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8 Spring Foods for Weight Loss
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When you visit the grocery store this time of year, avoid the fish in the freezer, and pick up deliciously fresh fish. Trout, Dover and cod are just a few fish that are readily available fresh in the spring. When it comes to boosting metabolism, lean proteins are crucial. Fish is an excellent source of protein, iron and minerals.
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This vitamin-A packed snack—especially when dried—is a good source of fiber, making your snack both sweet and satisfying. Apricot season is very short, so grab them while you can. Eat them raw, roast them, or you can even make them into wine. Choose apricots that are firm to touch, plump in appearance and are a deep orange/yellow color.
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Mint makes its debut in early spring. Many people already start their day off with lemon water to flush toxins, but add in mint and you may also ward off extra calories. One study found that people who inhaled a peppermint scent every two hours ate 2,700 fewer calories per week than they normally did—that's nearly a one-pound loss. And the more you sniff these aromas, the more weight you'll lose, says Alan Hirsch, M.D., neurological director of the Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago.
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Lamb is often included in Mediterranean diets, which have been shown to help lower the risk of cardiovascular disease. In addition, lamb consumption helps with regulating blood sugar, keeping metabolism in check, and reducing cravings. Lamb also has a virtually non-existent carb content. Add lamb to your Greek salad this season, or braise loins in rosemary, garlic and red wine.
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Rhubarb is often the first fruit of spring. It is high in fiber, which helps keep the blood sugar steady and decreases cravings. It also contains an antioxidant called catechins, which are found in green tea, and are often associated with burning fat by speeding up your metabolism, according to the University of Maryland. Chop it up and toss it with strawberries in a salad, and you'll have a delicious, sweet and crunchy lunch.
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Mushrooms mimic a meaty taste but have considerably less calories than animal proteins. They are full of vitamin D, riboflavin and niacin, and can be easily incorporated into many meals. Add raw mushrooms to tossed salads, season cooked mushrooms with salt and pepper and fresh herbs, grill them on skewers with other veggies, or chop and add them to soups and sauces.
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There is nothing quite like the taste of fresh, in-season asparagus. This giant veggie (it can grow 10 inches in a 24-hour period) is one of the most nutritionally well-balanced vegetables, according to WebMD. It's high in folic acid, and a good source of potassium, fiber, thiamin and vitamins A, B6 and C. It's also very low in calories.
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Another Mediterranean staple, fava beans are in season from early spring through summer. Fava beans, or broad beans, are dense with nutrition and have no saturated fat or cholesterol. For vegetarians, they are an inexpensive, high-fiber source of lean protein. They also contain a healthy dose of folate, which is vital for energy metabolism.