When the time comes to get in shape and burn off some stomach fat, picking the right foods to incorporate into your weight loss regimen proves crucial. Even if an item appears healthy on the surface, it might hold some nutritional secrets that hamper weight loss around your midsection. When you have to devise a new weekly menu designed to burn fat, bananas are one of the best foods to melt belly fat fast.
According to the Mayo Clinic, we have a ton of reasons to love bananas, especially when we need to diet. The fruit has a lower GI impact than many other fruits, provides a solid amount of fiber to keep us feeling full, and serves up the perfect cocktail of vitamins and minerals with virtually no fat. This fruit really shines when you need to shed some weight off your midsection, and knowing exactly how they affect your body helps us form the perfect attack strategy to melt belly fat.
To get the lowdown on how bananas help us shave off some unwanted midsection poundage, we talked to a handful of dietitians and medical experts to learn exactly what happens when we incorporate bananas into your daily eating plan. Read on to learn how bananas can help melt stubborn belly fat you've been wanting to get rid of, and for even more healthy weight loss tips, be sure to check out our essential list of Eating Habits to Lose Abdominal Fat As You Age, Say Dietitians.
Bananas increase our gut flora.
When you need to start watching your weight and burn off some belly fat, getting your internal flora balanced can start the entire weight loss journey off right. Bananas do just that by helping introduce good bacteria to our stomachs and getting our bodies prepared to lose some weight.
"Bananas are high in prebiotic fibers and have been shown to increase the number [of] bifidobacteria in the gut," says Kate Netz, RDN, LD. "Research shows that healthy levels of bifidobacteria can aid in weight loss and improve metabolic health."
For more insight into this underrated fruit, make sure to check out 17 Amazing Things That Happen to Your Body When You Eat Bananas.
Bananas can curb cravings.
"When you work or live in a stressful environment, which is now the case of most Americans, your cortisol levels are high, which makes you crave sugar-dense food," says Dr. Sandra El Hajj. "This is one of the main reasons why people start gaining weight and eating uncontrollably sweets and candies. Bananas help prevent these cravings by first offering the body high Magnesium levels that can help control your stress levels as well as make you feel full."
To learn more about how to avoid cravings when dieting, check out What Your Cravings Say About You—And How To Crush Them.
Boost your fiber intake.
"Bananas are an excellent source of fiber, and each banana contains a high amount compared with the number of calories," says Dr. Don Grant."Fiber takes a long time for the body to suggest, which can help you to feel full for longer. By including a lot of fiber in your diet it will stop you from feeling hungry and reduce the amount that you're eating."
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Improves insulin sensitivity.
You may have heard that a banana's sugar content can do some damage, especially when you need to cut excess carbs out of your diet. While bananas do contain some sugar, they also help improve your insulin sensitivity in dieters who don't have diabetes, making it a great deterrent to the disease while helping us achieve the nutritional balance we need to shed belly fat.
"Bananas improve insulin sensitivity, which helps the body process glucose more efficiently, thereby reducing weight," says Trista Best, RD for Balance One Supplements. "Bananas are an excellent source of resistant starch, which has a positive impact on insulin resistance."
Makes our exercise regimen easier.
Nothing can work stomach fat off like the proper set of physical exercises, but if we don't supply our body with what it needs, our efforts could be for nothing. Thanks to bananas, we get the proper nutrition to keep our workout regimens moving and balanced, ensuring some real results.
"Your workouts may be more efficient due to fewer muscle cramps as well," says Best. "Muscle cramps can be associated with an electrolyte imbalance, especially from potassium, and bananas are packed with this nutrient."
Reduce absorption of sugar.
While yellow bananas provide certain benefits, unripe bananas should really stand in the spotlight as you work on flattening your stomach.
"Unripe bananas are high in resistant starch and low sugar," Dr. Madathupalayam Madhankumar said. "This starch is resistant to [digestion] and acts like fiber. It will reduce the absorption of sugar as well. Thus it helps with weight loss."
"The greener the banana, the higher its resistant starch content (it turns into simple sugars as it ripes)," Silvia Carli, RD added. "Resistant starches help control carbohydrates metabolism improving blood sugar control and contribute to digestive health as they feed the gut bacteria in our gut. You may also want to know that green bananas can be pretty bitter and are definitely less sweet. Both green and ripe bananas contain the same amount of vitamins and minerals."