By Michelle Schoffro Cook for Care2.com
Tired of that spare tire? Sick of your love handles? You can increase your body’s fat-burning power by eating more foods that strengthen your liver (your body’s main fat-metabolizing organ) to burn fat better. The result? A leaner you! There are many great liver boosting foods, but here are some of my favorites:
Leafy Greens: Spinach, spring mix, mustard greens, and other dark leafy greens are good sources of fiber and powerhouses of nutrition. Research demonstrates that their high concentration of vitamins and antioxidants helps prevent hunger while protecting you from heart disease, cancer, cataracts, and memory loss.
Beans and Legumes: Legumes are the best source of fiber of any foods. They help to stabilize blood sugar while keeping you regular. They are also high in potassium, a critical mineral that reduces dehydration and the risk of high blood pressure and stroke.
Garlic and Onions: This dynamic duo of foods contains phytochemicals that break down fatty deposits in the body, while also breaking down cholesterol; killing viruses, bacteria, and fungi; and protecting against heart disease. With a little help from garlic and onions, you can burn fat while warding off illness.
Cayenne: This hot spice lessens the risk of excess insulin in the body by speeding metabolism and lowering blood glucose (sugar) levels, before the excess insulin can result in fat stores. Spice up your next meal with cayenne and lessen those love handles.
Turmeric: The popular spice used primarily in Indian cooking is one of the highest known sources of beta carotene, the antioxidant that helps protect the liver from free radical damage. Turmeric also helps strengthen your liver while helping your body metabolize fats by decreasing the fat storage rate in liver cells. Add a teaspoon of turmeric into your next curry dish to help your body fight fat.
Cinnamon: Researchers at the United States Department of Agriculture showed that a quarter to one teaspoon of cinnamon with food helps metabolize sugar up to twenty times better than food not eaten with cinnamon. Excess sugar in the blood can lead to fat storage. Before you sip that chai tea latte or eat your oatmeal, sprinkle on the cinnamon.
Flax Seeds and Flax Seed Oil: These seeds and oil attract oil-soluble toxins that become lodged in the fatty tissues of the body. Once attracted, they help to escort fat-soluble toxins out. That spells fewer fat stores and a trimmer you.
Adapted from The 4-Week Ultimate Body Detox Plan by Michelle Schoffro Cook.