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It is no secret that increasing exercise and restricting caloric intake are the key elements in any sensible weight-loss strategy. But there is more to the anti-obesity equation than just these basics.
Weight is lost when the body is able to burn calories faster than they are taken in, but its capacity to do this is always contingent on the quality of the nutrients it is supplied with on a daily basis. The human organism needs a high-quality supply of fuel to function at peak efficiency, and this is why shortages of crucial vitamins, minerals, and disease-fighting antioxidants will hinder the ability of our digestive systems to process the food we consume and extract the caloric energy that is bundled up inside of it. At the same time, the contaminants that we soak up when we fill our stomachs with processed junk foods compromise our biochemical integrity even further, as these semi-poisonous substances stimulate our nervous systems, overtax our livers and kidneys, flood our bloodstreams with sugar while hampering insulin production, and put excessive strain on our gastrointestinal tracts.
All in all, bodies denied essential nutrients are inevitably pushed out of balance, sometimes severely so, and metabolic processes are thrown into chaos as a result. What this means is that digestion will move slowly when we want it to work quickly and move fast when we want it to slow down, and our stomachs will constantly send signals to the brain telling it we are hungry when we actually have taken in all the calories we need. Ultimately, all of this confusion and inefficiency will make it impossible to attack our stores of excess fat, as the body is kept occupied trying to handle the empty, ugly calories we are constantly supplying it with in lieu of nutritional gold.
But there is a secret that should give everyone looking to restore his or her body to good working order after years of neglect and abuse reason for hope. While deficiencies in vitamins and minerals are disastrous and must be corrected, in this instance, that old warning about “too much of a good thing” does not apply, not by a long shot. Once you begin to supply your body the types of essential building blocks and health-promoting substances it adores, it will begin to thrive once more, and no matter how much of these fabulous foods you consume the systems of your body will just continue to function more and more efficiently as time passes along. Saturate your cells with nutritional goodness, and your metabolism will speed up, emotional stability will become your default state (eliminating emotionally-motivated binge eating), digestion will commence rapidly and without a hitch, and the excess pounds will start to melt away as the body hums along like a finely-tuned engine flushing away all the contaminants and the fat cells that have been polluting the body for far too long.
And the more wholesome foods you ingest, the more perfectly refined your metabolism will become – and hence, when it comes to great nutrition “too much of a good thing” does not apply, which is where herbs for weight loss enter the picture. For the sake of biochemical transformation, and in support of your nutrition-and-exercise-based campaign to lose weight and regain your fitness and health, you need to include plentiful supplies of herbs that have proven weight loss-promoting ability in your new and improved diet.
Any Enemy Of Fat Is A Friend Of Mine
Much has been written and said about the dense packages of nutrients that many herbs contain. But the ability of these substances to promote weight loss is not as well known, yet nonetheless it is very real and very substantial in some cases. Herbs can promote weight loss directly by speeding the metabolism (or by selectively slowing it when appropriate), suppressing appetite, and cleansing the body of pollutants and impurities that interfere with digestive processes, and they can also ameliorate spontaneous overeating behavior by stabilizing the nervous system, reducing anxiety, counteracting depression, and boosting energy. The latter effects are important because people have a tendency to rely on “comfort foods” to soothe emotional and psychological disquiet, and comfort foods are almost invariably junk foods loaded with sugar, salt, and/or saturated fats. Herbs are like healing salves for bodies that have been wounded by mistreatment and stress, and when consumed on a regular basis as supplements, in tea, or as food flavor enhancers, they will help rejuvenate a wide variety of sputtering biological functions, many of which will provide essential support for any weight loss regimen.
Different sources identify different herbs as being beneficial for weight loss. Of course, physiology varies from individual to individual, so it is perhaps not surprising that there would be disagreement about which herbs work the best for particular purposes.
Nevertheless, there are a number of herbs that have demonstrated an advanced ability to support weight loss efforts for many who consume them, and these include the following:
- Ginseng – a true wonder herb; will jumpstart metabolism, boost energy, reduce fatigue, and help regulate blood sugar levels.
- Dandelion – the leaves of this ubiquitous plant are one of the four most nutritionally dense vegetables on the planet; dandelion detoxifies the blood and cleanses the body while slowing digestion to make a person feel fuller after consuming a healthy meal.
- Ginger root – this herb can really do it all: ginger improves digestion, suppresses appetite, cleanses the kidneys, and purges the gastrointestinal tract of health-compromising impurities.
- Cinnamon – a sweet-tasting package of goodness that effectively regulates blood sugar levels while giving overall metabolism a good swift kick in the pants.
- Mustard – A study carried out at the Oxford Polytechnic Institute in England discovered that one teaspoon of dry mustard can boost the metabolism by as much as 25 percent in some people.
- Flaxseed – when soaked in water and consumed, flaxseed will persist in the stomach for quite some time before being fully digested, delivering its nutrients in a time-release fashion while leaving the tummy feeling nice and full.
- Nettle leaf – a blood-detoxifier extraordinaire, this antioxidant-heavy herb does an outstanding job of healing stressed kidneys and livers.
- Green tea – boosts the metabolism while improving mood and energy levels.
- Cardamom – another high-quality metabolic stimulant that has received praise from many quarters.
- Eleuthero root – also known as Siberian ginseng, this soothing herb regulates the nervous system and helps those consuming it manage stress and anxiety effectively.
- Guarana – another nervous system healer, guarana is also a highly efficient diuretic.
- Guar gum – made from the Indian cluster bean, guar gum leaves a person feeling full and satisfied while offering an excellent nutritional profile.
- Marshmallow root – a great diuretic that reduces inflammation and calms the digestive system (no need to roast it over an open fire, though).
- Fennel seeds – they aid digestion, regulate the appetite, clean out the liver, and boost kidney functioning – the whole shebang, in other words.
- Senna leaf – a natural laxative that will bring steadiness and consistency to gastrointestinal functioning.
- Glucomannan – supports weight loss by delaying the absorption of glucose from the intestine.
- Laminaria – regulates the thyroid gland, which is implicated in much unexplained weight gain.
- Slippery elm bark – does a superb job of removing toxins from the intestines.
The Cure For What Ails
A combination of these herbal elements taken regularly should produce good results for most who aspire to shrink their waistlines; it is just a matter of experimenting to find the proper amalgam of herbs that will deliver the best results for each individual. If you do not want to take a wide variety of oral supplements, one excellent way to increase herbal intake significantly is to concoct a mix of several herbal ingredients and brew them all together in a tea that can be consumed once or twice every day.
But no matter how you choose to ingest them, one thing is clear – if you are interested in slimming down and are determined to make a real effort to meet your weight loss goals, the sooner you begin including some of these herbs in your diet the better off you will be. For your health and your life, herbs for weight loss could be just what the doctor ordered.
(And speaking of doctors, remember to always check with your doctor or other healthcare practitioner before starting any sort of weight-loss plan or healthcare regimen.)