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Tuesday, July 3, 2012

10 Foods for Fabulous Abs

Yogurt is magic for the tum. Nutritionist Rania Batayneh recommends yogurt, “The probiotic bacteria in most yogurts help keep your digestive system healthy, which translates into a lower incidence of gas, bloating, and constipation, which can keep your tummy looking flat." Ideally go for the plain-flavoured yogurts, that don’t contain added sugars.

Red bell peppers: "This beautifully colored vegetable is bursting with antioxidants (especially vitamin C and beta-carotene) to help your body fight off infections," says Margaux J. Rathbun, a certified nutritional therapy practitioner and creator of nutrition website Authentic Self Wellness. "They are also stimulating for the digestive system and have been shown to be metabolism-boosters, helping you to lose unwanted pounds. They are perfect for dieters when eaten raw or prepared in a juice concoction."

Peppermint: "Peppermint works to reduce bloating and indigestion and soothe the GI tract all around," says Rachel Berman, registered dietitian and Director of Nutrition for Try mixing up some iced peppermint tea or add a few mint leaves to your water.

Leafy greens: "Not only are leafy greens a great way to add volume to your meals without the calories, but they are chock full of nutrients (vitamins A, C, K, folate, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, and fiber) and easy to incorporate into your day," says Mary Dinehart-Perry, a registered dietitian and clinical trials director for Zone Labs, Inc. She recommends swapping out iceberg for spinach in your salads, adding mustard greens or collards to your soups, or dishing up a side of sautéed kale to fill up, fight disease, and look fab in your bikini.

Switch to whole grain. The body shows a decreased insulin response to whole grain as compared to refined carbohydrate like rice and white bread. So replace those meals of white rice and milk bread with whole grains like lentils, brown rice, and whole wheat bread for a trimmer waistline.

Stock up on cruciferous veggies like broccoli, brussels sprouts, asparagus, peppers, and yellow beans. They contain folate, beta-carotene, calcium, magnesium, and fiber, and are rich in vitamins A, C, and K.

Olive Oil: Mono-unsaturated fats like those found in olive oil, work to reduce belly fat and don’t increase calorie intake.

Apple cider vinegar: New research indicates that 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar (ideally mixed with a glass of water), consumed daily over a period of 12 weeks, works to lower body weight and reduce belly fat. This is attributed to vinegar's acetic acid, which is believed to pump out proteins that break down fat.

Green tea contains certain chemicals called polyphenols and catechins that boost metabolism and help burn fat. Including 2-3 cups of green tea in your diet will help reduce that waistline, as well as provide a host of other health benefits.

Apples are one of the most popular negative calorie foods. This means that an apple burns more calories that it adds to the body, while being digested, making for a great, tasty snack that does nothing to add to body fat.

Eggs are a great source of protein and contain essential amino acids that the body needs to build everything from muscle fibres to brain chemicals. It is the perfect breakfast food, and ensures you feel less hungry during the day and reduces that urge to snack.

Almonds provide the body with minerals like magnesium, and regulate blood sugar levels. A stable blood sugar level is key to prevent cravings that can lead to overeating.

Salmon, tuna and mackerel, in addition to being a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, also improve metabolism and help burn fat faster by improving the body’s glucose-insulin response.

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