10 Nutrients That Shrink Your Belly
Calcium pyruvate is a substance that occurs naturally and is made in your body during digestion and metabolism. This nutrient’s main role is to make energy and fuel your cells.
A study done by the University of Pittsburgh found that obese women lost 48 percent more fat when following a calorie-restricted diet with supplemental calcium pyruvate than those women following the diet alone. It appears that calcium pyruvate can get into the fat cells and help them burn energy more effectively, promoting more weight loss.
Calcium pyruvate occurs naturally in foods like red apples, red grapes, red wine, and cheeses. It can also be taken in supplemental form. If supplementing with calcium pyruvate, take 1,000 milligrams on an empty stomach before each meal up to three times per day. Taking too much of this supplement may cause nausea, however.
To help get rid of gas, try snacking on caraway seeds.
Bloating and gas can occur in your gastrointestinal tract for a number of reasons. And increased gas can cause your belly to bloat.
Caraway seeds are effective at reducing gas and bloating because they’re a powerful digestive aid. They help to expel and eliminate gas due to their carminative properties. Caraway seeds are also beneficial at keeping bloat away because they help the good bacteria in your gastrointestinal tract digest and break down food while inhibiting the growth of the bad bacteria.
Research has found that the active compound methylhydroxy chalcone polymer (MHCP) in cinnamon makes fat cells more receptive to insulin.
When cells are more receptive to insulin, they allow the insulin to transport sugar into the cells for energy, thus keeping insulin levels in the bloodstream low. High insulin levels trigger the body to store more fat, especially in your midsection. So consuming a seasoning like cinnamon that helps maintain healthy levels of insulin is a great way to combat belly fat.
The main polyphenol, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), in green tea has been shown to have thermogenic properties and to help increase fat oxidation.
In fact, one study found that when overweight individuals consumed the same number of calories and performed the same amount of exercise, those drinking green tea lost more weight, especially weight from the abdomen. Green tea is also loaded with powerful antioxidants, which help decrease inflammation (another belly-fat contributor) and fight off disease and infection. Aim for brewed green tea over powders and supplements.
Fucoxanthin is a carotenoid found in brown seaweed.
Research on this compound suggests it may be a powerful fat fighter. In animal studies, overweight and obese mice were found to lose 5 to 10 percent of their entire body weight when consuming fucoxanthin. Although research is still unclear as to exactly how fucoxanthin promotes weight loss, it may be due to its ability to target a specific protein that increases the rate at which abdominal fat is burned.
Edible brown seaweed is available in Japanese specialty stores and health food stores under the names wakame and hijiki.
Omega-3-rich foods been shown to help reduce abdominal fat storage.
Studies have also shown that they keep the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline from peaking, helping to prevent damage to your body from chronic stress and also helping prevent increased fat storage caused by elevated cortisol levels.
Fatty fish, such as salmon, is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids. However, plant-based sources, such as chia seeds, walnuts, and flaxseed, are terrific sources as well. Supplemental omega-3 fatty acids are also fine.
Quercetin, a powerful flavonoid, has been shown to not only improve the immune system and promote cardiovascular health but also fight belly fat.
Research has shown that this flavonoid can block baby fat cells from maturing and is more effective at inhibiting the rate of new fat cell formation than any other flavonoid. Quercetin also is effective at decreasing inflammation in the body.
Large amounts of quercetin are found in apples, onions (especially red onions), and green tea. Red grapes, tomatoes, broccoli, cherries, raspberries, and leafy greens are also excellent sources. Aim to take in quercetin from foods rather than supplements, because foods rich in quercetin contain many additional health benefits.
Studies have indicated that high levels of resveratrol in your diet may boost metabolism, helping you to burn more calories (and more belly fat) throughout the day.
Resveratrol has also been shown to suppress levels of the hormone estrogen. High levels of estrogen in your body promote increased fat storage, so suppressing these levels may decrease body fat while helping to increase lean muscle mass.
Resveratrol is found in red grapes, red wine, peanuts, and dark chocolate.
Vitamin C helps reduce stress hormone levels and return the stress hormone cortisol to normal levels after a stressful situation. This reduction in cortisol may help to prevent increased belly-fat storage.
Aim to consume at least two foods rich in vitamin C each day. Options include oranges, kiwis, and green peppers. Vitamin C is available in supplement form, but taking in nutrients through food is always the best option. If you do opt for a supplement, keep your dosage to 500 milligrams per day and choose a time-released formula for the best benefit.
Just drinking water may shrink your belly!
A study from the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism showed that individuals increased their metabolic rates by 30 percent after drinking approximately 17 ounces of water. Other research indicates that increasing fluid volume in the body may help to promote the breakdown of fat. And because dehydration can suppress metabolism, you have even more reasons to drink up! Aim for at least 64 ounces of water daily.