Overweight and obesity have serious health consequences. The excess of adipose tissue in the body is associated with an increased risk of carbohydrate and lipid metabolism disorders, cardiovascular diseases, hormonal disorders, or obstructive sleep apnea syndrome. Fortunately, we are getting more and more aware that healthy body weight has a tremendous impact on our health. Thus, we start to wonder whether plants can support the weight loss process.
Both a properly balanced diet and regular physical activity can help in the pursuit of healthy body weight. Other elements of a healthy lifestyle, such as getting enough sleep or avoiding stress, are no less important. Too little sleep contributes to the production of ghrelin (the so-called ‘hunger hormone’). Chronic stress, on the other hand, can lead to “emotional eating”. Therefore, if you want to effectively fight excess body weight, it is worth following the broad principles of a healthy lifestyle. Some people also reach for plant-based products, which, according to the assurances of their producers, can support the weight loss process. In the face of the growing range of this type of product, it is worth answering the question of whether the plants contained in them can actually support the weight loss process?
The ingredients contained in various plants can support the weight loss process through a beneficial effect on the intestines, stimulating the secretion of digestive enzymes, or a positive effect on the metabolic rate. Below you can find selected plants that can be found in various types of products (e.g. dietary supplements, teas) supporting the weight loss process.
While some plants appear quite often in slimming products, wild strawberries are relatively rare in them. However, this does not mean that they are ineffective. It is true that it will not make the excess kilograms disappear overnight, but when given in the form of an infusion (prepared from leaves), it can have a positive effect on the metabolic rate. Moreover, it has a slightly diuretic effect, making it easier to get rid of excess water from the body, and thus reducing swelling.
The compounds it contains have an impact on the digestion process of fats by reducing their absorption. Dandelion products can also help lower LDL cholesterol – the “bad cholesterol” that is often elevated in overweight and obese people. Dandelion is also helpful in regulating blood glucose levels.
Pansy (tricolor violet)
Tricolor violet extract, commonly known as “pansy”, may have a positive effect on the metabolic rate. It also helps to get rid of excess water from the body.
The compounds contained in the common artichoke have a positive effect on the digestive system. They also improve the functioning of the liver, which is involved in the production of bile necessary for the proper digestion of fats.
Horseradish is often used for culinary purposes, incl. for pickling cucumbers, preparing beetroot salad. Not everyone is aware that horseradish can also facilitate the weight loss process. The compounds contained in it support the work of the intestines, have a slight diuretic effect, and also facilitate the digestion of fatty foods.
Basil is a well-known spice that we often use to prepare salads, homemade vegetable spreads, or Italian dishes. It facilitates the slimming process by supporting the work of the liver or a beneficial effect on the metabolism.
When describing plants that support the slimming process, one cannot forget about vegetables and fruit rich in dietary fiber. It is an ingredient that plays an important role in our daily diet. Dietary fiber has a beneficial effect on the functioning of the intestines, helps to regulate blood glucose levels, and also makes the feeling of fullness stay with us for longer. Vegetables and fruit rich in fiber include, but are not limited to:
It is worth remembering that the best source of fiber are vegetables and fruits served raw.
Some plants supporting the weight loss process can be taken not only in the form of dietary supplements or infusions. From fruit rich in dietary fiber (e.g. raspberries, strawberries), we can prepare a homemade fruit mousse, which we add to porridge, millet, or chia pudding (if we want it to be sweeter, we can replace sugar with honey, xylitol, or erythritol). Moreover, aromatic basil, which supports the metabolic process, can be used to prepare homemade pesto served with whole-grain pasta.
There are many plants that can support the weight loss process thanks to the content of compounds that improve digestive processes, have a beneficial effect on intestinal function, or show a slightly diuretic effect. However, it is worth remembering that their use should go hand in hand with a properly balanced diet and regular physical activity.
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