Best Spring Superfoods for Weight Loss from Best Spring Superfoods for Weight Loss
Best Spring Superfoods for Weight Loss
Super food is a word that is commonly used by many people, and can have many different meanings. “In my opinion, a superfood is a food that has what I call the ‘triple A’ effect of health – anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, and alkaline,” Dr. Daryl Gioffre, celebrity nutritionist and founder of the Alkamind Cleanse. These are foods that are high in minerals, phytonutrients, and fiber, and low in sugar. Most importantly, he adds, they are foods that eliminate acid from your body and help your balance your body’s pH, which helps with weight loss.
Asparagus is a very good source of fiber, folate, vitamins A, C, E and K, as well as chromium, a trace mineral that helps balance blood sugar, Dr. Gioffre says. “It contains one of the most powerful antioxidants, glutathione, making asparagus a cancer fighter.”
Radishes are a powerful digestive healer that cleanses your system from acids and toxins, Dr. Gioffre says. “Also high in vitamin C, which is an immune booster that also helps to ward off viral and bacterial infections, he adds. “It is great as a snack.”
Raw non-processed chocolate in the form of cacao is rich in theobromine, an antioxidant that can improve blood pressure and vessel health while, providing a serotonin boost that can provide enhanced mood and libido, Ali Miller, RD, LD, CDE registered dietitian and author of Naturally Nourished, says. “Cacao has a high antioxidant capacity exceeding many other exotic superfoods by weight.” Beyond its antioxidants, it is very high in copper, manganese, and magnesium, which can help to regulate cholesterol, relax muscles, and boost metabolism. “Use cacao powder in your smoothies, nut balls or nut bars, and indulgences, or add cacao nibs to trail mix,” she adds.
This small cruciferous vegetable is really powerful due to it high content of vitamins and minerals. It also has folic acid, and lots of fiber, as well as several carotenoids such as beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin. Watercress contains isothiocyanates, which boost the body’s detoxifying capabilities. These super-veggies have also been linked to lower cancer risks, according to the American Institute for Cancer.
Giving you an astounding 574 percent of you daily vitamin K content, this cleansing herb helps build strong bones, according to Dr. Gioffre. High in fiber, vitamins A and C, and twice the amount of iron as spinach, this is a powerful blood builder, the purpose of which is to delivers nutrients to maintain healthy red blood cells and iron levels in the blood.
One study showed that 1 cup of beetroot juice can lower blood pressure by 10 points, Dr. Gioffre says. The powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and vascular-protective effects offered by beetroot have been clearly demonstrated by several studies. Beetroot supplementation has been reported to reduce blood pressure and avert oxidative stress. Beets are also a great source of magnesium. Magnesium deficiency is strongly linked with inflammation.
They are loaded with minerals like magnesium, iron, and phosphorus, as well as high in fiber, and a whopping 8.5 grams of protein per cup, Dr. Gioffre says. “Also contain B vitamins, vitamin C, and high in lutein, a powerful antioxidant.” With that said, they are starchy so consume in moderation – 2 to 3x a week, he adds.
This is a powerful cruciferous vegetable that contains sulforaphane, a sulfur compound that has also been shown to kill cancer stem cells, according to Dr. Gioffre. The vegetable is rich in vitamins and minerals, anti-inflammatory, and high in choline which heap promote brain health. “My key ingredient in Cauliflower Fried Rice in the 7-Day Alkaline Cleanse,” he adds.
Seaweed a.k.a sea veggies
“Sea vegetables have 10-20x the minerals as land vegetables due to the mineral deficiency in our soils,” Miller says. Rich in iodine, a trace mineral many are deficient in, sea vegetables aid in tonifying the thyroid gland which can aid in weight loss and optimizing metabolic function. “Sea vegetables have a unique fiber that provides a gel-like ability to detoxify, balance hormones, and protect the GI tract from food sensitivities,” she adds. Its ability to gel paired with chlorophyl and other pigment rich antioxidants can successfully reduce inflammation. Use nori as a sheet for hummus and veggie or turkey roll-ups beyond sushi and add rehydrated seaweed such as hijiki or dulse to salads.
Otherwise known as green onions, these are Dr. Gioffre’s favorite in stir fries and salads. “They are rich in anti-oxidants, high in fiber, and allicin, an ingredient that made garlic popular that helps lower cholesterol.”
Walnuts are great for brain health; in fact, they even look like the brain, Dr. Gioffre says. “They are high in Omega 3 Fats which is good, but should be consumed in moderation because they are also high in the inflammatory Omega 6 fats, which the average American consumes way too many of.” For example, your Omega 3 to 6 ratio should be 1:1, no more than 1:4, yet the average American is 1:11, and in many cases, 1:25 and even 1:50, he adds.
Spinach is one of Dr. Gioffre’s favorite alkaline vegetables. “I use it in salads, juicing, and [it is] great for smoothies as it does not have a strong taste to it. This is why I consider it one of the most versatile vegetables.” It is loaded with vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant, but be careful not to overcook it, he warns – never more than 4 minutes. Spinach also contains beta carotene, a powerful antioxidant, as well as lipoic acid, which can help balance blood sugar levels. “I love to sneak 2 cups of spinach in soups and pasta sauces by blending it right in – your kids won’t even know it’s in there,” he adds.
They have been proven to lower LDL cholesterol (‘bad’ cholesterol) and increase HDL, the good kind. Dr. Gioffre says. Artichokes are loaded with antioxidants which make them a potent fighter against cancer and heart disease, he adds. “[They] contain anthocyanins, giving them their unique color that bears with them powerful antioxidant capabilities.”
“Come spring time, I make sure to consume as much Swiss chard as possible on a daily basis,” Dr. Gioffre says. It is high in vitamins A and C, calcium, and iron. “One cup will provide 60 percent of your vitamin A requirements, making this very healthy for vision and eye health.” Lastly, it is loaded with chlorophyll which makes Swiss chard one of the most alkaline foods on the planet, he adds.
Dandelion greens are another big hit in the spring time as a flash sauté – cooked less than 4 minutes to preserve the enzymes – along with beets which work great when juiced, Dr. Gioffre says. Dandelion tea can have a diuretic effect. A study found that steaming the greens increases their total antioxidant properties by 67 percent. Research has also found that the plant is protective against obesity.