According to recent scientific studies, antioxidants may be able to aid weight loss efforts by fighting fat at the cellular level. Scientists in Taiwan discovered that fat cells exposed to antioxidants had lower levels of triglycerides, a fatty substance that increases risk of heart disease, metabolic syndrome and other harmful diseases associated with obesity. [Hsu, J Agric Food Chem]
What are Antioxidants?
Antioxidants are natural compounds that help fight oxidative stress caused by free radicals, dangerous molecules that contribute to obesity, cancer, and other chronic diseases. Antioxidants are able to neutralize free radicals and prevent them from doing harm to the body. Obesity has been linked with oxidative stress, so antioxidants may be particularly helpful in combating the disease.
Where Are Antioxidants Found?
Fresh fruits and vegetables are the best source of antioxidants, and colorful produce is thought to be especially rich in these valuable compounds. Dark green, leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale are packed with antioxidants. Other excellent colorful options include tomatoes, carrots, bell peppers, and citrus fruit. If you are trying to lose weight, you may also consider small amounts of more calorie-dense yet antioxidant-rich foods. When consumed in moderation, foods such as nuts, green tea, and red wine can supplement your weight loss efforts.
Why do Antioxidants Aid Weight Loss?
Antioxidant-rich foods will help you lose weight for several reasons. Firstly, fresh fruits and vegetables are low in calories and high in fiber, which will help you stay full for longer. Secondly, scientific evidence suggests that the antioxidants within those foods are inhibiting fat cells from producing harmful chemicals that contribute to weight gain. By adopting a diet of antioxidant-rich foods, your body will be taking in fewer calories, forcing it to consume fat reserves. Additionally, the antioxidants in the food will be fighting fat cells rather than making them grow larger.
Hsu , CL. “Effects of flavonoids and phenolic acids on the inhibition of adipogenesis in 3T3-L1 adipocytes.” J Agric Food Chem 55.21 (2007): 8404-10. Print.
Valdecantos , Valdecantos, and et al. -. “Obesity and oxidative stress: role of antioxidant supplementation.” Rev Invest Clin 61.2 (2009): 127-139. Print.
“Antioxidants: MedlinePlus.” National Library of Medicine – National Institutes of Health. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Jan. 2013. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/antioxidants.html