Experts explain how superfood could help you lose hidden 'visceral' fat

By Solen le Net & Karen Antcliff

If you have over-indulged recently, then your mind might be focused on your waistline and your health.

Fat in its many forms has become a big health issue and experts say that visceral fat has become a major point of concern in light of climbing obesity rates.

However, certain foods may help tackle that dangerous "unseen" fat, according to research reported by the Express.

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Visceral fat is particularly harmful because it releases dangerous chemicals that are notorious for hiking the risk of a heart attack.

Fortunately, one sweet fruit could stave off trouble by producing two hormones known to melt the dangerous lipids.

Unlike subcutaneous fat - the fat you see and feel under your skin - visceral fat is invisible to the eye because it is lodged deep within the abdominal cavity.

Its risk to overall health cannot be overstated, however. Early death is one of many complications linked to the condition. Fortunately, some studies have found a fruit to be instrumental in ridding the body of the dangerous abdominal fat.

Visceral fat is generally understood as the result of hormonal imbalances and genetics.

Because the fat cells that sit in the body’s midsection are biologically active, visceral fat disrupts the normal balance and functioning of hormones.

The lipids are notorious for releasing damaging chemicals that increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, by harming the sensitivity of cells to insulin and clotting.

What you can do about it

Fortunately, growing evidence suggests that strawberries may help.

The benefits of eating fibrous foods such as fruit for visceral fat loss are well-established.

Soluble fibre, which generally consists of beta-glucan and glucomannan, mixes with water to form a gel-like substance that slows the speed at which the stomach releases digested food into the gut.

This is partly why the soluble fibre found in strawberries can help belly fat loss.

One body of research, by the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Centre, established last year that eating more soluble fibre from fruit led to reductions in visceral fat.

In fact, the study found that for every 10-gram increase in soluble fibre eaten per day, visceral fat adiposity reduced by 3.7 per cent over five years.

An increase in moderate activity, on the other hand, resulted in a 7.4 per cent decrease in visceral fat over the same period of time.

Strawberries are believed to be particularly beneficial for weight loss because they boost the production of leptin and adiponectin, two fat-burning hormones that also suppress appetite.

Adiponectin acts as a buffer against visceral fat due to its insulin-sensitising effect.

Leptin, on the other hand, is believed to play a key role in body fat distribution.

The American Dietetic Association adds that the fruit might help with weight loss by stimulating metabolism.

What’s more, a study conducted by the Department of Nutrition, at the University of California, found that regular consumption of strawberries may counterbalance the negative effects of a high-fat meal.

Researchers attributed these effects to the fruit's antioxidants, namely anthocyanin.

In fact, strawberries feature among the top 10 fruits for their antioxidant effects, helping to protect against stroke, cancer and high blood pressure.

These powerful antioxidants have been shown to lower LDL cholesterol and triglycerides in countless studies.

A host of epidemiological studies also associated regular intake of anthocyanin with improved weight maintenance, as well as neuroprotection.

To reap the benefits of strawberries, experts recommend eating three or more servings each week.

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