Superfoods offer maximum nutritional benefits with minimal calories. These nutrient dense powerhouses are packed with high volumes of vitamins, minerals fibre and antioxidants that help maintain the body's overall health. Rather than focusing on any one superfood, adding a variety of them in our diets and not replacing any existing ones, makes our diets, “Super Diets”.
"Superfoods offer super health benefits like weight loss, reducing the risk of memory loss, heart disease, effects of ageing and chronic health problems. What makes them ‘super’ is that while giving your body a healthy boost, they improve energy levels and help you stay fit as well," says Vandana Luthra, founder and co-chairperson, VLCC Group, who suggests a few superfoods to fight obesity :
Oats are loaded with fibre, folate, calcium, proteins, thiamin, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, manganese, selenium, and iron. The complex carbohydrate takes time for your body to digest, thus making you feel full throughout the day. The “resistant starch” in oats aids in digestion, kicks up your metabolism, lowers cholesterol, controls blood sugar and burns fat. One cup of oatmeal contains 150 calories, 4 grams of fibre and 6 grams of protein. Simple to prepare, oats can be consumed daily.
2. Chia seeds
A tablespoon of these tiny little seeds is packed with about 90 mg calcium, 5.5 grams of fibre and 69 calories, making them a healthy addition to any smoothie or salad that you may consume. The healthy omega 3 fatty acids in these tiny seeds, helps raise the good cholesterol that protects against heart attack and stroke, whereas the fibre in them helps suppress appetite and reduce weight. The best things about chia seeds? You can add them into anything — from salads to smoothies to fruit bowls, but remember to consume them with care as dry chia seeds swell up and absorb about 10–12 times their weight in liquid. Small in size but a nutritional punch — a must have in your daily diet!
3. Green Tea
Green tea catechins increase fat burning, enhance exercise-induced loss of abdominal fat and improve triglyceride levels thereby helping in weight loss and promoting heart health. Further, compounds in green tea improve brain function and physical performance too. Not only is it beneficial for digestive health, but also helps prevent cell damage, has anti inflammatory and anti microbial properties. Two to three cups of green tea throughout the day is ideal in supplementing weight loss due to its nutritional and antioxidant makeup.
Berries are a powerhouse of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Including healthy berries in your diet ensure that you incorporate a soluble fibre called pectin that helps you feel full throughout the day. The powerful nutrients in berries aids in lowering cholesterol, improving blood sugar and insulin response, and reducing blood pressure that may be particularly helpful for people dealing with obesity. Blueberries, raspberries, gooseberries and strawberries are easy to add to your diet, so go ahead, include them in your diet — be healthy and get a good skin tone too.
This superfood is packed with vitamins and minerals besides being a high fat food. But fats are not always bad for your body and avocados is a great example of this. Though high in calories, around 75 per cent of the fat in avocados is unsaturated fat, making them a heart healthy choice. One-third of a medium avocado (50 g) has 80 calories and contributes nearly 20 vitamins and minerals. It is naturally free of cholesterol and has very low sodium. The high amount of fiber in avocados contributes to weight loss, reduction in blood sugar spikes and a lower risk of many diseases. When we exercise, our body loses electrolytes due to sweat and these losses need to be replenished. As avocados have good amounts of potassium, it is great as a post work out snack too. You can also combine them with eggs, make guacamole dip or simply add sliced pieces on a toast and enjoy the benefits.
While there is no substitute for exercise and an active, stress-free lifestyle but supplementing it with a nutritious diet can help in shedding those extra pounds.