By Cal Orey
HEAT WAVE! No-Cook Skinny Superfoods to Pare Pandemic Pounds
Apples: Apples are full of deliciousness. This fruit is a rich source of fiber that plumps up food as it’s digested, report researchers in past research. The plumping up increases satiety so you feel satisfied. Also, emotional and stress eating habits often can lead to eating unhealthy comfort foods, whereas a crunchy apple is a wholesome, natural stress-fighting superfood. It is low in calories, fat, and cholesterol. What’s more, thanks to the fiber in apples, these superfruits can help you stay regular and more energized, and that can help in weight loss, too.
Berries: Another fat-burning superfruit is the berry—all types. Throughout my years writing about diet and nutrition, nutritionists and medical doctors have touted the benefits of fiber-rich berries, which (like apples) help to reduce absorption of fat and calories. All of these sweet and tart babies are nutrient dense, which is a godsend when you’re shedding unwanted weight. Berries are diet friendly since they are low in fat and calories and are cholesterol free and sweet, so if you have a sweet tooth, berries can nip your urge to grab a donut or candy bar by replacing it with a bowl of berries or a berry smoothie.
Crucifers: Broccoli, cauliflower, and kale—three super vegetables in the high-fiber cabbage family that are known as fat fighters, like apples and berries. This trio is one that may take a while to like its taste, but once you do, because they’re low in fat and fill you up, you may learn to love the flavor. Toss ‘em raw into cooked whole grain pasta, add sliced tomatoes, and drizzle with olive oil and red wine vinegar. And add your favorite herbs and spices to spice it up.
Greek Yogurt: Nope, yogurt is not a superfruit or vegetable, but it does have super benefits that can help you stay on the dieting track. Since it is high in calories and high in fat, less is more. Mixing it up with apples or berries can give you plenty of filling fiber but also calcium, which studies show can calm you and help curb cravings and fight stress eating, which will make losing unwanted weight easier. Cheese (especially Parm, Swiss and cottage varieties are best). Pair with grapes and iced water or tea.
Lemons: Like apples, superfruit lemons (also grapefruit and oranges) are a super source of filling fiber. But versatile lemons also can help burn fat as well as be detoxifying, and research studies as well as medical doctors’ experience prove it. Back when I was a nutrition-diet columnist for a variety of health magazines, I recall the popular lemony “master cleanse” shared with me by Northern California–based Elson M. Haas, M.D. He explained to me the wonders of nature’s simple detoxifying beverage concoction, which included 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice, 1 tablespoon of maple syrup, 1/10 tablespoon of cayenne pepper, and eight ounces of water. Drink eight to ten glasses a day.
Water: Instead of indulging in food when you’re stressed out (you may not even be hungry), try reaching for a glass of water (including herbal tea); sip it and have it with you wherever you are. Not only does water keep your body running properly from head to toe and keep your vital organs healthy while you’re dealing with life’s ups and downs, but it also doesn’t have calories or fat, and it can help curb cravings and fill you up when you do eat so you’ll eat less rather than more.
The deal is, you can eat all of these food foods and enjoy an almost no-cook diet. The reward is you won’t be hungry and you’ll drop unwanted pounds. Go ahead – enjoy nature’s superfoods found at your local supermarket. No time consuming foraging needed. It’s all there.
-- Cal Orey, M.A. Is an author and journalist. Her books include the Healing Powers Series (Vinegar, Olive Oil, Chocolate, Honey, Coffee, Tea, Superfoods, Essential Oils, Herbs and Spices) published by Kensington. (The collection has been featured by the Good Cook Book Club.) Her website is http://www.calorey.com