The Best 29 Healthy Green Vegetables that Actually Speed Fat Loss
Losing weight and keeping it off isn't the easiest of goals, to say the least. If we try to "diet" we might find ourselves eating so little that it leaves our bodies permanently hungry and low on energy.
Then we are either unproductive at work, irritable with people, or we binge whenever we see food. Soon enough, we start putting on weight again.
Turns out there's something you can eat in large quantities that will make you feel full, give you energy, keep you emotionally stable and, best of all, help you to lose weight.
All of this is possible with healthy green vegetables.
True, not everyone is a huge fan of eating vegetables, especially not in large quantities. But consuming them as smoothies is a whole different ball game.
Welcome to a delicious, easy and fun way to shed those unneeded pounds.
The benefits of green vegetables include their low sugar and calorie count, and their large supply of fiber, proteins, and numerous specific minerals and vitamins that scientific studies have proved can aid with fat loss.
In this article I will show you:
- Which of these vegetables to consume for ultimate weight loss
- The best fruit and vegetables with which to blend each of them for the tastiest smoothies
- And, unlike the usual green vegetable lists, I will ensure that the list includes both bitter and sweet greens!
1. Watercress as the No. 1 Weight Loss Superfood
Watercress is graded a solid 100% on the nutrition scale – that’s what a large team of academic researchers together with the US Department of Agriculture have stated.
It has more calcium than milk, more vitamin C than oranges, more protein than most animal products, and contains all of the top 17 essential nutrients.
Watercress also contains alpha-lipoic acid. This is an antioxidant that researchers think can fight off diabetes, which is closely connected with overweight issues.
In fact, Watercress in Germany is a prescribed medication to halt the progression of the nerve damage caused by diabetes.
As it is relatively strong and bitter tasting, you may want to consume it in a smoothie while blending in some sweet fruit and vegetables like beets, cucumber, and peaches. Also add Stevia as a natural sweetener.
2. Fiddleheads to Burn 30% More Fat
New England and New Hampshire provide us with that all-too-rare marvel, a genuinely sweet green vegetable. Not only does it taste great when blended with bitter green vegetables like dandelion and arugula, but it also contains half of your recommended daily intake of vitamin C. Some studies have shown that people who consume enough vitamin C burn 30% more fat during an exercise session than people who eat too little of it.
You have a hormone called cortisol that is usually a good thing, but when there's too much of it, cortisol makes your body store a lot of fat.
Vitamin C lowers the amount of cortisol in your body, which prevents the excessive fat storage for which cortisol is normally responsible.
3. Green beans for Fiber to Combat the Hunger Pangs
Green beans are fiber treasure troves.
It’s true that leafy greens are also famous for being rich in fibers, however they still contain below half of the amount of fiber you'll find in green beans!
This review of the scientific literature shows that people who eat a lot of fiber weigh less than people who do not.
Fiber slows down the rate at which your body digests food, which helps with weight loss in two big ways:
- The slower your food digests, the longer there is food in your stomach, and the longer you feel full.
- In addition, slow digestion means that your body releases energy gradually and constantly, which means that your body won’t beg you to eat every hour to keep its energy levels up.
Fiber also keeps your bowel movements regular, cleaning out fat from your intestines that would otherwise be absorbed and stored in the body.
Since green beans are fairly sweet and mild, you can blend them with absolutely any fruit or vegetables.
4. Swiss chard for Improved Athletic Performance
You know that a weight loss program requires some exercise, but when you look at the meter on the treadmill or stationary bicycle, you can never run or cycle fast enough to burn lots of calories. Sounds familiar?
Swiss chard to the rescue:
It can provide you with high amounts of dietary nitrates. Many studies have shown that nitrates can speed up muscle contractions and improve athletic performance. As such, it can help you exercise faster to accelerate your weight loss program.
Apart from dietry nitrates, Swiss chard also provides you with vitamin C, magnesium, potassium, and alpha-lipoic acid.
It has a mild taste and can be used with stronger-tasting tangy or sour vegetables and fruits like mache, sorrel, onions, and anything citrus.
5. Peas for a fat-burning Green Protein Bomb
At approximately 0.3oz (8.6g) per cup, peas contain more protein than steak and eggs.
Protein triggers the release of the fat burning hormone called glucagon, which scientists have demonstrated leads to fat loss, even in diabetics.
If you want your body to burn fat for energy quicker, or in other words to speed up your metabolism, protein-rich foods are the perfect solution.
Your body works much harder and requires much more energy to break down the proteins than it does to process fats and carbs. This hard word is the fat burning we’re after.
In addition, protein also helps you to build muscles, whose maintenance also requires energy and, thus, fat to be burned.
But here’s the best part:
In smoothies, peas lend a great thickness and creaminess to the smoothie when cooked first. They work well with watery vegetables like lettuce and spinach.
6. Spinach for 30% More Weight Loss
In a recent study, Swedish researchers gave women spinach extract to eat in the mornings, and they lost 30 percent more weight than their peers! They said that they did not feel hungry or tempted by the mouthwatering foods that they usually ate.
This is quite possibly a result of the amino acid called Arginine that is found in spinach. Arginine plays an important role in fat loss.
Scientists believe that arginine can increase your muscle mass. Because muscles are so big and heavy, your body must burn a lot of fat just to maintain them. This fat burning happens even when you are asleep.
Given its mild taste, it works beautifully with any vegetables and fruits. Apparently David Beckham loves his spinach because it is rich in fiber.
It tastes awesome when paired with kale! Here's our favorite spinach + kale smoothie recipe.
7. Stevia for a Zero-Calorie Sweetener
While you may think of Stevia as the powder or drops you buy in the shops, it is a plant with green leaves you can cultivate in your backyard. The leaves are sweeter than sugar and is the perfect solution to sweeten a smoothie without adding calories.
A recent study demonstrated that people who used Stevia ate 300 calories less per day than those who ate sugar while feeling equally full.
Add half a leaf to any smoothie you think needs sugar, especially to the bitter ones. It will neutralize the bitterness, much as sugar neutralizes the bitterness of coffee.
8. Dandelion Greens to Lower Your Cholesterol
Cholesterol is basically just a form of fat. If you eat a lot of fat, it ends up in your blood vessels, that can become hopelessly blocked by it.
Looking at it from the other direction, the more fat there is in your blood vessels, the more likely it is that it will eventually be stored in fat cells around your hips or stomach. Oops!
This means that you must bring the amount of cholesterol and fat in your bloodstream down. Dandelion leaves have been proven to do this.
There is another contribution dandelion can make. If your body unnecessarily stores water, giving your face a puffy appearance, dandelion is a diuretic and can make you lose this weight by helping your body dump the excess water.
Dandelion is rather bitter, so blend it with sweet vegetables and fruits like fiddleheads, apples, pears and Stevia.
9. Green Jalapeño Peppers to burn the fat away
Jalapenos contain only four calories per pepper and their burning flavor comes from an ingredient called capsaicin. Capsaicin is a serious fat burner and two or three peppers are enough to consume the 1-2 mg daily needed for the benefits touted by the research.
It increases your body's temperature and thereby speeds up the rate at which your body burns fat.
In addition, studies concluded that people who regularily eat Jalapenos seemed to eat less, suggesting that it suppresses appetite.
If you're up for a spicy smoothie, a Jalapenos pepper will do a good job of neutralizing bitter leaves like watercress and dandelion.
10. Avocado to Provide the Healthy Fat
Avocados are commonly mistaken for being a vegetable, although they are biologically fruits. In fact, their name meaning "egg-like fruit".
Because of their superb weight loss benefits, I couldn't resist adding them to this list.
Anyway, if you still haven't complained about my categorization of peppers as vegetables, I'll stretch my luck a bit further.
The perfect smoothie ingredient, avocados are too creamy and healthy to omit from a green smoothie list.
Suggested: Avocado Smoothie Recipes You Have to Try
Everyone says olives are healthy, right? This is because of all the monounsaturated fat they contain. Well, it turns out that avocados contain almost as much.
What does monounsaturated fat do?
It has the same benefits as the much hyped low carb diet (like the Atkins diet). When researchers compared diabetics on a low-carb diet with those on a monounsaturated fat diet, both groups lost the same amount of weight and kept it off for at least a year, while the latter group happily continued to eat their carbs.
Avocado also helps with cholesterol. In the 1990s already, a study found an avocado rich diet to lower overall cholesterol by 17 percent, as well as bad cholesterol and fats in the blood stream by 22 percent.
Lastly, it can fill your stomach and make you feel full. Researchers discovered that half an avocado for lunch increased eaters' satisfaction and decreased their desire to continue eating.
Blend it into a smoothie with absolutely anything that needs thickness and creaminess.
11. Artichoke to Remove Cholesterol and Fat from Your Bloodstream
Do you want more vegetables to lower your cholesterol? I am happy to oblige.
Artichoke lowers fat and cholesterol levels in your bloodstream, to keep your arteries safe, but it also means there is less fat circulating in your blood that can later be stored in fat cells.
Blend Artichoke with mild green vegetables like spinach and beet greens and mild fruits like apples to prevent it from being overwhelmed.
12. Beet greens for Good Exercise
Beet greens are magnesium-rich, and magnesium boosts your ability to exercise.
But there's more…
A study concluded that people with low levels of magnesium were much more likely to develop diabetes than those with an appropriate intake. Remember that your body cannot burn fat properly if you have diabetes.
The very best fact about magnesium, however, is that it helps your body release fat from fat cells where it has already been stored. Scientists call this process lipolysis.
Beet greens are mild in flavor and blend well with equally mild fruits and vegetables. One cup of grated leaves will give you around 40 percent of your daily recommended magnesium intake.
13. Purslane for the Most Nutritious Weight Loss "Weed"
With the same amount of magnesium as beet greens and just a bit less potassium, purslane is another muscle booster to promote a healthy exercise program.
With all these muscle boosters, you will never have an excuse to abandon your exercise program ever again.
High blood sugar and diabetes are also more common in people with low levels of potassium than in people who eat enough of it.
It grows easily almost anywhere, but sadly most people eradicate it as a weed. The leaves are neither bitter nor otherwise sharp-tasting, and because they are so watery, they work well with creamy ingredients like avocados and peas.
14. Grape Leaves for Similar Benefits to Fish
The Mediterranean diet is famously called one of the healthiest diets in the world. This is because it contains so much omega-3 oil in the form of fish.
Well, if you aren't into into taking fish to the office every day, grape leaf smoothies are ideal, as they are excellent sources of omega-3.
People who consume omega-3 lose more weight and cholesterol than people who don’t eat or drink much of it.
Because of their oily contents, grape leaves can add some taste to vegetables like zucchini that are otherwise quite bland.
15. Kale for a Comprehensive Fat Loss Solution
Actress Gwyneth Paltrow and chef Jamie Oliver love it, and it was known as the world's best superfood for years.
Health experts love it too, because it is able to stop the fat you eat from being absorbed by your intestines.
Do you feel like an easy biology lesson?
When you eat fat, the bile acids in your intestines absorb it and distribute it around your body. This is precisely what you don’t want if you're on a quest to lose weight. You want it excreted, not absorbed.
Kale can help, because it Binds to the bile acids in your intestines. When the bile acids then catch the fat you eat, all the fiber in the kale grabs this fatty mess and drags it straight downwards where it becomes part of your next bowel movement. This is the same mechanism used by cholesterol drugs.
Kale also contains plenty of water, and researchers have often found that such plants are good weight loss agents while simultaneously preventing you from getting hungry.
As kale is a bit bitter, it tastes great when mixed with sweet vegetables and fruits like Stevia, fiddleheads, mango and pineapple.
16. Pumpkin leaves for Building Big Muscles
Remember how big muscles require your body to burn a lot of fat just to maintain them even while you are asleep?
The amino acid leucine is really good at building muscles, to the point where one third of your muscles are made of it.
A pumpkin leaf is one of the best vegetable carriers of leucine around. The more of it you consume, the bigger your muscles can grow, and the bigger your muscles, the faster your body must burn fat to maintain them.
After scraping off the thorny fibrous bits, you can toss them in a smoothie like you do with any other leaf. Their taste is mild and they mix well with everything.
17. Collards for the Calcium Advantage
If you want to lose weight by helping your body dump the fat it has already stored, calcium is just the thing.
An extensive study found that people who consume the most calcium are thinner than those who consume too little of it.
According to scientists' speculations, calcium that appears in your fat cells stimulates those cells to release their fat.
Collard greens are slightly bitter, but still fairly mild. As such, they mix well with other mild green vegetables like beet greens and spinach and a few sweet ones thrown in for taste.
18. Asparagus to Ramp up that Thyroid Gland
An underactive thyroid has always been one of the commonly heard excuses for obesity, and scientists do believe that people with lazy thyroids put on weight.
selenium is a mineral that can ramp up your thyroid. While is primarily found in animal products, asparagus and spinach contain enough to keep your thyroid active.
Remember the bile acid binding that prevents fat from being absorbed from your intestines? Research shows that asparagus can do this too.
With its lovely cool, crisp taste, it is perfect with tropical summery fruits and mild green vegetables like spinach. Join singer Katy Perry, who once told Marie Claire that she has it for dinner every night.
19. Chinese Cabbage to Remove Fat from Your Body
Remember that cholesterol can be stored as fat around your hips and stomach, so you must eat enough vegetables that can help you get rid of it.
Chinese cabbage was proven to increase good cholesterol and decrease bad cholesterol and fats in your blood.
Chinese cabbage is one of the mildest vegetables in this category, and since it is jam-packed with potassium and omega-3, it is also one of the best choices for weight loss if you blend it with other mild and sweet green vegetables.
20. Green Tea for a 20% Reduction in Body Fat
You may think of it as a beverage rather than a green vegetable, but with its green leaves, a vegetable is precisely what it is.
The main ingredient in Green Tea, called EGCG, has the most research behind it of all the fat burners.
As a result, this is one of the best liquids you can use as a liquid base for your smoothies, sweetening it with stevia if you wish.
21. Broccoli to Beat the Daily Recommended Intake of Chromium
Hugh Jackman may have been onto something when he told Men's Fitness that he liked steamed broccoli.
Broccoli is one of the best food sources of chromium, and also rich in vitamin C and fiber with their benefits.
What’s the point of chromium?
People low in chromium have been found to have high blood sugar and huge amounts of fat in their blood.
Broccoli is lovely when blended with vegetables from the cabbage family and with citrus fruit.
22. Scallions for Some Smelly Sulfur
Like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and leeks, one cup of scallions can provide you with more than 100 percent of your daily sulfur intake.
Sulfur aids weight loss in at least three ways. It helps your body to burn more fat, it decreases the number of fat cells in which fat can be stored, and it also keeps inflammation under control.
As it is pungent, make a smoothie with fruits and vegetables of your choice and add small amounts of it at the end, tasting as you go along.
23. Endive for Constant Energy and Regulation of Fat Storage
Endive contains a type of flavonoid that's responsible for two weight loss mechanisms.
Firstly, if you are the kind of person whose energy crashes an hour or two after lunch, you are probably also the kind of person who grabs at a sugary snack to top up your energy.
If you want to avoid these unhealthy snacks, simply ensure that your energy remains constant throughout the day. Endive can help you do this.
Secondly, Endive can combat the inflammation that causes unnecessary fat storage.
A bitter vegetable, it is best mixed with sweet fruit or Stevia.
24. Zucchini to Tell Your Body to Stop Eating
Beautifully subtle and sweet and inheriting the flavor of whatever it is mixed with, zucchini is also one of the best plant sources of zinc.
Most of the tips in this article requires that your body can absorb vegetables to help with weight loss. But what if you don’t absorb enough of them to benefit from them?
Eat more Zucchini for its Zinc!
Zinc will help you absorb more nutrients from your stomach and intestines.
25. Parsley to Generate Energy
The duties of parsley are numerous.
If you have just adopted your healthy lifestyle and you are worried about all the fat you ate in the past, you need parsley.
It can reduce blood sugar and protect your liver from fatty liver disease, which can kill people who have a lot of fat in their bodies.
Together with a big load of potassium, zinc, vitamins C, and fiber, all with their own weight loss benefits, it can also supply you with more than enough vitamin B2.
This is the vitamin that helps to generate energy inside all your cells, and the moment your body uses energy, it burns fat.
The taste of parsley will be imperceptible if you mix it with strong ingredients, so stick to spinach, fiddleheads, grapes, and other gentle options.
26. Celery to Aid Liver Function
Celery is the best plant-based source of another B vitamin called choline.
Researchers recently discovered that choline is essential for preventing weight gain, and if you ate or used to eat plenty of unhealthy fat, it can protect your liver from fatty liver disease.
Celery is also composed of a huge amount of water and fiber, two useful ingredients discussed in previous sections.
I'm usually good with a single stem of Celery and its leaves. More than that might give a too overpowering taste to the smoothie.
27. Chicory Leaves to Kill Hunger, Inflammation, and Cholesterol
A true workhorse, a chicory leaf can perform several of the weight loss functions of which we have already spoken.
High in fiber, magnesium, calcium, potassium, and zinc, scientists think that it can suppress appetite to keep your over-enthusiastic eating behavior in check.
It is also a mild laxative if you feel bloated and want to clean your digestive tract.
As this is one green vegetable that loses almost all of its bitterness when it is cooked for one minute in salt water, you can easily do this it make it more appetizing for yourself.
28. Broccoli Rabe to Burn Carbohydrates
Also called broccoli raab, this vegetable provides an abundant supply of vitamin B1. This is the vitamin that converts the carbs you eat into energy. If they cannot be converted to energy, they will all be stored as fat.
Unsurprisingly, then, almost 30 percent of people who are so obese that they need bariatric surgery have been found to be vitamin B1 deficient.
Other green vegetables like watercress, asparagus, and okra can also save you from this fate.
Blend it with any other green vegetable but arugula, endive, watercress, dandelion greens, or others you think taste too strong.
29. Mustard greens for Essential Antioxidants
People who are seriously obese or need surgery have something else in common: they are seriously deficient in antioxidants like vitamins A and E. Mustard greens are relatively high on both.
Alternatively, you can get your vitamin A from broccoli, lettuce, or kale, and your vitamin E from cilantro (coriander) leaves, spinach, Swiss chard, or chicory.
Mustard greens are pungent and, with a name like that, they suitably taste like mustard. Most people like them with sweet fruit, but if you like the mustard taste, simply add milk green vegetables like spinach and beet greens and enjoy it.
This list proves again that healthy, nutritious foods are the very best additions to your weight loss program.
Nothing carries as many nutrients as green vegetables. Certainly no weight loss supplement can claim to have all these benefits, without any side effects… other than a delicious taste of smoothie in your mouth.
I hope you enjoyed the list and found it helpful. If you did, please share it and also tell us what you think in the comments section below.