20 quick and easy power foods to lose weight and gain energy

Looking for ways to power up throughout the day? Here’s a helpful list of foods and snacks to help gain energy and lose weight.

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  • Dieting and exercise can be a physically and emotionally draining process. Dieters often don't eat enough because they want to lose weight, but in order to maintain enough energy to shed pounds, your body needs enough sustenance. Starvation does not guarantee you will look like a Victoria's Secret model.

  • Here are 20 healthy foods that will boost your body's energy to lose weight and inches from your waistline:

  • 1. Apples

  • We've all heard that an apple a day keeps the doctor away. They are the one fruit that contributes to your overall health. Apples are packed with antioxidants and vitamin C that build your immunity and heart health. Medium-sized apples have enough fiber to speed the metabolism and increase weight loss.

  • 2. Avocados

  • This superfood is loaded with monounsaturated fats that aid in dropping weight from your midsection. They also protect your eyes, ward off arthritic pain and prevent cancer.

  • 3. Bananas

  • This sweet-tasting fruit has high levels of tryptophan that elevate your brain's neurotransmitter, which helps fight depression. Bananas also relax muscles and because of their low calorie content and easy-to-peel exterior, they are an ideal snack when you're on the go.

  • 4. Beans

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  • Beans contain high amounts of fiber, iron and protein which prevent anemia, fight weight loss and helps maintain your hunger. Beans are also prevent birth defects due to their high levels of folate and are inexpensive.

  • 5. Berries

  • These superfruits are deliciously sweet and full antioxidants that aid in weight loss and immunity. Their high-liquid and fiber content fill you up faster and prevent overeating.

  • 6. Broccoli

  • This flowertop veggie's calcium and vitamin K content aid in developing bone strength. The vitamin C packed in broccoli produces collagen to create skin elasticity and prevent wrinkles. Broccoli also has multiple detoxifying and nutritious benefits that help you avoid cravings.

  • 7. Carrots

  • Carrots support vision health and prevent cataracts. The beta-carotene that benefits eyes can also help slow down the aging process and keep you looking young.

  • 8. Salmon

  • The health benefits to eating salmon are endless. This fishy food increases brain function, heals the nervous system and even prevents heart disease. Canned salmon is convenient, full of nutrients and can easily top off a salad.

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  • 9. Eggs

  • Eggs are an inexpensive source of protein that control cravings, improve eyesight and strengthen the immune system. If hunger attacks you between meals, try eating a hard-boiled egg, and you will see a world of difference.

  • 10. Ginger

  • This strange-looking root is a miracle spice! Ginger can ease nausea and morning sickness and is known to treat muscle pain and soreness. You can buy fresh, whole ginger at any grocery store.

  • 11. Garlic

  • Do you have a cold? Eat garlic! These cloves are great at combating sickness and cold sores. Furthermore, they speed the body's healing process and help maintain your weight. Add garlic to any savory dish for additional flavor and nutrients.

  • 12. Honey

  • This sweet liquid can soothe ulcers and other gastrointestinal disorders. Studies have shown it can increase athletic performance during workouts. A spoonful of honey also makes for a great way to give in to your sweet tooth without consuming tons of calories.

  • 13. Kale

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  • Kale is known for its low-calorie, high-fiber content. The numerous health benefits and vitamin content are two of the many reasons why kale is a key ingredient in green smoothies.

  • 14. Kiwi

  • This cute, fuzzy fruit contains as much vitamin C as an orange. Kiwis support weight loss by preventing the body from storing sugars. As a good source of vitamin E, it can make your skin glow and resistant to degeneration. Chop one up in a fruit salad to add some exotic flare.

  • 15. Nuts

  • Eating nuts is good for your heart and a great protein source. Almonds are especially good for dieting, because they are full of fiber and good for your gut.

  • 16. Oatmeal

  • Oats are filling, gluten-free whole grains that can crush hunger and relieve constipation. They also aid in keeping blood sugar levels and cholesterol under control.

  • 17. Quinoa

  • This supergrain is the most protein-rich food on the market and contains two times the fiber compared to other grains. Quinoa works at keeping you full and boosting your metabolism.

  • 18. Spinach

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  • Spinach is age-defying. It contains a vitamin combo that prevents bone degeneration and strengthens skin and hair.

  • 19. Yogurt

  • Probiotics that taste good? Who can say no to that? Yogurt prevents yeast infections in women and is full of calcium that strengthen bones and prevents osteoporosis.

  • 20. Dark chocolate

  • Studies have proved that dark chocolate lowers the risk of heart disease, acts as an antioxidant and decreases stress. With that being said, treat yourself.

  • Refer to this list while preparing snacks for the day or planning meals for the week and you will find your energy levels and workouts more energizing and empowering.

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Kristina Tieken is a staff writer for FamilyShare, public relations specialist with a love for the fine arts, food and exercise. She enjoys watching movies and spending time with her husband and family.

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