We pick the brains of models day in and day out. We’re constantly prying into their medicine cabinets and kitchen cupboards, trying to uncover their elusive model secrets. We hear a lot about eating clean and avoiding sugar, but rarely do we hear diet tips from a model who also happens to have her degree in nutritional science.
That’s exactly what we found in Alicia Rountree. The Mauritian model (she’s got the island hair and bronzed glow to prove it) is also a certified nutritionist and a restaurateur (talk about putting your knowledge into practice, right?), and today she’s sharing her secrets with us.
Vegetables are one of the healthiest food groups you can add to your diet—but how do vegetables stack up against one another, and which are the best to invest our time in preparing? If eating clean and maximizing nutrient intake is a personal health goal, knowing what vegetables to keep on your grocery list can go a long way in satisfying your fitness goals. One of the best benefits of eating a lot of vegetables is that you can eat large quantities and stay satiated for long afterward. Add these healthy vegetables to your diet to eat clean and banish bloat.
Leafy greens are generally very high in vitamins A and C, which is great for helping to reduce hormone stress that can make you hold onto stubborn weight in the belly area, as well as water weight. Leafy greens like spinach and kale are low-calorie and packed with fiber.
If you are looking for a nutrient boost in your diet, zucchini’s one of the healthiest vegetables. It’s very low in calories but gives you a feeling of being full and satisfied after a meal.
A trick I use with this veggie is to boil the skin of a zucchini and drink the water from it first thing in the morning. It really purifies the body and keeps you well hydrated with a nutrient boost.
Cucumber is nutrient-dense and helps with water retention and bloating in the body. Made up of 95% water, it keeps you fuller for longer. Try making a smoothie made with cucumbers, watercress, mint, and apple for a refreshing, vitamin-filled drink.
Known for their cancer-fighting phytonutrients, cruciferous vegetables have a reputation as being one of the healthiest vegetables we can consume on a routine basis. They reduce inflammation and balance blood sugar. Broccoli is a great source of fiber and calcium, while cauliflower contains a large amount of vitamin C, and brussels sprouts are a great source of folate and vitamins A and C—all helpful for keeping your metabolism running smoothly.
With their high fiber content, leeks help reduce cholesterol. Leeks also are high in potassium and vitamin C and support our cardiovascular system by protecting our blood vessel linings due to high amounts of a unique antioxidant called kaempferol.
According to Lauren O'Connor, registered dietician at Nutri Savvy Health, onions are one of the healthiest vegetables you can eat thanks to their rich content of prebiotic fiber—which we need for a healthy and happy gut!
Again, if you're looking to boost your diet with prebiotics in addition to some extra greenery (hello, health-boosting chlorophyll,) O'Connor suggests opting for asparagus. "Asparagus is one of the healthiest vegetables, and it will retain most of its prebiotic content if cooked al dente. However, you can enjoy it fresh, crisp, and raw served with an herbed Greek yogurt dip," she says. This way, you're getting a one-two punch of healthy, gut-improving benefits thanks to essential prebiotics and probiotics.
Holistic nutritionist Meryl Pritchard tells us potatoes are one of her weekly grocery staples thanks in part to their satiating ratio of resistant starch. Potatoes are a great source of complex carbohydrates, which will give you energy and keep you full without the inevitable crash later on that we get from refined carbohydrates.
Since it's composed of 95% water, and lots of fiber, celery is a refreshing (and very hydrating) alternative to drier, calorie-dense snacks. We suggest adding some peanut butter to bump up this healthy vegetable's protein and fat content, which will help you to stay fuller longer.
According to scientists at Harvard, eating certain vegetables (like radishes) will help you lose weight faster than others. Plus, they're also considered to be an alkaline-forming food, which helps your body maintain healthy pH levels. And of course, they're a great source of vitamins—especially vitamin C!
Up next, see which five foods slow your metabolism down the most.
This post was originally published at an earlier date and has since been updated.