Lean foods aren’t hard to come by these days as I’m sure you know. In fact, you are probably tired of hearing about lean foods, period. Dieting gets old after a while, which is why I don’t diet. What I do instead is fill up on foods that are lean naturally, and I consume them in abundance. When you’re liberal with healthy foods, you’ll find you’re rarely ever hungry. And, the best part is, you get to eat as much as you want! Lean foods also don’t mean fat-free foods. In fact, many lean foods are actually rich in fat. Rejoice! Fat is great for your brain, essential to your metabolism, and it even helps your digestion. Fat isn’t the only component of lean foods though, as there are many, many lean foods out there that should be in your diet. If you're tired of a diet of chicken breasts, brown rice and broccoli, try some new lean foods instead! Check these out and be sure to tell me if I missed your favorite!
1. Chia Seeds
Chia seeds might be a superfood, but they’re also one of the best lean foods to fill you up and not out! Chia seeds fill you up quickly, keep your body hydrated, and they’re rich in fiber to aid regularity. They’re also a top source of omega 3 fatty acids, iron, calcium,magnesium, and they’re fairly low in fat. They’re also a complete protein source. Chia seeds can be used anywhere, are tasteless, and in my opinion, should be in everyone’s diet.
2. Leafy Greens
Leafy greens are freebies, and they’re delicious! Kale, spinach, arugula, romaine, collards, and many, many more. Leafy greens are nature’s most common healthiest source of iron, protein, magnesium, fiber, chlorophyll, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and even calcium. Leafy greens balance your blood sugar, and they help bulk up your meals with very few calories. They also keep your brain and body in tip top shape and have even been linked to preventing depression and cancer.
3. Hemp Protein
Hemp protein is my favorite source of vegan protein. It’s a complete essential amino acid protein source, rich in fiber, omega 3 fats, iron, magnesium, potassium, chlorophyll, and B vitamins. I like adding this nutty protein to my smoothies, or use it in baking. You can also use hemp seeds to sprinkle onto smoothies and salads, or just eat them by the spoonful!
4. Green Veggies
This one’s a given, but has to be mentioned. Green veggies, and all veggies are wonderful for you. Stick to mostly green veggies and avoid heavy, high glycemic veggies like white potatoes and corn. However, the rest are pretty much freebies, and great lean foods to incorporate into your diet.
5. Raw Coconut
Any form of raw coconut, whether it be coconut oil, coconut butter, coconut shreds (unsweetened), coconut milk (raw), and coconut cream, are excellent for your metabolism. They also boost brain health, energy, aid digestion, and can help keep bad bacteria out of your body. This enhances weight loss, immune system health, prevents and treats depression, and squashes sugar cravings in an instant. Coconut is my favorite lean fat. That might seem like an oxymoron, but trust me on this one. It’s amazing!
If you’re going to eat fruit, I always suggest sticking to berries for the leanest option. Fruit is a beautiful food, but for many people, myself included, sugars whether natural or not, don’t agree with the body. I find that sticking to low glycemic sources of sugar like berries and staying away from high sugar fruits, keeps my digestive system working best, and don’t shoot my blood sugar up. Some fruits can spike glycemic levels, and in return, cause excess insulin production that leads to fat storage in the body. Though fruit is fat-free, some people simply don’t tolerate it. Berries deserve a special spotlight. They’re low in sugar and high in antioxidants that actually promote lean body mass. They’re also the best source of fiber of all fruits, and of course, they’re delicious!
Lastly, chocolate is a fabulous lean food you need to be eating more of. Chocolate is rich in properties that enhance the metabolism, brain health, and actually prevent hunger cravings much better than low fat foods, or protein bars. Chocolate also stimulates certain cells in the body that burn fat faster than non-chocolate sources of foods. Choose the darkest chocolate possible for the best effects, and even better, choose raw cacao.
Obviously, there are many other lean foods out there. You’ll notice all these are vegan, and that’s because I eat a vegan diet. Some other favorite lean foods I love are quinoa, flax seeds, and sweet potatoes. Whether you’re vegan or not, what’s your favorite lean food to incorporate into your diet?