How You Can Protect Yourself Even if You’re Already Overweight
Obesity is one of the most devastating conditions in the world today, especially here in America. In addition to diabetes and heart disease, obesity is also associated with cancer and Alzheimer’s disease, as well as arthritis and hormone imbalances.
Of the main symptom that all these conditions have in common is chronic inflammation. Obesity has been linked to trigger systematic inflammation due to adipose fat. Studies have been shown that white adipose fat actually operates like an endocrine organ. This fat tissue actually secretes hormones that more times than not causes more inflammation. Detoxifying your body will stop this build up of toxins and reduce the amount of inflammation, and consequently, shrink this adipose fat layer.
Fortunately for us fruits and vegetables help to offset chronic inflammation and reduce your risk for diseases such as heart disease and cancer. It has also been found that high intakes of these certain fruits and vegetables help you lose weight and keep it off, only when they replace the high-glycemic foods that you normally eat everyday.
So the first question you may have is can fruits and vegetables actually offset the dangers of obesity in someone like me who is already overweight? Can a diet rich in fruits and vegetables reduce the chronic inflammation often seen in obesity?
FYI, a study has been conducted in Korea where researchers asked 22 overweight women to eat two different diets for two weeks each. In this study proof was found that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables actually had miraculous results.
For the first week, they ate a high fruit and vegetable diet that consisted of six servings of fruit and six servings of vegetables every day for two weeks. Then these “testers” were given a two week break and allowed to consume their regular (normal) diet. Then they ate a low fruit and vegetable diet that consisted of just one serving of fruit and one serving of vegetable every day for two weeks. These “testers” were then given a dietary fiber powder to compensate for the fiber they would have gotten with the higher fruit and veggie intake.
The researchers drew blood before and after each given test to monitor a number of biomarkers, chiefly these that follow:
- Total antioxidant capacity
- Interleukin-6 (inflammation marker)
- C-reactive protein (inflammation marker)
- Leptin (hormone that regulates hunger and appetite)
- Adiponectin (hormone that helps regulate glucose)
- Lutein/zeaxanthin (antioxidants)
- Lycopene (antioxidant)
- Beta-carotene (antioxidant)
It was shown that the diet high in fruits and vegetables had remarkable higher levels of the antioxidants, as well as total antioxidant capacity. What is more interesting is that researchers also found that adiponectin levels were significantly lower after the low fruit and vegetable diet as compared to baseline. This is bad, however, because it indicates poor glucose regulation. Similarly, C-reactive protein levels increased in this diet, indicating a greater degree of inflammation.
The research also found that interleukin-6 and C-reactive protein levels were all reduced. That is good news. There was not any difference in the levels of leptin, since these test people were also given the fiber dietary powder that raises leptin levels, thus helping to control your appetite.
In conclusion of this research the researchers found that “Eating a lot of fruits and veggies can positively affect oxidative and inflammation changes that normally occur in overweight or obese people.”
New Year Resolution
What a wonderful goal for you to set yourself this New Year. Add, or replace your normal diet of toxin-based foods with more fruits and vegetables. Six servings of each probably does not sound that appetizing, but as an example, below is a menu that will surely help you not only detoxify your body, but ramp-up your metabolic rate and help you lose weight:
- (2 fruits and 2 vegetables) – Scrambled eggs with 1/2 cup chopped onion, 1/2 cup chopped peppers and 1 cup spinach. 1 cup raspberries and 1/2 cup blueberries.
- Snack – one fruit – try 1 orange or apple with 1 ounce almonds
- (2 vegetables and 1 fruit) – 1 cup romaine lettuce and 1 cup Bibb lettuce; 4 ounces grilled chicken; 1/2 cup sliced strawberries
- Snack – (1 vegetable and 1 fruit) – 1/2 cup carrot sticks, or 1/2 cup celery sticks, and 1 cup cherry tomatoes (remember, tomatoes are a fruit), or 1/4 cup nuts, like almonds
- (1 vegetable and 1/2 fruit) – 4-6 ounces of grilled salmon with mango salsa (1/2 cup diced mango mixed with chopped scallions, 1 teaspoon of olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon rice vinegar).
- 1 cup steamed broccoli, or 1/2 cup brown rice.
- 1 baked apple topped with cinnamon.
This is only a suggested menu that will help you in detoxifying your body with the proper amounts of nutrients. By reducing the amount of toxins that are present in your usual menu and replacing them with nutritious foods high in vitamins and antioxidants, you shrink the adipose fat that is secreting hormones that cause inflammation. With your inflammation reduced, you will notice a change in your weight and the way you feel.
For more information on what foods to add to your daily intake and what particular nutrient each food supplies, see my other pages on this website.