There’s a reason why people love the music of the Stones more than either Jagger or Richards: Amazing things happen when two great collaborators work in tandem to create magic. That’s true in art, and it’s just as true in nutrition. More and more research confirms what great chefs and home cooks have always known: Foods weren’t meant to be eaten alone. They’re meant to work in partnership, each bringing its own set of unique flavors (and nutrients) to create the perfect weight-loss meal.[contentblock id=1 img=adsense.png]
Tuna + Ginger
Want to look better on the beach? Look no further than the ocean—or at least the oceanside sushi joint. Pairing a tuna roll, or a few pieces of tuna sashimi, with ginger can help your belly look smaller immediately. The ginger accelerates gastric emptying, which helps diminish that “food baby” look rapidly, and it also blocks several genes and enzymes in the body that promote bloat-causing inflammation. Tuna’s roll here is critical, too; It’s a primo source of docosahexaenoic acid, an type of omega-3 fat that can ward off stress chemicals that promote flab storage and down-regulate fat genes in the stomach, stopping belly fat cells from growing larger.
Read More: 6 Summer Vegetables for Weight Loss
Spinach + Avocado Oil
If you’re tiring of your usual go-to spinach-and-olive-oil salad, mix things up with avocado oil. Made from pressed—yes— avocadoes, it’s rich in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats that may help improve cholesterol and ward off hunger. It also contains vitamins B and E and bloat-banishing potassium. Meanwhile, the high-volume, low-calorie spinach will fill you up without filling you out. And studies show that women who eat foods with high water content, such as leafy greens, have lower BMIs and smaller waistlines than those who don’t. Go green to get lean.[contentblock id=2 img=adsense.png]
Corn + Beans
While eating “a musical fruit” may not sound like the best way to lose weight or reduce bloat, hear us out. A calorie-restricted diet that includes four weekly servings of protein- and fiber-rich legumes has been proven to aid weight loss more effectively than a diet that doesn’t include beans, according to Spanish researchers. And pairing beans with corn can help boost the slimming effect. Corn—like bananas and cold pasta—contains resistant starch, a carb that dodges digestion. In turn, the body isn’t able to absorb as many of it’s calories or glucose, a nutrient that’s stored as fat if it’s not burned off. Music to our ears.
Honeydew + Red Grapes
Fight fat and banish bloating with a fruit salad comprised of honeydew and red grapes. Melon is a natural diuretic, so it helps fight the water retention responsible for making you look puffy even though you have a toned stomach. Red grapes add fuel to the better-belly fire because they contain an antioxidant called anthocyanin that helps calm the action of fat-storage genes. This dynamic duo makes for a delicious, healthy dessert, perfect for summer.[contentblock id=3 img=adsense.png]
Cayenne + Chicken
You feel like chicken tonight? Good for you: Protein-rich foods like poultry not only boost satiety, but also help people eat less at subsequent meals, according to research. And adding cayenne pepper fires up your fat burn. A compound in the pepper, called capsaicin, has proven to suppress appetite and boost the body’s ability to convert food to energy. Daily consumption of capsaicin speeds up abdominal fat loss, a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found.
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Potatoes + Pepper
Thanks to the low-carb craze, white potatoes have been unfairly blacklisted. A second look at the science reveals the spuds can actually help you lose weight. Australian researchers found that potatoes are actually more filling than fiber-rich brown rice and oatmeal—and they’re a good source of bloat-banishing potassium, so you’ll look slimmer almost immediately. Just be sure to skip the butter in favor of pepper. Piperine, the powerful compound that gives black pepper its taste, may interfere with the formation of new fat cells—a reaction known as adipogenesis—which can help trim your waist, zap body fat and lower cholesterol levels.
Coffee + Cinnamon
Next time you’re in a Starbucks, fight fat and ward off diet-derailing hunger by adding cinnamon to your coffee. Cinnamon is flavorful, practically calorie-free and contains powerful antioxidants that are proven to reduce the accumulation of belly flab. Pair that with an appetite-suppressing cup of caffeine, and you’re losing weight first thing in the morning.