This series of posts on healthy weight loss has so far covered some general principles of healthy weight loss, five protein foods that burn fat. and eat fats for healthy weight loss. This post will identify some fruits and vegetables with fat-burning qualities that can be included in a varied whole food diet. Diet is used here in the sense of what each person regularly eats and drinks to provide proper nutrition to their body, and not as a prescribed regimen for losing weight.
Fruits and vegetables are the foods that should make-up the majority of foods eaten in a healthy diet. They provide fibre, vitamins and minerals that need to be eaten every day for optimum health. Also, they are generally lower in calories than proteins, fats and grains, so can be eaten in large amounts to fill you up for relatively few calories. In addition, certain fruits and vegetables are foods that burn fat. A selection of these is given below.
Cabbage Family Foods That Burn Fat
All of the cabbage family below are powerful body detoxifiers, a characteristic that aids weight loss and helps prevent and fight cancer.
Broccoli also burns fat by stabilizing blood sugar and preventing cholesterol from entering the blood stream. It has many other health benefits besides healthy weight loss. Buy broccoli with compact dark-green, purplish or bluish-green flower clusters and store in the refrigerator for up to four days. Eat three to five cups of broccoli a week.
Cabbage is especially rich in cancer-fighting nutrients, and has powerful antibacterial properties that can quickly heal peptic ulcers. Buy green red or savoy cabbage with heavy heads and shiny leaves, and without bruises or cuts. Once cut, cabbage quickly loses its vitamin C. Store for up to two weeks in a perforated plastic bag in the refrigerator. Eat 1/2 to 1 cup of cabbage at least three times a week.
Kale is a fat-burning food that energizes the body, stabilizes the blood-sugar and zaps cholesterol. High in fibre and many vitamins, kale has the highest nutritional value per calorie of almost any food, and has many health benefits besides promoting healthy weight loss.
For the mildest taste, buy kale with small crisp dark bluish-green leaves, and store wrapped in a damp paper towel in a perforated plastic bag in the coldest part of the refrigerator for up to two days. Eat it often, raw or cooked.
Other Vegetables That Burn Fat
Tomatoes are a fat-burning food that stabilize blood-sugar, energize the body and reduce cholesterol levels. Rich in fibre, vitamins and potassium, tomatoes also reduce the risk of heart disease and colon-cancer, and strengthen bones.
Buy local vine-ripened tomatoes as these contain more nutrients than those picked when green. Eat alone or with other vegetables
Spaghetti Squash, a blood-sugar stabilizer and cholesterol zapper has many health properties besides burning fat. Buy a squash heavy for its size, with an even colour. Do not wash before storing at room temperature for up to one month, or once cut, for up to two days in the refrigerator. Cooked squash freezes well. Eat one cup or more a week.
Fruits That Burn Fat
High in fibre and water and rich in vitamins, minerals and enzymes, fruit has many health benefits. The antioxidants and phytochemicals in fruit help prevent cell damage and chronic diseases, and protect against heart disease, strokes, diabetes and cancer. Fruits help to maintain the acid-base balance of the blood (making sure it does not become too acid.) Some fruits also help the body burn fat. In general, eat the whole fruit rather than taking it as juice, which may raise the blood sugar too quickly causing insulin levels to spike.
Apples detoxify the body, control blood sugar and lower cholesterol. The pectin they contain keeps hunger at bay for longer, and prevents the sugar in the apple from causing a surge in blood-sugar and so keeps insulin levels low. Regular consumption of apples also protects against heart disease, stroke, diabetes and asthma, and may reduce the risk of lung cancer by as much as 50 percent.
Buy firm richly coloured organic apples (or those that have not been sprayed) and store in the fridge for up to six weeks. If not sure whether the apples have been sprayed, soak for 30 minutes in a Clorex (brand of sodium hyperchlorite) bath of one teaspoon Clorex to one gallon of water, then remove and soak in clear water for ten minutes, then dry. Eat at least one apple every day.
Berries. Strawberries, raspberries and blueberries are all foods that burn fat by detoxifying and energizing the body and lowering cholesterol. But they are also highly nutritious, being rich in antioxidants and flavonoids – substances that trigger the release of natural enzymes that fight disease (including heart disease, degenerative diseases and the flu.) Berries are also high in insoluble fibre that prevents all their calories being absorbed.
Buy shiny, plump and firm fruit and store for 3 – 5 days in the refrigerator, (checking and removing damaged or soggy berries daily) though they are best eaten within 2 days of purchase.
Picture credit: C.P. Storm