Powerful Plants Aid Weight Loss

green.handsMy annual weight loss article has practically become a New Year’s tradition. This year I am pleased to list of some of the recent advancements in plant-based science that target weight loss. There is still no “magic pill,” but great strides have been made to identify and isolate exotic plant essences that can greatly aid you in keeping your weight loss resolutions.

Garcinia Cambogia Extract
Also known as brindleberry, Malabar tamarind, and by the trademark name Citrimax, Garcinia Cambogia is a popular diet aid that suppresses appetite while burning fat and inhibiting the synthesis of lipids. The active component of garcinia cambogia extract is hydroxycitric acid (HCA). HCA inhibits enzymes in the body from storing carbohydrates as fat. Instead, your body immediately burns the calories, boosting energy while subduing hunger and cravings. It also increases levels of serotonin in the brain and enhances mood – a helpful bonus for cranky dieters and emotional eaters!

Green Coffee Bean Extract
One anti-oxidant in green coffee bean extract, chlorogenic acid, has been shown to significantly stabilize blood sugar levels in the body with as much as a 32% reduction in post meal blood glucose. The benefits of stable blood sugar are many, including improved hormone function, mental clarity, energy, and weight loss. The Los Angeles Times reported on a limited trial with 16 overweight young adults taking various doses of green coffee bean extract who lost an average of 17.5 pounds and 16% of body fat in 22 weeks. Other sources suggest that green coffee bean extract lowers blood pressure and acts as an anti-inflammatory agent in the body.

Green Tea
Whether you sip it as a beverage or take it as a supplement, the bioactive catechins in green tea improve metabolism and support weight loss by activating genes that help to reduce the absorption of fat from the digestive tract. Drink two to four cups of freshly brewed organic green tea each day, or take 300-500 mg of an organically compounded and standardized supplement to assist in your weight management routine. Further evidence shows that green tea extract improves cardiovascular health and cholesterol levels.

African Mango
Commonly called wild mango or bush mango, scientists believe that the extract from the African mango seed stimulates leptin receptor sites in the brain’s hypothalamus to induce fat burning and feelings of satiety. It also increases a hormone called Adiponectin that improves insulin sensitivity and fat metabolism. African mango has long been a staple for tribes in Africa who are known for their slender builds. In research conducted at Cameroon’s University of Yaounde, 72 overweight adults taking African mango extract over a 10 week period had a significant weight loss compared with the placebo group, which did not change.

Coconut Oil
It may seem counter-intuitive that a fat can help you lose weight, but coconut oil is a metabolic wonder that produces instant energy but not weight gain. Consisting primarily of medium-chain fatty acids, the triglycerides in coconut oil are easily digested and are immediately converted into energy rather than stored as body fat. You can cook with coconut oil in much the same way you cook with any other fat. Coconut oil contains lauric acid (also found in mother’s milk) which has antiviral and antibacterial properties. Many have reported improvements in chronic skin issues, fungal infections and other ailments after making coconut oil a part of their daily diet.

Plant Based Diets for Better Weight Loss

If you are serious about making a life-long commitment to weight loss, consider switching to a plant based diet. Because plants are naturally low-fat and low-glycemic index foods, there is little need to focus on portion control or calorie counting. People who follow vegan diets not only weigh less, but they consume more fiber and protective nutrients.

Nutritional science continues to advance, and as it does, it continuously reaffirms the wondrous and extraordinary virtues of plants for good health, longevity and well-being.

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