Healthy Foods You Should Include In Your Diet

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Some diet promoters like to talk about “zero-calorie” foods that will help you lose weight. Will they’ve chosen a name that’s a little misleading — everything edible except water contains some calories — they’re quite right about there being some great food choices to help you lose weight. Here we’re going to focus on foods that end up burning more calories in the course of digestion than they provide you in terms of nutrition.

Celery is the classic example here. Celery is terrifically healthy. It’s packed with potassium and much-needed water, and it’s definitely one of the foods you should add in your diet. The rich crunchy texture of celery gives you something interesting to eat in place of junk food. A four-inch-long stalk of celery contains just one calorie. Guess how much energy it takes to digest it? That’s right, one calorie. Result: zero-calorie food!

There are other dietary choices that can perform this same feat of calorie-counting mathematics. In order to deal with food cravings, stock up on the following items:

1. Cabbage

This healthy, handy vegetable can be incorporated into a host of different recipes. There’s clinical evidence that suggests cabbage may help prevent cancer and heart disease. It’s very high in fibre, encouraging healthy digestion. Cabbage soup is a dieter’s staple. You have your choice of many different varieties of cabbage; the best may well be locally-grown organic cabbage. Check for it at your farmers market. A single half-ounce leaf of raw cabbage contains just 4 calories.

2. Mushrooms

Mushrooms are admittedly an acquired taste, but you’re in luck if you happen to like them! Packed with nutrients and tremendously healthy, mushrooms also come in many different varieties. Raw white mushroom slices are just 1 calorie apiece.

3. Asparagus

A very popular vegetable, asparagus might well turn up in some of your favourite recipes. Granted, you’ll want to forego the bacon and drawn butter when you’re trying to lose weight, but you don’t have to give up on the green spears at the heart of the dish. Asparagus can be grilled or steamed as a side dish or added as an ingredient in your salads. High in fibre, asparagus has a very low calorie count: A two-inch spear of raw asparagus comes in at a single calorie.

4. Cucumbers

Known as “cukes” in my neck of the woods, these garden favourites are definitely foods you should add in your diet. Whether you dice them up to go with a salad or slice them and serve them with vinegar and onions, cucumbers are always a tasty addition to a healthy meal. The Food Network is packed with great serving suggestions for the cucumber. A cup of sliced or diced raw cucumber (skin still on) only delivers 16 calories.

5. Beets

This is a prime example of a superfood. The rich purple coloration is a sign of super-healthy vitamin content. Long used in folk remedies for a variety of different illnesses, beats can be prepared in an almost endless number of different ways. Beets are usually low in calories, with a small one (say two inches) having just 37 calories. Pickled beets are an option too if you’re looking for a greater variety of tastes.

6. Zucchini

Another garden standby, zucchinis are very easy to raise yourself. A perennial favourite for filling out traditional holiday dishes like zucchini bread and casseroles, keep your zucchini simple to avoid unwanted calories. A raw slice in its skin delivers just 2 calories.

7. Cauliflower

This hearty veggie is another big grower in our garden. We like to pin up the largest cauliflower leaves over the head to keep it white instead of turning yellow in the sun. Raw cauliflower straight from the garden is a terrific treat, and at just 3 calories per floret, it’s quite a healthy one.

8. Tomatoes

Versatile, tasty, and available in tons of different forms, tomatoes are the desserts of the hardcore dieter’s menu. Tomatoes can be eaten raw (or whole, in the case of cherry tomatoes), sliced, diced, shredded, boiled … your choices are truly endless here. You can make a healthy, veggie-heavy summer salad by tossing tomatoes in with cucumbers, onions, and seasoning. The delightfully explosive cherry tomato makes a superb snack with just 3 calories.

9. Parsnips

Another acquired taste, parsnips are probably best enjoyed when boiled and mashed. They make a perfect low-calorie substitute for potatoes. If you’ve never tried parsnips before, there’s no time like the present. A half-cup of raw parsnips only has 50 calories.

10. Kale

A leafy green that’s currently enjoying huge popularity, kale can be used in casseroles, salads, pesto, and even smoothies. When baked into chips, kale makes a perfect replacement for junk food chips. A cup of chopped-up kale tips the scales at just 34 calories.

Before you go completely bonkers with these great minimum-calorie foods, remember to exercise some restraint. Note that the portions given here are all pretty modest; chomping vegetables by the fistful might not be a great idea.

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