Garcinia Cambogia: Hype or Fact?
HCA, one of the active ingredients of the Garcinia Cambogia tropical fruit, has been found in different studies to lessen hunger and block fat. Since then, many supplement manufacturers have included it in their weight loss products. But it really exploded in 2012, when it was mentioned in the popular Dr Oz TV show.
Dishonest companies jumped on the trend and began promoting it as a miracle pill. They started to make ridiculous claims, and gave it some abilities it doesn’t possess, like body fat melting etc…
According to the research studies found on pubmed, there are mainly 2 recognized effects HCA has that benefit weight control:
1/ It decreases hunger by stimulating the body to increase production of Serotonin, which then signals the brain that enough food has been consumed.
2/ It blocks fat by inhibiting the production of an enzyme called Citrate lyase which is responsible for producing fat from excess sugars and starches.
Now, while it all looks good on paper, the chart below shows the results of a meta-analysis of 9 different studies that included a total of 706 participants.
Some of these studies show impressive weight loss benefits, and others very little.
Those that showed little or no weight loss all used a dosage of 900 to 1,000 mg daily.
The ones that showed the greatest amount of weight loss compared to placebo used the highest dosages of 2,800 mg daily.
That is a lot, and I’d like to recommend another option:
PUBLISHED BY: Charles W. James Copyright © 2016 NutritionGang.com All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be copied, reproduced in any format, by any means, electronic or otherwise, without prior consent from the copyright owner and publisher of this book. The information available from this book has been prepared and/or obtained for general information, education, reference, and entertainment purposes only and is not intended to provide medical advice. The author of this book is not a licensed doctor and is not providing medical advice, or diagnosing or treating any condition you may have. We are not your doctor. You agree that you will not act upon anything contained in this book without first seeking professional medical advice. Call 911 or your doctor if you are having a medical emergency.
Introduction to Superfoods
What is a Superfood?
A Superfood is a term coined by the health food movement to describe a food that is nutrient packed, but low in calories. Because of their mega-stock of antioxidants and high dose of essential vitamins, Superfoods enhance your body’s ability to fight cancer, heart disease, and high cholesterol. Sounds too good to be true?
As you might have guessed, most fruits and vegetables are Superfoods, (as well as some fish, yogurt, nuts and beans, to name only a few.) There is something really pleasing about a green salad full of tomatoes, carrots and red peppers; the vibrant colors just make you feel healthy. But what you might not realize is that the color of a food is an essential part of its health and status as a Superfood. Fruits and vegetables are full of phytochemicals, which determine their color and aroma, and act as part of the plant’s defense system. So it only makes sense that when we eat foods rich in phytochemicals (or antioxidants) we are ingesting this same disease preventative compound.
Antioxidants are a kind of phytochemical. They are made up of nutrients and enzymes that work to prevent and repair cell damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are molecules with an unstable number of electrons; they ravage your body looking to borrow their missing electrons, damaging cells in the process. And what’s worse: there’s no escaping them, as they come from both outside and inside of our bodies. All we can do is hope to repair and prevent their damage, and that’s where antioxidants come in: breaking the chain of electron-borrowing destruction.
Many chemical, cell culture and animal studies have shown the effectiveness of antioxidants at slowing and preventing cancerous cell growth, but their effectiveness depends on their number and variety in our bodies, meaning you can’t get them all from one source. You have to get a variety of antioxidants. And where do we find them? You guessed it. Superfoods.
The best source for antioxidants is to get them straight from your fresh fruits, vegetables, fish and other Superfoods. As well as being nutrient packed, they are also low on sugar meaning they are great for weight loss and don’t fill your body up with empty calories.
But Superfoods go beyond cancer prevention. They replenish our vitamin stores, lubricate our joints, provide great sources of fiber to clear the digestive system, offer essential fatty acids and essential nutrients (meaning nutrients that our bodies cannot make on their own.) And the result? Better overall health. Superfoods have been said to be beneficial in lowering cholesterol, lowering blood pressure, improving our moods, preventing heart disease, treating diabetes, and reversing and slowing the effects of aging. So why would we eat anything less than the best? The more we learn about Superfoods, the more it makes sense to load our bodies with the ingredients of health.
Eating Superfoods Won’t Break Your Bank
While we are changing all of your conceptions about healthy living, let’s get another one out of the way: eating healthy does not cost more than the alternative. Depending on what you’re eating it costs much less; not to mention the benefits are innumerable.
In 2006 the University of Washington conducted a study that indicated when you divided the cost per calorie of healthy produce-based meals to junk foods, the junk foods came out cheaper — you were getting more calories for your dollar. But that’s because junk food is densely calorie packed, with little nutritional value in each one. These are what we call “empty” calories. Calories that fill you up, cause you to gain weight, but provide little of the essential nutrition your body needs. Not to mention junk foods trick your body into eating more — both because the high salt content makes them taste good, but also because it takes more to make your body feel satisfied; the body wants to keep eating until it has its nutritional needs met. And we wonder why obesity is such a growing concern?
Comparing healthy food and junk food by the calorie is not a fair comparison. For starters, a diet of healthy food is going to require far less calories than a diet of junk food. Eating healthy doesn’t mean replacing cheap burger calories to lean Angus grass-fed beef calories and then comparing the cost; Healthy eating means a radical reallocation of calories.
Notice that a huge percentage of Superfoods are plant-based. Keep in mind that produce costs a lot less than fish, meat, or foul, and root vegetables are both high calorie, nutrient packed, and very affordable. When considering costs, remember your Superfood diet is going to rely heavily on more affordable staple-items like produce, beans, brown rice, oats, eggs, etc. which will then be punctuated with higher cost items like salmon. When we look at the situation holistically, when we compare a healthy balanced diet of Superfoods to a junk food diet that relies heavily on meat, packaged and high fat items, the cost discrepancy is not so great.
For the same price of a Hungry Man 900-calorie meal, you can get a pound of beans, a head of broccoli, and some summer squash, which is enough to last you at least a few meals. So the difference isn’t, in fact, price, but planning. Eating healthfully does take a little extra thought and care, but the long-term benefits vastly make up for it.
Eating junk food is not a sustainable practice. A long-term junk food diet most certainly leads to obesity and whole slew of health-problems. Diets high in sugar can cause diabetes; diets high in sodium can cause high blood pressure; diets high in fat make you susceptible to heart disease. And what is the cost of treatment when you get such a disease?
So whatever the investment, be it time or money, the time to switch to a healthy Superfood diet is now. Make the investment in your body. Protect yourself from future illness, and repair past damage. Can we really put a price on that?
Best Way to Introduce Superfoods to Your Diet
Lots of people have the misconception that eating healthy is a luxury they don’t have either the time or money for. Perhaps mealtime is often on the go. Perhaps getting to the grocery store is a rare event. Perhaps your freezer is stocked, but your fridge is often empty. Many of us have the goal to eat healthfully, but the reality is often quite different.But all of that is changing. You are starting to learn the importance of Superfoods, and
But all of that is changing. You are starting to learn the importance of Superfoods, and it’s time to start creating opportunities to incorporate them into your diet, rather than excuses as to why you can’t. Let go of the idea that if you eat something junky or deepfried it’s all over and you may as well quit trying. Start today by doing the best you can.
Perhaps begin with non-perishable foods — beans, seeds, and nuts. Then, move to fruit and healthy snacks, like berries. Buy things that you can eat on the go and without any preparation. As you’re ready to make bigger life-style changes, branch out to fresh fish and produce. Look up some new recipes, and think about how you can create a whole Superfood-packed meal. Experiment and have fun. The more creatively you approach your new diet, the easier it will be to remain faithful.
As with any lifestyle change, it takes a few months of consistently following the new habits until they become routine. But with a little commitment, you’ll start to reap the benefits of your diet in no time — glowing skin and weight loss included.
What follows is a list of 7 Superfoods proven to speed up the fat burning process.
DIET SUPERFOOD #1 – CACAO
Cacao: What Makes This Superfood So Super
To some, cacao is one of the best superfoods you can get your hands on. For years, many have been singing its praises, especially those on raw food diets. But what exactly is cacao?
If the name makes you think cacao is related to chocolate in some way, you’re right. Cacao, often called “raw chocolate,” is the seed of the Theobroma cacao tree. When processed in a certain way, cacao can become chocolate. But, as much as the world loves chocolate, many are beginning to find that cacao in its raw, untreated form has many health benefits.
A weight-loss superfood is a food that is low in calories but high in nutrients. Working superfoods into your diet will not only help you to lose weight, it will also improve your overall health. But what is it, exactly, that makes cacao a superfood?
Cacao is rich in anti-oxidants, the substance that fights free radicals, and can help to prevent serious conditions like cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, Rheumatoid arthritis and stroke. In fact, researchers say cacao contains more antioxidants than red wine, black tea and green tea. And while that alone could be enough for anyone to make cacao a regular part of their diet, this superfood also has other benefits.
Cacao is packed with magnesium which, among other things, helps to build strong bones and teeth. It also strengthens the heart, balances brain activity, and can improve your mood. And if you’re feeling tense, or can’t seem to unwind after a busy day, magnesium can relieve stress and relax the muscles. Since most people are magnesium deficient, eating cacao is a great way to get more of this important mineral.
Cacao contains sulfur, which can make your hair and nails stronger and improve your skin. Sulfur also has detoxifying properties.
Cacao contains Phenylethylamine (or PEA), a chemical similar to the one your brain releases when you are excited…or falling in love. So eating cacao can make you experience feelings similar to the ones you might have in those situations, like happiness or euphoria. PEA also increases blood circulation, which can make you feel more focused and alert. Cacao is a great snack to have if you’re going to be in a situation in which you need to concentrate and focus.
Another substance found in cacao is anandamide. This is a neurotransmitter that makes us feel good, more excited, and more alert. Anandamide also helps to naturally decrease feelings of depression. In fact, it can be found in many anti-depressant medications.
Finally, cacao contains theobromine, which can help to lower blood pressure. Studies have found that theobromine can also decrease your chances of having a heart attack.
Facts about Cacao
Can cacao help an individual to lose weight? Yes, it can. While cacao itself doesn’t directly cause you to lose weight, it does have certain properties that help promote weight loss.
Cacao is an appetite suppressant. It contains monoamine oxidize enzyme inhibitors (or MAO inhibitors) which are known to decrease feelings of hunger. Eating a few cacao nibs can also make you feel full, so you won’t eat as much.
Cacao is also non-fattening, and low-fat cacao has only 60 calories. It’s the perfect snack for anyone on a diet. Cacao also qualifies as a fat burning food. The body uses up more calories oxidizing cacao than the cacao contains. This means that cacao is a negativecalorie food.
Many studies have been done on the benefits of cacao. A study found in the Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism shows that cacao may help prevent additional neural damage in those who have suffered a stroke. According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, cacao can not only help to lower the blood pressure, it also improves heart health. And researchers at the University of Cambridge in England agree. Their studies found that cacao can reduce the risk of heart disease by as much as one third.
Different Ways to Eat Cacao
Cacao isn’t naturally sweet. It also has a strong flavor that can take a while to get used to. But many soon acquire a taste for this superfood. In fact, many people eat cacao nibs raw and in their natural state in much the same way they might eat nuts. Those who don’t like the unsweetened taste of plain cacao nibs can coat them in honey and freeze them until the honey becomes a sweet but healthy coating.
Cacao can be sprinkled over ice cream as a healthier alternative to chocolate chips and other toppings.
Cacao is available in powdered form. You can use cacao powder instead of the chocolate powder you normally use in recipes. In truth, almost any chocolate recipe can be made using cacao powder, including cakes, cookies, brownies, and hot chocolate.
Depending on where you live, cacao can be hard to find. Most have to turn to specialty stores. Some have to resort to finding cacao online.
One of the most affordable ways to get cacao might be to grow your own Theobroam cacao plant. Those who live in warm, dry climates will find this surprisingly easy to do.
When choosing cacao beans, make sure they are a rich, golden brown. If a cacao bean is very dark, there’s a good chance it’s filled with harmful bacteria. If a cacao bean looks unhealthy, it probably is. One way to tell for sure is to feel it. If it feels soft, it might be rotten.
In order to ensure the best quality, cacao beans must be harvested at just the right time. If cacao is harvested too soon, the quality will be poor and they will lack flavor. However, if the cocoa pods are allowed to get too ripe, the cacao beans will be more vulnerable to disease.
One way to ensure you get the best cacao beans possible is to buy them through a company with a very good reputation, and excellent customer reviews. Cacao is one of the world’s most powerful superfoods. Not only are cacao beans packed with nutrients that can help protect your health, but cacao can also help you to lose weight.
DIET SUPERFOOD #2 – GRAPEFRUITS
Grapefruit: The Citrus Superfood – Why Grapefruit is Good For You
Many people know that eating grapefruit can help you lose weight, but did you also know that this delicious citrus fruit can help alleviate cold symptoms and improve the function of your immune system? Grapefruit is rich in important nutrients like vitamin C and disease-fighting limonoids. This fruit is also known to have anti-inflammatory benefits, which can help prevent heart disease and improve conditions like arthritis and asthma. With all these benefits as well as a healthy dose of antioxidants, grapefruit certainly deserves to be called a superfood. It is also a tasty fruit that can be served in a variety of ways and can be added to salads for a fresh treat.
How Grapefruit Can Improve Your Health
Grapefruit has many beneficial ingredients, among these is salicylic acid. Salicylic acid helps the body break down inorganic calcium that can build up in the system. When your body stores calcium in the joints this can lead to arthritis. Eating grapefruits can break down this extra calcium and prevent inflammation of the joints and cartilage over time. Salicylic acid also functions as a powerful antiseptic so it can also fight bacterial and fungal infections.
The property that gives grapefruit its lovely ruby color is lycopene. Lycopene is a carotenoid pigment that provides cancer fighting power to your body. Carotenoid pigments have been proven to fight free radicals which can cause cancer. Grapefruits also pack a powerful antioxidant punch, and they can help significantly reduce your cholesterol levels. If you do decide to add grapefruit to your diet to lower your cholesterol, be sure to talk to your doctor about any medications you may be taking. Some drugs, such as those for depression, allergies and high blood pressure can interact with the benefits of grapefruit so make sure that you are not taking any of these medications.
One of the best benefits of grapefruits is that they can help you lose weight because this fruit is high in fat-burning enzymes. Add to this the high water content of grapefruit and you have got a diet superfood. Grapefruit can help speed up your metabolism by keeping you feeling satisfied longer. Because of the high fiber and low sugar content of grapefruit, eating one will help you stave off hunger.
Ways to Eat Grapefruit
There are some very simple ways to dress up grapefruit to make it a delicious staple in your diet. One of the easiest is to simply cut the fruit in half and cut around the sections with a knife to loosen them. Then, just add a light sprinkling of brown sugar or a drizzle of honey and eat it with a spoon. You can even broil your grapefruit to create a crispy sugar crust.
Some people do not like the taste of grapefruit by itself and they may want to add grapefruit to other dishes. For example, adding some sectioned grapefruit to a green salad makes a refreshing dish. When paired with avocado, grapefruit is both tasty and even more beneficial to your health. You can also saute a piece of fresh fish with a sectioned grapefruit and some onion for a delicious meal. This super fruit goes just as well with savory dishes as it does with sweet ones. You can also make a great dip with grapefruit as an appetizer; just add some crushed grapefruit to your favorite salsa to reap the benefits.
Drinking fresh grapefruit juice provides many of the same benefits as eating the fruit. Grapefruit also makes a great addition to a fruit smoothie, simply section the fruit and drop it in your blender with the other ingredients.
With all of the wonderful ways to prepare grapefruit, whatever your tastes you can add this wonderful food to your diet. Also remember that there are many different varieties of grapefruit, and they all have a slightly different flavor. Be sure to experiment with different varieties to find the one that is your favorite.
Tips for Getting the Best Grapefruit
In order to fully enjoy getting all of the benefits of grapefruit, it is important to purchase the best fruit at its peak of ripeness. There are two basic varieties of grapefruit that are equally sweet. There are pink grapefruits which have a darker color and can have flesh that is almost red in color, and there are white grapefruits that have a lighter hue. Both of these varieties are sweeter when picked later in the season, and have more tartness earlier in the growing season. Some varieties of grapefruit have more seeds than others, so it is important to know which kind of fruit you want.
No matter the color or seed content of a grapefruit, it is important that the fruit looks glossy and smooth. Be sure that the outside of the fruit is as close to blemish free as possible, and that it has a shiny appearance. Unlike with some types of fruit, squeezing a grapefruit will not tell you anything about the quality of the fruit. The best way to tell if a grapefruit is ripe is to gauge its weight. A ripe grapefruit is heavy because of all of the juice that is contained within it. The heaviest grapefruit you can find will also be the ripest and most delicious fruit. Once you get your grapefruit home, you can store it for up to a week at room temperature. To extend the life of your grapefruit you can also store it in your produce drawer for up to three weeks.
There are so many delicious ways to include this remarkable superfood in your diet. If you add grapefruits to your diet on a regular basis you will reap the rewards of a healthier lifestyle.
DIET SUPERFOOD #3 – WILD SALMON
Wild Salmon-The Superfood Of The Sea
In addition to shedding unwanted pounds, are you looking for a quick and easy way to lower your cholesterol and cut your risk of life-threatening conditions like cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular disease? Maybe you want to reduce pain-inducing inflammation in your body while fighting the effects of aging on your skin and bones? Perhaps you need a bit of a brain-boost to improve your memory, and while you’re at it, how about a natural way to keep depression at bay?
No, we’re not talking about a miracle pill, illegal substance or yet another fad diet filled with empty promises – all these healthy benefits have been scientifically linked to one amazing (and really tasty!) superfood – wild salmon!
Wild salmon is loaded with natural Omega-3 EPA/DHA fatty acids (the type sourced from fish and other marine species). According to Medline Plus, fish oil that is high in Omega-3 fatty acids has been proven effective in the reduction of high triglyceride levels which are linked to heart disease and diabetes. There is also strong evidence of the beneficial effects of Omega-3’s in combatting inflammation, slowing osteoporosis and even cutting the risk of edometrial cancer. Numerous health experts including Dr. Oz and Dr. Pericone are recommending adding wild salmon to your diet because it is such a nutritional powerhouse.
Wild Salmon Can Make You Feel Better
Because eating a 3.5 ounce portion of wild salmon provides you with between 1 and 3 grams of Omega-3 fatty acids, you’ll enjoy all the perks of Omega-3 without taking a pill. These fatty acids have been proven to help people look and feel better by improving brain function and reducing inflammation related to skin disorders and arthritis.
The Slimming Secrets of Wild Salmon
Wild salmon packs a nutritional punch that makes it a great choice for people who are looking to add high-quality protein to their diets while cutting back on sodium, cholesterol and carbohydrates. A 3 oz. serving of cooked wild salmon has about 155 calories, 7 grams total fat and a whooping 22 grams of protein while being free of cholesterol and carbs. Wild salmon is also a naturally low-sodium food, with an 85 gram cooked serving containing only a trace amount (48 milligrams).
So what makes wild salmon such a great food for weight loss? Here’s why:
Wild Salmon Tastes Great, Is Affordable and Easy to Eat
Unlike many other types of seafood that have a distinctive “fishy” taste, wild salmon has a mild flavor and relatively firm texture that appeals to almost everyone. Anyone who has ever tried to stick with a healthy eating plan knows that to be successful, the food has got to taste good, be easy to buy, prepare and be satisfying!
Wild Salmon Is A High-Protein, Low-Calorie, Carb-Free Food
Regardless of what type of eating plan you want to follow, most weight-loss experts today agree that a healthy balanced diet should include quality protein while limiting the amount of complex carbohydrates and calories. If you are trying to shed pounds by upping your intake of protein, why not try some wild salmon instead of the traditional tuna, chicken breast and egg whites?
How To Eat Wild Salmon
Wild salmon is available in a wide variety of forms including fresh, frozen, smoked, canned, pickled, dried and for sushi lovers, raw. This versatile superfood can be prepared using almost any type of method imaginable, including on the BBQ, baked, steamed, broiled, fried and microwaved. It pairs well with seasonings like citrus, dill and pepper. Just be sure to stick with low-fat cooking methods and avoid adding fats like butter, mayo and oil.
Smoked wild salmon, also known as lox, makes a great appetizer when served with light cream cheese on top of a multi-grain cracker. BBQ aficionados often prepare either a whole wild salmon or fillets on a cedar plank, infusing the fish with a wonderful woodsy flavor. For an easy dinner, try steaming a wild salmon fillet covered with lemon slices and fresh dill.
Canned wild salmon is already cooked and ready to eat, making it a great addition to salads, casseroles and bakes. It can usually be substituted for tuna in any recipe and is available in a wide variety of flavors including Cajun, lemon pepper and smoked.
Wild Salmon Buying Tips
If you are lucky enough to have access to fresh wild salmon, here’s some tips to help you pick out a great fillet, steak or whole fish:
-Look ’em in the eye. Whole wild salmon should have clear, bright eyes that are free of any cloudiness or haze.
-Give it a poke. Fresh wild salmon will feel slightly firm when gently poked and quickly return to its original shape.
-Sniff the fish. Quality wild salmon should smell fresh, with a slight hint of the ocean or river. Wild salmon should never smell “fishy”.
-Buy the whole fish. Buying a whole wild salmon is usually far cheaper per pound than purchasing wild salmon fillets or steaks, even once you remove the head, tail and skin (and don’t worry, whole wild salmon sold at markets and direct from the docks usually have the yucky inside bits already removed!). If you have mad kitchen knife skills, then go ahead and fillet your own fish – if not, your local fishmonger will usually do this free of charge.
Even if you live miles away from a fish market you can still enjoy wild salmon – look in the freezer section for fish that has been flash-frozen within hours of being harvested. There are even a number of online retailers who will ship both fresh and frozen wild salmon directly to your home, making it easy to enjoy this superfood no matter where you live.
Buying Wild Salmon on a Budget
Many people (mistakenly) think that wild salmon is a gourmet food that comes along with a gourmet price tag! The price of wild salmon fluctuates based on the market demand, the weather and fish stocks and when purchased fresh, usually costs about the same per pound as other high-quality meats like beef tenderloin.
Cooked canned wild salmon is a great way to get all the nutritional perks of this superfood without breaking your food budget, since it costs about the same as other quality canned seafood products such as tuna and shrimp. Like frozen salmon, wild-caught canned salmon is processed within hours of harvesting and usually has a shelf life of 2-4 years, making this a good way to have a readily available source of protein in your pantry.
DIET SUPERFOOD #4 – KIWI
Kiwi: The Superfood that Packs a Punch
So what makes kiwi a superfood?
Kiwi, also sometimes called kiwifruit, is native to China, but has become a cash crop for New Zealand, California, and several other countries. Originally called the Chinese gooseberry, the fruit was renamed the kiwifruit, after New Zealand’s national bird.
Kiwi, which is considered one of the main super fruits, is packed with vitamins, minerals and nutrients. When it comes to health benefits, there are few things that can beat it. Kiwi also tastes good, which can’t be said for everything on the superfoods list.
Kiwi is rich in Vitamin C. In fact, a kiwi contains as much vitamin C as an orange. Vitamin C strengthens the immune system, and can also help wounds and burns to heal faster.
If you’ve been eating bananas for their potassium, try kiwi for a change of pace. A kiwi contains just as much potassium, which promotes heart health, and helps rid the body of toxins. Potassium also improves mental clarity, making you more sharp and alert.
Kiwi is packed with Vitamin E, as well as flavonoids and carotenoids, both of which are powerful antioxidants. Antioxidants protect our bodies from free radicals, and those who have plenty of antioxidant-rich foods in their diets are less likely to suffer from illnesses like heart disease and cancer.
Kiwi is also high in fiber, which can help to reduce cholesterol levels, and lower your risk of heart disease. In patients with heart disease, eating plenty of fiber can lower their risk of suffering from a heart attack. Fiber also helps remove toxins from the colon, which can decrease the risk of colon cancer.
The zinc in kiwi helps keep your hair, skin, nails and teeth healthy. Zinc also strengthens the immune system, making you less prone to colds, the flu, and infection.
Eating kiwi is one way to make sure you get plenty of calcium in your diet, which will keep your bones and teeth strong and healthy.
An Italian study showed that, after eating 5 to 7 servings of kiwi and other citrus fruits per week, children with asthma had less trouble with coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath at night. Any asthma sufferer, child or adult, can benefit from eating kiwi at least once or twice a week.
According to a study done at Rutgers University, there is no fruit as rich in nutrients as the kiwi. And a study done by the University of Oslo found that eating two kiwis a day not only reduced the risk of blood clots, it could also prevent and reduce the visible signs of aging.
Can eating kiwi help you to lose weight?
This superfood is not only delicious, it’s also fat-free. You can eat as much of it as you want without gaining weight, making it a great snack for dieters.
Kiwi is packed with fiber. Fiber-rich foods make you feel full and suppress your appetite. So if you add kiwi to your diet, you will eat less without feeling hungry. Not only that, but a study found that those who eat kiwi tend to burn more fat when exercising.
How to Eat Kiwi
There are almost no limits to the ways this superfood can be eaten.
Kiwi tastes so good that many regularly eat this super fruit all on its own. You can either peel kiwi before eating or eat it with the skin intact. But, if you eat it with the skin, make sure the kiwi has been thoroughly washed to get rid of any pesticides or dirt. In fact, you should always thoroughly wash a kiwi before cutting it. Rinsing it in warm water should do the trick.
To peel a kiwi, cut off each end, then use a knife to peel the skin away from the fruit.
While some like to scoop the seeds out of a kiwi, it’s not necessary because the seeds are edible and safe to eat. The only part of the kiwi you shouldn’t eat is the white core at the center.
A kiwi that isn’t ripe enough can be sour. While some will like this flavor, others won’t. With practice, you’ll be able to feel a kiwi and tell when it’s just right for eating.
One popular use for kiwi is to put it in smoothies. Kiwi tastes especially great when combined with strawberries, so try a strawberry smoothie if you want a real treat.
You can also cut kiwi into chunks and add it to fruit salads, vegetable salads, cereal, ice cream and yogurt.
You can give any dessert a little extra flair by using kiwi as a garnish. The great thing about this superfood is that it won’t lose its brilliant color when exposed to the air. So after icing a cake, try adding some kiwi slices for decoration.
Kiwi can also be used as a marinade or meat tenderizer. The enzymes in kiwi help to break down the meat so it is tender. If you have a piece of meat that you think will be tough and hard to chew, try soaking it in a kiwi marinade for a few hours.
Kiwi is available all year round, which is good news for lovers of this superfood.
When buying kiwi, choose one that looks full and plump. Hold it to your nose to make sure it has a nice, fragrant aroma. Give the skin a once over to make sure there are no bruises, wrinkles or other blemishes visible.
A good kiwi will feel slightly firm, but will have a little give to it. When squeezing a kiwi, it shouldn’t feel too hard, but also shouldn’t feel soft or mushy.
It’s okay to buy a kiwi that hasn’t ripened yet. You can store an unripe kiwi at room temperature and let it ripen on its own, or put it in a plastic or paper bag to speed up the ripening process. Adding a banana to the bag will make the kiwi ripen even faster. Check the kiwi every day or so, so you can catch it before it gets too ripe.
Once the kiwi is ripe, move it away from the banana. Being close to the other fruit will make the kiwi decompose faster.
Put the kiwi in the refrigerator and it should last for one to two weeks.
DIET SUPERFOOD #5 – PINE NUTS
Pine Nuts: What Makes This Nut So Super
When we talk about superfoods, we are usually talking about ingredients that are packed full of nutritional value and flavor. Nuts are some of the best superfoods, with pine nuts topping the list. All nuts are great sources of vegetable protein, natural fat, and a variety of vitamins and minerals. The pine nut is unique in that it also contains cholecystokinin, a natural appetite suppressant. Pine nuts are also a great source of antioxidants.
Ever since free radicals were discovered in 1954, scientists have searched for effective countermeasures. Free radicals cause the effects of aging and have a direct link to cancer. Antioxidants minimize the number of free radicals by slowing the oxidation process. Natural antioxidants may help prevent cancer, heart disease and neurological disorders. However, it is important to get your antioxidants from a natural, organic source. Foods today have an average of 40 percent less antioxidants when compared to foods grown fifty years ago.
In addition to their free radical fighting properties, pine nuts also offer amazing nutrition in one small bite. Pine nuts have more protein than any other nut, and also provide a valuable natural source of Vitamins A, B and E, along with amino acids, iron, magnesium and zinc. If you were to make only one change to your diet, eat a quarter cup of pine nuts daily. Polyunsaturated fats are healthy fats that help reduce your bad cholesterol. Pine nuts are a good source of polyunsaturated fats, having 19 g of fat and only 4 g of carbohydrates. It is difficult to find foods with so few carbs and so much nutrition.
How Can Eating Pine Nuts Help Me Lose Weight?
Pine nuts naturally suppress appetite. They are chock-full of cholecystokinin, the hormone that tells your brain you’re not hungry. It also slows the emptying of your stomach, letting you feel full for longer. This is the perfect combination to help you shed any unwanted pounds.
Pine nuts were used as a sort of meal replacement by the Siberians during a hunt, and the tribes of the Great Basin depended on them for survival. Much like the bison of the plains, pine nuts were an important staple for the Great Basin tribes, often acting to supplement their dietary protein when hunting and fishing were not possible.
The appetite suppressing effects of pine nuts make them a great addition to any diet. Simply eat a handful approximately thirty minutes prior to each meal. They have a deliciously mild nutty flavor, making them an ideal snack. The appetite suppressing effects begin shortly after ingestion and continue for up to four hours. Appetite suppressing hormones increase by up to 60 percent with the addition of 3 g of pine nut oil prior to eating a meal. A study of women seeking weight loss showed that serving pine nuts prior to a meal reduced the desire to eat by 29 percent. It also showed a reduction in the amount of food consumed. Unlike many chemical diet aids, there are no harmful side effects to adding pine nuts into your diet.
How to Prepare Pine Nuts
Whether you are eating them by the handful or tossing them on a salad, pine nuts make for a delicious mouthful. The Greeks packed them in honey for a sweet snack, while modern chefs routinely grind them up in pesto. Pine nuts are the main ingredient in many pesto dishes. Pine nut oil makes a lovely finishing oil. It has a very low smoke point, so it is rarely used during the cooking process. Drizzled on any dish after it has finished cooking, pine nut oil becomes a lovely flavor accent.
In their whole form, pine nuts are served roasted to remove the outer shell. They can also be eaten raw, fresh out of the pine cone. Native Americans used pine nuts as a sort of mash to which they added berries or fish. Ground up finely, pine nuts can be used to crust meats or fish, substitute a portion of white flour in baking or bake up as a sweet crumble. The mild flavor of pine nuts makes them a nice addition to almost any meal. They take on flavors well, allowing them to be used in any course from appetizer to dessert.
Try adding pine nuts to some of your favorite recipes and enjoy a bit of added texture. They don’t have the same crunch factor you get from other nuts, but they add an interesting extra element.
Where and When to Buy Pine Nuts
Most of us are used to seeing pine nuts at the grocery store already shelled. That probably means they have been shipped in from overseas. By the time a shipment reaches the US, the pine nuts are already past their prime. The high fat content of pine nuts makes them more likely to turn rancid than other nuts. Before eating a pine nut, be sure to take a big whiff. It is better to smell rancid pine nuts than to eat them.
Look for pine nuts still in their shells. Not only are they more likely to be locally produced, they also last longer than the shelled versions. Locally produced pine nuts are vastly preferable to those from international sources. American pine nuts are natural, without any additives. Plus, you can test the freshness of any American pine nuts by putting them to seed. Fresh pine nuts will sprout, just like any other seed you plant. American pine nuts are also harvested locally and naturally, giving you the freshest pine nuts available.
Buying organic pine nuts carries a higher price tag, but it is worth the extra money. The fresher your food, the better the nutritional value. By shelling the pine nuts to reduce shipping costs, international pine nut harvesters reduce the health benefits you enjoy from eating their product. Stick with American-grown pine nuts and get the maximum benefit from each serving.
If you are looking for pine nut oil, Siberian nuts are the way to go. This particular plant species is particularly high in oil content. Pine nut oil from Siberian plant varieties is less expensive than the oil from American plants, and it has the same quality. Pine nuts are fairly expensive, due in part to the difficulties of maintaining freshness. Pine nuts should be refrigerated along every part of the distribution line. Once you purchase your pine nuts, be sure to keep them refrigerated even if they are unopened. They typically last about a month when sealed in an air tight container in the fridge, and can last up to three months if you freeze them.
DIET SUPERFOOD #6 – PUMPKIN
Pumpkin, A Superfood That Aids In Weight Loss
Pumpkin, a member of the gourd family, is a high fiber, low calorie superfood that is filled with nutrients. Pumpkin is considered a superfood due to its high content of potassium, magnesium, ascorbic acid, and vitamin E. When these nutrients are all combined in one delicious package, you get an incredible superfood filled with antioxidants that help individuals build up their immune system, lose weight, and produce glowing and youthful skin. While many people consider pumpkin to be something used for Halloween Jack-O-Lanterns, it is actually an incredible source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
An interesting fact about pumpkin is that it is actually a fruit, and many people believe that it is a vegetable. Pumpkin is high in zinc, which is great for the immune system. Zinc is known to decrease the length of colds and flu when taken as a supplement. Pumpkin is high in fiber, which is very helpful to someone who is looking to lose weight. Foods high in fiber aid in the digestive process, which in turn helps eliminate excess water and toxins from the body. Pumpkin also contains potassium, which is known to help induce weight loss.
Pumpkin contains beta carotene, which converts to vitamin A during the digestive process. Vitamin A is a key nutrient that assists in renewing skin cells, so not only is pumpkin a delicious and nutritious snack, it can also assist in turning back the hands of time. Studies have shown that pumpkin can reduce facial lines and add a lovely and youthful glow to the skin, and how can you beat that? There are various skin creams and homemade facial masks that contain pumpkin as well. Pumpkin is also packed with calcium, which promotes strong bones and teeth. Daily calcium intake also lowers a woman’s risk of osteoporosis. Pumpkin is also low in calories, which is essential for weight loss. Pumpkin contains iron, which is great news for vegetarians, and it also contains folate, which is beneficial for women’s health. Pumpkins have a high water content, which allows the body to feel full in a short amount of time, and this is very beneficial to weight loss.
The carbohydrates in pumpkin are considered good carbs, and they give dieters the extra energy they need to increase their workouts and fitness routines. The high concentrations of vitamin C and beta carotene in pumpkin are known to reduce inflammation and pain caused by various illnesses, and conditions like arthritis. Vitamin C is also known to boost immunity, aid in cell regeneration, and boost metabolism.
How to Prepare Pumpkin?
There are many delicious and easy ways to prepare pumpkin. By sprinkling mashed pumpkin with cinnamon and nutmeg, you can create a delicious snack that also will help lower blood sugar, which is very helpful to individuals with diabetes. Adding almonds to this mixture will create a delicious low calorie breakfast dish that is filling and packed with goodness.
Another way to prepare pumpkin is by making a delicious pumpkin smoothie. This can be done easily by blending pumpkin puree, low fat milk, brown sugar, cinnamon, and ice. When blended together, this will make a delicious smoothie that will give you enough energy to get through the morning, and will keep you full until lunch. Bananas and apples can also be blended in, and this will add extra potassium and fiber, which will also help aid in weight loss.
Roasted pumpkin makes a healthy side dish and tastes great. You can roast pumpkin by slicing it into sections, and baking the slices for about thirty minutes. Brush on a little low fat butter or olive oil, and you’ve got yourself an amazingly healthy treat. Pumpkin can also be made into a delicious dip for fruit and crackers by mixing pumpkin, cream cheese, orange juice, maple syrup, and cinnamon. This is an easy and quick way to whip up a delicious midday snack.
Fresh pumpkin can also be spread on low calorie wheat bread or crackers, and this makes a healthy and vitamin packed lunch.
Pumpkin Buying Tips
You can find pumpkins at any local grocery store, and there are also organic and farmer’s markets that sell pumpkins of very high quality. The best time to purchase fresh pumpkins is in the fall, as they harvest in September. Canned pumpkin can be purchased year round, and works well for smoothies and soups.
It is best to buy pumpkins when they are ripe, and a nice bright orange color is usually the best indicator. You can also tap the pumpkin on the side and listen for a hollow sound. This will let you know if the pumpkin is ready to go.
The skin on the pumpkin should also be firm, and you can test this by lightly scratching the surface. When picking fresh pumpkins, it is important to make sure that they are clean and safe for eating. This can be done by washing the pumpkin thoroughly, and they can also be wiped with a light bleach solution. If you use the bleach method, make sure to let the pumpkin dry for at least two hours.
The price of pumpkins will usually range from $5 to $10; ten dollars is usually the cost of an extra-large pumpkin, so this is definitely an affordable superfood. Farmer’s markets and vegetable stands sometimes sell pumpkins for even less, and these are usually the best places to purchase them. It is best to store fresh pumpkins away from the sun, and refrigerate any unused portion once the pumpkin has been sliced.
Pumpkin is an incredible superfood that is not just meant for the holidays. Adding pumpkin to any diet will bring amazing results. Not only does this food help with weight loss, it reduces inflammation, reverses aging signs on the skin, and promotes health and immunity. Pumpkins are low cost, so they are affordable for any budget. One pumpkin can create a variety of delicious treats and snacks that are tasty and good for you at the same time. This is one superfood that should be on everyone’s list.
DIET SUPERFOOD #7 – KALE
Kale: The Superfood for Weight Loss and Improved Health
Kale is a superfood that helps in weight loss and improvement of overall health. Eating lots of kale supplies very low quantities of calories. But it gets the tummy full for long enough so that the body has a chance to burn fat and lose weight. I have seen many individuals struggle to shed some weight and get fit without success. Now, good old kale has the answer. Kale is a natural food that supplies many useful nutrients while keeping body weight in check.
How does kale work to reduce weight?
Kale is widely available, thanks to the ease with which it grows. But, it is not just another filler food. It is more than this. For starters, it is short of calories with one cup supplying only 36 calories. That same cup contains one gram of fiber. This combination works wonders to give a feeling of fullness. While calories add weight to the body, fiber works like an escort through the digestive system without it being substantially changed. This is the reason why eating more kale produces a feeling of fullness. It is this same principle that most weight loss solutions adopt.
But that is not all kale is about. In addition to fiber, kale contains other nutrients which are important to the body. These include vitamins A, C, K and others in the B group. It also contains minerals such as calcium, copper, phosphorus, iron, manganese and potassium as well as omega-3 fatty acids.
Kale also contains many other ingredients whose health benefits include fighting various cancers, heart disease and degenerative conditions. According to research findings published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, kale contains anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-cancer qualities. These are delivered by various sulfur-containing compounds, some of which are known as flavonoids and carotenoids. The presence of all these nutrients and health-enhancing ingredients has earned kale the well-deserved superfood tag.
A superfood can be defined as a food item that contains many nutritive and health-enhancing substances. Various studies carried out on different food items have shown that in addition to the ordinary nutrients, there are other components of food that have a positive effect on the human body. These components may not have any known nutritive benefits. Kale fits this description. While I may eat it purely as a food item that rids me of hunger and helps maintain my weight, I also consider its consumption as a means to improve my overall health.
Superfood Facts about Kale
Putting kale’s top information in a list is easier to remember. This superfood is packed full of vitamins, minerals and many other non-nutritive, health-enhancing ingredients. Analysis has shown that one cup of kale contains the following main ingredients:
-Only 36 calories. Eating lots of kale does not load the body with excess calories. This is the main reason why kale helps in weight loss.
-About 180 percent of the required daily allowance (RDA) of vitamin A. Vitamin A helps to maintain sight as well as keep the skin healthy.
-About 90 percent of the vitamin C requirement per day. Vitamin C protects the body from disease. It is also helps in the healing process.
-About 1,000 percent of RDA of vitamin K. Vitamin K helps in the clotting of blood.
-About 15 percent of the RDA of calcium. Calcium is important in bone formation and maintenance. The calcium in kale is more bio-available than that in other vegetables such as broccoli and spinach because it contains less phytates. These are compounds which reduce absorption of calcium in the body.
-About 40 percent of RDA of magnesium.
-Kale also contains other minerals and vitamins in smaller quantities. These include vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, folate, iron, manganese, potassium, copper and phosphorus.
-About 10 percent of recommended daily allowance of omega-3 fatty acids which have anti-inflammatory qualities.
-Kale also works as a detoxification agent. Eating kale regularly keeps the body systems clean and healthy.
How to Eat Kale
Kale can be prepared and eaten in many ways as part of the main meal, in side dishes as well as in salads. It can easily be incorporated in various recipes to improve the nutritive and health benefits of food. It works very well as one of the ingredients in sauces, meatballs and muffins. It can also be used in stews, soups and stir fries as well as in smoothies and dressings.
Kale Buying Tips
Kale is available throughout the year in supermarkets, farmers’ markets and gardens. When buying kale, the best practice is to go for those whose leaves are deeply colored and whose stems are firm and moist. These will be the fresh ones. Wilted or discolored leaves signify that the kale is not fresh. Kale with smaller leaves as opposed to very large leaves will often be more tender and give a better flavor. Excessively large leaves are likely to be overripe and slightly bitter tasting. For salads, smoothies and juice, young kale leaves are the best option.
How to store kale
Kales can be stored for up to one week in the fringe. Moisture should be wiped off from the leaves with a towel before placing them in a plastic bag. As much air as possible should be expelled from the plastic bag before closing and placing it on the lower shelf or the door of the fridge.
Varieties of kale
Kale, whose scientific name is Brassica oleracea, belongs to the cruciferous family, which also includes cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and collards. The cruciferous family originated in Asia Minor. From there, it was taken to Europe and the rest of the world around 600 B.C. Kale arrived in America in the 17th century, courtesy of English settlers. Today, there are many varieties of kale to choose from. The most common include black kale, curly kale, Tuscan kale and ornamental kale.
Is kale a practical weight loss superfood?
Losing excess weight and keeping fit improves the personal image and general health. Kale has all the makings of a superfood that calms the hunger pangs, supplies many necessary nutrients and wards off disease. It’s one of the few foods that I know of that I can eat more to lose weight and get healthier without following impossible routines.
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Now You Know, Explore!
There is no turning back. You are reading this because you care about your health. Because something with the power to help your body in its fight for health, to prevent heart disease, high cholesterol, blood pressure, to protect your body from cancer causing free radicals, to make you look younger, feel better, and to help you finally achieve your weight loss goals, (and all with no nasty side effects!) is impossible not to explore. You have the basic idea: Superfoods are low in calorie and packed with nutrition—many of which are essential for your bodies optimum functioning but impossible for your body to make on its own. When you eat Superfoods you are giving your body the very best fuel.
Superfoods are not expensive. And the lifestyle changes to incorporate them into your diet will reinvigorate your body and mind. What’s more, Superfoods are delicious. You don’t have to deny your taste buds, to reap the benefits of total health.
Explore new fruits and vegetables, fish, grains, nuts, dairy and more. Rediscover old favorites and breathe some life into your old eating habits. It won’t take long before you start to feel the difference.
I hope you enjoyed reading this book.