On the surface this question may appear a little odd since you’re probably thinking, “don’t all vegetables help you lose weight?”
And the answer is yes, absolutely, but this question brings up an important distinction.
Which vegetables are “best” at helping someone lose belly fat? Surprisingly, there actually is a class of vegetables that stands out above the rest with helping to shrink your waistline.
Both men and women can lose belly fat from eating these vegetables, although women will especially benefit.
I’ll explain after the jump…
One of the main reasons women have a tendency to gain a â€śpooch belly” is because they have higher levels of estrogen, a hormone which is linked to abdominal fat storage. Maintaining hormonal balances is essential for women looking to lean up and flatten their stomach.
Estrogen is just one of the hormones that must be balanced. Others include insulin, cortisol, thyroid, DHEA, and testosterone to name a few. Estrogen hormone levels in particular are directly linked to body fat regulation and storage.
One of the ways estrogen levels get out of balance is due to compounds calledÂ “xenoestrogens,” which mimic estrogen in the human body. Xenoestrogens are found in many products that we use in every day life, including plastic, sunscreen, fertilizer, and food preservatives.
The effects of xenoestrogens is still being researched extensively, but studies have shown it can possibly cause cancer, affect fertility, and bingo…increase belly fat.
In short, the impact of xenoestrogens in the body is certainly not a good thing and it can affect the natural hormonal balances. While research is still unclear on how much exposure to xenoestrogens can cause problems, one thing is for sure…we want to look for ways to combat it.
So how do we do this?
Trying to eliminate all xenoestrogens would prove to be very difficult in this day and age as these pseudo-estrogens are found in so many things around us, just try avoiding plastic for one entire day!
Perhaps one of the best strategies would be to add estrogen-fighting compounds, which (ta-da!) are found in the very foods our moms used to make us eat. I encourage all of my clients going through a Charleston weight loss program at Shaping Concepts to incorporate these foods into their diet.
So what are these anti-estrogen foods I’m talking about?
The best vegetables at helping to reduce belly fat…
The following vegetables can be considered super-foods at helping you reduce belly fat because of their anti-estrogen properties:
- Brussels sprouts
- Boy choy
- Swiss Chard
The reason these cruciferous vegetables are so powerful is because they contain a compound called indole-3-carbinol (I3C), which helps flush out bad estrogen metabolites and increases progesterone levels, thus decreasing our fat-storing triggers.
Additional benefit from this class of veggies is the amount of fiber youâ€™ll also be consuming, which helps keep you feeling fuller longer, regulates blood sugar levels, and cleanses the gastrointestinal tract. In short, they help to reduce inflammation which is one of primary triggers behind a “pooch belly.”
Cooking these foods doesnâ€™t have to be boring, either. Try steaming broccoli and cauliflower and then adding garlic salt and pepper. You can roast cabbage and cauliflower under the broiler with a drizzle of olive oil and sea salt. Other examples include sautĂ©ing bok choy with garlic, and pan-frying Brussels sprouts with balsamic vinegar.
Experimentation is key as there are numerous recipes and variations to make these foods delicious. I encourage you to look for ways to include cruciferous vegetables in your diet as they truly are a super-food in the quest to burn off unwanted belly fat.
Shane Doll is a certified Charleston personal trainer, fat loss expert, speaker, and founder of Shaping Concepts Personal Training Studios. He specializes in helping people achieve a body transformation with burst training exercise and whole food nutrition. You can receive a FREE no-obligations trial of his Charleston personal fitness programs and start experiencing the Shaping Concepts difference today.