Let’s face it – it’s that time of year where the extra pounds show up like a bunch of relatives that have decided to stay with you for a couple of weeks, months, or sometimes years. No matter how “good” we are with working out and a healthy eating routine, most likely those holiday parties and cocktails, cooking in the kitchen, eating the food that your friends and relatives cook you in the kitchen, baking cookies, and all-around general merriment, tend to add up. The extra holiday pounds and bloating make their rounds as well. Many of us get frustrated and tend to give up completely of staying on track during this time, making it a “New Year’s Resolution” to get back on track next year instead.
Whole foods are here to save the day! What many of us don’t realize is that by incorporating a few whole foods into our daily routines, we can help alleviate and avoid many of this unfortunate holiday season poundage and bloating. Here are a few whole foods to focus on this season.
Make Chia Seeds Your Food’s Best Friend
There is evidence that a bit of chia seeds incorporated into your daily foods will go a long way. These whole foods are filled to the brim with omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, fiber, iron, protein, and calcium! Well that pretty much says it all. An excellent mood booster, they are great for fighting off the “sluggish” feeling, and help things move through you, in case you need the extra push.
Don’t forget that whole foods full of fiber help with weight loss because they keep you fuller for longer. Sprinkle these babies in whatever you’re cooking or in a smoothie!
Tis the Season for – Ginger
Some people might have experienced their moms giving them a ginger ale growing up when they had upset stomachs. That’s because ginger is a whole food known for easing stomach discomfort. It speeds up your food’s movement through your stomach, helping to alleviate nausea, heartburn, and stomach discomfort.
Create a ginger tea with a few slices of ginger root steeped in hot water for a few minutes. This is the perfect post Thanksgiving sipper!
Put a Little Lemon in it
Is your stomach bloated? Put a little lemon in it! There is proof that lemons are amazing for you. Water with lemon helps reduce the amount of salt retained in your body, and therefore, relieves bloating. Be sure to skip the straw and drink straight from the glass so that you don’t take in extra air when you are trying to de-bloat and are able to reap all the benefits of this whole food.
Lemon water is your best friend after a night of eating heavy foods or having a few too many cocktails. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!
Heat it up with Chili Peppers this Season
Not only is this whole food packed with vitamins and minerals, but it promotes weight loss as well. Chili can peppers fill you up quicker, and lead to reduced calorie intake. They also can increase fat burning in both men and women.
Add as much or as little to your meal when cooking as you’d like. Not everyone is a pepper person, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t throw just a few in there to reap the benefits!
Asparagus. Yes. It’s a Whole Food Superfood.
Nutrient packed, and yet containing very few calories, asparagus is an anti-bloating superfood, according to this article. Now we’re talking. Full of fiber, this whole food helps to move things along when you need it. It makes you pee and helping you to flush out all of that bad stuff.
Make it as a side to your meals this holiday season, but remember to hydrate as well so that you can flush out all the toxins!
Lay On the Cinnamon
What better time of year than to add cinnamon to everything? Not only does this baby aid in circulation and fight bacterial infections, but it inhibits the “transformation of metabolized sugar into fat”.
Steep cinnamon sticks in spiced cider for your holiday party. Another amazing use of this whole food is sprinkling a bit of it in your morning coffee to get your blood flowing.
Your holidays will be ever merrier and bright by incorporating a few of these whole foods into your daily routines this season. These whole foods fight off the extra pounds and bloating, and you might even find them becoming your year-round best buddies!
—Molly Lovelady, freelance writer in Las Vegas, NV