40 Best Superfoods for Weight Loss

Checkout these delicious seasonal eats to help you lose weight.

Posted May 5,2019 in Lifestyle.

Beauty Tips
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40 Best Superfoods for Weight Loss

1. Strawberries

Strawberries come into season between mid-April and June, making them a great choice for your spring fat-burning diet. The bright red berry is overflowing with powerful polyphenols, the natural plant chemicals that have been shown to aid weight loss and stop fat cells from forming. At only 50 calories per sweet cup, the seedy fruit also provides 3 grams of filling fiber and loads of metabolism-boosting vitamin C.

2. Radishes

Their bright red hue surely adds aesthetic to a salad, but radishes offers more than decorative flair. Radishes get their red color from anthocyanins, phytochemicals that have been shown to burn fat and reduce the risk of diabetes. They’ve also been shown to reduce cholesterol, insulin resistance, and inflammation. Looking to add ’em to your springtime diet? Try slicing up the spheres and topping them with hummus or feta for an easy, high-fiber snack.

3. Greek Yogurt

As the weather gets warmer, a cool bowl of Greek yogurt paired with a low-sugar granola and berries is a refreshing breakfast that will keep you full all morning long. Loaded with potassium, protein, zinc, and vitamins B6 and B12, this tart and creamy dairy delight is great as a snack or as a sour cream substitute. And it’s been found to aid in staying slim. Grab a spoon.

4. Spinach

Rich in muscle-building protein,satiating fiber, and vitamins A,C,and K, spinach is one of the healthiest greens out there. It also contains powerful appetite-suppressing compounds called thylakoids. Liberally add this leafy spring green to your meals throughout your day and you’ll feel your cravings vanish.

5. Eggs

There's nothing like a proteinpacked egg to energize your body and diet. A recent study showed that people who consumed two eggs in their breakfast while following a lower-calorie diet lost 65 percent more weight and reduced their waist circumference by 34 percent compared with those who ate a similar-calorie bagel breakfast. Eggs are also known to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.

6. Baked Potatoes

Sweet potatoes have often outshined the lowly white potato in terms of superfood status. Newsflash: The pale, starchy tuber isn’t the diet enemy so many presume it is. In fact, your average tater has great nutritional benefits. A medium-size baked russet potato, which is roughly 110 calories, contains potassium and fiber beneficial in lowering blood pressure. The tubers are also loaded with vitamins B6 and C, which promote brain function. Just be sure to with hold the sour cream and cheese, and opt for healthier toppings—think hummus, mustard, or salsa.

7. Hibiscus Tea

If your go-to winter warmup is sipping on soup, you're probably feeling bloated from all the saltladen broths. When you consume a lot of sodium, the body retains fluids, resulting in a paunchy belly. Luckily, there's a simple solution: Sip some hibiscus tea. Doing so will help your pooch deflate. The flavonoids in the hibiscus plant counteract bloating by influencing how aldosterone—the hormone that regulates water and electrolyte balance—affects the body. We like brewing up this floral tea from Alvita's, Bigelow's, and Good Nature's brands.

8. Rhubarb

These springtime stalks might look like a celery's crimson-color cousin, but this tart vegetable loves to partner with fruit to become a sweet treat (strawberry rhubarb jam or pie, anyone?). Rhubarb is high in the bellyfat-fighting compound catechin, which triggers the release of fat from fat cells (particularly in the belly) and speeds up the liver's capacity for turning that fat into energy.

9. Ramps

Time to ramp up your spring diet! With a mildly sweet flavor, these wild onions—similar to leeks—are loaded with vitamins and minerals. Plus, like leeks, they can pack up to a gram of fiber per ramp. You can eat them raw, make a pesto, or add them to eggs (with asparagus) for an amazingly fresh-tasting spring treat. Ramp season is very quick, so snag them as soon as you see them at the market or you might miss out.

10. Artichokes

One of the season's very best—and highly coveted— produce offerings, fresh artichokes reach their peak in early spring. One cooked medium artichoke contains a whopping 10.7 grams of fiber, and a half cup of artichoke hearts contains 7 grams of fiber—making the culinary treasure one of the most potent high-fiber foods for weight loss. The delicate, nutty flavor is one to savor  all season long.

11. Apricots

In season from late April to mid-July, this stone fruit is the perfect replacement for other more sinful sweets.Loaded with potassium, vitamin C, and vitamin A— which promotes good vision,a strong immune system, and robust reproductive health—apricots have 3 grams of fiber and only 79 calories per cup. "If your goal is to lose weight, you could eat two apricots for dessert—get a great taste of sweetness but really consume very few calories," says Keri Gans, MS, RDN, CDN, author of The Small Change Diet.

12. Beets

Help streamline your spring detox efforts with beets. Their antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and vascular-protective effects have been shown to help manage cardiovascular disease and cancer, as well as reduce blood pressure, inflammation, and oxidative stress. For a delectably sweet snack that won’t show up on your waistline, thinly slice the ruby-hue root and roast it in the oven with a light drizzle of extra-virgin  olive oil.

13. Morel Mushrooms

These mighty mushrooms are the third-highest vegetable source of vitamin D (only behind two other mushrooms), serving you 23 percent of your recommended daily value in a single cup. This vitamin has many biological functions beyond its classic role in bone metabolism, one of which is regulating your immune system. Morel of the story: Stock up on these 'shrooms!

14. Stinging Nettles

This abundant spring green is a detoxifying diuretic best enjoyed as a hot tea for cleansing the liver and ridding the body of excess fluids. Just steep the stinging nettle leaves in water and strain (a French press works well for this) to avoid being "stung" by the tiny hairs that coat the  leaf stems.

15. Papaya

Best known for its digestion aiding enzyme papain, papaya can help you banish bloat and button up your jeans with ease. This inflammation-fighting compound helps your GI tract breakdown proteins that usually result in uncomfortable bloating. What’s more, papaya's stellar fiber content (almost 4 grams per cup mashed) can also help you feel fuller for longer. Try tossing the tropical fruit into a breakfast smoothie or showcasing its unique flavor profile by adding it to a refreshing salad.

16. Dandelion Greens

These bittersweet spring greens are bursting with fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. They are also a diuretic, which means they can blast excess weight by helping your body get rid of extra fluids. A recent study found that steaming the greens increases their total antioxidant properties by 67 percent! And this flowering plant is protective against obesity, depression, fatigue, immune system issues, and even cancer.

17. Kohlrabi

This oft-overlooked veggie contains about 5 grams of fiber, 2.3 grams of protein, and only 36 calories per cup, making it an ideal weight-loss kitchen staple. And kohlrabi is loaded with vitamin C, which has been shown to ward off weight gain and maximize fat loss during a workout. Allow its delicate flavor profile to steal the spotlight by simply garnishing with lemon juice and a dash of salt for a light salad. Or serve kohlrabi as a side: Roast with a sprinkle of heart-healthy olive oil until it caramelizes.

18. Fiddlehead Ferns

These delicate spirals are packed with fiber, vitamins A and C, and omega-3 fatty acids, but they are only around for a few weeks in early spring, so grab 'em while you can. To clean, remove the papery outer coating, then soak briefly in a cold water bath with a bit of lemon and salt. Drain, then steam for 4 to 5 minutes. Add the steamed fiddleheads to a skillet with a few tablespoons of melted butter, and cook on each side for a minute or two. They’ll turn golden like asparagus. Add salt and pepper to taste and enjoy!

19. Asparagus

One of the first veggies to make it to the farmers market in April and May, asparagus is rich in iron, calcium, copper, and folate—in addition to vitamins A, C, E, K, and B6. Studies have found that the spears' diuretic quality helps to purge toxins from your system. Asparagus also contains both soluble and insoluble fiber, slow digesting nutrients that keep you feeling full. With only 27 calories per cup and 3 grams of protein, you can chow down without guilt.

20. Red Leaf Lettuce

This red-tinged lettuce is one of the world's greatest weight-loss foods because you don't have to worry about limiting your portion size like you must with energydense picks. One cup of these leaves packs in only 4 calories yet is bursting with vitamins A and K. Pair it with a bit of healthy fat, like avocado, to help your body absorb the fat-soluble vitamins.

21. Chives

If you’ve only had chives when they're whipped into cream cheese and smothered on a toasted bagel, then you're definitely missing out on this healthful allium's waist-whittling benefits. With just 1 calorie per tablespoon, fresh chives add a wallop of flavor to any soup, stew, or stir-fry without sabotaging your weight-loss goals. Plus, the phytochemicals in chives have been shown to reduce the risk of prostate cancer by up to 50 percent!

22. Endive

The majority of the carbs in this delicate-flavor veggie come from fiber,deeming it an essential addition to your spring salads. Endive also contains a solid dose of skin- and eye-protecting vitamin A, as well as vitamin K, which has been shown to provide cardioprotective benefits and improve insulin sensitivity. Endive right in!

23. Cauliflower

There's no doubt that this superstar rice substitute would make our list of best superfoods for weight loss. After all, it's chock-full of slimming nutrients, such as fiber and vitamin C, and it makes a mean pizza crust! Just 1cup of chopped cauli contains 320 milligrams of potassium, which can help ward off high blood pressure and banish ab-ruining bloat by flushing your system of excess water  and sodium.

24. Watercress

While we don't recommend that you go out and try the controversial watercress soup diet, this tiny herb is a powerhouse of vitamins and minerals. In fact, it's one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet and contains only 2 calories per half cup. Add it to soups, salads, and smoothies for a belly-fighting boost.

25. Peas

For far too long, the legume that's packed with a surprising amount of protein—9 grams per cup—has gotten a bad rap. "People think peas are a starchier vegetable and not necessarily one that they should be eating, but that couldn’t be further from the truth," says Gans. These little spheres are loaded with a solid dose of fiber and boast a nutritional gold mine of vitamins  and minerals. Peas, please!

26. Brussels Sprouts

Add sprouts to your weekly rotation and watch your waistline slim down in no time.Just 1 cup of the cruciferous veggie contains more than 3 grams of fiber and more than a full day's worth of slimming vitamin C. The mini cabbages are loaded with a sulfur-containing phytochemical  called glucosinolate, which may help protect cells from DNA damage.

27. Whole-wheat Pasta

Pull your jaw up from the floor! Indeed,this surprising carb just happens to be a not-so-guilty pleasure. "When we look at weight loss, we need to look at foods people love,and who doesn't love pasta?" Gans says. "But we need to eat it in a healthy way. Mix it with asparagus and spinach. Maybe add in some grilled shrimp." High in B vitamins, copper, selenium, magnesium, and manganese, whole-wheat pasta is a filling addition to a meal balanced with plenty of veggies and healthy proteins. It's also loaded with cancer-fighting fiber, which helps lower blood sugar and blood cholesterol levels.

28. Vidalia Onions

One of the nation's most iconic agricultural products, the Vidalia onion was discovered in the state of Georgia and quickly skyrocketed to popularity. And just like Champagne has to be from France, a true Vidalia onion has to be from Georgia. This sweet onion variety is a rich source of fructooligosaccharides, a cluster of fructose molecules that leads to better gut health and improved digestion by stimulating the growth of healthy bacteria and suppressing harmful ones.

29. Turnips

Turn up your diet with turnips! Turnips are one of our favorite warm-weather foods due to their impressive nutritional profile. The high-fiber cruciferous vegetable can help you stay satiated while regulating your digestive system. Instead of a boring batch of mashed potatoes, opt for making mashed turnips instead—a swap that's not only delicious but also lower in carbs and calories.

30. Ground Flaxseed

Each tablespoon of ground flaxseed contains about 1.8 grams of plant-based omega-3s—an important fatty acid in the fight against inflammation. It also contains both soluble and insoluble fiber, can improve your blood sugar levels, and helps to suppress your appetite. Since it can be added to oodles of foods— such as smoothies, salads, and oatmeal—ground flaxseed is important to have on hand when your ultimate goal is  to slim down.

31. Shrimp

While fish is always a go-to for weight loss, don't overlook the shellfish that gets sidelined by stars like salmon and tuna. "I think shrimp sometimes is forgotten," Gans says. "Three ounces of steamed shrimp contains only 84 calories with 17 grams of protein." The tasty crustaceans also contain heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids and are an excellent source of the antioxidant mineral selenium,  which maintains heart health.

32. Broccoli

There's a reason almost every diet includes a hefty dose of broccoli. The green superfood is rich in sulforaphane, a compound that not only increases testosterone and fights off body-fat storage, but also blocks enzymes linked to joint destruction and inflammation. And if you want to stay lean and active for life, maintaining healthy joints is a must! Bonus: The cruciferous veg is also rich in vitamin C (a mere cup of broccoli can help you hit your daily mark), a nutrient that can lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which will further aid your toned-body efforts.

33. Radicchio

Radicchio is the small red or purple leaf that comes in a head about the size of a softball. It's one of the best dietary sources of polyphenols, which are powerful micronutrients that serve a role in losing weight and preventing disease. A study in the Journal of Nutrition found that people who consume 650 milligrams a day of polyphenols have a 30 percent chance of living longer than those who consume less than that. A cup of chicory leaves clocks in about 235 milligrams, so consider adding a little leafy red into your leafy greens.

34. Barley

A study conducted by Lund University in Sweden suggests that barley can reduce both blood sugar levels and appetite. After eating barley-kernel-based bread for three days during breakfast, lunch, and dinner, participants experienced an increase in gut hormones that regulate metabolism and appetite, as well as an uptick in a hormone that helps reduce low-grade inflammation. Researchers suspect this is due to the role dietary fiber plays in stimulating good gut bacteria and triggering the release of important hormones. Best of all: The effects on metabolism lasted for up to 14 hours!

35. Fava Beans

Similar to edamame, these green legumes come in their own pod. Besides containing a high concentration of thiamin, vitamin K, vitamin B6, selenium, and magnesium, they’re a great source of lean protein—10 grams per cup. Protein is essential not only for bulking your biceps; it's also important in increasing feelings of fullness, as well as helping the body retain its muscle mass while scorching fat to increase your weight loss.

36. Kale

All hail kale! Years after being hyped as a health food trend, the powerful supergreen is still as popular as ever—for good reason. Calorie for calorie, kale trumps beef in its iron content, and iron is critical to balancing your thyroid hormones, which help your body burn calories and regulate weight. This hearty green can often be found at farmers markets through winter and early spring, so stock up while you can.

37. Kumquats

This tiny fruit reigns supreme during winter but stays in season
through March–April. The earlyspring find is rich in fiber, water, and carbs, and super low in calories—only around 13 per kumquat. So you can pop several without making a big caloric dent. While kumquats are often enjoyed raw and whole (look for organic kumquats and wash the skins thoroughly before eating), they are extremely versatile: Try 'em pickled, candied, made into a relish or marmalade, or added to meats, seafood, and desserts.

38. Fennel

In its peak season in early spring, fennel is cherished for its licorice-like flavoring and contains a unique blend of phytonutrients— including the flavonoids rutin and quercetin—that make it a powerful antioxidant. These active compounds help to reduce inflammation, and when combined with the veggie's fiber content, they can help eliminate toxins from the colon.

39. Cayenne Peppers

If you're on a quest to jumpstart weight loss, why not kick your metabolism into overdrive by sneaking spicy foods into your diet? Capsaicin, the active ingredient in a cayenne pepper that gives it spiciness, revs up your metabolism in a way that's conducive to weight loss. In a recent study, participants who supplemented their diet with capsaicin consumed 200 fewer calories during their next meal. These fiery peppers are widely available fresh from late spring into summer, but if you can't find them at the market, a sprinkle of dried cayenne can instantly spice up a range of foods while revving up your weight-loss efforts.

40. Garlic

Just like its chive cousin, garlic contains anti-inflammatory allicin, has a negligible amount of calories, and delivers a punch of flavor to a variety of dishes and cuisines. This go-to seasoning also supports liver enzymes and processes important to your body's natural cleansing regimen. Plus, it will ward off any vampires.