You may think that the only way to reduce belly fat and flatten your stomach is by doing cardio and abdominal exercises. However, there are foods that greatly contribute to the loss of belly fat. The Chinese people have been supplementing their diets with these foods for centuries, creating meals that taste great and have extraordinary health benefits. By taking a few tips from the Chinese, you can be on your way to a leaner, flatter stomach.
Chinese meals are based primarily on vegetables and lean proteins. Vegetables give you vitamins and minerals without the fat, and are especially high in fiber. The body cannot digest fiber; therefore, high-fiber vegetables flush calories out of your system as opposed to absorbing them. Fiber also keeps you satisfied longer, therefore decreasing hunger and how often you need to eat. High-fiber foods include broccoli, spinach and other leafy green vegetables, as well as lima beans, legumes, soybeans, black-eyed peas, lentils and other types of beans. Soy products, such as tofu, which are made of soybeans also will help reduce belly fat.
One common food found in Chinese cuisine is rice. Whole grains, such as brown rice, are an excellent source of fiber, complex carbohydrates and an assortment of vitamins and minerals. According to a study done by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, adults who ate four to seven servings of whole grains a day lost twice as much belly fat as peers who ate refined grains. This might be because whole grains contain high amounts of fiber, which binds to other foods and speeds the digestion of calories.
For centuries, the Chinese have been using green tea for medicinal purposes as a stimulant, diuretic, astringent, and even to improve heart health. However, clinical studies have also found that green tea can increase metabolism and help you burn fat, especially in the stomach area. Green tea is high in polyphenols, a chemical that is credited with having high antioxidant properties. Green tea can be drunk hot or cold, or it can be taken as a vitamin supplement in capsule form. If you don't like tea and hate swallowing vitamins, open the capsule and sprinkle it onto your food. You won't have to taste it, yet you'll still get the stomach-flattening results.
Fish is extremely high in omega-3 and omega-6 polyunsaturated fats, also known as good fats. Types of fish that are especially rich in good fats are salmon, mackerel, tuna, trout, herring and sardines. Not only do these types of fat promote heart health, they also increase metabolism, which helps to burn belly fat. Omega-3 reduces the level of insulin in the body. Higher amounts of insulin promote the use of fat in the body as a form of fuel, which tricks the body into storing fat for this purpose. Chinese use fish in their meals, as well as fish oil and fish sauce in their cooking. If you are not fond of the taste of fish, you can supplement with fish oil capsules from your local health foods store.
Melissa McKean is a freelance writer based in Milwaukee, Wis. McKean has an expertise in web and SEO copywriting and has worked on both B2C and B2B lead generation and e-commerce websites to improve search engine rankings and usability. McKean has a bachelor's degree in advertising from Kent State University.