to the fattier alternative, peanuts; almond butter is more rich in vitamin E, iron, calcium and it has less fat (much less saturated fat, and unlike peanut butter, no trans fats).  

11. Oats:
Contrary to many fad diets, carbohydrates, in moderation, are not to be feared. Oats are an ideal source of complex carbohydrates, which sustain the body and provide the nutritious balance needed for weight loss. Compared with simple carbohydrates, oats slowly release energy into the body and have positive, not a negative impact on the body’s blood sugar.

12. Vinegar:
Recent Research shows that the main chemical, acetic acid in vinegar may help control your blood sugar, and thus aid in weight loss. Vinegar (especially Balsamic Vinegar) also makes a tangy substitute to creamy sauces and dressing that can be high in fat.

Give these a try and start to feel better and lose weight, the healthy way!

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