Spring is in the air! As the weather starts warming up, we shed the layers of clothing we have been wearing all winter, we are more likely to be active and outdoors and for some, the practice of spring cleaning is a yearly ritual to get things organized at home. While cleaning out our pantries and refrigerators, we also start thinking about how to better organize our eating habits and diet. Oftentimes we turn to quick fixes to "detox" and cleanse. However, you can enjoy natural foods with some serious health benefits to help you clean your body this Spring!
A very common vegetable used in Mediterranean cuisine, take a cue from these cultures and get grilling! Eggplant is a very versatile vegetable taking on the flavor of any sauce. Niacin, also known as vitaminB3 is found in eggplant. Now niacin is not shown to directly cause weight loss, but rather indirectly by reducing stress and increasing energy. You need energy in order to have the endurance to exercise and shed pounds.
Chicory root benefits weight loss because of the effect it has on the digestive system. It is an excellent source of fructooligosaccharides which help promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in your digestive tract. Chicory root also supports the body’s detoxification system through the liver and kidney. Proper digestive functioning is crucial for weight loss. You will find chicory root in many health food snacks increasing your total fiber intake.
Because it slows digestion, coconut oil also helps prevent blood sugar fluctuations after a meal by slowing the rate carbohydrates are broken down into blood glucose. When your blood sugar is stable you are less likely to crave sugars. Also, when you are able to keep your blood sugar stable you are less likely to overeat therefore decreasing your total caloric intake on any given day.
So many diets tout eliminating fruit for weight loss however what you miss is not only natural sugar but fiber which keeps you fuller longer. The benefits of this small red fruit is that it contains anti-oxidants. Anti-oxidants are important as they ward off free radicals. Cherries also have an anti-inflammatory effects and protect the skin from collagen breakdown. A great snack is a combination of dark chocolate with cherries. This winning combo is also heart healthy and will satisfy any sweet tooth.
Orange is one of the freshest colors showing up the runway for Spring. Include color in your diet with these cuties. You will often find cocktails made with kumquats, however, unlike other citrus fruits, kumquats are rarely eaten without the skin therefore increasing your fiber intake. All citrus is filled with pectin, which helps to keep you more full. They are packed with Vitamin C and are so low in calories, if you have the munchies pick up some kumquats to quench your thirst and sweet tooth!