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8 Wonder Foods to Help You Drop Pounds

We all know that limiting calories leads to weight loss. But what about what we do eat? When dieting, what we consume should not only be nutritious but, ideally, contribute to our weight loss.

As a new mom, I am trying to lose the pregnancy weight in a healthy and effective way. By focusing on foods with few calories and high nutritional value, I have lost ten pounds in 6 weeks and feel full of energy. The following wonder foods have slimming properties, so you can enjoy them, guilt-free:

  1. Broccoli: An excellent source of fiber and calcium, broccoli provides you with a feeling of satiation and serves as a delicious addition to salads, especially when tossed with sesame dressing.
  2. Cabbage: This leafy vegetable is rich in antioxidants, including Vitamin C, and provides excellent immune-system support. Cabbage mixes nicely with sauteed apples and ginger, and can also be subbed in place of lettuce in Thai salad wraps for a low-calorie meal that packs a health punch.
  3. Cauliflower: This cruciferous vegetable is chockfull of phytonutrients that help battle cancer. Rich in vitamin C and folate, cauliflower is also an excellent choice to bolster the immune system and for pregnant women who require more folic acid in their diets. I mix this delicious veggie into soups and also nibble it raw, to get the most nutritional benefit.
  4. Grapefruit: An excellent resource for heart health, grapefruit also benefits the immune system by offering large doses of vitamin C, folic acid, and potassium. Grapefruit also contains pectin, a soluble fiber that may protect the body against atherosclerosis. Love pink or ruby red grapefruit? Go with your instincts, since these types contain vitamin A and lycopene, a phytochemical that guards the artery walls from oxidative damage. For the juiciest fruits, choose those that feel heavy compared to others their size.
  5. Lettuce: One of the most diet-friendly foods available, lettuce contains only 70 calories per pound. If you want a great source of B vitamins, folic acid, and the blood-sugar-regulator manganese, look no further. Dark greens are best, so in addition to green, try red leaf tossed with your favorite dressing.
  6. Radishes: Potassium packed, these cheerful red vegetables are full of folic acid, antioxidants, and sulfur compounds that aid in digestion. Be sure to also use the greens, which contain six times more vitamin C than the roots.
  7. Spinach: Rich in iron, this leafy green also provides folic acid, vitamin K, and disease-fighting antioxidants including vitamin C, beta-carotene, and lutein, a phytochemical that guards the eyes against macular degeneration. Swap your lettuce with spinach in a salad or mix into your omelet with reduced-fat feta cheese and tomato for a savory Greek-style breakfast.
  8. Protein: Lean meats, legumes, and even grains like quinoa provide protein, which builds muscle and keeps you satisfied long after your meal. Protein has been linked to mood stabilization, higher brain functioning, and is relatively low in calories. I ground all my meals in at least one source of protein to stay satisfied and avoid the urge to snack.

Receiving the nutrients you need is essential for your health and well-being, whether or not you are on a diet. However, the above foods contain large amounts of what you need with relatively few calories, so you can look forward to a slimmer waistline and increased vitality. I know I do!

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