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Want a flat stomach in time for summer? Dr MacMillan and Mitchell-Paterson uncover the top 10 bona-fide belly flatteners to include in your eating routine
The best waist-whittling foods contain fibre to banish the bloat, antioxidants to boost your abs routine’s effectiveness and protein to help maintain a healthy metabolism.
These delicious and versatile nuts contain filling protein and fibre, not to mention vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant. They're also a good source of magnesium, a mineral your body requires to produce energy, build and maintain muscle tissue, and regulate blood sugar.
Cooling and diuretic, cucumber is good to eat when your tummy feels like a tightened drum. It can help to relieve fluid retention and its fibre-rich skin is great for digestion.
A great source of protein that is low in both total and saturated fat. Turkey has high iron levels and is a good source of the vitamins B, B1, B6 and zinc, which have been found to keep blood cholesterol low, boost the immune system and regulate blood pressure.
Being pretty close to a complete food, eggs contain numerous vitamins and minerals (primarily in the yolk). Go for omega-3 enriched. Only 1.5 grams saturated fat per egg, so they’re unjustly labelled a ‘bad’ food. Eggs have a low glycemic index and are very filling. Mitchell-Paterson recommends having an egg for a snack to curb the 3:30-itis and chocolate cravings.
Fibre-rich and provides many additional micronutrients including potassium, magnesium, folate and vitamin C. Avocado oil has a very high smoke point and is therefore a great choice for cooking. It is quite expensive but this is definitely a case for quality over quantity. Use it sparingly and a little will go a long way.
What do blackberries, blueberries and acai berries all have in common? They all help you squeeze your way back into your skinny jeans. Studies have shown that people wanting to lose belly fat should opt for fruit that is blue or red in colour, such as cherries, red grapes and many types of berries. It is the chemical responsible for giving these fruits their colour – anthocyanins – that help burn abdominal fat.
Extremely rich in the antioxidants carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin, which promote eye health, reducing the risk of age-related macular degeneration and cataracts. Lutein is also thought to play a role in preventing colon cancer. Also a fabulous source of the better known carotenoid, beta-carotene, which, in addition to its antioxidant potential, can be converted to vitamin A in the body. Very good source of dietary fibre, vitamins C, E, K, and B6, and thiamin, riboflavin, folate, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, copper and manganese. Good source of niacin and zinc.
Provides a high dietary source of calcium and low GI carbohydrates. It is a good source of phosphorus and B group vitamins. Probiotic yoghurts may also help with the digestive processes.
9. Oily fish
Oily fish such as salmon, trout and tuna are the best sources of omega-3 fats, which are crucial for optimal health. Oily fish is low in saturated fats and contain essential amino acids and are a good source of iodine, iron and zinc.
While it’s not technically a food, a lack of water in your diet could be the one thing standing in your way of a flat tummy. Bloating is something that effects many women, and the problem is often worsened, sometimes even instigated, by a lack of fluids in the system. Drinking water will also help to flush toxins out of your system, curb hunger, improve digestive health and reduce fluid retention, all which help to leave your tummy looking flatter.
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