Superfood Saturday: Peaches

Superfood Saturday: Peaches

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

peaches recipe: 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

peaches recipe: blackberry peach upside down cake

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! >

Safe Storage:

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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10 Superfoods That Help You Lose Fat

10 Superfoods That Help You Lose Fat

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

lose fat healthy superfoods for weight loss

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! >

2. Salmon

salmon healthy superfood for weight loss

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. >

3. Spinach

lose fat healthy superfoods for weight loss

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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4. Pomegranate

lose fat healthy superfoods for weight loss

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. >

5. Almonds

almonds healthy superfood for weight loss

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

lose fat healthy superfoods

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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7. Blueberries

lose fat healthy superfoods

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! >

8. Avocado

avocado healthy superfood

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

lose fat healthy superfoods

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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10. Apples

lose fat healthy superfoods

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

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