Making every calorie count is vital if you’re going to lose weight without losing out on fundamental nutrients, Accredited Practicing Dietitian Megan Alsford told My Blackmores.
“If you’re trying to slim down you’ve got to get the most out of your food,” she says. “You have to restrict what you’re eating, so it’s important to make sure you’re still getting the vitamins and minerals you need.”
Fortify your diet with vitamin-packed veg, omega-3-rich fish and antioxidant-fuelled herbs and spices, while cutting back on ‘empty calories’ – those foods that are high in energy but low in other nutrients – and you won’t only see the benefits on the scales. You could see improvements in your skin, eyes, mood and energy levels too.
Thankfully, you don’t have to trek to the Amazon, or even the health food store, to get your hands on nutrient-packed superfoods. Many of the ingredients at your local supermarket could give acai berries or acerola a run for their money... at a fraction of the cost.
Fill your trolley
We’ve got 10 top supermarket superfoods for slimmers. Why not see how many of these items can you fit into your healthy diet and include them in some delicious healthy recipes that pack a nutritional punch?
This green dynamo dishes out high doses of vitamins C, K and A as well as folate and fibre. It’s also packed with isothiocyanates. Try Pork, Baby Corn and Broccoli Stir Fry.
As well as being an excellent source of vitamins A and C, and carotenoids such as beta-carotene, tomatoes are bursting with lycopene. Try Grilled Chicken with Tomato and Caper Sauce.
Worried about ageing? Eat blueberries. Studies suggest their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds such as anthocyanin may help prevent heart disease. Try Bran, Banana and Blueberry Muffins.
Almonds are one of the best plant sources of protein, rich in fibre, phytonutrients, vitamin E and selenium. Like all nuts, they’re high in fats so you need to go easy. The good news is that they’re high monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which are nutritious and highly satiating. Try Fresh Fruit Salad with Roast Almond Yoghurt.
White rice and brown rice have similar amounts of calories, protein and carbohydrate, but the brown variety is less processed and has more nutrients. Switch to brown rice and you’re getting the whole grain, including niacin, vitamin B6, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, selenium and vitamin E. Try Prawn and Mussel Brown Rice Paella.
Loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, this store-cupboard staple is quick, cheap and stackable! Omega-3 fatty acids may help to decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease and stimulate blood circulation. Try Sardines Provencale.
From cardiovascular benefits to antibacterial activity, garlic is one brilliant bulb. It may help to fight off the common cold, but it can’t save you from vampires. Try Fresh Herb Pasta Salad.
Think lentils, think nana food? Well, maybe your grandmother knew a thing or two. Loaded with soluble fibre, lentils may help treat high cholesterol and high blood sugar. Make delicious, quick lentil dahl and you’ll not only have a low-fat dish, but you can also add healthful spices, such as turmeric and cinnamon. Try Lentil Dahl.
Eggs have had a rotten time of it over claims that they increase cholesterol, but the choline in the yolk actually helps prevent the build up of cholesterol in your arteries. They’re also jammed with nine essential amino acids, vitamins and other nutrients, as well as being a complete source of protein, and have been shown to have a positive effect on eye, brain and heart health. Try Spanish-style Baked Eggs.
Your gut is engine room of your body, where all the nutrients from your diet are digested and absorbed. The live probiotic AB cultures in yoghurt can help regulate the ‘bad’ bacteria in your gut by adding ‘good’ bacteria into the mix, making it much more efficient at soaking up all the other wonderful nutrients you are putting in. Choose yoghurt without too many added ingredients, such as sweeteners, stabilizers and flavourings. Try Orange and Date Salad with Honey Yoghurt.