While there are many foods that you should avoid or at least cut down to the barest minimum in order to lose weight, there are actually some foods that you should eat more of that can help you to shed more of that excess weight and then keep it where it should be. These are in addition to a healthy diet and are extremely useful as health boosters in their own right.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
It is pretty well publicized just how important it is to include omega-3 fatty acids in your diet as a brain boosting food as well as a big benefit to overall health. But recent research has shown that low levels of omega-3 are linked with weight gain and here is why.
When we get the right amount of this essential fatty acid in our diets, all manner of good things happen, not least of those being that the correct levels of serotonin are released into the system, which helps is relax and feel good. Serotonin is the feel good hormone and it is responsible for maintaining a good, upbeat mood. When we are in a good mood we feel good and are less likely to comfort eat. But when the levels of this hormone drop in the body, our mood changes and depression can sink in. When we are in a depressed mood, we tend to crave more carbohydrate or sugar rich foods as comfort foods. This leads to weight gain as the knock-on effect of eating these foods is greater mood swings and more lethargy, meaning we are even less inclined to want to exercise.
Our modern diets have become lacking in foods which contain omega-3 but have similarly grown in levels of its counter-balance omega-6, which tends to increase feelings of hostility and anger. These are negative emotions and when combined with low serotonin levels, make for a negative state of mind and low mood, which equates to eating more comfort foods and feeling lazy and lethargic. This all adds up to weight gain and unless something is done to correct the balance, the person can all too easily drop into that downward spiral that leads to obesity.
Omega-3 is found in its highest levels in oily fish such as fresh tuna (not the canned variety as this fatty acid is lost in the canning process) and also in walnuts and flax seeds. Cod liver oil is also a good source of omega-3, although it is not recommended to be taken in high quantities because of contamination from mercury. Supplements of flax seed oil can be bought at health food stores and this is often the purest and most potent form.
Folate is one of the B vitamins and is found mainly in leafy green vegetables. This vitamin is mainly responsible for cell creation in the body and also in the brain. A lack of this vitamin is linked with lower energy levels as well as impairment of cognitive brain functions and even memory. It also affects our mood and a lack of folate can also send our mental state negative-ward. The good news is that by raising levels of folate in our diet by eating more green vegetables such as broccoli, kale, cabbage etc, we can improve our ability to lose weight through improved mood, less tendency to stress and raised energy levels.
A combination of increased folate and omega-3 in our diets can turn things around for the better by boosting mood and enhancing our cell building capability which all leads to a more receptive mind and body for losing weight when combined with a healthy, nutritious and calorie controlled diet.
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