by Sharon Quercioli
Incorporating vegetables and fruits into your diet is a must; more so if you’re trying to lose weight. If you’re looking to drop a few pounds, here are some vegetables that can help.
Veggies that fit under this category are cauliflower, brussels sprouts, broccoli and cabbage. They are a great source of fiber, which can make you feel full for longer after a meal than other types of foods. They also contain a high amount of protein in comparison to other vegetables. Most of the time, you will get your protein from foods like legumes or meats. Cruciferous vegetables are great substitutions for meat if you work in a “Meatless Monday” into your weekly diet. It is also a great way to get protein if you’re thinking about adopting a vegetarian or vegan diet.
Avocados, believe it or not, are a type of fruit. While this list is for weight loss vegetables, avocados are normally eaten as a hearty vegetable instead of a fruit. Most fruit have a rather large amount of carbohydrates because of their sugar content. However, avocados are one of the surprisingly savory fruits that have a low amount of carbohydrates and a high amount of healthy fat. You can mash some ripe avocado and spread it onto your whole wheat bread instead of mayonnaise.
One of my favorite avocado recipes (besides guacamole) is the Alton Brown “Sherried Sardine Toast.” This involves whisking in some parsley, vinegar, lemon zest and oil from the sardine can. Brushing whole wheat toast with some oil (from the sardines), broiling the toast, spreading the avocado on the toast, then topping it with sardines and the dressing that you mixed earlier. It makes a great lunch and is good for you.
Potatoes have gotten a bad reputation because they are high in carbohydrates. However, they are healthy for you and can be great for weight loss. They are high in potassium (which can help control and level out your blood pressure). Potatoes are also filling. If you eat boiled white potatoes, you will be less likely to fill up on other foods. What you should do, however, is to allow them to cool. After they’ve cooled for a while, they will begin to form something called “resistant starch,” which has been known to help with weight loss. You can also boil turnips, sweet potatoes and other types of root vegetables.
Legumes and Beans
Legumes and Beans are great for weight loss because of the considerable amounts of fiber that they can provide. Black beans, lentils, and kidney beans are some of the healthiest options out there right now. They are also great sources of protein and contain resistant starch like boiled potatoes. Remember to prepare them properly to ensure that they taste great and have a good texture.
Hearty Vegetable Soup with Kale, and Lentils
One of the best types of foods that you can have in your regular diet are soups. Because of that, I’ve included my favorite vegetable soup recipe for your consumption. This recipe is hearty and healthy and is a great option for dinner or lunch if you’re trying to lose weight.
What you’re going to need for this recipe:
- A fourth of a cup of virgin olive oil
- One white onion (chopped)
- A couple of carrots (peeled and chopped)
- Four cloves of garlic (minced)
- A couple of teaspoons of cumin
- A teaspoon of curry powder
- A half of a teaspoon of thyme
- A can of tomatoes (diced, drained)
- A cup of brown lentils (green is fine as well)
- Four cups of vegetable broth
- A couple of cups of water
- A teaspoon of salt
- Red pepper flakes (to taste)
- Black pepper (to taste)
- A cup of kale (chopped and ribs removed)
- Lemon juice (fresh is best, to taste)
What you’re going to do with these ingredients:
- Pull out the soup pot or Dutch oven that you want to use for your soup. You’ll cook all the ingredients in this pot so make sure that it can hold everything.
- Over medium heat, warm the oil in the pot. Add the onions and carrots. Cook until the onions are soft and translucent. This should take about five minutes.
- Add the cumin, curry powder, thyme, and garlic. Cook until you can smell all the ingredients. It should only take about a minute.
- Add the drained tomatoes and cook for another couple of minutes.
- Pour in the water, broth, and then add the lentils. Add a teaspoon of salt and the red pepper flakes. Turn up the heat until it starts to boil. Then reduce the heat until it’s simmering, gently.
- Cook for a half an hour or until the lentils are soft but can still hold their shape.
- Take a couple cups of the soup and put it in a blender. Puree, then add them back to the pot to thicken the soup.
- Add in the kale and cook for about five more minutes (or until the kale is as soft as you would like).
- Take the pot off the heat and mix in the lemon juice, one teaspoon at a time until it reaches your desired flavor. Season with pepper, salt, or more lemon juice as you see fit.
- You can keep the leftovers in your fridge for about a week. Or you can portion it out and freeze leftovers for a few months. This is incredibly handy when you don’t feel like cooking or if you feel like a hearty meal with little prep.