Time to get a pen and some paper! You are going to want to keep this list close by when you head to the grocery store!
Weight loss isn't always an easy thing and a little help never hurt anyone. Even if you have an immaculate diet, you may still be missing out on some key nutrients and vitamins that may bring you closer to your goal weight.
To lose weight in a healthy way, your body requires certain things to regulate metabolism, stop cravings, and keep your digestive system in top shape. Below, Jessica Cording R.D., a dietitian in New York City, explains which vitamins and nutrients in particular help boost weight loss.
"When you don't get enough iron, you may feel sluggish, tired, and light-headed," says Cording. Of course, feeling that way isn't very conducive to burning calories through exercise. And ladies, pay extra special attention to your iron. It is important that you reach the recommended 18 milligrams a day during your period as your bleeding causes you to lose iron. If you aren't a fan of red meat -- the most obvious source for most people, load up on beans, lentils and dark leafy greens.
To get the most from your iron, pair it with vitamin C as it will help your body use the hard to absorb iron found in plant sources. Vitamin C is also an antioxidant and helps your cells function at their best. "It signals to cells that they have jobs to do, like fights free radical particles and keep your immune system functioning well," says Cording. And when your cells are functioning properly, your muscles can work harder. Get your 75 milligrams per day from oranges, peppers, and even kale.
New research suggests consuming the recommended amount of calcium each day could help you lose weight or maintain your goal weight, says Cording. It appears that calcium makes your cells work at their maximum potential which means you can go harder at the gym, your body can digest food and allocate nutrients more efficiently, and your metabolism can perform at its peak. "Yogurt is one of my favourite calcium sources because the probiotic bacteria keeps your digestion running smoothly, which results in less bloating, says Cording. If dairy isn't your thing, you can get calcium from salmon, tofu, white beans and kale.
Sounds counter-intuitive but you've got to eat fat to lose fat. "Monounsaturated fat lowers your bad cholesterol and increases your good cholesterol," says Cording. Beyond that, your body needs extra time to break down this nutrient, which means you'll feel fuller, longer, says Cording. Try adding olive oil, avocado, nuts and fatty fish to your meals. You just have to make sure you are sticking to a reasonable portion size. It is possible to have too much of a good thing.
B6 is necessary for turning food into energy and it comes in handy when you are cutting carbs from your diet. "Vitamin B6 is involved in producing the feel-good neurotransmitter serotonin and others that regulate your mood," says Cording. This is great news if you are someone with terrible food cravings. What you are missing is the serotonin rush from refined carbs. This is a much better solution. Stock up on lentils, nuts, and oats in order to get the daily 1.3 milligrams.
Zinc, which is in all your body's tissues, is a very good thing for your metabolism. Zinc helps your thyroid produce hormones that regulate your metabolism. Cording recommends at least 8 milligrams a day. Pumpkin seeds are a great source of zinc and so are oysters. You can also do lentils and chickpeas. Which is good news because oysters freak me out a little.
Magnesium helps your digestion work properly (it prevents bloating) and it helps you build muscle. And seeing as how muscle burns fat even when you aren't exercising, the more magnesium you have, the better according to Cording. Try to aim for 320 to 450 milligrams of magnesium per day, which is roughly the amount in two to three cups of cooked spinach. If you are having a hard time figuring out if you are getting enough magnesium, check your cravings. If you are craving chocolate, it may be a sign that you aren't getting enough. "A lot of my female clients experience chocolate cravings around their periods, when magnesium levels can take a dip," Cording says. Lucky for us, dark chocolate is a great source of magnesium. If you are concerned about indulging in chocolate, have a banana or some dark leafy greens. That will keep you covered.
How do you stay on top of your nutrients? Which are your favourite vitamin/nutrient dense foods and how do you like to prepare them? Share your tips with us!
Source: Women's Health