The old saying is right—you really are what you eat. And that’s why some days you end up feeling more like a raspberry filled donut than the lean turkey you aspire to.
In order to get to the body you want—the sleek and toned arms, the rock-hard abs, the buns of steel—you need to make every bite of food you put in your mouth count. That means building your diet around the most potent, nutrient-dense, disease-fighting, fat-burning, waist cinching, muscle-growing foods around.
Here are 20 superfoods that will help you achieve that shed weight, and get your body slim, tight and toned. These ‘superfoods’ not only provide a heaping helping of nutrients but they come in relatively small amount of calories—they keep you feeling full longer so you eat less overall.
1. Turkey Breasts
Turkey is high in B vitamins, zinc, and the cancer fighter selenium. It’s also got a ton of amino acids, and there are little or no saturated fats. Plus, it’s one of the most versatile cuts of meat around, so you can easily eat it throughout the week and never have the same thing twice. Buy it skinless and you get seven grams of muscle-building protein per ounce.
2. Olive Oil
Olive oil is rich in good monounsaturated fat, making it an ideal food for heart health. Studies have shown that replacing two tablespoons of saturated fat (found in butter and lard) with monounsaturated fat may reduce the risk of heart disease. But that’s not the only reason to eat it. A study in the journal Nature reports that olive oil also has potent anti-inflammatory properties, meaning it can help reduce pain and swelling just like a dose of ibuprofen. In addition to cooking with olive oil and using it as a dressing for your salad, you can get even more in your diet by mixing a tablespoon or two into your daily protein shake.
An exotic whole grain grown in the Andes mountains, quinoa is a great source of fiber and B vitamins. It has a light, mild flavor-making it ideal for women who hate other whole grains. Even better, it’s higher in protein than any other grain around, and packs a hefty dose of heart-healthy unsaturated fats.
4. Black Beans
Ounce for ounce, black beans have more fiber per serving than any other member of the legume family. Beans also help you feel energized and fuller longer than almost anything else you can eat. They’re incredibly high in fiber, which swells in your stomach and promotes a feeling of fullness. And, they’re stuffed with a highly complex form of carbohydrate that can take your body a long while to convert into energy. Like meat, they’re also packed with protein. But unlike meat, they’ve got no saturated fats.
5. Green Tea
From cancer prevention to weight loss to potentially slowing the development of Alzheimer’s, green tea has been shown to help fight almost every major medical ill. Hot or cold, there’s almost nothing better you can drink.
Eggs contain a heavy-hitting 4 grams of pure muscle-building amino acids inside every shell, in addition to boasting some of the highest naturally available doses around of a vitamin called choline, which is thought to help enhance memory. They’re the gold standard in terms of providing all the right nutrients for muscle growth and fat burning.
When you’re not getting enough milk, your body releases hormones that cause your cells to retain calcium-and fat. The vital components in dairy help turn up your body’s fat-burning system and slow down the storage of fat. But remember calories still count, so you should drink your milk by the glass rather than the gallon.
You know you need to be drinking more water, and for good reason. Water flushes toxins from your system, regulates body temp, acts as an insulator for joints, prevents kidney stones, and supplies the body with a raft of crucial minerals. Without water, none of the other super-foods would matter. Although water helps in every way, it may be at its most powerful when it comes to weight loss. Drinking a glass or two of water a half hour or so before mealtime, for example, can help take the edge off your hunger.
9. Sweet Potato
A four-ounce sweet potato holds more than 100% of our daily supply of beta carotene, a hefty dose of iron, and a plentiful shot of vitamins C and E. Together, these nutrients work together to protect your body against cellular damage of all types, especially in athletes who compete in extreme environments (such as altitude, heat, cold, or pollution). They’re also one of the best foods for muscle recovery after a tough workout.
If tough olympic athletes eat soybeans, you can, too. Soy is a “perfect food.” It has the protein of meat, the fiber of a whole grain, and the antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals of the best vegetables and fruits. If you don’t like tofu and soy milk-there are easy ways to boost your soy intake. Soy nuts and the soy protein used in some protein shakes and bars not only taste great but are very gal-friendly.
It’s not only high in muscle-building amino acids, it’s also a powerhouse of iron and zinc, which aid circulatory health and boosts your metabolism. In fact, beef is so nutrient-dense that a three-ounce serving supplies more than 10% of your recommended daily intake of a number of nutrients, including protein, B6 and B12, selenium, phosphorus, niacin, and riboflavin. To keep the meat you’re buying lean as well as tender and flavorful, opt for cuts with the words round or top in the name-things like eye round roast, top round, or top sirloin steak.
12. Whole Wheat Bread
White flour doesn’t just rob you of fiber and protein, it also digests incredibly quickly in the body, giving you a rapid spike of energy—but one that comes crashing down just as fast. Over time, those spikes in insulin production wear on the body, damaging cells and promoting excess storage of fat. So lay off the white and choose whole wheat instead.
High in protein, fiber, and vitamin E, almonds are great for your heart, digestive system, and skin. They’re also loaded with healthy unsaturated fats. And the best thing is—since nuts are such a hard food, a significant amount of their calories are never absorbed into the body.
Yogurt has all the benefits of milk, plus active cultures that boost the number of germ-fighting bacteria along your intestinal walls. Studies show that people who eat yogurt most often are less likely to catch a cold than people who rarely eat the stuff. Like milk, yogurt contains calcium that not only boosts fat-burning but also helps you feel satiated, making it an ideal food for weight loss.
One serving of these leafy greens is loaded with fiber, calcium, and virtually your entire day’s recommended dosage of beta carotene, a nutrient vital for immune-system health and ultra sharp vision. If you can’t stand spinach plain, try dropping it into burritos, pasta dishes and canned soup.
This fleshy green should be at the top of your list when it comes to vegetables. It’s rich with a healthy supply of iron, calcium, fiber, and vitamin C, meaning it’s good for the metabolism, circulatory system, bones, and fighting colds. As far as vegetables go, this is the one you should try hardest to eat more of.
When it comes to eating breakfast in the morning, there’s nothing better than a bowl of oatmeal to spike your energy levels and provide you with an hours-long supply of fuel. Oatmeal is also filled with stress-fighting and immunity-boosting zinc.
If that weren’t enough to convince you to pop a bowl in the microwave, keep in mind that oatmeal can also help promote weight loss and lower your risk of heart disease. Oatmeal is filled with high levels of soluble fiber that protect your heart and arteries by trapping and expelling cholesterol, dropping levels by up to 30 points or more in some cases.
Of all the fruit you can eat, blueberries may be the absolute best. Whether you’re getting them raw, tossed into cereal, mixed in fruit salad or a smoothie, blueberries pack more fiber, vitamins, and minerals per ounce than any other fruit in the produce aisle. Chief among those nutrients are free-radical-fighting antioxidants. Free radicals, which increase in number as you get older, travel around your body damaging cells, promoting disease, and triggering signs of premature aging. And blueberries harness the firepower to knock them out of service. Those same antioxidants that fight disease are also effective in helping keep connections between cells in your brain and nervous system healthy, ensuring clearer, quicker thinking and the best memory possible.
The biggest reason every woman has got to eat salmon is because it is so densely stuffed with omega-3’s. These fatty acids are slow memory loss as you age and boost heart health by regulating heart rhythms and keeping arteries and veins supple and free of blockages. While saturated fats lead to obesity, the polyunsaturated fatty acids in salmon correct and prevent obesity.
Salmon is also an excellent source of protein. A three-ounce cooked serving contains 20 grams-making it ideal for building muscle and trimming fat. Besides helping stimulate your metabolism three to four times more than carbs or fat, protein is the absolute best food for helping fill you up, so you take in fewer calories and burn more. And that’s what being a slim and fit food is all about.
Avocado is actually a single-seeded berry native to Mexico, but at 322 calories and 29 grams of fat—10 to 20 times what you’ll find in any other item in the produce aisle—the avocado can arguably be considered more of a fat than a fruit. Moreover, it’s the mono-unsaturated fat content of an avocado–20 grams per berry–that researchers say make it so special, and deserving of the health food fame. With its proven ability to lower cholesterol, quell hunger pangs and even spot-reduce belly fat, the avocado is arguably one of only a few perfect foods to lose weight.
21. Go on a detox plan.
If you’re looking for a sensible and effective way to lose weight quickly and detox your body of toxins at the same time, look no further than the Red Tea Detox system. The Red Tea Detox system combines the use of a special blend of rooibos (“red”) tea drink with a smart, effective weight loss system to help you crush big weight—and fast! Did you know that just by drinking rooibos tea, you can increase your metabolism and burn 20% more fat, all without exercising?
Women who have followed the Red Tea Detox system reported losing up to 14 pounds and 2-4 inches from their waist in just a matter of 14 days—the methods in the Red Tea Detox system are all backed by science. Check out this video on the Red Tea Detox system now to learn more about how to follow the detox system—and get to your ideal sweet weight in 14 days.