If you're constantly wondering what to eat for weight loss and wellness, you're not alone! Below is my nutritionist-recommended list of the 11 of the best foods to get into your daily food plan ASAP as these foods boast a variety of macro- and micro-nutrients which will aid in your weight loss journey. An added benefit, many of these can be found in most grocery stores and for the harder to find foods, I have some solutions for you!
It is recommended that nutrient-dense vegetables (some examples are kale, broccoli, asparagus, collard greens, cauliflower, spinach, and Brussels sprouts) make up a large portion of anyone’s diet. Eating several servings of them per day is extremely advantageous for well-being due to the micro-nutrient content and not to mention, they will keep you filled up and satisfied. Nutrient-dense vegetables are low-sugar, unprocessed carbohydrate sources, packed with micronutrients such as folate, iron, vitamin C, and potassium, and chockful of fiber which will aid in digestion and weight loss.
Avocados have special properties as they are one of the only fatty fruits! Like nutrient-dense vegetables, avocados provide a variety of essential micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) as well as fiber. Avocados are a wonderful source of healthy monounsaturated fat which is good for the nervous system, heart, brain, and eyes. Not to mention, good fat also helps to keep you fuller for longer, fending off pesky food cravings.
Eggs are a nice mix of quality protein and omega-3 fatty acids; protein and fat are two of the primary building blocks of any nutrition plan, and not to mention, animal sources of omega-3 fatty acids are particularly helpful for your brain and vision. Eggs also contain choline which aids in memory, muscle, and heart health.
Wild Alaskan or Sockeye Salmon
In addition to being a source of protein, wild salmon (if you choose canned salmon, look for “wild Alaskan” on the label) contains omega-3 fatty acids as well. The omega-3 fats found in these types of salmon contain exceptional amounts of the vital DHA and EPA which are the long-chain omega-3s known for being most beneficial for eye, brain and heart health. In addition to their omega-3 fats, wild salmon contain high amounts of vitamin D which can be difficult to find in most foods. Because this vitamin is so difficult to find in foods, the majority of the population is deficient in it, so check out easy-to-use vitamin D patch here!
Low-sugar fruits such as tomato, bell pepper, blueberries, raspberries, and grapefruit are excellent sources of vitamin C! Consuming vitamin C makes you less susceptible to colds and flu so it is important to get your vitamin C but not consume too much sugar (like from orange juice) while doing so. Also a great source of fiber, these low-sugar fruits provide phytonutrients which help to prevent disease and aid in your overall well-being.
Lentils, Peas, and Beans
Lentils, peas, and beans are vegan sources of protein and iron. They also are an excellent source of fiber which is essential for weight loss and wellness. In addition to protein, iron, and folate, these legumes contain a wide variety of micronutrients including but not limited to zinc, potassium, copper, and Pantothenic acid.
Grass-fed, organic red meat and organic poultry
Due to environmental toxins found in many animal proteins, it is important to consume organic and/or grass-fed selections if possible. Grass-fed red meats such as beef, lamb and venison have high amounts of essential omega-3 fatty acids that contain DHA and EPA (like in wild salmon) in addition to their protein content. Poultry such as organic turkey and chicken provide B vitamins, iron, zinc, potassium and phosphorus.
An excellent unprocessed, fibrous carbohydrate source, sweet potatoes will help to keep you satiated while maintaining even blood sugar levels when eaten in conjunction with extremely low-glycemic carbohydrates such as dark leafy greens. Their rich color is due to the fact that they contain the powerful antioxidant, beta-carotene which boosts your immune system and helps to fight off disease. Beta-carotene converts to vitamin which is important for the lungs, heart, kidneys, bones, and eyes, as well as the central nervous system.
Nuts and Seeds
Vegan sources of protein, nuts and seeds are packed with nutrition, providing substantial amounts of good fats, complex carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Aim to consume a variety of raw nuts and seeds such as almonds, cashews, pistachios, pine nuts, walnuts, Chia seeds, and ground flaxseed to benefit from a broad spectrum of micronutrients. High in calories, a small handful as a snack or used as a topping on a salad will do!
We all have “good” and “bad” bacteria in our bodies. Probiotics are known as the “friendly bacteria” and consist of Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus bulgarius, Lactobacillus reuteri, Streptococcus thermophiles, Saccharomyces boulardii, Bifidobacterium bifidum, and Bacillus subtilis. Bad bacteria can increase in our bodies for a variety of reasons such as lack of exercise, poor diet, medication, smoking, and alcohol consumption. Foods that naturally contain probiotics are Greek yogurt, Kefir, dairy-free coconut Kefir, apple cider vinegar, sauerkraut fermented soy such as Tempeh and Natto, and brine-cured olives. Known as a superior probiotic food, sauerkraut actually does not contain a substantially diverse amount of friendly bacteria however, its organic acid content supports the growth of good bacteria. If none of the above-mentioned foods sound palatable to you or you just can't find them, check out our easy-to-take probiotic here!
Sometimes mistaken for a grain, quinoa is actually classified as a seed. It contains more (and higher quality) protein than most grains and unlike most plant foods, it has all of the essential amino acids which are the building blocks of protein. This carbohydrate source will give you energy while helping to maintain even blood sugar levels.
If you haven’t heard of all of the above mentioned foods or maybe you aren’t sure where to get them or how to prepare them, you are not alone. If you’re looking for an easy fix for finding ready-to-go meals that will assist you with your weight loss and wellness goals, check out our high-protein and low-carb entrees here.