10 Best Foods For Flat Abs
With the temperatures quickly warming up, many of us start thinking about getting ready for beach and vacation season. We want to look our best for the hot summer moments with friends and family. Flipping through the magazines and clothing catalogues, we can appreciate all the work that goes into looking and feeling great. Tight, toned abs is the perfect centerpiece for that new bikini or short top/skirt combo, above those swim shorts, or even subtly camouflaged behind that cotton tank.
Crunches, planks and never missing a workout are all a great parts of reaching your goal of rock hard abs. Along with increasing the frequency of your exercise, you can also make some adjustments to your diet to help you get the tight beach body your friends will envy.
Selecting healthy food options such as whole foods, fruits and vegetables is fundamental to an optimally functioning body, but there are some choices you may want to move to the top of your daily list. Combining these items with your exercise program will get you ready to show off those abs in no time.
The key ingredient to a healthy, well-functioning body is to stay hydrated. Water is the perfect beverage to keep you in optimal condition. When your body is functioning well, not only is your metabolism boosted, but the water helps rid your body of toxins, keeping your health at its best. Water will help keep you full to avoid snacking and will help your body work more effectively during workouts and in between.
Packed with nutrients and antioxidants, asparagus has long been recognized for its medicinal benefits. This balanced food is known for its ability to help flush toxins from the kidneys and prevent kidney stones. Asparagus contains the amino acid asparagine, which is a natural diuretic that helps the body rid itself not only of excess fluids, but excess salts. Green, white and purple variations of asparagus provide the same health benefits, so adding color to your recipes can help you lose that extra water. Select asparagus to help your body flush excess fluids and salts to better show off those muscular abs.
Tea has long been an option to sugary sodas and other caffeinated beverages. Advertisers often focus on the flavonoids in tea and their antioxidant properties, yet green tea has also been shown to inhibit fat absorption, prevent spikes in insulin, reduce appetite, raise metabolic rates and increase the speed of fat oxidation. While the best way to increase your metabolism is to increase your activity, the boost green tea provides to your body is well worth selecting it over other beverage options, and it tastes incredible without any added sweeteners. Green tea will help kick your metabolism up to a higher level to keep you burning calories.
As the second-most popular fruit after strawberries, blueberries contain the highest antioxidant levels of all fruits, vegetables, spices and seasonings. All berries tend to be considered low in terms of the glycemic index (GI), which helps prevent spikes and drops in blood sugar level. Low sugar levels combined with anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants make blueberries an ideal addition to your daily diet. Blueberries help you satisfy your sweet tooth while keeping your blood sugar level and your calories low.
Cinnamon is known for its cholesterol-reducing benefits, but it also supports blood platelets, fights bacteria, protects the brain and mimics insulin to help maintain blood sugar levels throughout the day. Ceylon cinnamon stimulates the synthesis of glycogen, which is a form of glucose stored primarily in the liver and muscle tissue for use when it’s most needed. Just a little cinnamon is needed for a great benefit and can be used in savory dishes for an extra layer of taste, as well as to sweeten your treats. A little cinnamon can help increase your metabolism of glucose, preventing excess fat storage.
Considered a complete protein, quinoa contains all nine of the essential amino acids, which cannot be made by the body. Also rich in fiber, vitamins and minerals, quinoa fills your stomach and helps reduce the risk of heart disease. Thought of as a grain but actually a seed, quinoa is known to have more than 120 varieties, giving you many options to select from for every meal of the day. This low-calorie protein is a great option for vegetarians and can be used as an alternative to pasta, rice and even breakfast cereal. Quinoa gives you that full feeling and is packed with protein to fuel your body during your crunches and beyond.
This versatile vegetable contains fewer than 10 calories and 2 grams of dietary fiber – 8 percent of the recommended daily allowance – in every half cup. The high concentration of nutrients in cabbage supports every main physiological system. Cabbage can be eaten raw, steamed, boiled in soup or sautéed; however, the best health benefits come from eating cabbage steamed or raw. This low-calorie, high-fiber food will keep you full while helping you stick to your calorie limits, and keep your system moving to prevent tummy bloating.
Oats are another nutrient-rich food associated with reducing cholesterol, but that is not the only benefit of eating this grain. Along with iron, magnesium and vitamin B, oats are a great source of fiber and help you feel full longer. Although typically considered a breakfast food, oats can be incorporated into all meals as a quick energy source. Slow-cooked, instant, added to smoothies or included in other recipes, oats are a sweet, fiber-rich food that helps keep your heart healthy and your stomach full. Oatmeal is a great choice to keep you satisfied, meet your nutritional needs, and boost your energy for longer workouts.
Popular along the Mediterranean and second only to spinach in regard to total nutrient-richness, Swiss chard is full of fiber to keep you full, help regulate blood sugar, provide anti-inflammatory benefits and is antioxidant rich. Swiss chard contains at least 13 different polyphenol antioxidants. At only 7 calories and 1 gram of fiber in each cup, this healthy green quickly fills you up and can easily be combined with other nutrient-rich vegetables or lean meat. The long-lasting effect of fiber helps you avoid cravings and between meal snacking. Swiss chard will help you avoid extra calories that could build up your waistline.
One ounce of walnuts, approximately seven shelled nuts, contains 100 percent of the recommended daily allowance of plant-based omega 3s, biotin, polyphenols, 4 grams of protein and many vitamins and minerals. These nutrition-packed nuts have been shown to increase your satiety within three days due to their complex and complete nutrition. Organic and raw are the best ways to eat them, but they can be incorporated into smoothies, salads and sauces. Just a few walnuts provide the healthy fats you need to help you lose belly fat.
With dedication and focus, you will quickly achieve that summer physique that will make other beach-goers envious. Talk to your personal trainer about what you want to improve on your body. Whether it’s tightening your abs, expanding those biceps or firming up the glutes, he or she can select routines to help you pinpoint any areas you’d like to tone and improve. As a team, you will get that body you want to kick off the summer feeling confident and sexy.
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