A well-balanced vegetarian diet is important for people of all age groups. Besides being healthy, such diets are also rich in essential nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, protein, calcium, iron, iodine and zinc. While there are certain vegetarian diet plans for weight loss, it is only when they are combined with other lifestyle changes such as regular physical activity, proper sleep and healthy diet that they become effective.
While nobody is saying that diehard non-vegetarians should sacrifice their chicken tikkas and seekh kebabs, it should be noted that eating substantial portions of vegetarian food can help you greatly. It will not only help you maintain your weight but also prevent certain health hazards. Here are some vegetarian foods that aid in weight loss:
Quinoa are a good source of calcium, magnesium and manganese and are high in phytonutrients.
Quinoa – which is high in protein – can increase metabolism and reduce appetite at the same time, helping in weight reduction. “Quinoa is gluten-free, and happens to be one of the few plant-based proteins available. It is also fibre-rich and full of slowly digested carbohydrates, making it a good low-glycemic index option. It is also a very good source of calcium, magnesium and manganese, and is high in phytonutrients – which have anti- inflammatory affects,” says Delhi-based Tanveer Singh, who is a diabetes educator for the BeatO medical app.
Oats have various benefits like lowering cholesterol levels.
Oats are incredibly nutritious, and are packed with important vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. They are high in fibre, which slows the absorption of carbohydrates into the intestine. Due to this, it gives one a feeling of fullness and thereby reduces cravings. While cooking, add chopped vegetable to oats to enhance its fibre content.
Oats also have various other benefits like lowering cholesterol levels, which helps reduce a person’s risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. This was proved during a study conducted by Dr Vladimir Vuksan from the Risk Factor Modification Centre at St Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, Canada.
Green leafy vegetables
Green leafy vegetables are loaded with nutrients, antioxidants and phytonutrients. “They are extremely low in calories but loaded with fibre, and are therefore helpful in reducing the level of fat in the body. Eating leafy greens is a great way to increase the volume of meals without increasing calorie intake,” says Singh.
They can also help ward off strokes. According to researchers, green leafy vegetables can help reduce stress. Another study suggests that a diet high in vegetables and fruits means there would be a 42% reduced rate of heart failure.
Beans and soya products
“Soya products and beans help supplement protein in the body. They contain ample amounts of soluble fibre, which helps reduce processed fats in the body. Some examples include baked beans, chickpeas, lentils, tofu and black beans. These food items aid weight loss by reducing appetite and improving the metabolic rate,” explains Bangalore-based Shubhankhi Ghosh, a senior nutritionist with home healthcare service Portea Medical.
A good habit is to keep cut fruits in your fridge at the beginning of the day.
Fruits are nutrient-dense and full of antioxidants. They contain an ample amount of fibre that helps enhance digestion and metabolism. For weight loss, it is better to opt for water and fibre-rich fruits such as watermelon, muskmelon, apple, papaya, orange and berries.
A good habit is to keep cut fruits in your fridge at the beginning of the day, so you have the option of healthy snacking when hunger pangs strike.
“These are the ultimate healthy food as they are rich in protein, healthy fats and low in carbohydrates. Nuts also help burn that excess fat in the body. Almonds, walnuts, pecans and pistachios are examples of some healthy nuts,” advises Ghosh.
Research has also proved that consuming nuts on a daily basis can reduce the rate of coronary heart disease by almost 30%, and also cut down on cancer risk by 15%.
Walnuts, almonds, cashews, hazelnuts and pistachios are amongst the nuts that one should consume regularly.
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