Did you resolve to lose weight in 2011? Increase your body’s fat-burning power by eating more foods that help your liver (your body’s main fat-metabolizing organ) to burn fat better. While there are many fabulous foods that fight fat, here are nine of my favorites:
1. Leafy Greens: Spinach, spring mix, mustard greens, and other dark leafy greens are good sources of fiber and powerhouses of nutrition. Research demonstrates that their high concentration of vitamins and antioxidants helps prevent hunger while protecting you from heart disease, cancer, cataracts, and memory loss.
2. Cayenne: This hot spice lessens the risk of excess insulin in the body by speeding metabolism and lowering blood glucose (sugar) levels, before the excess insulin can result in fat stores. Spice up your next meal with cayenne and lessen those love handles.
3. Oatmeal: Surprised? This complex carbohydrate (the good kind) is slow to digest and helps to keep blood sugar levels stable while keeping you feeling full. Research also shows that consuming oatmeal reduces a person’s cravings for fatty foods. Be sure to eat the unsweetened kind. Sprinkle with ground flax seeds for even more fat-fighting power. See how to make the healthiest quick oatmeal.
4. Cinnamon: Researchers at the United States Department of Agriculture showed that a quarter to one teaspoon of cinnamon with food helps metabolize sugar up to twenty times better than food not eaten with cinnamon. Excess sugar in the blood can lead to fat storage. And cinnamon is not just for apple pie. You can add it to curries, vegetable dishes, soups, and stews.
5. Beans and Legumes: Legumes are the best source of fiber of any foods. They help to stabilize blood sugar while keeping you regular. Isoflavones found in soy foods speed the breakdown of stored fat. In one study, those who consumed high amounts of soy products shed three times more superfluous weight than did their counterparts who ate no soy. If you suspect a sluggish thyroid avoid soy consumption. And, choose only organic, and preferably fermented, soy products. Also read Best Tips For Cooking Beans.
6. and 7. Garlic and Onions: This dynamic duo of foods contains phytochemicals that break down fatty deposits in the body, while also breaking down cholesterol; killing viruses, bacteria, and fungi; and protecting against heart disease. With a little help from garlic and onions, you can burn fat while warding off illness.
8. Turmeric: The popular spice used primarily in Indian cooking contains the highest known source of beta carotene, the antioxidant that helps protect the liver from free radical damage. Turmeric also helps your liver heal while helping your body metabolize fats by decreasing the fat storage rate in liver cells. Add a teaspoon of turmeric into your next curry dish to help your body fight fat.
9. Flax Seeds and Flax Seed Oil: These seeds and oil attract oil-soluble toxins that become lodged in the fatty tissues of the body. Once attracted, they help to escort fat-soluble toxins out. That spells fewer fat stores and a trimmer you.
Adapted with permission from The 4-Week Ultimate Body Detox Plan by Michelle Schoffro Cook.