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10 Spring Foods For Weight Loss
April 15, 2011
Marilyn and I hope you're well and benefiting from adding Nature's Health Foods to your diet!



Today we thought we'd share with you 10 Spring foods for weight loss.



Trying to trim down?

Stock your shopping cart with these fresh, fat-fighting picks!

Asparagus

One large asparagus spear contains just four calories.

Even better?

Asparagus is a water-rich vegetable, and research shows that maintaining proper hydration can improve metabolism, helping your body burn even more calories all day long.

Bonus: This spring veggie is also high in immune-boosting vitamins-A and C, and contains potent cancer-fighting phytochemicals, as well.

To make asparagus extra tasty, we recommend roasting it in the oven (drizzle with a little olive oil, season with salt and pepper, then cook for about 10 minutes at 400 degrees).

Cilantro

This spring herb, which can be added to everything from salsa to salads, is a dieter’s secret weapon.

Why?

Half a cup of fresh cilantro contains just one calorie, so you can add lots of satisfying flavor with zero guilt.

In fact, a study from Virginia State University showed that subbing slimming herbs and spices such as cilantro for fattier flavorings helped people lose ten pounds over the course of a year.

Cucumbers

With a cup of slices at 16 calories, what’s not to love about cucumbers?

Because cukes are high in fiber and contain lots of water, they also fill you up, so you’ll be less likely to spoon up high-fat fare later.

This also explains why one recent study from Penn State University found that having a salad filled with water-rich vegetables such as cucumbers helped people reduce their overall calorie consumption by a whopping 12 percent.

Artichokes

The beauty of an artichoke is that it takes a while to eat, so it’s almost impossible to overindulge.

Bonus: One medium bulb contains a mere 64 calories and a whopping 10 grams of filling, appetite-reducing fiber.

And half a cup of artichoke hearts (which are a great addition to salads and pasta) has 45 calories and seven grams of satiating fiber.

Bonus: This spring pick is also packed with a compound called cynarin, a substance that naturally reduces cholesterol.

Just don’t pair this veggie with a diet-sabotaging dip: If you’re eating a whole artichoke, skip the melted butter and instead dip the leaves in a figure-friendly, yogurt-based dressing to make sure you don’t consume excess fat and calories.

Sugar Snap Peas

These sweet, crunchy pods are only 26 calories per cup, so you can chomp on them until you’re green.

They’re great in a salad, or as a snack with low-fat dressing.

Bonus: Like all peas, sugar snaps are rich in fiber, folate, and are especially potent in vitamin-K, a bone and blood-building nutrient.

Strawberries

Of all fruit, berries, including strawberries, are the richest in health-enhancing antioxidants, yet ounce for ounce, they’re the lowest in calories, making them a waist-watcher’s best friend.

One cup of strawberries contains just 49 calories and zero grams of fat, but three grams of hunger-fighting fiber.

What’s more, studies show that a diet rich in berries helps fight free-radical damage that can contribute to skin woes like wrinkles and cancer.

Pineapples

Skip the canned stuff (which is usually soaked in waist-widening syrup) and opt for fresh pineapple, which is at its peak in spring.

Although pineapple is slightly higher in fructose (natural fruit sugar) than most produce, it’s still light.

One cup of cubed chunks contains just 82 calories, making it a much better sweet treat than, say, ice cream.

Bonus: Pineapple is also an excellent source of bromelain, an enzyme that’s been shown to reduce the inflammation that can contribute to diseases like arthritis and cancer, and to aid digestion, too, which is why it's been used for centuries to soothe stomach woes.

Avocados

Yes, avocados are higher in fat and calories than your average veggie.

They possess about 120 calories and 11 grams of fat per half cup cubed, but the fat they do contain is the heart-healthy monounsaturated kind.

Another fat fact: It not only helps your body fully absorb crucial vitamins like A, E, D and K, it also takes a long time to digest, which helps you feel fuller longer.

In fact, numerous studies have shown that a Mediterranean-style diet that contains fat from vegetables like avocados is extremely effective for keeping weight off long-term.

To tap into this veggie’s waist-whittling powers, try using avocado in place of cheese and mayo on sandwiches and salads.

Nectarines

Peaches get good press, but nectarines, which are in season starting in April, deserve equal attention.

They’re super sweet, but at only 60 calories each, you can indulge with zero guilt.

Plus, their skin is loaded with satiating soluble fiber, which in addition to being filling, can also lower cholesterol.

What’s more, research shows that nectarines are filled with lycopene and lutein, two powerful, natural compounds that have been shown to slash a person’s risk of cancer and heart disease.

Bananas

Need a fast, healthy snack?

Nibble on a banana.

They’re easy to transport, contain around 100 calories each, and are very versatile.

For example, bananas can be chopped into oatmeal or cereal, put on a peanut butter sandwich or added to a smoothie to enhance thickness and flavor.

What’s more, bananas are naturally rich in potassium, a nutrient that helps regulate blood sugar, as well as energy-boosting B vitamins, making this fruit a perfect pre, or post-workout food.

And, here's an awesome recipe that you'll want to print!

Lobster Bisque



Bisque, an elegant creamy shellfish soup, is thought to have originated in the Spanish Biscay region.

Yield: makes 6–8 servings Serving

Ingredients:

1 cooked lobster, about 2 1/4 lb. (1 kg.)

1/2 c. dry white wine or vermouth

3 Tbs. butter

4 ripe tomatoes, coarsely chopped

1 onion, finely chopped

1/4 c. tomato paste

1 carrot, finely chopped

1/4 c. long-grain rice

2 celery stalks, finely chopped

1/2 c. heavy cream

1 leek, white and pale green part only, finely chopped

2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice

1/2 fennel bulb, finely chopped

cayenne pepper

2 garlic cloves, minced

salt and freshly ground black pepper

7 c. fish stock

creme fraiche and chopped chives, to garnish

1/2 c. Cognac or brandy

Preparation;

# 1

Split the lobster in half.

Twist off the claws and legs, break the claw apart at the joints, and crack the shells.

Remove all meat from the lobster, chop the meat into small pieces, cover, and refrigerate.

Chop the shell into rough pieces.

# 2

Heat the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.

Add the onion, carrot, celery, leek, fennel, garlic, tarragon, and bay leaf.

Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes, until tender.

# 3

Add the lobster shells.

Stir in the fish stock, Cognac, wine, tomatoes, tomato paste, and rice.

Bring to a boil, then simmer for 1 hour.

# 4

Let cool.

In batches, pulse the stock mixture in a blender to chop the shell into small pieces.

# 5

Strain through a coarse sieve, pressing through as much liquid as possible.

Strain again through a fine sieve to be sure that no shell remains in the soup.

# 6

Return the soup to a boil.

Stir in the cream and lemon juice, and season with cayenne, salt, and pepper.

Stir in the lobster and heat through.

Ladle into bowls, garnish with creme fraiche and chives, and serve hot.

Sadly, that's all the time we have for today.

We hope the above tips come in handy, and we hope you found some value in this Edition!

Until next time, we want you to,

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