When considering what to include in a weight loss diet, there are two factors that you should always consider early. The first is whether or not your chosen diet will be sufficiently nutritious to keep you healthy. The second is if the diet will be tasty enough to maintain your interest, rather than for you to opt out through boredom.
It is possible to address both of these concerns at the same time by considering health food vitamins, and in so doing you may be in for some pleasant surprises. Much will depend in your tastes in food, but with experimentation, you should be able to construct a diet, within the guidelines of your nutritionist and doctor, that is also interesting enough to enable you to not only stick to the diet but enjoy it also.
If you are able to end up with a diet that you can really enjoy, then there is a chance that it will become a lifelong habit. It is possible to make permanent changes; I know that from personal experience. Initially, it can be difficult to make drastic changes, but it can be done much easier if you are enjoying the food you are eating. In many cases, drastic changes may not even be needed, but that is something it is best to discuss with your doctor in relation to your own health and weight problem.
I have selected five of my best diet foods, health foods rich in vitamins and other nutrients, which will provide you with some of the most important nutrients to sustain you during your diet:
I find tomatoes one of the most versatile and useful foods for cooking, and can be used to add interest to all sorts of meals, such as curries, casseroles and soups. Tomatoes go well with lean meats, or mixed with other vegetables, when used for cooking. They are also delicious raw, if you can find good tomatoes rather than the insipidly flavoured tomatoes you may find in the supermarket.
Tomatoes also happen to be one of the most valuable health foods, rich in lycopene, plus vitamins A and C. Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant, which is why much scientific attention has been paid to tomatoes in recent years. Lycopene’s ability to neutralize free radicals that cause cell damage has been the centre of attention, due to the possible potential in cancer prevention.
Tomatoes also have one other special asset. That is, that the nutrients are not destroyed during cooking, and even processed tomato products such as tomato sauce or ketchup, and canned tomatoes, retain the nutritional benefits. Tomatoes are therefore my health food super hero.
When it comes to making boring foods tasty, garlic is way up there amongst the best. Along with tomatoes, garlic is an important part of the Mediterranean Diet. Like tomatoes, it can be used with just about any other cooked food, so whatever your diet regime is, you should find you can utilize garlic widely to satisfy your palate.
Garlic has some important nutrients too, such as calcium, vitamin C and vitamin B6, phosphorus and selenium, plus antibiotic properties.
Basil is a humble and popular herb that can be used liberally to bring its distinctive flavour to other foods. What you may not realize is that basil also packs a punch when it comes to calcium, phosphorus, vitamin A and vitamin C. Also, basil is a good source of iron, potassium and magnesium, and carotenoids such as beta carotene.
How about tomato and basil soup, with a touch of garlic? A super combo of health foods that will fit into most diets.
The mention of strawberries seems like self indulgence; their flavour to some can seem too good to be true (me included). Well, indulge, because the strawberry is a great health food too, with some nutrients you may not have anticipated. Strawberries contain Vitamin C, vitamin K and manganese, folic acid, potassium, riboflavin, vitamin B5, vitamin B6, copper, magnesium and omega-3 fatty acids.
Strawberries are best fresh and eaten on their own. (Please read carefully. I did not say strawberries should be eaten laced in sugar with a dollop of clotted cream.)
Many may turn their noses up at the mention of spinach; I know I did as a child. However, once you discover its true flavour, spinach does make an excellent food as a side vegetable, in a soup or in a curry. All the old stories about the goodness of spinach were true, as it contains Vitamin C, iron, beta carotene and calcium, plus vitamins E and K, fibre, lutein and zeaxanthin (carotenoids).
Those are just a few ideas for healthy foods, rich in nutrients, that can add flavour and interest to your diet, as you set out to make a permanent lifestyle change to lose weight.