Twenty Herbs and Nutrients that Support Weight Loss
Author: ANCP Date Posted:26 May 2016
Here’s an introduction to our top 20 herbs and nutrients that may support weight loss in healthy people, when used in conjunction with an appropriate diet and exercise program.
- B-group vitamins: The B-complex group of vitamins help the body convert the proteins, carbohydrates and fats in your diet into energy that you can use to fuel your daily activity.
- Brindleberry: The Ayurvedic herb brindleberry is a rich source of a compound called hydroxycitric acid (HCA), which may help suppress appetite and reduce the conversion of dietary carbohydrates into stored body fat.
- Carnitine: Carnitine is an amino acid that assists the transport of fat across cell membranes in muscle tissue so it can be used as an energy source. It may also aid the maintenance of healthy blood sugar in healthy adults, and in older people may help maintain healthy muscle mass and assist with physical fatigue after exercise.
- Celery: Celery seeds have traditionally been used to relieve fluid retention, so are worth a try if you’re feeling puffy around the ankles or abdomen.
- Chromium: Chromium is required for the maintenance of healthy blood sugar levels and the metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins and fats.
- Coleus: Forskolin is an active constituent of the Ayurvedic herb coleus. It may support weight loss in several ways, including aiding the regulation of the basal metabolic rate and the release of stored fatty acids to be burnt as an energy source.
- Dandelion leaf: In Western herbal medicine, dandelion leaves have traditionally been regarded as diuretic herbs and have been used to help relieve fluid retention.
- Dandelion root: The root of the dandelion plant is also used in Western herbal medicine and is regarded as a mild laxative and a gentle liver and gall bladder tonic.
- Fibre: Fibre is required for bowel regularity, aids feelings of satiety (fullness after meals) and helps maintain healthy blood sugar levels.
- Gentian: Gentian is an extremely bitter herb, and like other bitters, has been traditionally used in Western herbal medicine to stimulate the release of gastric juices and support digestive function.
- Globe artichoke: In Western herbal medicine, globe artichoke has traditionally been used as a tonic for the gall bladder, which plays an integral role in the breakdown of fats from food. It is also regarded as having liver-protecting properties and mild laxative and diuretic action.
- Grapeseed: Grapeseed extract is a rich source of potent antioxidants called oligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPCs). It may help to relieve fluid retention and sensations of heaviness in the legs that are associated with poor peripheral circulation and varicose veins.
- Green tea: Green tea supports thermogenesis, which may assist in burning calories and help maintain normal fat metabolism in healthy individuals.
- Gymnema: Gymnema supports the management of healthy blood sugar levels in healthy people, reduces the perception of sweet tastes and may help to reduce calorie intake.
- Iron: Many women unknowingly have low levels of iron, which is required for the transport of oxygen around the body by the blood cells. Signs of deficiency may include fatigue and easily becoming short of breath when engaging in physical activity. If you think you may be affected, see your healthcare professional for a check up.
- Milk thistle: Your liver is your body’s main organ of detoxification, so it works extra hard when you’re burning stored fat. Milk thistle supports liver function, protects the liver from free radical damage and the effects of some toxins, and helps regenerate damaged liver cells.
- Schizandra: Schizandra also has a protective effect on the liver and supports the body’s detoxification processes.
- Siberian ginseng: Like its namesake Korean ginseng, Siberian ginseng is used in traditional Chinese medicine to address symptoms of fatigue and improve the body’s resistance to stress. Some (but not all) research suggests that when it’s taken long term, it may also help to support fitness levels in reasonably fit people by extending endurance time during exercise.
- Taurine: Taurine is an amino acid that acts as a lipotropic factor – it aids the transport of fats around the body and supports their breakdown.
- Zinc: Zinc has many physiological functions, but perhaps the most important for those looking to lose weight is its role in the management of healthy blood sugar.