"The Sexy Chef" book author and TV host  Barni Alejandro-Rennebeck (left) explaining the health benefits of various ingredients during the recent Watsons Get Active campaign launch that aims to boost the personal care store chain as a one-stop shop for healthy products like generic vitamins and food supplements. Released

17 ingredients that help in weight loss
Deni Rose M. Afinidad-Bernardo (philstar.com) - July 11, 2017 - 5:14am

MANILA, Philippines — Have you been exercising and eating less, but still cannot seem to lose weight?

Maybe, the problem lies in the ingredients you use to cook or prepare your food, said celebrity chef, TV host and cookbook author Barni Alejandro-Rennebeck.

During a recent demo for the launch of personal care store Watsons’ Get Active campaign, Chef Barni enumerated the ingredients she personally uses in her Sexy Chef kitchen and explained how these could also help you maintain a svelte figure, just like her and her sister, singer Rachel Alejandro.

The next time you go grocery shopping, make sure to add these weight-loss-aiding ingredients to your cart:

1. Lemon juice – It detoxifies the body and helps especially the liver in metabolizing fat, so it works wonders in burning fat and giving you a tiny waist.

2. Yellow mustard and honey – Besides providing sweetness and balance of flavors, this combo is cancer-fighting and antibacterial.

3. Coco sugar or coco nectar – A vitamin-packed sweetening alternative for the diabetic.

4. Olive oil - Good for the heart and for Mediterranean dishes

5. Parsley – It makes your dishes look brighter and more appetizing. It is also anti-bloating and flattens the tummy

6. Violet cabbage – Add to your salads for brightness. It is also high in vitamin C and in fact has more vitamin C than oranges. The violet pigment contains cancer-fighting antioxidants.

7. Cucumbers – It will add a nice crunch to your food. It is hydrating especially during summer. It flattens the belly, prevents water retention and is low in calories. So, if you feel bloated, slice cucumbers, put them in your water bottle and leave it overnight in the refrigerator. Drink it to fight water retention.

8. Romaine lettuce – It has more vitamin A than carrots and has omega-3s for brain development and a healthy heart.

9. Cherry tomatoes – These have more lycopene than big tomatoes.

10. Black olives – These will give natural saltiness to your food. They provide the same benefits as olive oil, so they are also good for the heart.

11. Feta cheese – It has a creamy, natural saltiness so a little goes a long way. It has less calories and fat than other types of cheese.

12. Nuts like walnuts - A good substitute for meat

13. Rolled oats – These are less processed than regular oats. Since it lessens bad cholesterol in the body, it is good for the heart. Soak it in milk to soften.

14. Chia seeds – This superfood from South America contains a lot of omega-3 fatty acids, which are good for the heart, for lowering bad cholesterol and for preventing belly fat storage. Chef Barni said people who consume more omega-3s are thinner according to studies, and chia seeds have more omega-3s than salmon gram per gram.

15. Almond milk – It is good for lactose intolerance as it easily gets digested and causes no inflammation. Chef Barni recommended avoiding dairy for at least three days if you have to fit into a dress.

16. Cocoa powder – It is a good substitute for milk chocolate because it has no fat and no sugar. Mix it with cinnamon.

17. Bananas – These add a nice creaminess to your food without feeling too heavy on the stomach. It is high in B vitamins and potassium.

Chef Barni reminded that when it comes to choosing ingredients like fruits, vegetables and seafood, “the more colorful, the healthier.”

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