6 Slimming Superfoods to Help You Feel and Look Great This Summer

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When you want to make a list of superfoods, it's hard to know where to start! There are so many amazing foods and superfood powders out there, and each one comes with its own long list of health benefits. Well, we've got slimming on our minds right now: We're celebrating the release of our biggest issue ever, which is packed with genius tips for feeling and looking slimmer this summer. So we decided this list of slimming superfoods straight from our special Memorial Day issue would be the perfect place to start. Dig into the list of fat-burning, thyroid-reviving, metabolism-boosting superfoods below, and then grab a copy of our special issue — on stands now! — for more slimming summer secrets!

1. Asparagus invigorates the liver.

Tender asparagus is in season right now — and adding six stalks to a meal could increase fat burn by 25 percent for up to two hours, say Stanford University researchers. That’s because the veggie contains plant compounds (chlorophyll and cyanidin) that enhance the ability of liver cells to flush out metabolism-slowing toxins, plus quickly convert stored fatty acids into fuel.

2. Shrimp speeds a slow thyroid.

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Enjoying 16 oz. of shrimp (or any other seafood) a week can help you shed up to 8 pounds of stubborn fat in a month. So say Turkish scientists, who found that shrimp’s omega-3 fats and iodine energize a sluggish thyroid, increasing its production of the slimming hormones thyroxine and triiodothyronine. Tip: To prevent damage to the delicate omega-3 fats, remove shrimp from heat as soon as they turn an opaque white.

3. Beef fires up fat-burn.

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Beef’s rich stores of amino acids switch on the enzymes that promote lipolysis — the conversion of fat into fuel — inside adipose tissue. No wonder researchers in Australia found that when women enjoy four 4 oz. servings of beef each week, they lose weight 30 percent faster. Bonus: Beef contains a healthy fat (conjugated linoleic acid) that fuels the growth of toned, trim muscle.

4. Sweet potatoes rev the energy enzyme.

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Eating 1⁄2 cup of sweet potatoes a day can speed weight loss by 25 percent, even if you’re on a low-carb diet. Yale scientists say the spuds’ blend of beta-­carotene, manganese and copper boosts muscle cells’ conversion of stored fatty acids and blood glucose into ATP, the body’s key energy enzyme.

5. Walnuts energize mitochondria.

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The tasty way to trim six inches off your waistline in six months, according to Canadian researchers: Nosh on 1⁄4 cup of walnuts daily. The credit goes to compounds in the crunchers called sterols that ignite the ability of cellular mitochondria to burn abdominal fat for energy, increasing the body’s breakdown of belly fat by up to 62 percent.

6. Red cabbage turns on skinny genes.

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Red cabbage is packed with anthocyanins — nutrients that activate slimming genes inside subcutaneous fat (that jiggly under-the-skin stuff), say researchers at the University of Bridgeport in Connecticut. The effect is so powerful that you can shed up to 4 pounds of fat a month if you eat 1 cup of red cabbage a day.

This article first appeared in the May 21, 2018 issue of FIRST for Women.

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