Research suggests that fat cells — particularly abdominal fat cells — are biologically active. It's appropriate to think of fat as an endocrine organ or gland, producing hormones and other substances that can profoundly affect our health. Although scientists are still deciphering the roles of individual hormones, it's becoming clear that excess body fat, especially abdominal fat, disrupts the normal balance and functioning of these hormones.
Cynthia Sass is a nutritionist and registered dietitian with master's degrees in both nutrition science and public health. Frequently seen on national TV, she's Health's contributing nutrition editor, and privately counsels clients in New York, Los Angeles, and long distance. Cynthia is currently the sports nutrition consultant to the New York Rangers NHL team and the New York Yankees MLB team, and is board certified as a specialist in sports dietetics. Cynthia is a three time New York Times best selling author, and her brand new book is Slim Down Now: Shed Pounds and Inches with Real Food, Real Fast. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
The good news is that visceral fat yields fairly easily to exercise and diet, with benefits ranging from lower blood pressure to more favorable cholesterol levels. Subcutaneous fat located at the waist — the pinchable stuff — can be frustratingly difficult to budge, but in normal-weight people, it's generally not considered as much of a health threat as visceral fat is.
Pomegranate contains vitamins C and K, folate, proteins, fiber, and potassium. Punicalagins present in pomegranate are antioxidants and help boost the overall immunity. Pomegranate prevents type II diabetes, cancer (prostate and breast), and heart disease. It is also beneficial for those who have arthritis, blood pressure, skin diseases, and cognitive disorders. It improves memory and blood circulation (19).
Lemon water detox methods have reached a zenith with this thirst-quenching diet recipe. For those that love sugary drinks, this tasty blend can permanently replace sodas and fruit juices. The mint is uniquely calming for all possible tummy woes; simultaneously, the lemons provide the maximum amount of internal cleansing. This vibrant potion will even appeal to those who don’t typically consume water on its own. The tingling refreshment is hard to surpass on any scale. Huge quantities of advantageous electrolytes are naturally embedded in the citrus fluids, and the chilly mint undertones in this recipe will cool off the entire beverage.
Kale is high in fiber, phytochemicals, and protein. It helps reduce cholesterol and prevents breast, ovarian, colon, bladder, and prostate cancers. Due to the presence of kaempferol and quercetin, kale is a superb antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent. It has also been found to help in the reduction of body fat and the maintenance of good cardiovascular health (18).
How it Works: Core exercises by themselves may not reduce fat directly but they shape the muscles that you want to reveal by losing that stubborn lower belly fat. Core exercises help you improve your overall strength. And as you do lose the body fat around your lower belly and love handles, the work you put into your core will start to show more and more.
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Refined grains, including white bread and commercial pizza crust, also encourage the development of lower belly fat. In a 2010 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers found that increasing intake of refined grains correlated with more belly fat, while increased intakes of whole grains did not. Choose 100-percent whole-wheat bread and pasta, brown rice or quinoa instead of white-flour options.
Hip and knee pain, depression and increased water retention, libido problems and night sweats are also likely to occur. The solution in this case also refers to balancing the hormone levels, but in some cases, medical treatment might be required – if ovarian cysts are present, for example. A diet that’s rich in protein and fat from vegetal sources, and low in products of animal origin, is more likely to help in getting rid of this type of belly. See our Healthy eating tips to make ‘healthy’ your lifestyle choice.