By Hui Xie-Zukauskas
Are you a woman with a waist measurement of over 35 inches or a man with a waist of over 40 inches?
If so, you need to keep reading and engaging in this topic. There is an increasing concern about abdominal obesity, which has been identified as a risk factor of cardiovascular disease and cancer.
How bad is it?
Abdominal obesity, so-called “big tummy”, is the accumulation of excess intra-abdominal fat tissue, which promotes the release of inflammation-causing chemicals and subsequently causes inflammation. On top of that, chronic inflammation is harmful to your body and a root for many chronic illnesses such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes and arthritis. So, “big tummy” should not be taken lightly.
Several factors might contribute to increased abdominal fat, including sex hormones, growth hormone, and local production of cortisol, a “stress hormone”. Dietary fructose is involved too. So, you cannot shrink your waist size overnight, and there is no a magic pill for it. However, you can simply start with modifying your diet.
How can you do it?
Is there any food that can improve your belly towards a healthy, active anti-inflammatory way? Yes. Here are the topmost eight approaches you can focus on:
1. Oily fish: salmon or tuna
Fatty fish like salmon, tuna and sardines, are not only good proteins but high in omega-3 fatty acids, which help reduce inflammation. To rip most benefits, eat these fish a few times a week, and cook them in healthy ways, such as grilled or baked, not deep fried, dried or salted.
2. Healthy fats: olive oil and avocado
Let’s face it. Fat adds delicious taste, but not all fats are created equal. So, sprinkle olive oil and avocado over your salad, or mix them with your dishes.
3. High fiber foods: whole grain, oatmeal
A diet study on nearly 90,000 people in 2010 found that those consuming at least 10 grams of fiber daily (especially the kind in whole grains) had waists about three inches smaller than those eating very little fiber.
Tomatoes are a rich source of vitamin C and lycopene, known to reduce inflammation throughout the body, along with supporting the immune system. Cooked tomatoes contain even more lycopene than raw ones, so does tomato sauce.
5. Kale and other green leafy vegetables.
Kale is one of the stars among green leafy veggies, which can make up key components in an anti-inflammatory diet. More than forty-five individual flavonoid antioxidants have been identified in kale, including quercetin and kaempferol. Quercetin has been shown to possess a strong anti-inflammatory property. Moreover, kale facilitates the body’s detoxification processes, which are crucial in flushing out inflammatory substances, such as those built up from processed foods.
6. Nuts and nuts-based fiber bars
Nuts such as almonds and walnuts, are wonderful snacks, and a great source of inflammation-fighting fats and antioxidants. There are so many good things about them — rich in fiber, calcium, vitamin E, and alpha-linolenic acid (a type of omega-3 fat).
7. Low-fructose food: lemon, prune, and cranberries
These fruits contain little fructose. Research findings demonstrate that reduction in fructose improves several risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease. In addition, low-fructose diet may be an effective intervention in cancer development.
8. Spice like garlic, ginger and onions
Garlic and ginger have been used since ancient times, as powerful punches to combat inflammation. Garlic can help ward off a range of chronic illnesses, attributing to its antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral and anti-inflammatory nature. Ginger is rich in antioxidants too. Onions are loaded with antioxidants, particularly quercetin. Many people tend to ignore them, but these foods do add an appreciable taste to your dishes.
Overall, diet can play an important role in lowering the risk of various cancers, and in reducing the hazard of chronic inflammation. A diet with the above beneficial foods helps shrink your waist size; in the long run, it can boost your anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer force.
What else can you do to speed up the progress?
Regular exercises, drinking more water or tea instead of coca and sweet beverages, reducing stress level, and a good night sleep as well, can all add up to burn your abdominal fat.
Image credit: By julosstock