In my last article, I introduced the Adiponectin hormone and why it’s so important. You may have been left wondering, however, what you can do to increase adiponectin. Luckily, there are a whole host of things from diet and lifestyle changes to nutritional and herbal supplements that can help in this regard.
Ways to increase Adiponectin levels:
A balanced diet that includes an abundance of whole foods is important for any healthy lifestyle and can play a major role in influencing adiponectin. Omega-3 fatty acids – found in a number of foods including salmon, mackerel, halibut, tuna, sardines, flax seeds and chia seeds – are beneficial to the body in numerous ways. So, it may not be surprising that they can also help to raise our levels of adiponectin.
Eating a diet high in fiber from fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains can also increase adiponectin. Another class of compounds found in our food, called polyphenols, can also be beneficial. Polyphenols are found in a variety of foods, but some of the more well-known polyphenols include curcumin found in turmeric, resveratrol found in red wine, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) found in green tea, oligonol found in lychee berries and anthocyanins found in a number of foods including dark-colored berries. All of these polyphenols may help to increase levels of adiponectin. There are also many supplements available to support a diet that is low in any of the above mentioned nutrients or phytochemicals.
Irvingia gabonensis: The Magical Herb.
One herb that can have a significant effect on adiponectin is Irvingia gabonensis – also known as African mango. Specifically, it is the seed of the plant that is known to have medicinal effects. Not only has this herb been shown to raise adiponectin, but in one study it also decreased total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, CRP (an inflammation marker), blood glucose and leptin. Along with these metabolic changes, subjects taking Irvingia also had a decrease in body weight, waist circumference and body fat.
No healthy lifestyle list would be complete without the addition of physical activity – the same is true in regards to adiponectin. Exercise, in addition to all its other health benefits, can also raise levels of adiponectin. Between exercise, specific dietary components and at least one herb, we have a variety of ways to increase adiponectin and improve our body’s metabolic profile leading to a decreased risk for heart disease and diabetes. But, of course, before trying any supplements or making any major lifestyle changes, it’s always helpful to talk to your doctor to see what approach will be best for you.