Belly fat, also known as visceral fat that accumulates around the midsection, is a major concern for many. Not only does belly fat make your figure unattractive, it also increases your risk of high blood pressure, diabetes and fatty liver disease.
Many people try dieting to lose belly fat, but this is not the optimal solution. The ideal way to get rid of belly fat is to choose your foods wisely and do some physical exercise daily.
Knowing what to include in your diet is half the job, the other half is doing exercises daily that suit your body type. Certain foods actually help reduce stubborn belly fat and will get you well on your way to enjoying a slimmer physique.
Here are the top 10 foods to reduce belly fat.
Almonds contain a good amount of healthy fats — polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. Both fats help prevent you from overeating. A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition has proven that eating almonds suppresses hunger. They also help fight against heart disease.
High in magnesium, almonds are a key component for muscle building, and having more muscle will help you burn more belly fat.
In addition, the high fiber content in almonds will keep you feeling full for a longer time. Because almonds contain few calories, they will not contribute to belly fat. So, always keep roasted almonds handy and enjoy them as a snack or in salads or other dishes.
The American Dietetic Association declares watermelon as a perfect food to reduce belly fat. Watermelon contains 91 percent water and when you eat it at the beginning of a meal, it fills you up without adding a substantial amount of calories to your meal.
Plus, it keeps you feeling full longer and also helps combat water retention. This juicy fruit is also rich in vitamins B1, B6 and C, as well as potassium and magnesium. It is a great addition to a low-calorie and low-fat diet.
An interesting study done at the University of Kentucky revealed that drinking two glasses of watermelon juice every day for eight weeks reduces body weight (especially the fat around the belly) without altering muscle mass. Regular consumption of watermelon also lowers the risks associated with coronary artery plaque accumulation and heart disease.
Regular consumption of different types of beans helps reduce body fat, develop muscles and improve the digestion process. Beans also help you feel full for a longer time, thus keeping you from overeating.
This happens as beans are an excellent source of soluble fiber. This fiber especially targets belly fat, helping to break it down so the fat can be eliminated from the body. Plus, the protein in beans provides energy to your body. You can easily include beans in your daily meals by adding them to salads, soups or side dishes.
To get a flat tummy, fill your plate with green leafy vegetables like celery. Celery is extremely low in calories, full of fiber, and contains calcium and vitamin C that aid in weight loss.
You can drink half a glass of celery juice before eating your lunch or dinner to help cleanse your system. You can also add celery to salad or soup. An additional benefit of celery is that it contains apigenin, a natural compound that reduces the risk of ovarian cancer in women.
Cucumbers are an extremely refreshing and low-calorie food. 100 grams of cucumber contains approximately 96 percent water and only about 45 calories. They are packed with minerals, dietary fibers and vitamins.
Eating a plate of cucumber salad daily is an effective and healthy way to cleanse your body of harmful toxins released by the digestive system and lose weight. As an added benefit, eating cucumbers daily can give you radiant, glowing skin because they are rich in vitamins B and C.
One large tomato has just 33 calories. It contains a compound known as 9-oxo-ODA that helps reduce lipids in the blood, which in turn helps control belly fat. This compound also fights chronic diseases associated with obesity.
Plus, the powerful antioxidant lycopene in tomatoes offers plenty of additional health benefits like reducing wrinkles, fighting cancer and reducing cholesterol levels. Tomatoes are an excellent source of nutrients like iron and potassium and are rich in vitamins A and C. So, to enjoy a healthy body, include tomatoes (in both raw and cooked form) in your daily diet.
Its rich fiber content also helps keep hunger at bay and keep you from overeating. Plus, avocado has anti-aging, antifungal and antibacterial properties that provide many beauty and health benefits.
Apples are high in dietary fiber, flavonoids, phytosterol and beta-carotene, which make your belly feel full and help you avoid overeating. According to a Brazilian study, women who ate three or more apples a day lost more weight compared with those who did not.
The natural compound in apples known as pectin aids in weight loss. Fruits rich in pectin usually require more chewing and when the pectin dissolves in the stomach, it forms a gel-like substance that traps dietary cholesterol and fat. In addition, pectin also reduces the risk of colon cancer, and the antioxidants and vitamin C in apples will help keep your skin wrinkle-free.
9. Tart Cherries
A study conducted at the University of Michigan found that a diet containing tart cherries helps lower symptoms of heart disease and metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome increases the risk of belly fat as well as heart disease and diabetes.
These cherries reduce cholesterol levels in the body and can reduce body fat to a great extent. Tart cherries also have antioxidant properties that have anti-aging benefits, making you look younger and feel better.
A study done at the University of Maryland revealed that bromelain’s antibacterial properties also help combat the bacteria that causes diarrhea and is also very effective in healing bowel disorders. Relief from stomach conditions can result in less abdominal bloating and a slimmer waistline.
Plus, pineapple contains vitamins B-6 and C, manganese, thiamine, copper, and fiber that provide a number of health benefits.
With these foods, you can fight that belly fat and enjoy a slimmer waistline. However, these foods will only play a major role in attaining a better figure when coupled with regular exercise.