Aside from exercise, taking the right vitamins and nutrients can also help lose belly weight. As you cut back calories in your food intake, you may leave your body with a lack of nutrition. Hence, vitamins are a great way to fill your body with dietary gaps, curb cravings, boost metabolism and increase your body strength for more energy during workouts.
You can consume many micronutrients, especially the following seven most helpful for weight loss.
1. B vitamins
B vitamins primarily help fully metabolise food into fuel for the body, especially carbohydrates, protein and fats. It can enhance brain function, increase energy levels and improve cellular health and function . The B vitamins are a group of vitamins combined that include thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), pyridoxine (B6), biotin (B7), folate (B9) and cobalamin (B12).
Among B vitamins, thiamine (vitamin B1) and cobalamin (vitamin B12) are significantly helpful in reducing weight. For instance, thiamine functions in the body cells to convert carbohydrates into energy. Having a low level of thiamine can disrupt your metabolism and may not function at its best, causing you to lose weight much even harder. On the other hand, cobalamin aids in producing red blood cells and carrying oxygen to muscles which is a critical factor in increasing strength for intense workout sessions.
You can find B vitamins in a range of foods, such as bananas, beans, eggs, lentils, milk, lean meat, whole grains and potatoes.
2. Vitamin D
Vitamin D is easy to acquire as all you need is to expose yourself to the sun, and bingo, you can reap all the health benefits it offers. Having enough vitamin D in the body can strengthen your bones and balance your hormonal levels. Surprisingly, some evidence also suggests that vitamin D can help decrease body fat . It happens by altering fat cells’ storage and formation and increasing serotonin and testosterone levels.
In fact, you are at a high risk of obesity when you have a low level of vitamin D. Research discovers that obese people have lower than normal levels of serum vitamin D. Hence, in the 2011 study, the researchers looked at supplementing vitamin D with calcium to overweight and obese adults. At the end of the research, the researchers concluded that the participants who took supplements lost significantly more stomach fat than people who did not . Additionally, vitamin D is also critical to a healthy immune system, so it is really a must-have while you try to lose some of your weight, resulting in lesser diseases and injuries acquired.
Although you can acquire vitamin D from the sun, some people can’t still have it due to geographic location where the sun is not always shining. Hence, taking supplements is recommended, which also can help prevent depression.
While taking vitamin D supplements is an option, there are also some best food sources around that you can add to your fundamental diet, such as cod liver oil, egg yolks, fish, fortified cereals, fortified milk, sardines, tuna, salmon and yoghurt.
Iron produces energy from nutrients and carries oxygen to the body cells. Take note that the more oxygen your muscles have, the more fat is burned – a great way to boost your weight loss. It also plays a role in aiding your body to create energy from nutrients.
When you have low iron levels, you are at risk of iron deficiency anemia, a common nutritional deficiency. Some of the usual symptoms of iron deficiency are fatigue, weakness and low energy levels. Aside from anaemia, your athletic performance may also be affected. It reduces physical endurance and strength, making it hard for you to do physical activity.
Taking iron supplements is ideal for people who are prone to iron deficiency, but you can always add its best food sources to your diet, such as lean meats, shellfish and beans.
Magnesium is multi-functional for the body, and one of its best benefits is energy production, muscle strength and flexibility. This essential mineral can serve as a cofactor in more than 300 enzyme systems, which are primarily responsible for a wide range of reactions in the body, such as controlling blood glucose levels, regulating blood pressure, strengthening bones and keeping the nervous system functioning smoothly.
Having low levels of magnesium can cause muscle cramps, body pain and muscle tightness. However, you can quickly boost your magnesium level just by eating a handful of nuts on hand with you, but they are high in calories, so just regulate eating them. Other food sources of magnesium are seeds, legumes and leafy green vegetables .
5. Green tea
There is a reason why green tea is the first in mind when the conversation is about the relationship between weight loss and tea. Among the many kinds of tea, this mild, bittersweet variety has the most scientific research to back up its potential weight loss benefits.
Green tea has been touted as a weight-loss aid for a reason; this is because of its two main contents – catechins and caffeine that have stimulatory effects. The idea is that stimulants can increase metabolic rate.
The meta-analysis of studies looked at the use of green tea or green tea extracts in reducing weight and discovered that green tea preparations exert a small weight-loss effect in overweight participants .
In another study involving 1,200 Taiwanese men and women, the researchers found that the participants who drank two cups of green tea every day for more than ten years appeared to have a lower percentage of fat in the body and a smaller waist, in comparison to non-regular green tea drinkers. The researchers simply observed the link between drinking green tea and having a smaller waist. .
Green tea’s calorie-burning effects are found to stem from the combined effects of EGCG and caffeine – these two have been established to work synergistically, according to various research. Also, studies have revealed that caffeine should be present with EGCG to help in losing weight because a stimulated nervous system is required for optimal results.
In another study conducted related to green tea’s link to weight loss, it was found that the tea should have 80 to 300 milligrams (mg) of caffeine per day to be effective in reducing weight. The claim was derived after reviewing 15 clinical trials published in Nutrición Hospitalaria in June 2017 .
6. Vitamin C
Here’s another powerful vitamin and nutrient – vitamin C, which can help your body in terms of optimising blood vessel production, cartilage and muscle and bone collagen. Vitamin C can also protect your cells from any damage that may happen, as too much damage to the cells can cause the body to accelerate aging. And, as much scientific research suggests, the nutrient may be one of the effective vitamins that can aid with weight loss.
Research suggests that consuming enough content of vitamin C may slow age-related lean body mass loss whilst aiding the body to act more effectively to oxidise fat. Preserved lean body mass has a positive effect on metabolism and, therefore, overall body composition and weight.
Plus, having the proper amount of vitamin C levels has been associated with lessening the circulating stress hormones in the body after a stressful situation. When your stress hormones are elevated, it can significantly increase fat accumulation in the midsection visceral fat; hence, an adequate vitamin C may help to offset the storage of the dangerous fat .
The best food sources rich in vitamin C include fruits such as guava, kiwi, strawberries and oranges; vegetables such as bell peppers, kiwi, broccoli, cantaloupe, Brussels sprouts, spinach and citrus.
In a June 2020 review published by the International Journal of Medical Sciences, it was found that vitamin C supplementation has the potential to lower body weight and waist circumference. Moreover, vitamin C can also be linked to a declining risk for metabolic conditions, including high blood pressure, increased blood sugar and high cholesterol levels .
Setting aside the weight loss aspect, vitamin C is actually essential to get enough of the nutrient for your overall health. According to many health experts, adults must take the following recommended minimum amount of vitamin C:
- People AFAB: should take 75 mg.
- People assigned male at birth (AMAB) should take 90 mg.
Calcium is another essential and vital nutrient that must be regularly consumed to secure a comfortable and healthy life. This nutrient boosts thermogenesis which helps promote healthy metabolic function and supports your body in burning fat.
Losing weight with calcium can be tricky; hence, you should really choose the right food products, as not all with calcium are good for weight loss. Some healthy food sources of calcium are milk, cheese (in low amounts), green leafy veggies, soya drinks with minimal added sugar content and bread.
Ideally, you must eat three servings of low-fat or fat-free dairy products on a daily basis. The mentioned calcium products are proven to help you acquire plenty of calcium, leading to faster weight loss management.
If you are thinking of taking calcium supplements, it must be another brilliant strategy as you can completely avoid consuming unnecessary fats.
Undoubtedly, adding vitamins and nutrients to your diet can help you with your weight loss journey. However, you must also ensure to do physical activity and establish healthy lifestyle choices to see better results.