Vegetables are an important building block to any diet. When it comes to losing weight, your diet is incredibly important, oftentimes even more important than exercise. Maintaining a diet with high-nutrient and low-calorie foods are an integral part of boosting your metabolism, which can lead to weight loss. Here are some delicious vegetables to add to your daily meals to help you reach your body goals.
Spinach has been one of my go-to leafy greens for a long time. Not only is it low in calories and easy to add to any meal, it is packed with vitamins and minerals. Spinach is an excellent source of iron, which helps disperse oxygen around your body. Additionally, spinach is high in vitamin C, which is an antioxidant that helps your skin and your immune system. Spinach also contains calcium, which helps keep your bones strong.
Spinach is one of my favorite vegetables because it is an easy addition to most of my meals. An easy way to add spinach to your diet is by adding it to your morning smoothie. When paired with flavor-heavy fruits such as bananas or berries, you cannot taste the spinach at all. I also frequently toss spinach in with my scrambled eggs in the morning. Spinach also makes an excellent base to any salad or bowl. Spinach cooks pretty quickly and can be prepared with most meals, as its flavor is not particularly strong.
If you’re looking for a vegetable to add to your pasta or pair with your protein of choice, asparagus is a great option. Not only is it low in calories, but it also offers tons of nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Asparagus is very high in vitamins E and C, which are antioxidants that are anti-inflammatory, which helps with bloating. Asparagus is also very high in fiber, which can help improve your digestive health and leads to weight loss. Additionally, asparagus is very high in potassium, which can help lower blood pressure.
There are many ways to prepare your asparagus, including grilling, sauteing, boiling and steaming. Asparagus is very tasty and when roasted with garlic and olive oil, can pair very well with any meal. Adding asparagus to your diet is a simple way to boost your body’s nutritional balance.
One of this decade’s trendier foods, avocados are certainly worth the hype and are incredibly nutritious. Although they are slightly higher in calories, avocados are very low-carb and packed with heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acids, making them a great option for those on a keto-like diet. Avocados are also very high in fiber, which helps boost your digestive health and can help you lose weight. Additionally, avocados are filled with antioxidants that can help improve eyesight.
There are many easy ways to incorporate avocados into your everyday diet. A more trendy way to get your daily dose is through avocado toast. Spread some mashed avocado on toasted wheat bread and pair it with some smoked salmon for a breakfast that’s packed with heart-healthy fatty acids. Avocado also pairs well with any green smoothie, sandwich or salad. I also like to pair it with my scrambled eggs for a healthy, protein-packed breakfast.
Broccoli is another option if you’re looking for a low-calorie, high nutrient vegetable. Like the other vegetables mentioned above, Broccoli is packed with vitamin C and vitamin K, with one cup supplying over 100% of the recommended daily intake. Broccoli is also packed with compounds that help reduce inflammation, which can help with your skin and possibly reduce bloating. Like the other vegetables listed above, broccoli is also packed with fiber and antioxidants. These can help support better blood sugar control and improve digestion overall, which can lead to a boost in your metabolism.
Broccoli is very easy to incorporate into your everyday diet and can be bought fresh or frozen in the grocery store. My favorite way to prepare broccoli is by roasting it with olive oil, rosemary and thyme and pairing it with some grilled chicken. You can also add raw broccoli in with your salad, or incorporate your cooked broccoli into an omelette or stir-fry.
I’m closing off this list with one of the most nutrient vegetables out there. A single cup of kale contains almost 700% of the recommended daily intake for vitamin K, which can help prevent blood clotting. Additionally, it also contains high amounts of vitamin A, vitamin C and Manganese. Like the vegetables listed above, kale is also packed with antioxidants. Kale also contains several minerals that people are often deficient in, including magnesium, calcium and potassium. Because of its low calorie and high water content, kale is a very weight loss friendly food and helps you feel fuller longer.
Like the vegetables listed above, kale is an easy addition to your diet. It can be sauteed, roasted or boiled if you want to enjoy it as a side dish for your lunch or dinner. I love to include kale with my scrambled eggs in the morning to give me a nutritious start to the day. If you don’t want to cook it, kale can also be a great base for any salad and can easily replace iceberg or romaine lettuce in sandwiches and wraps. Like spinach, kale is also a great addition to your morning smoothie, as it doesn’t provide an overwhelming amount of flavor, yet still gives you the nutritional benefits.
There are many amazing benefits to upping your veggie game when trying to lose weight. These five vegetables are packed with nutrients your body needs, have high water content, and are low in calories, all of which can help boost your metabolism and get you closer to your body goals. One important thing to note is that even if you’re trying to lose weight, it is still crucial to fuel your body. People often lower their caloric intake too much, which ultimately lowers your metabolism. By fueling your body with the right foods and nutrients, you’ll certainly set yourself up for success in your weight loss journey.
Lara Hill is a senior Public Relations major at Emerson College from Groton, Massachusetts. She has contributed to several college publications, holding multiple editing positions and focusing mainly on sports journalism. When she is not in class or writing, she loves to sail, watch sports with her friends and family, sing with her sisters, and play with her dog, Cassie.