August is National Peach Month, making it a great time to indulge in this sweet, juicy, nutritious and low-calorie fruit. Peaches are rich in vitamins A and C and also deliver niacin, folate, iron, potassium and manganese, among other vitamins and minerals. One fresh peach is approximately 60 calories and has two grams of fiber.
You might be surprised to learn that the peach tree is actually part of the rose family (as are plums and apricots). It”;s believed that the peach tree originated in China and spread westward. The first peach orchard in the United States was actually in Florida, though Georgia seems to get the most credit for their peach crops and is widely known as the “;Peach State”; due to the quantity they produce. While peaches are available year-round in the United States, they generally taste best and are more affordable during the summer months. Click here to learn how to know when fruits are in season >
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The United States has more than 300 varieties of peaches. Peaches are either yellow- or white-fleshed, though the vast majority in the U.S. are yellow. Peaches grown in Asia are typically white-fleshed.
When shopping for peaches, choose those that are firm to somewhat soft and free of bruises. The best indicator that a peach is ripe is the fruit”;s undertone, also known as its “;ground color.”; This should be dark yellow or golden. The red top color comes from sun exposure and isn”;t a ripeness indicator. A ripe peach also gives off that classic sweet peach smell.
There are many ways to eat a peach. Aside from eating them whole, peaches are also a great add-in for smoothies, salads or yogurt. They are also a great fruit to bake into recipes like waffles, pancakes or muffins.
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Here are three recipes where you can be creative with peaches and still enjoy all of their health benefits:
1. Grilled Peaches
If you”;ve never had a grilled peach, you”;re missing out! Grilling fruit, in general, caramelizes their sugar making the flavor even sweeter. Peach halves can be grilled for a delicious side or dessert. Click here to see the recipe! >
2. Peachy Green Ginger Smoothie
A delicious blend of peach, banana and spinach make this a nutritious smoothie that”;s also packed with flavor. Combined with almond milk and fresh grated ginger, this peach-based smoothie is ultra-creamy. Click here to see the recipe! >
3. Blackberry Peach Upside Down Muffin-Cakes
Is it a breakfast or a dessert? This light-and-airy muffin recipe combining blackberries and peaches is reminiscent of a cake but without all the butter or excess sugar. It makes a delicious morning sweet treat or can definitely be served as a healthy dessert. Click here to see the recipe! >
When it comes to storing peaches, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends keeping whole peaches in the refrigerator for up to five days after they ripen. Cooked peaches should be stored in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator to keep fresh.
If peaches are too hard and still need to ripen, the USDA recommends placing them loosely in a closed paper bag at room temperature. Check daily until they are soft and sweet–;and ready to eat. For tips on how to keep all of your produce fresh, click here. >
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The post Superfood Saturday: Peaches appeared first on The Leaf.
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Ice cream sundaes are the best summertime treat any day of the week. Each spoonful treats you to cool, sweet ice cream plus gooey chocolate or caramel sauce and other fruity, nutty or salty flavors. There”;s something for almost every taste in an ice cream sundae. Unfortunately, standard versions also come with excessive calories, fat and sugar: According to FastFoodNutrition.org, a small hot fudge sundae from a popular chain ice cream shop contains 300 calories, 10 grams of fat and 36 grams of sugar.
Legend has it that the first sundae was created in the 1880s at a drug store where sales of ice cream sodas were restricted on Sundays, says What’s Cooking America. A customer asked for chocolate syrup on top of a dish of vanilla ice cream instead. The result, later named a “;sundae,”; was an instant sensation and is still popular today. You can embrace the spirit of invention that lead to the first sundae to create your own version that”;s as good for your waistline as it is satisfying for your taste buds!
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Keep reading for our step-by-step guide on building a healthier ice cream sundae:
1. First Base
Start your healthier sundae by making up a batch of our delicious “;nice”; cream. It”;s quick and easy–;no special equipment or tedious churning needed. You simply put a frozen banana in a food processor or blender with unsweetened almond milk. For extra creaminess, throw in some non-fat plain Greek yogurt. After whipping the ingredients together, you get a thick, cool, creamy base for your sundae. If you like “;soft-serve”; style ice cream, it”;s ready to eat right away. For a firmer texture, put the “;nice”; cream in the freezer for an hour or so.
Get the recipe for our 4-Ingredient Banana Nice Cream here! >
2. Blend Ins
While you”;re making your base, you can punch up the flavor with other ingredients. Add a few drops of vanilla extract for a classic taste. Give it a minty flavor with either mint extract or fresh mint leaves. Mix in frozen blueberries or strawberries, which not only give your blend a flavor boost, but also supply you with valuable antioxidants. Try out our recipe for Mint Chocolate Chip Nice Cream here! >
3. Sugar-Free Solutions
Just like in that drug store all those years ago, it is the chocolate syrup that transforms a dish of ice cream into a sundae. You can enjoy a traditional chocolate or caramel sundae if you go with sugar-free syrups. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), one tablespoon of a popular brand”;s “;lite”; sugar-free chocolate syrup has less than 10 calories as well as no added sugar. If you love caramel as much as we do, try our Salted Caramel Nice Cream with the sugar-free sauce in the base and drizzled on top
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4. Fruity Flavors
Fresh or frozen, whole fruit adds flavor and natural sweetness to your sundae. Bonus: whole fruit is loaded with fiber and nutrients to keep you satisfied and healthy. In addition to berries, you can try lemon zest (which we added to our Blueberry Lemon Sundae), pineapple chunks, sliced peaches or chopped mangoes. Fresh figs are an uncommonly good addition to sundaes because they are so sweet on their own. Do you love an old-fashioned banana split? We”;ve reinvented it so you can dig in without hesitation. Get the healthy recipe here! >
5. Nutty Ideas
Peanuts, almonds, pistachios and walnuts give your sundae a shot of savory flavor, a light crunch and a bit of healthy fats and protein. Be sure to use unsalted raw or dry roasted options, so you don”;t pile on extra oils or sodium. A sprinkle of unsweetened dried coconut flakes can give your sundae a tropical taste without adding lots of extra calories or sugar.
6. Crunchy Choices
When you”;re craving crunch in your sundae, sprinkle a tablespoon or two of ordinary unsweetened rice puff breakfast cereal on top. You can also crumble up our crunchy Nutriflakes Cereal into little pieces! Along with the satisfying crunch, you also pick up fiber to keep you full for hours to come.
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7. Cookies on the Side
Here”;s another benefit to making your own “;nice”; cream: it”;s so healthy, you can pair it up with one of our indulgent snacks! When we made our Caramel Toffee Crunch Sundae, we took it over the top by blending a packet of Toffee Crunch Cookies into the base and it became an instant favorite. We have many other scrumptious cookie choices so you can get exactly the flavor blend you love. Try out our Lemon Cooler Cookie in our Blueberry Lemon Ice Cream Sundae. Get creative with our Chocolate Chip Cookies, Snickerdoodle Cookie or Peanut Butter Cookie.
8. Topping it Off
Classic whipped cream comes with loads of excess calories and saturated fats. Instead, top your healthier sundae with a bit of light or non-dairy (coconut or almond based) whipped cream, which tend to have less calories, fat and sugar than regular whipped cream. According to Cooking Light magazine, one popular coconut whipped cream contains only 10 calories in a two-tablespoon serving. Hold the maraschino cherry and finish your sundae with a fresh sweet cherry. Dig in!
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The post How to Make a Healthier Ice Cream Sundae appeared first on The Leaf.
Read more: leaf.nutrisystem.com
Pies are among America”;s favorite desserts and a classic indulgence in the summer season. There”;s nothing quite like a nice slice of pie to finish off a delicious BBQ dinner. Unfortunately, these summertime favorites and epic Labor Day desserts are traditionally packed with fat and sugar that can easily derail your healthy intentions and weight loss journey.
But don”;t get discouraged! While store-bought pies and traditional summer dessert recipes will have you loaded up on white flour, butter and sugar, our recipe developers at Nutrisystem and The Leaf Weight Loss Blog have created some diet-friendly options. Our healthy recipes will provide you with your fill of pie while keeping your healthy eating plans on track. These 10 summer pies use simple swaps and healthy ingredients to lighten up some of your favorite summer desserts.
Here are 10 summer fruit pies for a seasonal and satisfying sweet treat:
1. Fresh Peach Pie >
Nothing screams “;summer”; like a big slice of peach pie. Summer is peach season and that means lots of tempting peach desserts will be popping up–;including some not-so-healthy ones. Fortunately, our healthy summertime version of peach pie uses a whole wheat crust and a diet friendly fruit filling with five cups of fresh peaches. No added sugar needed in this sweet treat! Peaches are rich in vitamin C, potassium and fiber, making them a great addition to your healthy diet during beach season. One slice of this peach pie is 170 calories and counts as one SmartCarb and two Extras on the Nutrisystem plan.
2. Healthy Apple Pie >
As they say, an apple a day keeps the doctor away–;an old adage that just may ring true considering the fact that apples have been linked to a lower risk of heart disease. But when apples are used in traditional pie recipes, their health value tends to get lost. Instead of burying apples in a load of sugar, this summer dessert recipe gets its sweet flavor directly from the source–;whole, delicious apples. It”;s a yummy indulgence you can feel good about. One slice of this healthy apple pie is just 147 calories and counts as one SmartCarb and two Extras on the Nutrisystem plan.
3. Must-Try Strawberry Pie >
Where fruit pies tend to go awry is in the crust. Pie crusts (and tarts) are usually packed with lots of butter. On top of that, many fruit pie fillings contain added sugar. However, this lighter version of strawberry pie uses a simple pie crust made from graham crackers and just two tablespoons of butter plus an egg. It also features a simple yet delicious strawberry filling that’s made from whole strawberries and a sugar-free gelatin mix. You”;ll get a healthy dose of superfood strawberries–;known to be a great source of fiber and vitamins–;while indulging in a sweet treat. A slice of this summer pie is 132 calories and on Nutrisystem counts as one SmartCarb and one Extra.
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4. Blueberry Pie Crumble >
Add this beautiful blue baked good to your seasonal summer menu! This berrylicious crumble looks like a gourmet dessert from your local bakery. However, don’t be fooled because it’s extremely easy to make. The secret ingredients that make this recipe unique are chia seeds and oats, which create a satisfying yet smart slice of pie. One serving contains 138 calories and counts as one SmartCarb and one Extra on the Nutrisystem program.
5. No-Bake Strawberry Pie Parfait >
No-bake pie recipes that are quick to whip up are absolutely welcomed in the summer when nobody feels like heating up the house with their oven or spending a lot of time in the kitchen. This simple-to-make no-bake recipe will give you the taste of strawberry pie in a delicious parfait. It”;s a matter of mixing up a few ingredients and then layering those yummy mixes. In addition to healthy whole strawberries, this summer dessert recipe also uses nonfat Greek yogurt, which contains probiotics to support good gut health and boost your health and wellness goals! One parfait is 252 calories and counts as one SmartCarb, one PowerFuel and one Extra on the Nutrisystem plan.
6. Skinny Peach Cobbler >
With summer being peach season, here is another wonderfully peachy dessert recipe to try! Though a light alternative, it tastes so much like traditional cobbler that it just may transport you to a front porch in the South. This version is made healthy by ditching the highly refined ingredients like white flour, white sugar and butter for whole wheat flour, brown sugar and only a smidge of light butter. It”;s a delightful and guilt-free summer dessert staple, coming in at only 135 calories per serving. On the Nutrisystem plan, this Skinny Peach Cobbler counts as one SmartCarb and two Extras.
7. Raspberry Chocolate Mousse Pie >
When it comes to decadent, indulgent and healthy summer desserts, anything with the words “;chocolate”; or “;mousse”; easily tops the list. But most chocolaty summer pies are also packed with fat and calories. Fortunately, this light version has all of the decadence without the guilt. The secret ingredient for the creamy, silky goodness of a typical mousse pie is none other than tofu in this recipe! But if you weren”;t the one to be whipping up this dessert, you”;d honestly never know. Top it off with a cup of fresh raspberries to get your antioxidant power, too. A serving of this summer raspberry treat is just 157 calories and counts as one SmartCarb and one PowerFuel.
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8. Skinny Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble >
If you’re looking for the perfect dessert to bring to a picnic, this is it! Sweet strawberries shine in this Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble that screams summertime and sunshine. You can forget about kneading and rolling out pie dough with this easy dish. Simply make the filling and top it with the stevia-sweetened and gluten free crumble that’s easy as… pie! One serving contains 185.9 calories and counts as one SmartCarb and two Extras.
9. No-Bake Apple Pie Yogurt Parfait >
Don’t feel like turning on the oven to make our Healthy Apple Pie recipe? Not to worry! We’re cooking up a no-bake sweet treat that will keep you cool during the warm summer season. Fresh apples and warm spices are layered with creamy, chilled Greek yogurt for a parfait that’s reminiscent of a fresh-baked slice of pie. A sprinkle of chopped walnuts adds a crunchy texture that’s the cherry on top. At just 186 calories per serving, you can log it into your NuMi journal as one SmartCarb and one PowerFuel.
10. Sweet Potato Pie Nice Cream >
While this last recipe isn’t technically a pie, it’s inspired by the flavors of a classic. Plus, when it’s hot outside and the temperatures are soaring, who wants to turn on the oven? A frozen dessert is just what you need on those hot summer days. A Thanksgiving staple unites with a summertime frozen favorite. Imagine your mom’s famous sweet potato pie blended into a creamy, dreamy ice cream. Enjoy pie season even on the hottest of days with this Sweet Potato Pie Nice Cream. Cool down and stay hydrated while digging into fruity, fall flavors! One serving contains 170 calories and counts as one SmartCarb and two Extras on Nutrisystem.
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The post 10 Summer Pie Recipes for a Satisfying Sweet Treat appeared first on The Leaf.
Read more: leaf.nutrisystem.com
Sink your teeth into this juicy fruit for a sweet taste of summer. Fresh peaches are not only delicious, they also are accompanied by many healthy benefits. Grab a peach on the go or whip up one of our delicious recipes to use peaches for weight loss and enjoy a healthy, sweet and balanced summer diet.
Read on to find out exactly why you should bite into this sweet fruit and enjoy the many benefits of enjoying peaches for weight loss :
1. Low in Calories
According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), one medium peach weighs in at only 58 calories–;and like many fresh fruits, it has less than ½ gram of fat, with no sodium or cholesterol. While it is true that peaches and other fruits contain sugar, that doesn”;t mean you shouldn”;t eat them. Sugar in peaches and other fruits occurs naturally; the kind that is loaded into soda, cakes and candy bars is processed, or refined. Both types are broken down in your body for energy. Refined sugars, however, enter the blood stream very quickly, causing blood sugar to spike, then crash. Low blood sugar signals the body it needs more energy, or more sugar–;which can start a vicious sugar-craving cycle, say experts. The sugar that naturally occurs in fruit is also packaged with a bunch of healthy nutrients, which help slow the absorption of sugar into your blood.
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2. High in Filling Fiber
You get 2 grams of fiber per peach–;half of which is soluble fiber, the other half insoluble. According to the Mayo Clinic, soluble fiber helps keep blood sugar levels steady; insoluble eases digestion. And overall, high fiber foods tend to be more filling, so you”;re likely to feel fuller longer. Research published in The Lancet found that eating 25 to 30 grams of fiber per day can help you lose weight, as well as help reduce blood pressure and blood sugar levels.
3. Packed with Water
A peach is 88% percent water–;making it a low-energy-dense food. Energy density is the number of calories (or energy) in a specific amount of food, according to the Mayo Clinic. High energy density means a lot of calories in a little food; low energy density is the opposite–;few calories in a lot of food. High water content in fruits, like peaches, help provide volume and weight so you feel fuller on less calories.
4. Loaded with Disease-Fighting Nutrients
This fuzzy fruit is a good source of vitamin C, which helps boost your immune system, and vitamin A that promotes healthy vision. It also contains potassium (that”;s good for your heart), iron, and antioxidants–;plant compounds that help protect your body against aging and disease. The riper the fruit, the more antioxidants it contains, according to Plant Foods for Human Nutrition.
Research from Texas A&M AgriLife found stone fruits–;like peaches, plums and nectarines–;have been shown to ward off obesity-related diseases, such as diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and cardiovascular disease. Enjoy these fruits fresh or canned in water–;on Nutrisystem, one medium fruit or one cup canned peaches counts as one SmartCarb.
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Get your peach fill this season by whipping up one of these delicious (and peachy) recipes:
1. Peach Buzz Bagel Sandwich >
What better way to start your morning than with slices of juicy peaches and a drizzle of honey? That sweet sensation sits atop creamy cottage cheese and a soft-baked, fiber-loaded Nutrisystem Honey Wheat Bagel for a satisfying breakfast sandwich that weighs in at 320 calories.
2. Peach Honey Whipped Ricotta >
It”;s rich, it”;s loaded with nutrition and it takes no time to make: Just blend honey with ricotta cheese and a hint of almond flavor for a sweet base. Add juicy grilled peaches to the side and voila–;pure deliciousness that provides eight grams of muscle-building protein. On Nutrisystem, this flex snack counts as one PowerFuel and one SmartCarb.
3. Skinny Peach Cobbler >
Sure, you can have your cobbler and eat it, too: This healthy twist on a classic features soft, juicy peaches sprinkled with nutmeg and brown sugar and baked beneath a cinnamon-hinted homemade crust. It takes like you”;re cheating, but you”;re totally not: Each serving is only 135 guilt-free calories.
4. Blackberry Peach Upside Down Muffin-Cakes >
Two beautiful summer fruits join forces to create a sweet that serves as the perfect breakfast treat or evening dessert and is the perfect way to use peaches for weight loss. These muffins are light, super simple to bake, and are sure to satisfy your cake cravings. The bonus: no butter, no sugar, and you get to eat two for 153 calories. On Nutrisystem, each serving counts as one SmartCarb and one PowerFuel.
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5. Peach Melba Pudding >
The Peach Melba your grandmother made had peaches, of course, plus vanilla ice cream and raspberry sauce. This healthier version keeps the sweet fruit, but subs in non-fat yogurt and raspberry-flavored gelatin to cut help sugar and fat from the old-fashioned favorite. Plus, this peach treat might take the win for best presentation. Each serving is 111 calories.
6. Peachy Green Ginger Smoothie >
Green smoothies are an simple and delicious way to load up on body-boosting nutrients–;and this one is no exception. You get the sweetness of peaches, creaminess from bananas, and a bunch of fiber, vitamins and minerals from the spinach. Combined with almond milk and fresh grated ginger for a little extra zest, this smoothie is so tasty you”;ll slurp it right up. On Nutrisystem, one smoothie counts as one SmartCarb, one Vegetable and one Extra.
The post 4 Sweet Reasons Peaches Are the Best for Summer Weight Loss appeared first on The Leaf.
Read more: leaf.nutrisystem.com
Superfoods have earned their stellar reputation as superstars of the food world by being nutritionally dense and rich in nutrients. But what if those foods could help you to lose weight and belly fat in addition to delivering their powerful nutritional benefits? The good news is that many of them do!
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Here are 10 superfoods to add to your diet for their nutritional and weight loss benefits:
1. Jalapeno Peppers
Jalapeno peppers are rich in minerals and nutrients, making them a surprising superfood that many people don”;t think of. It”;s the alkaloid capsaicin in jalapenos that gives them their spicy flavor and is also responsible for their potential weight loss benefits. According to Bioscience Reports, capsaicin is correlated with a decreased risk of obesity. It”;s been shown to increase fat oxidation and energy expenditure in study subjects. If you love all things spicy, then jalapenos will be a welcomed superfood to try.
Whip up these Jalapeno Poppers for a fun snack to attack cravings. Learn five more surprising benefits of spicy food here! >
Packed with omega-3 fatty acids and protein, salmon”;s nutritional benefits help make it a superfood. Research suggests that omega-3 fatty acids can help reduce the risk of cardiac problems. Eating salmon regularly may also help speed up weight loss for men, according to a study in the International Journal of Obesity. Many salmon recipes also happen to be relatively low in calories, making it a lean option that can be prepared in many delicious ways. Check out these mouthwatering salmon recipes. >
Loaded with nutrients, dark leafy greens like spinach provide essential vitamins for to skin, bone and immune system health benefits, says Healthline. Spinach is also incredibly nutrient dense. A cup of raw spinach has just seven calories but provides more than 56 percent of your recommended daily allowance for vitamin A and all of your daily vitamin K, says Healthline. On top of all that, researchers at Lund University in Sweden found that spinach boosted weight loss by 43 percent and reduced food cravings by up to 95 percent. This Creamy Spinach Stuffed Chicken recipe is an easy way to fit spinach into a Flex meal.
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Pomegranates are rich in vitamin C, potassium and fiber and are thought to help with heart disease and cancer prevention, says Healthline. While there”;s a lot of focus on pomegranate juice–;which does have more antioxidants than individual seeds–;eating the seeds whole gives you the benefit of fiber and added vitamins and minerals. Fiber can help keep you full longer and support weight loss. A study, published in Food and Chemical Toxicology, found that giving obese and insulin resistant mice pomegranate seed oil for 12 weeks decreased body weight, body fat and improved peripheral insulin sensitivity.
Embrace those pomegranate benefits! There are some really great ways to fit pomegranates into your day. Get inspired by these delicious recipes. >
With lots of nutrients delivered with a satisfying crunch, almonds make a “;superfood snack”; or a great addition to meals. They can easily be tossed into salads, cereals and yogurt or incorporated into cooking. A study, published in the Journal of Nutrition, found a link between daily almond consumption and weight loss–;specifically belly fat. On the Nutrisystem plan, almonds are a PowerFuel, which are foods that offer high-quality proteins while also containing essential amino acids and healthy fats.
6. Flax Seeds
Flax seeds are a nutrient-dense and fiber-rich “;superseed.”; Flax seed recipes are usually easy to make and are packed with superfood benefits. They can be tossed into a variety of dishes to ramp up their nutrition power. Flax seed also contains both soluble and insoluble fiber, says Healthline. This helps to ensure healthy and gradual digestion that keeps you fuller longer. It is this digestive superpower that is likely to help assist with weight loss.
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While most berries are good for you and can be considered superfoods, blueberries are said to be one of the best, particularly when it comes to their ability to help you lose stubborn belly fat. According to the University of Michigan, research shows that blueberries may help to burn belly fat because of their high antioxidant content.
While blueberries are tasty to eat on their own, there are also many great ways to cook or bake with them to increase your consumption. The naturally sweet goodness of blueberries makes them a healthy alternative to many sugar-laden desserts–;a common healthy diet downfall. Be sure to check out these 10 reasons you need to eat more fruit like blueberries! >
Here at The Leaf, we love avocados! Avocados are rich in potassium as well as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which are “;healthy fats”; essential to a weight loss plan. That”;s because your body needs fat to help you feel full and satisfied after eating, to provide quick-burning energy and to aid in the absorption of vitamins and minerals that you consume. As a “;whole food”; source of healthy fat, avocados have that power. People who regularly eat avocados have significantly lower body weight, BMI (body mass index), and waist circumference, and higher HDL (good cholesterol levels) than people who don”;t eat the fruit, according to a study published in Nutrition Journal.
There are many great ways to use avocado that you may never have thought of. It can be a healthy substitute for mayo, a topping for salads, a baking ingredient for cookies or brownies and even a base for pudding. It”;s creamy texture and versatile nature help it to shine as a superfood to help you lose fat. Here are more superfood facts about avocados! >
9. Black Beans
Black beans are packed with potent plant-based nutrients that are believed to help protect against cancer, says Medical News Today. They”;re also an inexpensive and easy-to-cook-with food that can be incorporated into many different dishes. For those looking to drop some pounds and lose fat, some of the best news is that consuming beans was linked to “;reduced body fat percentage”; in a study, published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Another study, published in BMC Proceedings, shows that certain compounds in the beans might help to strengthen the body”;s insulin resistance and protect against obesity.
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As the saying goes, an apple a day keeps the doctor away. But what if it could keep the pounds away, too? Apples are rich in weight-loss-friendly fiber and help slow the digestion of food. This helps you to feel fuller with fewer calories. For these reasons, they can definitely play a vital role in your efforts to lose fat.
Apples are one of the most versatile fruits, with so many different ways to cook and prepare them. Try them out in this unique Instant Pot Apple Cake. Of course, apples are also delicious and nutritious all on their own or sliced with peanut butter. Check out this awesome video from The Leaf and learn five reasons to eat more apples! >
The post 10 Superfoods That Help You Lose Fat appeared first on The Leaf.
Read more: leaf.nutrisystem.com