Five weight loss superfoods

Red dried goji berries in wooden spoonThe fad diets and miraculous eating plans come and go, but there are some weight loss 'super foods' that regularly make the list when it comes to diet success. If you're struggling to slim, check out these healthy staples, and discover why they should be a permanent fixture in your kitchen cupboard.

Chia seeds
Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, iron and antioxidants, these unprocessed wholegrain seeds help the body to absorb sugar, thereby keeping blood sugar levels balanced and reducing the temptation to reach for the unhealthy snacks. The seeds also expand in your tummy, which could help to keep you feeling full and keeping you on the diet straight and narrow. Best of all, their nutty flavour makes them ideal for sprinkling onto anything from cereal to salad.

Goji berries
Used in China and Tibet for centuries, this sweet red fruit is packed full of health-giving good stuff. A total of 22 minerals, including zinc, iron and calcium, 11 amino acids - great for muscle development and combating fat buildup - and B and E vitamins to help break down fats and convert carbs into energy are squeezed into these unassuming-looking berries. They're low in calories and high in antioxidants too, so you could do worse than reach for a handful when you're feeling peckish.

Green tea
It needs little introduction these days, and if you haven't yet made the switch from your usual morning cuppa, it's time you added green tea to the shopping list. It's loaded with antioxidants known as catechins, most notable of which is epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which helps to prevent the breakdown of norepinephrine, the hormone that tells fat cells to break down fat. This healthy beverage has also been shown in studies to increase the amount of fat burned during exercise.

It may not be found on your average restaurant menu, but earlier this year scientists at Newcastle University found that seaweed contains a compound that can help to prevent fat absorption in the body. Called alginate, the researchers discovered that even a small daily amount reduced people's fat intake by as much as a third. If you find it hard to find the sea kelp itself, tablets are commonly available in health food stores both on the high street and online.

The latest addition to the superfood ranks, Freekeh is a wheat grain, much like quinoa or bulgur wheat. It is high in fibre (four times the amount in brown rice, in fact), which keeps you feeling satisfied for longer and taking away that snack temptation, and because it is a low GI food, you'll get a steady flow of energy throughout the day. Lutein and zeaxanthin for healthy eyes, and calcium, iron and zinc are just an added bonus. Simply use it as a substitute for rice or pasta, and starting feeling the benefit.

Have you tried any of these superfoods? Did they help you to lose weight? Leave your comments below...
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