Weight gain is not uncommon since people age, change their lifestyles and develop certain health conditions. The metabolism decreases and when you eat more calories than you can burn, the body fat increases. Weight gain links to many debilitating diseases in some cases.
Maintaining proper weight accounts for proper diet and exercise to aid in metabolic activities. Along with it, some herbs and common spices in your kitchen also help. Keeping your weight in check is vital to support body functions and slow down its degeneration.
Causes of Weight Gain
Weight gain not related to an underlying health condition is often due to excessive calorie intake. Being less physically active, the surplus of calories becomes residue and is deposited as fat.
But fat is not at all bad as it is also essential for the body. It performs basic functions like providing energy, supporting cell growth and maintaining body temperature. The body needs fat to absorb fat-soluble nutrients like Vitamin A, E, D and K. The fat under the skin, or subcutaneous fat, works like a shock absorber that cushions the bone. This type of fat is easily dissolved by good eating habits and exercise.
The dangerous fat in the body is the visceral fat that is noticeable in the abdomen. Those pot belly and love handles cause hardening of the blood vessels. Eventually, it will decrease blood flow and begin to cause many health problems like hypertension and cardiovascular diseases.
Weight gain other than overeating and sedentary activity is likely due to:
- Slow metabolism due to age
- Stress, anxiety and depression
- Menstrual cycle
- Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
- Menopausal problems
- Lack of sleep
- Hormonal problems
- Taking medications
Plants That Help You Lose Weight
Hormonal and medical causes of weight gain are best discussed with a doctor for proper treatment. Otherwise, you only need to modify your lifestyle and increase your intake of natural foods. Get moving and involve yourself in activities that stretch your core.
Along with your lifestyle changes, some common plants are also beneficial for your weight loss journey. Many herbs support digestion and improve metabolism. The good thing is, you don’t need to look elsewhere but your garden or kitchen.
Here are 3 of the most potent plants for weight loss:
Ginger (Zingiber officinale) is a spicy and pungent herb widely available all over the world. It is one of the most commonly used spices for both culinary and medicinal purposes. As a powerhouse of nutrition and healing properties, ginger is also effective in weight problems.
Ginger root has a high amount of gingerol, a phenolic phytochemical that has a powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effect. It reduces inflammation caused by oxidative stress that contributes to obesity. Oxidative stress alters food intake and causes white adipose tissue (WAT) deposits resulting in weight gain. Taking ginger prevents this extra pound by reducing oxidative stress and its related inflammation.
Gingerol also has a carminative action for gastrointestinal disturbances. It pushes food faster into the bowel and prevents gas formation. It is effective in increasing the metabolic rate and helping the body expend extra energy from the stored fat deposit.
For weight loss purposes, ginger is more effective when eaten fresh and raw. Ginger is commonly prepared as tea but heat exposure may diminish some of its potent properties. It particularly destroys Vitamin C which lowers its anti-inflammatory action.
However, not everyone loves the spiciness and pungent taste of ginger. If you want to take it as a tea, you can compensate for some of its lost nutrients by pairing it with lemon.
Lemon-ginger tea hastens digestion and the emptying of the stomach. Taking it before sleep aids the digestive system, breaking down food and preventing constipation and gas.
Lemon-Ginger Nighttime Tea
Wash, peel and grind fresh ginger root. Boil 2 cups of water in a saucepan and add the ginger. Simmer for 10 minutes on low heat. Add the lemon juice and drink while warm before going to bed.
Ginger is natural but does not come without some side effects and interactions. High dosage can worsen high blood pressure and cause irritation of the esophagus. Ginger tea can interact with some medications, such as blood thinners, diabetes drugs and blood pressure drugs.
Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is another rhizome of the ginger family that is effective in weight loss while sleeping. It is one of the most recommended plants when it comes to fat-burning and maintaining a healthy body mass index. Unlike weight loss diets and food supplements, turmeric gets rid of fat but not water and muscle mass.
Turmeric raises the body’s metabolism and facilitates smooth digestion during sleep. Its main component curcumin is beneficial against fat deposition. It breaks down fat and prevents it from getting stored as visceral fat.
The powerful antioxidant property of turmeric is also very effective against oxidative stress. It combats the accumulation of free radicals that destroy the cells and cause inflammation.
Many diet food supplements boast about their ability to lower cortisol levels. Cortisol is the stress hormone that stimulates the body to hold onto fat. It increases the appetite which is useful in survival situations but not as pleasing when you acquire the extra pounds. Turmeric is a natural remedy for curbing stress and cortisol surge.
Turmeric remedies a wide range of health problems, not just weight issues. It is most valued in treating diabetes, cancer, anemia and cardiovascular diseases among others. It possesses a bitter, earthy and peppery yet musky flavor. It is the distinct flavor that gives curry its signature taste and aroma. Turmeric is more popularly sold in its ground form than the rhizome.
You can consume turmeric as tea if you are okay with its flavor. Simply boil water and add a dash of turmeric into it and some cinnamon powder or stick. This duo is a powerful weight buster that flushes fat and maintains the body’s function.
Some people who are not very fond of its flavor may take turmeric milk instead. You can add half a teaspoon of turmeric powder to hot milk and take it before bedtime.
Turmeric is a spice that has many health benefits, but it also has some contraindications that can cause harmful effects. You should be careful if you are taking blood thinners, diabetes drugs, have GERD, gallstones, hormone-sensitive conditions, iron deficiency, or are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Ginseng (Panax ginseng) is a medicinally important plant that is effective against many ailments. It is an all-healing herb that holistically helps the whole body. It possesses superior medicinal properties so much so people are warned against its excessive consumption.
Ginseng is associated with many names found in various regions but usually pertains to Korean ginseng. It is native to Asia and used for hundreds of years in Traditional Chinese Medicine. It is valued mostly for its aphrodisiac property.
One of its most notable benefits is its effectiveness in suppressing appetite. The hunger hormone triggers cravings, causing a person to eat more than necessary. Taking ginseng curbs the hunger hormone.
Ginseng also increases the body’s metabolic activity against excessive carbohydrate intake. It metabolizes carbs faster and prevents fat deposits. It also regulates blood sugar levels and increases the body’s anti-glucose metabolism.
Korean ginseng is rich in antioxidants against oxidative stress and debilities. It reduces physical and mental stress to overcome fatigue and improve blood circulation.
Korean Ginseng Tea
To take Korean ginseng for weight loss, boil its dried roots in a cup of water. Strain and drink the decoction twice a day for better results. Do not take the tea for more than 3 months.
Ginseng is not intended for excessive and long-term use. It can induce euphoria and affect the mental state. So avoid taking ginseng more than necessary. It is also not advisable for the following group of people: taking blood thinning medication, breast cancer history, autoimmune disease, bipolar disorder, fever, sore throat.
Losing weight has become a struggle for many people. Some result in taking food supplements that are often more detrimental than beneficial for health. Shedding weight is a slow and steady process, but nothing can make you lose several pounds at once.
Plants and herbs are the natural ways that can help speed up the process. But then again, these metabolic herbs only work well when accompanied by a healthy lifestyle. So, mind your plate, get moving, and make use of these herbs to see better weight loss results!