A superfood is simply a food that is nutritious and offers a variety of health benefits for the body. Many of these foods are good at helping rid the body of fat, including the hard-to-lose abdominal area. These superfoods to help burn off belly fat work due to their nutritional components that work to prevent storage of fat, raise metabolism to burn existing fat, and even balance hormone levels to prevent excess fat from accumulating around the abdominal area.
Increased fat in the abdominal area can lead to several health issues which may include:
- High cholesterol
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- And others
Many nutrients can help the body rid itself of excess fat. Protein helps to build muscle, which in turn raises the metabolism to help burn existing fat. The hormones leptin and cortisol both play a role in fat storage, especially around the middle. Also the nutrient choline can block absorption of fat in the body and break down existing fat deposits in the body. Essential fatty acids help you feel full longer while increasing metabolism to burn more fat. The hormones leptin and cortisol both play a role in fat storage, especially around the middle.
Leptin is a hunger hormone that tells your brain when there is enough fat stored. When too much leptin is present, it shows a leptin resistance, meaning leptin is not functioning properly in the body. This causes the brain to stay switched on in hunger mode. Foods that affect leptin increase the body’s sensitivity to this hormone, allowing the brain to use it in the proper way.
Cortisol is a stress hormone which tells the body to store energy as fat, specifically in the abdominal area. Stress affects levels of cortisol in the body, and high levels of stress over long periods of time lead to large amounts of belly fat being stored. According to Jolynne Hudnell, in an article about how cortisol affects belly fat1, this is because there are a greater number of fat cells in the abdomen that receive an increased flow of blood making these cells more receptive to the fat-storing effects of cortisol.
The best 7 superfoods to help burn off belly fat due to high protein content along with other vital nutrients are:
- Low-fat Greek yogurt and other low-fat dairy products
- Edamame and other soy products
- Salmon, tuna, and other fatty fish
- Beans and lentils
- Lean meats such as turkey, chicken and lean cuts of beef
- Nuts and seeds, especially almonds, peanuts, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds
By adding these foods to a healthy, balanced diet in connection with exercise, you will be on your way to burning off that belly fat for good.
1. Jolynne Hudnell; How Does Cortisol Affect Abdominal Fat?; Yahoo! Voices