6 Foods Your Body Needs to Shed Fat: A Doctor Explains

Written by Lori Shemek, Ph.D.

Are you doing everything to lose weight but without success? The scale stays the same or keeps climbing upwards? Do you have belly fat? You are not alone. In fact, the majority of people in this country feel your frustration.

What a lot of people don't realize is that the problem and the frustration with resistant weight gain often lies within the liver.

I'm a doctor and leading fat-cell researcher who helps people conquer their weight issues for good. What a lot of people don't realize is that the problem and the frustration with resistant weight gain often lies within the liver. Many overweight women and men are walking around with a fatty, congested liver and do not realize it. As unappetizing as it sounds, a fatty liver is the result of an accumulation of excess fat in the liver cells.

So how is the liver implicated in weight gain? Our liver is our #1 fat-burning organ in the body. If our liver is clogged and congested with fat, it can’t do its job properly — and it gets easily clogged due to the wrong food choices we make.

When we gain weight and eat a diet high in refined carbohydrates like sugar, high fructose corn syrup, fructose, white flour, white rice, and other junky processed foods, this creates a direct path to a fatty liver. This is because these "foods" trigger the fat-promoting, fat-storing hormone insulin which gets dumped easily into the liver.

Your liver must be functioning optimally for your metabolic and fat-burning ability to be normal and healthy.

Our excess fat triggers inflammation throughout the body and in particular, belly fat which is even more inflammatory. The fat (including the dangerous belly fat) in our body is our largest endocrine organ actively sending messages to either release fat or store more fat and hold on to it. This inflammatory fat takes place in the liver as well. The liver becomes injured and as a result, is not functioning optimally.

Your liver must be functioning optimally for your metabolic and fat-burning ability to be normal and healthy. The good news is that it is easy to change a fatty liver to a healthy fat-burning liver, since the liver regenerates very easily. By adding the six foods below, you'll be on your way to kicking weight-loss frustration to the curb and enjoying optimal health. Here are the six foods that will help you unclog your liver so you can lose weight:

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1. Maple Syrup

Pure maple syrup is rich in polyphenolic antioxidants, as well as a slew of vitamins and minerals that help to reduce liver inflammation and fatty liver. Consume real maple syrup where you can such as on protein or buckwheat pancakes, butternut squash, hot oatmeal, applesauce or as a sweetener to a smoothie.

2. Coffee

If you like your cup of morning Joe, you are in luck. Coffee contains antioxidants and caffeine that have a beneficial effect upon the liver. The caffeine in coffee plays a central role in helping to reduce inflammation in the liver as well as having a healing and protective antioxidant effect.

3. Fish

Omega-3 fatty acids in fish such as wild salmon, sardines, chia seeds or purified fish oil supplements (has a more therapeutic effect) help to reduce the buildup of fat in the liver cells, and protect the liver from the damaging effects caused by weight gain and obesity. Eat cold-water fatty fish at least two to three times a week, along with a daily purified fish oil supplement (or if vegetarian, an algae-derived DHA supplement).

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4. Artichokes

When it comes to choosing a veggie to help your liver shed those extra pounds you may be carrying, look no further than the artichoke. Artichokes help protect the liver from damage, lowers and/or heals liver fat accumulation so it can do its job of removing toxins as well as to burn fat effectively. Incorporate artichokes into your diet at least once a week. Artichokes are easy to eat once they are steamed tender. Simply pull off the outer petals one at a time. Dip the white fleshy part into your favorite dip, like olive oil mixed with lemon and parsley.

5. Green Tea

Green tea has the powerful effect of weight loss as well as fatty liver benefits. The average cup of green tea contains the phytochemical EGCG that has beneficial effects on fatty liver and fat metabolism. Drink two to three cups daily for weight loss and liver health.

6. Dandelion

Yes, this pesky weed you find in your yard. Dandelions contain compounds that help increase bile production and flow to the liver. This results in increased fat metabolism in our body, and it improves the liver function. Add dandelion leaves to your salad, as a tea or simply as an addition to soups or stews.

Ready to learn more about how to unlock the power of food to heal your body, prevent disease & achieve optimal health? Register now for our FREE web class with nutrition expert Kelly LeVeque.

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