Looking to lose weight? In addition to following a plant-based, whole foods diet, incorporating certain foods can help catalyze weight loss. Ingredients like grapefruit, wild salmon, almonds, avocados, and kiwi can trigger your body to process them more efficiently, mainly making your insulin more effective. Here are some fabulous, healthy, and delicious recipes that will also help you on your weight-loss journey.
Grapefruit has a compound called naringenin, which studies have shown can make our insulin more effective. This tea was featured on "The Martha Stewart Show." (And Martha loved it!)
The combination of grapefruit and wild salmon work double duty in this recipe. The naringenin in grapefruit can make our insulin more effective -- and the omega-3 fatty acids in salmon have an anti-inflammatory effect in the body and can increase our cells' ability to burn fat.
Foods such as almonds, avocados, and olive oil are high in fat, but about 70 percent of that fat is monounsaturated, the heart-healthy kind. "These foods help make our cells more insulin-sensitive," says Bagnulo. "Less insulin typically means weight loss."
Although avocados help make our cells more insulin-sensitive, there's one note of caution: For optimal weight loss, avoid combining high-fat foods with simple carbs like white bread, baked potatoes, or sugar. For example, if you are going to eat an avocado, serve it on a high-fiber, multigrain bread rather than a white tortilla.
Avocados have high concentrations of many B vitamins, as well as beta-carotene, magnesium, and vitamins E and K. These nutrients support and sustain your overall health, not to mention your energy, and can speed up your metabolism.
Salmon, an omega-3 powerhouse, is a great asset in your weight-loss arsenal. Omega-3 fatty acids promote weight loss in several ways. They help the insulin in your body work better and decreases insulin resistance. They improve blood-sugar control, which helps reduce food cravings and overeating. Omega-3s help your body burn off calories before they get stored as fat.
Raw apples, raw carrots oats, and beans are a good source of fiber and "resistant starches," those that the body has to expend a lot of energy to break down. Unlike foods that cause a blood-sugar rush, sugar from these foods will only drip into the bloodstream.
Complementing beans with grain foods, like rice, makes them a great substitute for higher-fat protein sources like meats. Beans are also filling enough to stave off hunger. The low-fat, high-fiber nature of a bean-centered diet makes them a great weight-loss staple.
You can make these as spicy as you like by varying the amount of chipotle peppers or using a spicier salsa. Fresh cilantro and lime are a vibrant complement to the smoky chipotle pepper in this dish. Canned chipotles in adobo can be found in the specialty section of most supermarkets.