If lots of women in your family have big bellies (rather than big hips or big butts), your DNA may be stacked against you. "About 50 to 60% of belly fat and weight gain is based on genetics," says Murphy. "You can't really change genes. But what you can do is modify their expression." Simply put, genetics may predispose a woman to gain weight in her midsection—but diet and exercise can influence how much weight stays on, and where.
Valerian is an herb that's long been valued as a mild sedative, and now research is showing what tea enthusiasts have known for centuries. In a study of women, researchers gave half the test subjects a valerian extract, and half a placebo. Thirty percent of those who received valerian reported an improvement in the quality of their sleep, versus just 4 percent of the control group. In a another study published in the European Journal of Medical Research, investigators gave 202 insomniacs valerian or a Valium-like tranquilizer. After six weeks, both treatments were equally effective. And in other studies, valerian root has been shown to increase the effectiveness of sleeping pills. While researchers have yet to identify the exact active ingredient, they suspect that receptors in the brain may be stimulated to hit "sleep mode" when coming in contact with valerian.
If you ever need to treat a hangover, you’ve just stumbled on the right beverage for getting the job done. Coconut water is intensely hydrating, and it possesses an uncanny ability to mitigate come-downs from alcohol. It eases digestion and flushes harmful chemicals. A small navel orange pushes protective measures into the digestive systems, and blueberries banish all internal poisons while energizing the mind. With 4 sprigs of lush lavender, this drink is sultry and aromatic. This cunning combination can treat headaches and stomach aches alike. As an added bonus, the entire detox recipe is vegan and free of gluten.
The stress hormone cortisol can really screw with your belly. The problem with cortisol is two-fold: First, the chemical makeup of cortisol causes the body to store visceral fat. Visceral fat is stored between your main organs and in the midsection and is the most dangerous type of fat. Experts state that visceral fat increases the risk of diabetes and heart disease.
×