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Visceral fat: Turnip greens may boost metabolism and help shed pounds of abdominal fat

Dr Zoe Williams discusses visceral fat on This Morning

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Visceral fat is an infamous cause of low-grade inflammation, which it triggers by secreting toxic substances in the blood. This inflammation is perilous because it damages the arteries leading to the heart, hiking the risk of a heart attack. Burning the fat often requires exercise, but studies suggest that making certain healthful additions to a balanced diet could offer promising results too. Some cruciferous vegetables, such as turnip greens, could substantially reduce waist circumference in a matter of weeks.

Turnip greens boast a wealth of health benefits due to their high concentrations of fibre.

It has long been known that increased soluble fibre intake is associated with a decreased rate of accumulated visceral fat.

While the reason for this relationship has been hard to establish, some research has highlighted key biological processes that may shed light on the situation.

During digestion, soluble fibre is broken down through the fermentation process, which triggers the production of short-chain fatty acids.

READ MORE: Visceral fat: Foods to target brown fat and reduce inflammation says study – what to eat?

These types of fat are instrumental in the reduction of belly fat, by increasing fat burning and decreasing storage of lipids.

Being one of the vegetables with the highest fibre content means turnip greens could facilitate weight loss.

The Dr Axe website states: “With plenty of finer and just 34 calories per serving, turnips make an excellent addition to a weight loss diet.

“Fibre moves slowly through the digestive tract, slowing the emptying of your stomach to promote satiety and keep you feeling fuller for longer.”

But turnip greens also qualify as cruciferous vegetables, which are rich in folate vitamin C, E and K – all key nutrients to incorporate for weight loss.

In 2015, research published in the medical journal Plos Medicine highlighted the promising effects of cruciferous vegetable intake on fat reduction.

The study showed that daily servings of cruciferous vegetables was linked with 0.80 pounds of weight loss over a period of four years.

What’s more, additional research has shown that increasing intake of cruciferous vegetables such as turnip greens can decrease the risk of cancer, obesity, diabetes, heart disease and overall mortality.

These types of greens are also known to boost metabolism, which can lead to overall lower weight.

The metabolism-boosting effects of the plant have been put down to its concentrations of B vitamins, which play a key role in hormonal and enzymatic processes.

Research has shown that these nutrients can have a stabilising effect of hormones and help ensure organs are functioning properly.

Additional benefits of turnip greens include the maintenance of nerve health and regulation of blood pressure.

These benefits have been put down to high levels of potassium, which is known to have a relaxing effect on blood vessels.

Other ways to lose visceral fat

Staying physically active throughout the day is critical for any form of weight loss, and visceral fat is no exception.

Health bodies recommend engaging in at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise most days to obtain promising results.

Other important factors include getting the right amount of sleep, as studies have shown that sleeping less than five hours a night can lead to significant accumulations of dangerous lipids.

Other overlooked factors that may contribute to the condition may include depression, which has been linked to higher visceral fat accumulation, but not subcutaneous fat.

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