8 Weight Loss Foods You Should Eat Right Now, Fat Burning Foods Series – Part 3
Healthy eating plays a vital role in weight loss; however, research suggests some foods may be more effective than others for burning fat. These foods contain specific compounds that could stimulate weight loss.
In our fat-burning foods list series, we look at eight more potentially belly fat-burning foods.
Here are some more foods that may help with weight loss:
1. Sweet potato
Sweet potato is a source of vitamins A, B, C, D, and minerals, including magnesium, calcium, iron, phosphorus, and potassium. Research suggests sweet potatoes have anti-inflammatory properties that may reduce chronic inflammation.
Sweet potato may also increase adiponectin levels in the blood. Adiponectin is a hormone released by fat cells that has many functions, including weight regulation.
2. Broccoli and Broccoli Sprouts
Broccoli and Broccoli Sprouts contain a phytonutrient called sulforaphane. While primarily studied for its health benefits and cancer prevention, it is getting more attention for its potential weight loss benefits. Broccoli sprouts have the highest amount of sulforaphane.
Carly Anderson Stewart, MSc from BeyondMicroGreens.com reported on human and in vitro (i.e., test tube) studies that showed many potential health benefits of sulforaphane, including reducing viral load, promoting tumor cell death, and blunting the growth of breast cancer cells.
Sulforaphane may also reduce inflammation and support healthy aging.
FoodNerdInc.com referenced human studies that suggested sulforaphane may relieve some of the adverse effects of autism.
When it comes to weight loss, a 2017 research study with mice discovered that the sulforaphane group gained less weight than the non-sulforaphane group. They also had lower blood sugar levels and reduced belly fat. This study also suggested that sulforaphane may turn weight-gain-promoting white fat into brown fat, which helps the body burn fat. This phenomenon was also suggested in a 2016 study with adipocyte cells in vitro.
A 2017 human study demonstrated sulforaphane’s potential to regulate blood sugar in the liver in people with type 2 diabetes.
A few studies have also implied that sulforaphane may change gut flora and reduce inflammation and damage to the gut barrier; therefore, improving overall gut health.
As previously mentioned, foods high in sulforaphane may also reduce inflammation. Chronic inflammation has been shown to contribute to weight gain and obesity.
FoodSecurity.org recommends eating cruciferous vegetables raw to obtain the maximum amount of sulforaphane. However, steaming cruciferous vegetables for 3 minutes can also help retain sulforaphane. Cooking and boiling are not recommended for sulforaphane retention. It could also be obtained through broccoli sprouts/broccoli extract powders and capsules.
Experts recommend cucumbers for their health benefits, but they may provide an additional benefit to those trying to lose weight. They contain compounds that could reduce water retention or “water weight.”
Cucumbers are also packed with fiber and water, thus helping you feel fuller longer. Plus, they are low in calories and contain almost no sugar. In addition to these benefits, they may lower chronic swelling in the body by reducing or blocking the production of inflammatory enzymes. Some people put cucumber slices in their water for added hydration.
Celery is low in carbs and sugar but high in water and fiber. It has a diuretic effect on the body, helping release water weight. At one point, the celery juice diet was quite popular.
Asparagus is low in calories and carbohydrates yet high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. It helps with weight loss by regulating blood sugar and insulin. Asparagus contains asparagine, an amino acid that serves as a natural diuretic. It may reduce bloating and water weight.
Zucchini is low in calories and contains few carbs. It also provides fiber and has high water content, making it both soluble and insoluble. For this reason, it may improve digestion, regulate blood sugar, and improve insulin sensitivity.
Research suggests fibrous fruits and vegetables may lower the risk of type 2 diabetes. Some people use spiralized zucchini as a substitute for pasta when trying to cut back on carbohydrates.
Quinoa is a seed complete in protein because it contains nine essential amino acids. It is also gluten-free and contains antioxidants like quercetin and oleic acid. It also has alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), an omega-3 fatty acid found in plants. Quinoa is high in fiber, vitamins like B2 (riboflavin), and minerals like iron, magnesium, and manganese.
Researchers from the Harvard Public School of Health suggest that quinoa may lower the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, respiratory diseases, and cancer, based on evidence from participants who consumed one serving of quinoa each day. It was considered the go-to grain for the Incas.
Health experts recommend quinoa because it keeps a person feeling fuller longer without dramatically raising blood sugar levels. According to several references, anyone with kidney problems should consult their doctor before consuming quinoa because of its oxalate content.
8. Organic Old-fashioned Oats/Steel Cut Oats
Old-fashioned and steel-cut oats are considered a food staple in the fitness community. This gluten-free whole grain contains fiber (insoluble and soluble), manganese, phosphorus, magnesium, copper, and iron, as well as antioxidants and avenanthramide.
Avenanthramide may help reduce blood pressure because of its ability to raise nitric oxide levels, thus allowing for the dilation of blood vessels, thereby improving blood flow. Oats are also known for potentially lowering high LDL cholesterol levels.
In research studies, oat fiber demonstrated an anti-obesity effect on the body.
One 2015 study with mice noted that oat fiber “could promote the fat breakdown and improve the activity of hormone-sensitive lipase.”
Evidence from a study with overweight women suggested that oat fiber may help reduce postprandial (after meal) blood sugar and insulin responses. The reduced postprandial responses make it easier for the body to burn fat.
The researchers stated: “We have recently shown that intake of insoluble oat or wheat fibers for a 24-h period improves postprandial glucose and insulin responses upon the ingestion of a control meal.”
Oats are also a great source of beta-glucan, a soluble fiber that helps regulate blood sugar and improve insulin sensitivity. It may also boost our immune system and help it fight unhealthy bacteria, viruses, and pathogens.
Organic old-fashioned and steel-cut oats are usually recommended over conventional brands as some may contain unsafe levels of a weed killer chemical called glyphosate; this chemical may increase cancer risk.
Healthy eating is crucial for healthy weight loss; however, research shows that some healthy foods could be more effective than others at helping us burn fat faster.
These foods contain certain compounds that could indirectly affect the body’s ability to stimulate weight loss. Consistently incorporating them into your diet may boost your weight loss. Always consult with your doctor before making any nutritional changes.
Eating healthy, in particular, foods that could help burn fat is just one small piece of the weight loss puzzle. Addressing other issues with a doctor or health clinician could help your body use the foods listed more efficiently.
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