Can Cucumber Melt Belly Fat?
Weight loss, especially around the belly, can be a daunting challenge for many. Cucumber can be your friend in this battle by combating possible underlying causes like bloating, water retention, constipation. Thanks to its high water and fiber content, zero fat, and low caloric content. Try it out as a raw snack or juice with lemon, ginger, and aloe vera as added ingredients.
It’s no secret that losing belly fat isn’t easy. But what if cucumbers could help? These refreshing veggies are low in calories, making them a stellar detox treatment. And since they’re exceptionally filling, they might be just what you need to reach your weight-loss goals. Who knew?
A “Spare Tire” Problem
Belly fat (“spare tire”) gets a lot of attention thanks to its potential health risks. It’s been linked to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and even cancer.1 Thankfully, losing those extra inches doesn’t mean you need to lose your mind, too.
To understand how to combat tummy fat, you need to know what you’re dealing with. Sometimes, the bulge around the belly may just be bloating or water retention. This can happen because of constipation, food intolerance, overeating, bacterial irritation, or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), among other things.2
Other times, that “tire” may be exactly what it looks like – excess weight or fat. It tends to accumulate with age, as the metabolic rate for both men and women declines over time. And since belly fat has a sensitivity to hormonal balance, it can be especially tricky to lose until the underlying problem is fixed. Plus, for women, the body typically holds onto belly fat after pregnancy and during menopause. Talk about complicated! The average American lifestyle doesn’t help, either. It’s full of processed foods and chronic nutritional overload, marked by eating too much. These factors overwhelm the body, eventually slowing down metabolism.3 It’s basically a recipe for belly fat.
How Can Cucumbers Help?
To fight belly fat, you definitely need something that’s low in both fat and calories. That’s why cucumber, which is rich in fiber and minerals, might be the answer to trimming your waist once and for all. To top it off, it can work in more ways than one.
1. Detox And Cut The Bloating
To alleviate the bloated look around your tummy, the body needs to continuously flush out toxins. This is where cucumber seeds come in. They act as a diuretic, helping pass urine and flushing out excess water and toxins. This can help reduce bloating and tighten your stomach muscles. Unsurprisingly, these awesome diuretic properties are well-acknowledged by Ayurveda practitioners.4
2. Ease Constipation
Any indigestion or constipation can add to that pesky bloating. Fortunately, cucumber can help remedy this, thanks to its high water and fiber content. A diet rich in raw cucumber can also keep the gut clean and free from constipation.5
3. Soothe Stomach Irritation
Gastric ulcers can cause unpleasant bloating in the stomach area.6 Cucumber, however, is a demulcent. This means it can soothe inflammation and can ease stomach lining irritations. Which is why Unani medicine, a form of alternative medicine, uses cucumbers to help ease and treat gastric ulcers.7
4. Offer A Fat-Free Energy Source
Studies show that successful fat and weight loss depends on fat intake and not necessarily overall calories. Cucumber happens to have zero fat and low calories. So, even if you’ve already eaten and are still craving a snack, cucumber is an excellent choice no matter the time of the day. Just don’t add a cheesy dip!8
5. Cut Lipid Levels And Lower Blood Glucose
Cucumber might even improve cholesterol levels by lowering total cholesterol and decreasing triglycerides. An animal study found that cucumber extracts brought down total cholesterol by 29 percent in test subjects. Plus, LDL (“bad”) cholesterol dropped by 86 percent and triglycerides by 72 percent. It’s pretty impressive. The ethanol extract of cucumbers also significantly reduced blood glucose levels. Researchers linked the antihyperglycemic and cholesterol-lowering effects to the saponins and flavonoids in the cucumber.9 But why does that matter? Well, belly fat has been associated with an increased risk of diabetes. Keeping your sugar levels in check might actually be able to lower your risk.
Cucumber Combination Ideas
Cucumber, when consumed by itself, can keep the system clean and light. And while you’re at it, a few inches can be knocked off your belly. Now, let’s take a look at how cucumbers can be enhanced with other veggies and herbs.
A good way to pack in the power of several nutritional goodies in one dish is to juice it up. Nutritionists and Ayurvedic practitioners alike recommend a juice detox to cleanse regularly. It can also kick-start your weight-loss journey. Cucumber juice is often a star in these detox drinks. Looking for some ideas? Try this popular combo: cucumber, lemon juice, grated ginger, aloe vera juice, and cilantro. Here’s why this combination makes total sense.
- Lemon and other citrus fruits can increase the body’s metabolic rate, helping in weight loss and maintenance. It’s even patented!10
- Ginger, in several studies, has proven to have very beneficial effects in weight loss. Ginger fires up the metabolism. The antioxidants in ginger also fight inflammation in the digestive tract, keeping digestion running smoothly.11
- Aloe vera can reduce lipid levels. This aids in weight loss and stops the negative effects of excess blood fat, like clogged arteries. It also stimulates the metabolic rate, which helps for the consumption of more energy. This process stabilizes and reduces the body mass index (BMI).12
Together, these ingredients make a potent weight-loss drink that works from the inside – on the digestive system, metabolism, and blood lipids.
Weight loss, especially around the belly, can be a daunting challenge for many. Cucumber can be your friend in this battle, thanks to its high water content, low caloric content, and metabolic kick-start. Try it out as a raw snack or in a combo juice. Your waistline will thank you!
References [ + ]
|1.||↑||Belly fat boosts risk of dying of heart disease. Harvard Health Publications.|
|2.||↑||Abdominal bloating. US National Library of Medicine.|
|3.||↑||Robbins, James. “Why AMPK Levels Decline.” Life Extension Magazine, 2014.|
|4.||↑||Changade, Jayashree V., and Anil H. Ulemale. “RICH SOURCE OF NEUTRACEUTICLE: CUCUMIS SATIVUS (CUCUMBER).” International Journal of Ayurveda and Pharma Research 3, no. 7 (2015).|
|5.||↑||Rahman, A. H. M. M., M. Anisuzzaman, Ferdous Ahmed, A. K. M. Rafiul Islam, and A. T. M. Naderuzzaman. “Study of nutritive value and medicinal uses of cultivated cucurbits.” Journal of Applied Sciences Research 4, no. 5 (2008): 555-558.|
|6.||↑||Peptic Ulcers. University of Maryland Medical Center.|
|7.||↑||Jamal, Anwar, Aisha Siddiqui, A. Tajuddin, and M. A. Jafri. “A review on gastric ulcer remedies used in Unani System of Medicine.” Nat Prod Rad 5, no. 2 (2006): 153-59.|
|8.||↑||Kendall, Anne, David A. Levitsky, Barbara J. Strupp, and Lauren Lissner. “Weight loss on a low-fat diet: consequence of the imprecision of the control of food intake in humans.” The American journal of clinical nutrition 53, no. 5 (1991): 1124-1129.|
|9.||↑||Sharmin, R., M. R. I. Khan, Most A. Akhtar, A. Alim, M. A. Islam, A. S. M. Anisuzzaman, and M. Ahmed. “Hypoglycemic and hypolipidemic effects of cucumber, white pumpkin and ridge gourd in alloxan induced diabetic rats.” Journal of Scientific Research 5, no. 1 (2012): 161-170.|
|10.||↑||Jones, Dennis. “Regulation of appetite, body weight and athletic function with materials derived from citrus varieties.” U.S. Patent 6,224,873, issued May 1, 2001.|
|11.||↑||Hasani-Ranjbar, Shirin, Neda Nayebi, Bagher Larijani, and Mohammad Abdollahi. “A systematic review of the efficacy and safety of herbal medicines used in the treatment of obesity.” World journal of gastroenterology: WJG 15, no. 25 (2009): 3073.|
|12.||↑||Vogler, B. K., and E. Ernst. “Aloe vera: a systematic review of its clinical effectiveness.” Br J Gen Pract 49, no. 447 (1999): 823-828.|