Dr Zoe Williams discusses visceral fat on This Morning
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Visceral fat, which is sometimes referred to as the middle-aged spread, encases the vital organs that sit around the abdominal area. The condition is often brushed off as an inevitable fact of ageing, but it is a key player in a variety of life-threatening health problems. A good starting point for bringing visceral fat under control is diet, and one fruit in particular has powerful effects.
Growing research shows the nutritional benefits of blueberries help improve circulation, strengthen the immune system and help maintain healthy blood sugar levels.
In one study conducted on rats, researchers found blueberries could also help burn the dangerous fat that sits around the body’s midsection.
For their experiment, researchers plumped up the rodents before feeding them blueberries for 90 days.
Compared to the control rodents, those who ate blueberries lost a substantial amount of abdominal fat.
READ MORE: Visceral fat: The warm drink that ‘torches’ the dangerous body fat during sleep
Researchers believe this could be the result of antioxidants influencing how glucose and fat are metabolised.
E. Mitchell Seymour, from the University of Michigan’s Cardioprotection Research Laboratory, said in a press release: “Some measurements were changed by blueberry even if the rates were on a high-fat diet.”
By influencing the genes that regulate fat burning and stores, blueberries could also help lower high cholesterol.
Steven Bolling, of the University of Michigan, added: “The benefits of eating fruits and vegetables have been well researched, but our finding in regard to blueberries show the naturally occurring chemicals they contain, such as anthocyanins, show promise in mitigating these health conditions.
A separate line of research found that the fruit may also lower triglycerides and improve blood sugar levels.
Blueberries are widely known for their unmatched antioxidant content.
These flavonoids are particularly efficient at combating inflammation in the body.
Why is visceral fat dangerous?
The formation of visceral fat is caused by hormones and genetics.
The fat cells that sit in the abdominal cavity are biologically active.
This is why visceral fat disrupts the normal balance and functioning of different hormones in the body.
The fat secretes chemicals that increase the risk of cardiovascular disease by damaging the sensitivity of cells to insulin, blood pressure and blood clotting.
In one study, researchers wrote: “Blueberries contain a large number of phytochemicals, including abundant anthocyanin pigments.
“Of their variant phytochemicals, anthocyanins probably make the greatest impact on health functionality.
“Epidemiological studies associate regular, moderate intake of blueberries and/or anthocyanin with reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, death and type 2 diabetes, and with improved weight maintenance and neuroprotection.”
“It is widely agreed that the regular consumption of taste, ripe blueberries can be unconditionally recommended.”
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