We had talked in detail about “empty calories” and 10 Ways to Cut Hundreds of Empty Calories Through The Day previously in a post. These empty calories can hamper your weight loss efforts, and to counter that, one should include nutrient-dense foods that have loads of vitamins, protein, minerals and other essential nutrients capsuled in fewer calories. People who want to lose weight and get healthy in general should avoid calories that come in the form of transfat, saturated fat, high sodium, and added sugar. The idea behind including nutrient-dense food in the daily diet is to get maximum amount of nutrients for the calories consumed because they are amazing for overall health as well. To begin with, most nutrient-rich foods can have vitamins, minerals, protein, fiber, phytochemicals, antioxidants, etc., and they would be low in sugar, starch, and unhealthy fats. For example, a cup of white rice would have approximately 242 calories (most of them carbs) and the same quantity of brown rice would provide 216 calories (most of which would be complex carbs, magnesium, manganese, potassium, selenium, protein, and fiber!) When you are on a calorie deficit diet to lose weight, it makes sense to spend your precious calories on nutrient-dense foods. In this post, we list down 21 most nutrient dense foods to accelerate weight loss.
How to Include Nutrient-Dense Foods in your Daily Diet?
As we have mentioned above, nutrient-dense foods have high nutrient content relative to their calories. By including nutrient-dense foods in weight loss diet or even otherwise, we can increase the amount of nutrition, without increasing number of calories. Nutrient-dense foods would include complex carbs, healthy fats, protein, antioxidants, phytochemicals, minerals, vitamins, fiber, etc. Most of them would come from fruits, vegetables, saturated fat, dairy products, whole grains, that would keep you in the pink of health. Many nutrient-dense foods one of the most weight-loss friendly factor – fiber! You can learn to include nutrient-dense foods in your diet and lose weight at the same time by following the diet programs on the Rati Beauty app, download it on your phone for more details.
21 Nutrient Dense Foods to Accelerate Weight Loss:
1. Spinach: Palak, as it is called in India, is a powerhouse of nutrition. It has vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B6, B9, C, K and minerals such as manganese, magnesium, iron, copper, potassium, calcium, zinc, phosphorous, and even selenium. There’s also ample water, protein, a bit of carbs, and dietary fiber in spinach.
2. Quinoa: No diet seems to be complete without quinoa and why not – it’s a high-protein food grain that is also rich in fiber, iron, zinc, B vitamins, along with magnesium, potassium, and calcium.
3. Oatmeal: Like quinoa, this too is a weight-loss friendly food that is rich in protein, healthy fats, and fiber content.
4. Broccoli: At just 31 calories, one cup of broccoli has protein, carbs, fiber, vitamin C, iron, calcium, and folate.
5. Millets: All Indian millets, right from Foxtail, Kodo, Proso, Barnyard, Sorghum, Pearl, Finger are capsules of essential nutrients and should be a part of everyone’s diet because all of them have protein, complex carbs, healthy fat, various minerals, calcium, phosphorous, iron, etc.
6. Sattu: If you are looking at cheap plant-based protein sources, look no further than sattu (roasted bengal gram powder) which is not only rich in protein, it also has calcium and vitamins, and fiber too.
7. Almonds: If you already do not take almonds daily, you should start now! These nuts have healthy fats, protein, and fiber along with vitamin E and B2. There are minerals in the form of phosphorous, magnesium, and manganese.
8. Fish oil: This oil with its omega-3 fatty acids can help in the fat-burning process and if you are a vegetarian, here are some other great alternatives (12 Fish Oil Substitutes for Vegetarians).
9. Yogurt/Curd: A cup of yogurt can boost metabolism, improve gut health with its probiotic content, and boost weight loss with its calcium, protein, and vitamin content.
10. Salmon: It’s a good source of protein, vitamin B12, vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids and minerals such as magnesium, potassium, selenium, etc.
11. Pumpkin Seeds: It’s a good plant-based source of omega-3 fatty acids, tryptophan, zinc, magnesium, zinc, etc.
12. Sweet Potato: There’s good reason you should include sweet potatoes in your diet – it has potassium, beta carotene, antioxidants, vitamin A, C, and B6 too.
13. Walnuts: Here’s another good source of omega-3 fatty acids and also rich in vitamin E, protein, and healthy fats.
14. Seaweed: We thought we should list seaweed too in this list because this rich source of iodine, antioxidants, and vitamins is now readily available online.
15. Blueberries: Rich in antioxidants and protein, blueberries also have a range of vitamins from B, C, E, to K and also minerals such as manganese, copper, potassium and iron.
16. Nuts: We decided to group all the nuts together – walnuts, cashews, almonds, hazelnuts, pecans, pistachios, peanuts because they all have high amount of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and healthy fats.
17. Legumes: Beans, peas, and lentils all have complex carbs, protein, and essential minerals that are a must-have for overall good health.
18. Leafy Green Vegetables: India has a variety of green leafy vegetables – dill, fenugreek, amaranth, sarson, kulfa saag, arbi ka patta, sushni leaves, moringa leaves, that have unlimited antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, iron, protein, etc.
19. Carrots: Rich in beta-carotene, vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin B6, folate, and minerals like manganese, potassium, copper, and iron, carrots boosts metabolism with its ample nutrients.
20. Whole Eggs: If someone told you whole eggs are not good for weight loss, they have been feeding you wrong information because whole eggs have around 9 essential amino acids, protein, healthy fats that lower bad cholesterol, and a host of other essential yet trace minerals. Having one or two eggs a day is absolutely recommended.
21. Ghee: We have saved the best for the last 🙂 Ghee, or clarified butter as it is called in the west, has healthy fats, vitamins A and E, and is great for immunity as well as for melting away extra fat.
Can you add some more nutrient-dense foods that we may have missed to this list? 🙂