Belly fat is more than a nuisance that makes your clothes feel tight. Having lots of excess fat around the tummy can have health implications and be linked to diseases like type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Though losing fat from this area can be difficult, there are several things you can do to reduce excess abdominal fat.
Here are 20 natural foods to help you beat the bloat and blast that unwanted belly fat.
According to several leading health experts, these foods are listed among the top 20 natural products to help you reduce belly fat and bloating.
Fennel seeds contain a compound that relaxes GI spasms, allowing gassy cramps to subside and giving you relief from the bloat. You can chew on seeds directly or sip on fennel tea.
Fennel seeds are also meant to be great for controlling bad breath.
2. Cayenne pepper
The capsaicin in cayenne pepper reduces gas and bloating because it increases the flow of digestive enzymes through your intestines.
Try this recipe for Spicy Stuffed peppers
Please note: Avoid using if you have gastrointestinal ulcer or gastro-oesophageal reflux. Also, be sure to use cayenne pepper in small amounts, as large doses may cause pain and discomfort.
Ginger contains a digestive enzyme called zingibain, which helps the body break down protein.
It also has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties and works wonders on bloat. Sipping on ginger tea before, during, or after a meal will help your body to stimulate saliva, bile, and gastric juices that aid in digestion.
Here’s our delicious recipe for Ginger Chicken rice bowl.
Melons are a natural diuretic and can help to flush excess water and salt from your system as well as act as a natural electrolyte replacement.
Bananas have a high level of potassium, which is a go to nutrient for belly flattening! Potassium also helps to regulate your sodium (salt) intake. Win win win!
Here is our yummy choc chip banana bread.
6. Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar beats the bloat by keeping your gut bacteria healthy.
If you are going to take it ensure you buy the version that is raw and unfiltered and has the ‘mother’ in it (a stringy mass of yeast and live bacteria left over from the fermenting process).
While the pasteurised and filtered versions may look more attractive, they’ve lost all their nutrient content.
Numerous studies have also shown that acetic acid (the main component of apple cider vinegar) may be beneficial for weight loss or maintenance.
Not sure how to consume apple cider vinegar? You can take this straight or enjoy a small amount (e.g. 1 tablespoon or less) diluted in warm water.
7. Kiwi fruit
Kiwi fruit is high in fibre and hydrating so it gives your bowels a good kick start!
A study done by researchers in Pacific Asia found that IBS sufferers who ate two kiwis a day for four weeks had less constipation and overall fewer IBS symptoms than those who didn’t. Add it to your shopping list ladies!
Lemon is one of the most common diuretics and ways to detox.
Lemon polyphenols (chemicals compounds found abundantly in natural plant food sources, high in antioxidants) have been shown to aid in weight loss and reduce inflammation in the digestive tract, which can relieve the balloon in your belly.
Adding a slice of lemon to a glass of warm water in the morning is a great way to start your day!
Pineapples are packed with fibre and have a mild diuretic effect. Try adding a little pineapple to your next HM Smoothie for some added but natural sweetness!
Try our Healthy Pineapple mocktail.
10. Green tea
Green tea is an excellent source of antioxidants as well and it also has some diuretic benefits.
Studies have shown that green tea can reduce inflammation in your digestive tract by keeping your epithelial cells (the cells that make up the outer surface of your organs) healthy.
11. Black seed oil
With its antioxidant properties, black seeds help to break down food and help bowel movement to flush out toxins from your body. This oil also boosts your metabolism, improves digestive health and lowers blood sugar levels.
12. Fish oil
Many studies show that fish oil has benefits for fat loss, specifically belly fat. High in omega 3 fatty acids, fish oil aids the breakdown of fat while simultaneously reducing the amount of visceral fat your body stores and decreasing inflammation.
13. Flaxseed oil
Flaxseed, otherwise known as linseed, is rich in omega 3 fatty acids much like fish oil, flax seeds break down visceral fat and reduce inflammation which helps to decrease bloat and the appearance of stomach fat.
Water is the most forgotten ingredient to getting a flat tummy!
Keep a two-litre bottle on hand at all times. It flushes out toxins, keeps your appetite in check and is the best and cheapest belly fat burner available.
15. Chia seeds
High in protein and omega-3 fatty acids, chia seeds will help keep blood sugar levels stable and fill you up to hold your cravings at bay.
Believe it or not, parsley has many health benefits, including reducing the effects of diarrhoea, improving digestion, regulating the menstrual cycle and increasing the rate of urination.
High in fibre and very low in calories, celery is a great diuretic to rid your body of excess water.
Juice them up with carrot and ginger for a revitalizing fresh juice which helps reduce belly bloat so you can feel more comfortable.
Wheatgrass has a high concentration of iron, magnesium, calcium, amino acids, vitamins C, A and E, B12, B6 and chlorophyll.
These vitamins and minerals provide many therapeutic benefits. Consuming wheatgrass can rid the digestive system of harmful bacteria and cleanse the body of toxins.
It also cleanses the colon and can help in the treatment of joint pain, ulcerative colitis, skin infections and can even prevent diabetes.
High in good bacteria, the benefits of yogurt on gastrointestinal health are HUGE.
Yogurt helps ease gastrointestinal conditions, including lactose intolerance, constipation, IBS, colon cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, Helicobacter pylori infection, and allergies.
Cinnamon helps balance blood sugar levels, lowers bad cholesterol and helps reduces pain and inflammation.
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The Healthy Mommy can help you with belly fat reduction!
Wanting to shift your belly flat? Take charge of your weight and improve your overall health and fitness? Then be sure to check out our 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge!