10 Best Superfoods for Weight Loss You Should Add to Your Diet 2022

Giovanna Rosario

Updated on - Written by
Medically reviewed by Melissa Mitri, MS, RD

superfoods for weight loss

To be considered a superfood, that food needs to possess certain characteristics. For example, they need to have a robust nutritional profile or perceived health benefits. Including more superfoods in your diet will ensure you consume a wider variety of nutrients. 

It may not be surprising that we can also consume superfoods for weight loss benefits. But what are the best foods for weight loss that are superfoods? Overall It’s best to include a variety of superfoods to help you achieve your weight loss goals.

10 Best Weight Loss-Friendly Superfoods

  1. Fermented foods
  2. Avocados
  3. Walnuts
  4. Salmon
  5. Sweet potatoes
  6. Flax seeds
  7. Goji berries
  8. Beetroot
  9. Spinach
  10. Red kidney beans

What Is a Superfood?

A superfood is a term used for foods with a high nutrient density that is claimed to provide health benefits. For example, berries rich in antioxidants may be protective against cancer risk, and fatty fish like salmon is a good source of inflammation-fighting omega-3 fatty acids.

These superfoods can sometimes be exotic foods to North America, like goji berries. But there are some more common foods like spinach and nuts which don’t necessarily have the spotlight on them but can also be classified as superfoods. 

The Health Benefits of eating superfoods are

  • Possible prevention against cancer 
  • Antioxidant potential
  • Improved blood sugar control
  • Protects the heart
  • Boosts the immune system

To reap all the benefits from superfoods, include them as part of a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle. This will help you get more bang for your buck on your nutrition. Another positive of including new superfoods is that they will bring variety to your diet. If you are an adventurous eater, you can try new recipes or visit new restaurants.

Some people may find that superfood powders might be a simpler option to obtain specific nutrients. Some of these supplements might also be able to assist in weight loss by improving recovery post-workout.

You might be wondering which are the best superfoods for weight loss. This list is quite long. 

Many foods can get the title of a superfood, because of their high nutrient density and bioactive components, which may have some effect on your weight. You can include more superfoods to naturally help you eat less, improve your gut health, and support your energy and physical activity efforts. 

When trying to lose weight, the best approach is balance.  

First, get your diet[1] on track by including

  •  Healthy starches like oatmeal, brown rice, whole grain pasta, potatoes with skin, and beans, among others.  
  •  Fruits, focus on fresh or frozen fruits.  
  • Vegetables both fresh and frozen are best. Eat this at every meal.
  •  Lean proteins like poultry, eggs, beef, fish, and pork.
  •  Low-fat milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, cream cheese.  

Make sure to complete 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity[2] on most days of the week for gradual weight loss. All in all, balancing a healthy diet with movement is an effective method to assist you in preventing or managing metabolic syndrome. 

10 Best Weight Loss-Friendly Superfoods

Fermented Foods 

superfoods for weight loss

Fermented foods like kefir, yogurt, kombucha, sauerkraut, tempeh, kimchi, and nato contain live cultures that support a healthy digestive tract. More studies[3] find the association between an unhealthy gut microbiome and obesity. With this, science is slowly learning how a healthy gut will help with weight loss. 

Achieving a more diverse microbiome may help support a healthy weight.

Feeding the gut with probiotic foods may help prevent weight gain. You can also choose fermented foods that contain protein like tempeh and yogurt, or fiber-like kimchi and nato. All of these options will keep you full longer.  

You can eat them as a side dish, as a topping, as a tasty drink, or as a nice dessert. 

Avocados 

superfoods for weight loss

This fruit is a good source of monounsaturated fats along with fiber. This magic combo will help with satiety and keep you full longer, supporting weight loss efforts. 

Avocados[4] also contain potent antioxidants like folate, niacin, lutein, and vitamin E. If consumed as part of a lower-calorie plan to lose weight, this superfood may also help decrease triglyceride levels. 

Go beyond the guacamole. Use avocado in rice bowls, cube it and mix it into a salad, blend it into your smoothies, or eat it as a side dish. You can also eat it on its own or as a butter alternative.

Walnuts

superfoods for weight loss

Nuts in general are a good addition to a healthy diet. Walnuts[5] pack a good nutrient profile with antioxidants vitamin E and B6. This nut has polyunsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids, which can improve your lipid profile and protect you from cardiovascular disease. 

Even though walnuts are a source of healthy fats and can promote weight loss, it’s important to watch your portions, as the calories can add up pretty quickly.

You can easily incorporate walnuts as part of a low-calorie diet. Eat a handful as a snack, toss them on your salads, or as a topping to your yogurt. You can also include it as part of your homemade granola. 

Salmon

superfoods for weight loss

This fatty fish is a good source of omega-3 fats which can have some heart-protective effects. A literary review[6] posed that omega 3 may also help prevent weight gain by decreasing the level of leptin in the blood of obese individuals. Leptin is the hormone that triggers hunger.

Eating salmon may also reduce inflammation. The American Heart Association[7] recommends the consumption of fatty fish twice a week for cardiovascular protection. Consider including it in your regular meal rotation to maintain satiety from its protein and healthy fat content.

Enjoy this flavorful fish grilled, baked, on its own, or accompanied with a good salad. You can also try walnut-crusted salmon or salmon roast with vegetables. 

Sweet Potatoes

superfoods for weight loss

One cup of sweet potatoes is rich in the antioxidant beta-carotene and can be a part of your weight loss diet. Beta-carotene is a precursor for Vitamin A, important for visual health. They also are a good source of vitamin C, B6, magnesium, and potassium. 

Sweet potatoes have quite a bit of fiber (an astonishing 8 grams in 1 cup), which is useful for satiety and maintaining your gut health. And with a lower glycemic index than regular potatoes, boiled sweet potatoes will help with blood sugar control. A great item to include for losing weight, as long as you don’t overeat.

You can eat this as a main dish, cut it up into cubes and add it to your salads or wraps. Roast them, bake them or simply boil them.  

Flax Seeds 

superfoods for weight loss

Flax seeds are beneficial to balance blood sugar[8], and insulin resistance, promote a healthy body mass index (BMI)[9], and help manage high blood pressure. It is also a source of dietary fiber, both insoluble and soluble fiber, which is associated[10] with improved bowel regularity and helps decrease cholesterol. 

These seeds also are a source of magnesium, omega-3 fats, and thiamine (vitamin B1). Consume1 or 2 tablespoons per day of whole or ground flax seed for the biggest benefits.

Include them as a source of the healthy fat alpha-linoleic acid in your salads, yogurt, or oatmeal. You can also add them to your water, smoothies, and your favorite baked goods.  

Goji Berries 

superfoods for weight loss

This fruit is packed with Vitamin A and zeaxanthin, which aids in protecting the eyes from damage. Goji berries are a naturally low-calorie food, containing only 98 calories[11] in 5 tablespoons.  

The plant for goji berries is used for diabetes treatment in Chinese traditional medicine. A 2011 study[12] involving goji juice showed a decrease in waist circumference and increased energy expenditure in participants who consumed it. While the study sample was small, it opens the door for further research. 

Include goji berries in your yogurt, salads, and smoothies, or add them to a small berry fruit salad. Try them with your green tea or make tea from goji berries.  

Beetroot 

Beetroot

This powerful root vegetable contains a nutrient called betaine, which may aid in weight loss. Betaine supplementation has the potential to decrease body fat in humans, since it helps the liver process fats, according to a 2019 review[13].

Beets also contain nitrates[14] that enhance blood flow and nutrient delivery in the body. In the end, this might be helpful to improve physical activity endurance and performance, which can enhance weight loss.

Grate beetroot over your salad or make soup with this vegetable. Pair up roasted with a quinoa salad. You can also go simple and boil it to pair up with a good protein. 

Spinach

Spinach

Spinach is part of the leafy greens[15] family, along with kale, swiss chard, collard greens, romaine, and bibb lettuce. Spinach is high in insoluble fiber which promotes regularity and fills you up, supporting weight loss.  

You can consume spinach on its own, in a salad with other leafy greens, as part of a smoothie, or with your favorite dish. Remember that they cook down and shrink in the pan. Serve with other vegetables and a lean protein to fill up. 

Red Kidney Beans 

Red Kidney Beans 

This bean[16] has filling fiber and resistant starch that will help you eat less. It can also help regulate your blood sugar levels. Half a cup of red beans has around 5 grams of protein and all essential amino acids.

Red kidney beans are also a source of antioxidants and minerals like iron, potassium, and zinc. This makes beans a good staple to include in your diet since they are associated with weight loss.

 This bean is also versatile. Make a bean salad or toss them onto a green salad. Make a soup, include them in a chili, into a rice and beans dish, or in a wrap. 

While we couldn’t include every possible superfood on this list, consider including the following in your diet as well when possible.  

Spice your foods with turmeric to help receive some anti-inflammatory effects. 

Add cinnamon[17] to your desserts, smoothies, or fruits, which may help with blood glucose management. 

And finally, quinoa, whole grain rich in essential amino acids and fiber serves well both as a warm dish or a cold salad.

Summary

A healthy varied diet is vital to obtain a variety of nutrients, keep you full, and support weight loss. What is the best food for weight loss? All of these on this list are wonderful options to support your goals.

In addition to consuming superfoods regularly, include a variety of whole grains, lean proteins, low-fat dairy, fruits, and vegetables. Balance how much you eat with some physical activity for optimal fat-burning results. 

Including superfoods will make sure you are getting different nutrients to help decrease body weight. These healthy foods also offer additional benefits than just weight loss alone – they also have antioxidant properties that support overall health.   

Enjoy a variety of superfoods to prevent boredom and enjoy the process of losing weight along the way. 


+ 17 sources

Health Canal avoids using tertiary references. We have strict sourcing guidelines and rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic researches from medical associations and institutions. To ensure the accuracy of articles in Health Canal, you can read more about the editorial process here

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  3. Asadi, A., Shadab Mehr, N., Mohamadi, M.H., Shokri, F., Heidary, M., Sadeghifard, N. and Khoshnood, S. (2022). Obesity and gut–microbiota–brain axis: A narrative review. Journal of Clinical Laboratory Analysis, [online] 36(5). doi:10.1002/jcla.24420.
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  5. Hayes, D., Angove, M.J., Tucci, J. and Dennis, C. (2015). Walnuts (Juglans regia) Chemical Composition and Research in Human Health. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, [online] 56(8), pp.1231–1241. doi:10.1080/10408398.2012.760516.
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  7. www.heart.org. (2021). Fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acids. [online] Available at: https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-eating/eat-smart/fats/fish-and-omega-3-fatty-acids
  8. Mohammadi-Sartang, M., Sohrabi, Z., Barati-Boldaji, R., Raeisi-Dehkordi, H. and Mazloom, Z. (2017). Flaxseed supplementation on glucose control and insulin sensitivity: a systematic review and meta-analysis of 25 randomized, placebo-controlled trials. Nutrition Reviews, [online] 76(2), pp.125–139. doi:10.1093/nutrit/nux052.
  9. Toulabi, T., Yarahmadi, M., Goudarzi, F., Ebrahimzadeh, F., Momenizadeh, A. and Yarahmadi, S. (2022). Effects of flaxseed on blood pressure, body mass index, and total cholesterol in hypertensive patients: A randomized clinical trial. EXPLORE, [online] 18(4), pp.438–445. doi:10.1016/j.explore.2021.05.003.
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  12. Amagase, H. and Nance, D.M. (2011). Lycium barbarum Increases Caloric Expenditure and Decreases Waist Circumference in Healthy Overweight Men and Women: Pilot Study. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, [online] 30(5), pp.304–309. doi:10.1080/07315724.2011.10719973.
  13. Gao, X., Zhang, H., Guo, X., Li, K., Li, S. and Li, D. (2019). Effect of Betaine on Reducing Body Fat—A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. Nutrients, [online] 11(10), p.2480. doi:10.3390/nu11102480.
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  17. Davis, P.A. and Yokoyama, W. (2011). Cinnamon Intake Lowers Fasting Blood Glucose: Meta-Analysis. Journal of Medicinal Food, [online] 14(9), pp.884–889. doi:10.1089/jmf.2010.0180.‌
Giovanna Rosario

Written by:

Giovanna Rosario, RD

Medically reviewed by:

Melissa Mitri

She's currently working as a Registered Dietitian who enjoys promoting healthy lifestyles to be able to thrive in old age. She has worked dietitian-nutritionist in different settings helping adults manage chronic disease through dietary approaches, achieve healthful weight, and replenish nutrient deficiencies. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Nutrition and Dietetic Sciences, alongside a Master’s degree in Creative Writing.

Medically reviewed by:

Melissa Mitri

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