5 Natural Ways to Get Trim
Try these natural solutions for your diet.
As spring approaches, if you’d like to shed some pounds and get an energy boost, a number of natural products can help with weight loss and well-being. Dr. Layli Harandi, a naturopathic physician who practices with Diagnostic and Medical Specialists of Greenwich, has some thoughtful advice.
1. Fantastic Fish
Many of us know them as those funny little fish in a can, but fresh, wild-caught anchovies (and sardines), provide all kinds of nutrients, including proteins and essential fatty acids. And unlike other fish, they are low in mercury.
“It’s just about the most perfect food,” says doctor Harandi. She recommends dressing them with parsley, lemon and olive oil—one way they are traditionally served in the Mediterranean countries where they are a diet staple.
2. The Perfect Nut
Dr. Harandi also notices an increase in patients who come to her with a host of seasonal allergies, with coughs and sinus infections much more common these days. And, while many people worry about their calorie count, just a small quantity of tree nuts—specifically, walnuts—have many beneficial properties, including help in lessening these symptoms.
"Walnuts are great to add to your diet. They contain lots of vitamin E, which blocks histamine release, as well as being a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids,” says Harandi. One ounce of walnuts on a daily basis—just about 180 calories for 14 halves—makes a healthy addition to your diet.
3. Effective Cleanses
“Cleanses are great for two reasons,” says Harandi. “They give your immune system a break, and work to detox your liver.” If properly done, weight loss is another desirable benefit. Dr. Harandi recommends juices consisting of vegetables such as cucumbers, beets and ginger, along with a consistent protein intake of nuts, seeds such as quinoa, and egg whites.
“Juicing, along with protein intake, is also beneficial to people with auto-immune diseases, such as Hashimoto's thyroiditis, and Crohn's disease,” notes Dr. Harandi.
This mineral, dispensed in capsule form or by injection, can be a great metabolism booster, particularly for those who are highly insulin sensitive; it helps burn sugar and turn it into energy. The right dose and the purity of the mineral are important; Dr. Harandi advises you consult a nutritional specialist or your physician.
“Impure compounds can cause an allergic reaction in some people,” she notes, “and you need to purchase chromium from a reputable source.”
There are forms of chromium that cause DNA damage, but Chromium picolinate is the form that is safe and has health benefits that include burning fat, increase muscle mass, improve insulin response, and lower blood sugar.
5. Green Tea
Nutrition specialists have touted the beneficial properties of green tea for years, and Dr. Harandi is no exception. Rich in bioflavonoids, green tea has a long list of pluses, including its capacity to assist with weight loss.
“It helps to burn adipocytes—fat cells,” says the doctor, who also notes that the anti-oxidant-rich beverage possesses anti-carcinogenic effects that are already well publicized. Dr. Harandi recommends that anyone wanting to lose weight and improve energy see a doctor before setting out on a weight-loss regimen. She notes that everyone is different, with unique sensitivities and metabolisms; sometimes an allergy or food sensitivity will interfere with weight loss; her own practice includes complete allergy testing to eliminate substances and foods that may impede a successful diet.
“You definitely are what you eat,” says the doctor.