When two superheroes make a baby, he comes into the world with superhuman powers even stronger than that of his parents—anyone who’s seen The Incrediblesknows that.
The same concept holds true in the food world: When eggs are served alongside the right ingredients, the final product is a health-boosting superstar breakfast—whether that’s in the form of an omelet, scrambled eggs, egg cups, or a delicious egg dish. Since the popular a.m. protein usually pairs well with healthy add-ins like veggies and spices, it’s hard to go wrong nutritionally, but some superfood pairings offer more weight loss benefits than others.
Here, we reveal which ingredients you should pair with eggs for the best bang for your weight loss buck—and some of them are a bit unexpected. If cooking isn’t your forte, fear not! You’ll also find tips for using each ingredient. So what are you waiting for? Fire up the stove and start cooking! And if you’re looking for even more supermarket shopping guides and essential nutrition tips at your fingertips, subscribe to the new Eat This, Not That! magazine now! For a limited time, you can save 50 percent off the cover price—click here!
1. Black Beans
Packed with soluble fiber (a powerful belly fat fighter), beans will not only fill you up for hours but also help slim you down. Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center researchers found that for every 10-gram increase in soluble fiber consumed daily, study participant’s belly fat reduced by 3.7 percent over five years. But the benefits don’t stop there: Consuming just five grams of soluble fiber a day has been shown to reduce LDL cholesterol levels by about 5 percent.
Make a Southwestern-inspired breakfast. When eggs are nearly cooked, add black beans, salsa (we like Newman’s Own Mild) and Colby-Jack cheese to taste before folding into an omelet.
2. Ground Turkey
If you want to amp up your morning dose of protein, consider adding ground turkey to your eggs. “The duo is quite tasty and somewhat unexpected, making it a perfect choice for fatigued taste buds,” says Dave Zinczenko, author of The Super Metabolism Diet. A half-ounce of turkey has just 83 calories and packs 11 grams of muscle-building protein. It’s also a primo source of DHA omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to improve brain function and mood and prevent fat cells from growing.
Mix ground turkey with onion, peppers, mushrooms and your favorite spices to create a delicious meal that will fuel your muscles and aid post-workout recovery.
Skip the whole-grain toast and add some leftover quinoa to your omelet instead. The ancient grain adds an unexpected flavor and texture twist to the egg dish, a welcome change if you eat omelets regularly. Plus, quinoa is higher in protein than any other grain and packs plenty of heart-healthy, unsaturated fats and satiating fiber.
Top nearly cooked eggs with a few spoonfuls of cooked quinoa, spinach, tomatoes, onions (a veggie that torches stored fat) and a sprinkle of cumin. Once the mixture has cooked through, fold into an omelet and enjoy!
4. Black Pepper
If you’re short on time or running low on groceries, amp up the flavor and fat-burning potential of your omelet with a simple sprinkling of black pepper. Piperine, the compound that gives black pepper its characteristic taste, has been shown to stop adipogenesis, the formation of new fat cells. This can help shrink your waistline, lower your cholesterol levels and give you that flat-belly look you crave.
Add a dash of pepper to your go-to omelet mix-ins, sprinkle it on a plain omelet to boost its flavor, or mix it with some additional herbs and spices — like rosemary and oregano — for a more robust flavor profile.
5. Bell Pepper
Green, red or yellow, fresh or frozen, peppers are never a bad companion for your eggs. Thanks to the veggies’ high vitamin C content, eating them can help burn stored fat and convert carbs into fuel. Studies also indicate that vitamin C helps muscles process a fatty acid called carnitine that’s essential to muscle growth and recovery. A mere quarter-cup of chopped peppers — about what you’d add to an omelet — provides 150 percent of the day’s recommended intake.
Make a Spanish omelet with chopped olives, onions, peppers, minced garlic and pepper jack cheese.
6. Coconut Oil
If you’re an avid Eat This, Not That! reader, you know that not all fats are created equal. While some sources (like soybean oil) cause weight gain, others (like coconut oil) fuel weight loss. In fact, in one study of 30 men, participants lost an average of 1.1 inches around their waists when they consumed two tablespoons of the tropical oil daily for a month. And because coconut oil is comprised of medium-chain triglycerides— a different type of saturated fat than you would find in animal sources like pepperoni — it doesn’t seem to raise cholesterol levels, so it’s also beneficial for total health, too.
Use coconut oil instead of your usual pan greaser. Spoon about a tablespoon into a hot skillet and let it melt before pouring in your egg mixture.
Popeye isn’t the only one who’s a fan of spinach. We like the leafy green because it’s filled with iron, a mineral that aids muscle growth and boosts strength. The unassuming nutritional MVP is also a good source belly-filling fiber and magnesium, a mineral that’s essential to carb metabolism.
“Packing just seven calories a cup, spinach is extremely easy on the waistline, so add as much of it as you want to your eggs. You can’t go wrong pairing the leafy green with tomatoes (which are rich in the cancer-fighting antioxidant lycopene) and a bit of cheese,” says Jeff Csatari, author of The 14-Day No Sugar Diet—an easy, six-step plan of healthy eating and easy exercise that helps readers lose at least 7 percent of their body weight to cut their risk of diabetes by 60 percent!
Skip your morning coffee and get your a.m. energy jolt from a strong hit of spice. Jalapeños, habaneros and cayenne peppers all get their fiery bite from a naturally occurring chemical called capsaicin. The compound has been shown to increase body heat and metabolism and decrease appetite, making it a good go-to for anyone trying to lose weight.
Combine minced cilantro leaves with sliced jalapenos, red onion and black pepper to spice up your eggs and tantalize your taste buds.