Studies have shown that high intakes of fruit and vegetables are associated with a lower risk of chronic diseases; particularly, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and certain cancers (mouth, pharynx, larynx, esophageal, stomach and lung). This is possible with the aid of phytochemicals found in plant foods. Experts at top universities around the world have ID’d increasing numbers of phytonutrients found in plant foods, and they also found out that some of them are critical to weight loss.
A study in the Journal Nutrition Research revealed that women who ate raw fruits and vegetables lost 12 pounds more in an eight-week period than those who ate healthy processed foods like high-fiber low-fat health bars. In another study, scientist put women in two groups, both of which ate the same number of calories. But while one group ate mostly phyto-rich foods, the other simply cut portions on their normal diet. The result: the phyto group lost 22 percent more fat.
Additional research has proven that eating more fruits and vegetables ward off hunger pangs when dieting, which is the key to keeping the weight off for good. Here’s why phytonutrients could slim you down:
They rev glands that regulate metabolism. Phytonutrients nourish the cells of the thyroid and adrenals. A little boost from phytonutrients improves the burning ability of these glands to burn calories by 12 percent, which is more than enough from what people normally need to burn in a year.
They turn off fat genes. Animal research reveals that phytonutrients increase the expression of peroxisome-proliferator-activated receptors, which shut off genes that prompt fat storage and turn on genes that trigger fat burn.
They boost satiety. Many phytos in food that also contain fats (such as flaxseed and olive oil) stimulate the release of cholecystokinin, a hormone that helps the body know it has eaten enough. It helps you feel full with less food intake.
They fight inflammation. Internal inflammation results to the storage of fat by the body. When there in internal inflammation, the body keeps the levels of the stress hormone cortisol high which causes blood sugar imbalances. Studies have shown, though, that phytonutrients (especially those paired with healthy fats) ease inflammation by 86 percent hence lesser blood sugar imbalances.
Phytonutrients detoxify the body. Research proves that phytonutrients boost the liver’s production of detoxifying enzymes by 244 percent. This makes the liver more efficient at breaking down fat-trapping toxins and improves its ability to burn dietary fat by 72 percent.
Around 900 phytochemicals have been discovered, and here are some of them with their slimming powers, bonus health perks and where you can get them:
Phenols replenish the metabolism revving thyroid and adrenals for effortless calorie burning, and the same time reduce body-wide yeast, can be natural pain relievers and lower the risk of heart diseases and cancer. They’re abundant in all berries, cherries, apricots , apples and kiwis.
Lignans inhibit excessive estrogen action to reduce fat storage in female zones, like the belly and hips. They also lessen perimenopausal symptoms and lowers the risk of breast, ovarian and colon cancer. You can get them from flaxseed, sunflower and sesame seed oils and cashews.
Limonoids, found in all citrus fruits, increase output of fat-dissolving bile by 127 percent and stimulate lymph flow to reduce cellulite. They also guard against illness-causing germs lower risk for stroke.
Sulforaphane helps in slimming by boosting the liver’s fat-burning abilities and reducing inflammation to lower fat-storing cortisol. It’s also helps the body obtain younger-looking skin, boosts healthier libido and reduces the risk of diabetes, heart diseases and cancer. Cruciferous vegetables and dark leafy greens are rich with this miracle worker.
Anthocyanins found in cherries, avocados, eggplants, mangoes, grapes and black rice turn off fat genes and activate fat-metabolizing genes while curbing sugar and carb cravings. Aside from that, they also act as natural pain relievers and can improve memory, concentration and brain health.
Carotenoids can slim you down by balancing blood sugar and stimulating the use of fatty acids for energy so less fat is stored.They also offer natural sun protection, boost fertility, safeguard vision and reduce risks of cervical cancer. They’re abundant in watermelon, carrots, tomatoes, cantaloupe and squash.
Resveratrol helps prevent damage to blood vessels, reduces “bad” cholesterol and prevents blood clots, but it can also assist in losing weight by increasing satiety-signaling chemicals making you feel “full” with less food. It also improves blood sugar balance for reduced belly-fat storage. Red wine and grapes are known to be rich in Resveratrol.
Allicin found in garlic, onion, scallions leeks and shallots, deactivates xenoestrogens and other fat-trapping toxins and supports the liver’s fat-burning ability.
So, what are you waiting for? Add plant-based foods to your every meal. Include green leafy vegetables, nuts and legumes and fruits in your diet not just to combat diseases but for healthy weight loss as well.