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Published on January 1, 2021

7 Homemade Diet Foods That Are Good For Your Health

7 Homemade Diet Foods That Are Good For Your Health

Trying to lose a few pounds doesn’t mean you have to starve yourself, nor does it mean subsisting on lettuce leaves, carrots, and low-fat spreads. In fact, many low-calorie foods will only do you more harm than good. For a start, many are devoid of nutrients, which means they won’t provide any of the vitamins and minerals your body needs to function properly. Worst of all, most people just end up piling the weight back on when they start eating ‘normally’ again!

Good diet foods are real foods. These are foods that are low in sugar and calories, but they also contain a healthy balance of protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. They should provide you with slow-release energy and keep you feeling satisfied. They should also be nutritious enough to keep your metabolism burning over several hours.

Here’s my pick of some good diet foods to keep you looking and feeling great.

1. Bircher Muesli

Bircher is a homemade blend of oats, fruit, nuts, and grains that have been soaked in water or milk overnight. Soaking the ingredients helps to make them more digestible, which means the nutrients are more easily absorbed by your body.

Bircher Muesli is not only a good diet food, but it is also rich in healthy complex carbs, protein, and fiber. It provides slow-burning energy that keeps you feeling satisfied throughout the day. It also contains everything you need to keep your blood sugar in balance so you don’t suffer from sugar cravings.

Best of all, you can make your Bircher Muesli and use only low-sugar ingredients—so it’s the perfect breakfast for a weight-loss diet!

A simple Bircher Muesli recipe can include oats, raisins, cinnamon, nuts, and applesauce. Simply combine, add low-fat milk or water, then stir in some grated apple. Place the ingredients in a glass jar, screw on the lid, and refrigerate for up to five days.

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2. Homemade Bone Broth

Bone broth is not only one of the best diet foods, but it also has a huge range of health benefits. It’s especially good for an inflamed gut!

Bone broth contains an important amino called glutamine. Glutamine plays a major role in restoring the damaged lining of your gut. It helps to ‘glue’ those loose intestinal cells back together again, which is crucial for those who suffer from Leaky Gut Syndrome or IBS.[1]

Bone broth is low in calories. It’s an excellent source of vitamin A, calcium, iron, phosphorous, zinc, selenium, magnesium, and much more.

Making your own bone broth is simple. All you need is high-quality bones from roast chicken or beef (preferably organic) and some vegetables.

Place the bones in a large stockpot and pour filtered water over them. Add the bones and a little apple cider vinegar to help release the nutrients in the bones. You may like to add vegetables such as carrots, onions, and parsley for extra flavor and nutrition. Bring the broth to a boil, then reduce to a simmer until done.

Beef broth usually takes around 48 hours while chicken or poultry broth is around 24 hours. You can then freeze the broth or keep it in the fridge for up to four days.

3. Chia Seed Pudding

Chia seeds are a fantastic source of plant-based omega-3. They’re also rich in protein and fiber. Just two tablespoons of chia seeds contain almost 10 grams of fiber—around 40 percent of your recommended daily intake.

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Research shows that a high-fiber diet can help fast-track your weight loss. Some studies even suggest that eating up to 30 grams of fiber daily may help you lose as much weight as any ‘on-trend’ diet. And because chia seeds are rich in fiber, they keep you feeling full for longer. In this way, they can help prevent you from snacking or overeating.[2]

More importantly, the omega-3 fatty acids in chia seeds can help to reduce inflammation, which has been linked to weight gain and obesity. You can also add natural sweeteners such as stevia or monk fruit extract to reduce the glycemic index without compromising on taste.

Simply mix chia seeds with your preferred milk, cover, and refrigerate overnight. You can add more liquid as you need to get the consistency you like. Sweeten to taste and serve with blueberries on top.

Chia pudding can be kept refrigerated in an airtight container for up to a week.

4. Keto-Friendly Pancakes

Even if you’re not on the Keto diet, these protein-rich pancakes are one of the best diet foods out there. They’re quick and easy to make, and they provide plenty of slow-burning fuel to keep you powering through your day.

Replacing carbs and fat with protein can help reduce the levels of ‘hunger hormone’ circulating in your bloodstream while also boosting several satiety hormones. This helps to curb hunger pangs and result in fewer calories eaten throughout the day.[3]

And yes, it’s possible to make pancakes without bananas, butter, or carbs! Keto pancakes can be made with protein powder and your favorite nut milk, such as almond or coconut. Simply combine protein powder, eggs, water or almond milk, and baking powder. Whisk everything together and cook in the pan just as you would cook ordinary pancakes.

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5. Kimchi

Kimchi has been a staple of the Korean diet for centuries. It harbors a huge range of health benefits including weight loss.

Research has shown that eating fresh or fermented kimchi can help to reduce body fat and overall body mass index. Fermented kimchi has also been shown to reduce blood sugar levels, which is important for keeping those sugar cravings at bay. In fact, fermented kimchi appears to have even greater results in reducing blood pressure and body fat percentage than fresh kimchi.[4]

It’s thought that the ‘good’ bacteria within kimchi are responsible for its effect on weight loss. It’s also low in calories and high in fiber. As a fermented food, kimchi is a powerful source of nutrients for your gut microbiome. It helps to crowd out ‘bad’ bacteria. It also supplies the nutrients that your body needs every day: iron, folate, and vitamins B6 and K.[5]

Kimchi is made using the process of Lacto-fermentation, which is also used to create sauerkraut and traditional dill pickles. To make your own kimchi, simply chop up a large cabbage and salt it. Rinse and drain the chopped cabbage, make a spice paste, and combine with other vegetables.

The salty brine kills off harmful bacteria, while the fermentation stage allows Lactobacillus bacteria (the good bacteria) to convert sugars into lactic acid. This is what preserves the vegetables and gives them flavor.

6. Golden Milk Latte

You’ve probably heard about the benefits of coconut oil for weight loss. Indeed, some research suggests that coconut oil is a good diet food to reduce belly fat. One study involving obese adults showed that consuming two tablespoons of coconut oil daily helped to reduce waist circumference in male adults.

Turmeric is also a possible weight loss aid! A study involving mice showed that turmeric supplementation led to weight loss and reduced body fat levels even when their diet was unchanged.[6]

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A delicious turmeric latte can also help to heal a damaged gut. It’s rich in healthy fats to support energy and cognition and cinnamon for stabilizing your blood sugar. Some sources suggest that turmeric can reduce inflammation by 59 percent. This can help relieve aching joints and encourage your body to burn fat faster.[7]

To make your own golden milk, simply heat light coconut milk or almond milk with 1 tsp. turmeric powder and a pinch of black pepper in a saucepan. Allow to cool, then drink!

7. Kefir

Kefir is a fermented beverage traditionally made with cow’s or goat’s milk. Kefir grains are added to the milk which provides its health benefits. These grains are a combination of Lactobacillus acidophilus bacteria and yeast that break down the proteins in the milk to make a fermented beverage with numerous nutritional benefits.

Research suggests that probiotic foods such as kefir milk and/or kefir yogurt can help rebalance the colonies of friendly bacteria in the gut, which can help reduce inflammation.[8] Some studies have also indicated that kefir may help lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels. This is because the bacteria in your gut play a major role in the breakdown of protein and fats. There is also some evidence that probiotics such as Lactobacillus bacteria can assist with weight loss, especially when several strains are consumed together.[9]

To make milk kefir, you’ll first need to get some starter grains. Add these to fresh milk in a large jar and cover with a coffee filter or muslin cloth. Secure with a rubber band and place the jar in a warm area of around 68°-85°F to develop.

Over the following 24 hours, the milk will become slightly thick and sweet-smelling. You can then place the kefir grains in a new batch of milk and store it in the refrigerator.[10]

Final Thoughts

There you have it, 7 homemade diet foods that are good for your health and well-being. All of these are relatively easy to make, so preparation shouldn’t be hard. After all, maintaining a good diet shouldn’t be difficult.

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More Healthy Foods For Weight Loss

Featured photo credit: Brooke Lark via unsplash.com

Reference

More by this author

Lisa Richards

Nutritionist, Creator of The Candida Diet, Owner of TheCandidaDiet.com

3 Steps to Get Rid of a Candida Overgrowth What Are Probiotics And How To Use Them For the Best Health Benefits 7 Best Probiotic Supplements (Recommendation and Reviews) 3 Simple Steps to Reduce Your Gut Inflammation What Helps Yeast Infections: Foods To Eat And Avoid

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Published on July 14, 2021

13 Best Foods to Eat at Night (Advice From a Health Coach)

13 Best Foods to Eat at Night (Advice From a Health Coach)

We’ve all had late-night cravings. Those times when you would lie in bed but your mind is on the fridge. You try to fight it, but you find out that you can’t. Food—you want food—to chew and to drink and to swallow. It usually goes this way: after much hesitation, you would get off your bed and walk over to the kitchen where you would stand for seconds and maybe even minutes contemplating a lot of things.

You have heard about it—read about it, too—the famous “eating late at night isn’t good for you.” You know well about how eating late at night can cause you stress and make you gain weight. But you just want to eat—and eat you must.

But what must you eat? What are your best and most healthy options? Here are the 13 best foods to eat at night.

1. Turkey

If you aren’t a vegetarian, then you most probably love turkey. It is not only very tasty and delicious, but it is quite nutritious, too. Turkey contains a lot of protein. As little as 28 grams of turkey already contains eight grams of protein.[1]

It also contains some amount of vitamins and a nutritive compound called selenium. Selenium is a powerful antioxidant that plays an important role in ensuring the thyroid gland functions properly.

Turkey passes as one of the best foods to eat at night because the protein tryptophan, which it contains in a considerable amount, is believed to promote tiredness and thus, sleepiness.[2]

2. Fish

Another great choice for non-vegetarians is fish, especially fatty fishes like salmon, tuna, and mackerel. These are considered healthy choices because they contain a considerable amount of Vitamin D. Vitamin D helps your body regulate its calcium levels and is good for your kidneys, parathyroid glands, skin, etc.

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Fatty fishes also contain omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are a group of healthy fatty acids that can serve as anti-inflammatory agents and are good for the brain. Omega-3 fatty acids are shown to be able to increase the amount of serotonin produced by the nervous system, and thus, make sleep feel better.[3] This means that fishes would not keep you awake! You don’t have to roll from side to side trying to fall asleep after eating them.

Fishes also contain nutritive oils that are good for your body and skin.

3. White Rice

White rice is just rice that has no bran germ—that is, both bran and germ have to be removed as a result of processing from brown rice to make it white rice. This removal of bran and germ causes white rice to contain lower fiber, nutrients, and antioxidants when compared with brown rice. However, white rice still contains a commendable amount of nutrients such as thiamine, folate, and manganese and so is great as a late-night meal.

White rice has a high Glycemic Index. (GI). A food’s glycemic index is simply the measure of the rate at which that food increases the body’s sugar level. Taking in foods with a GI index, such as rice, can improve the quality of one’s sleep. This is as long as one takes these foods one hour before sleep. If you plan to sleep by 7 p.m, then it is a good idea to eat white rice by 6.p.m.[4]

4. Bananas

Finally, Something for vegetarians. A fruit! Bananas not only taste good, but they are also rich in the compounds potassium and tryptophan, making them one of the best foods to eat at night.

Tryptophan, as earlier stated, is an essential protein that plays a role in relaxation. Some bananas before meals can improve the quality of your sleep. Plus, they contain vitamins and are rich in antioxidants. They also contain compounds that are capable of making bowel movements easier.

5. Cheese and Crackers

Cheese and crackers, crackers being a source of carbohydrates and cheese a source of tryptophan, can help balance the body’s sugar level. When you take cheese and crackers together, more tryptophan is made available to your brain.[5] The sugar in cheese feeds your brain, and tryptophan helps with the production of melatonin.

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This means that there would be more serotonin and melatonin production in your nervous system when you take cheese and crackers together. Serotonin improves the quality of a person’s sleep.

6. Warm Cereals

Cereals are great sources of fiber. Ones like oats also contain an impressive amount of melatonin, which improves sleep.

Before bed, a hot bowl of cereal and maybe even whole grains are a good choice. They do not contain a lot of calories and would most likely not keep you awake.

7. Yoghurt

Yogurt tastes good, and kids and adults love them. They are also a rich source of calcium. Calcium is an essential mineral to the body. It is necessary for the growth of bone and teeth, and skeletal, smooth, and cardiac muscles need it for muscular contractions to happen.

Your body also needs calcium to produce melatonin from tryptophan. If calcium levels are low, there will be a reduced rate of production of melatonin—and thus, low quality sleep. Yogurt also contains casein. Casein is believed to reduce early morning hunger.

Unsweetened yogurt is a great snack and one of the best foods to eat at night.

8. Eggs

Eggs are great sources of protein and don’t contain many calories. As a late-night snack, eggs are a great pick. They are easy to cook and can go along with many different kinds of snacks.

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Eggs also contain tryptophan, which—as you must now already know—can improve the quality of one’s sleep.

9. Protein-Pineapple Smoothie

As you may have noticed, most of the snacks and foods on this list of best foods to eat at night are protein-rich foods. Protein-rich meals taken around bedtime can boost muscle repair. They can also combat age-related muscle mass loss especially in people who frequently exercise.

As a late-night snack, you can blend some pineapple pieces into milk. Milk is a great source of the protein tryptophan from which the body produces melatonin. Pineapples do not contain a lot of calories and might not prove a threat to your body’s normal digestive functions. Pineapples can also boost your body’s serotonin levels.[6]

10. Tart Cherries

Juices made from tart cherries are great alongside other snacks, such as crackers and cheese. Tart cherries have anti-inflammatory effects. Even though in small quantities, tart cherries contain the sleep hormone melatonin. They also contain procyanidin B-2, which is believed to keep stable the essential amino acid tryptophan.[7]

Tart Cherries have low calories, too. This means that they are not too heavy and do not pose the threat of fat deposition, and they would not keep you awake.

11. Honey

Honey harvested from bees is nutritious and does not contain a lot of calories. It is known to be capable of increasing the production of melatonin in one’s body.[8]

It also contains healthy sugars, such as fructose and glucose, and can have a healthy effect on your body’s sugar level. Honey is one of the best food to eat late at night.

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12. Popcorn

When it isn’t swathed in sugar and milk and other fatty stuff, popcorn presents as a great late-night snack. Popcorn is a low-calorie snack and contains a rich amount of fiber.[9] High-fiber grains are believed to lower the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers.

Also, popcorn contains polyphenols. Polyphenols are antioxidants believed to improve circulation and in general, health.

13. Baked Sweet Potato Fries

French fries are amazing. They taste so good. Do you like french fries? Then baked sweet potato fries are a great pick you might want to consider.

As a late-night snack, you can very well bake sweet potatoes instead of frying them. They are easier to prepare when baked and do not contain so much fat. Sweet potatoes contain a good quantity of fiber and vitamins.[10]They also contain some great amounts of protein.

Final Thoughts

When next you have the craving for a late-night meal, you should know that not all meals are great when eaten at night. Some are about right, and others could contribute to excessive weight gain, heart diseases, digestive disorders, and other health issues.

Have you ever woken up with swollen eye bags, felt nauseous, or had malaise after a late-night meal? Then it’s possible the meal was not a great pick.

When choosing the best meals and snacks to eat at night, you should choose meals that contain low calories—not more than 200 calories—and have high protein content. Proteins like tryptophan enhance the quality of sleep. Some of these foods include eggs, turkey, cheese, bananas, yogurt, juices, etc.

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Remember, eating healthy is a great way to remain healthy.

More Healthy Snacks Options

Featured photo credit: K15 Photos via unsplash.com

Reference

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