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Who wouldn't want to achieve a flat stomach? But, there are only a lucky few people out there who have been successful in achieving that flat belly. Often, you will notice that it is your belly that is the first to pop-up when you gain weight, and it is the last to leave you when you lose weight. Belly fat is a stubborn fat that is hard to burn, not to forget that it hampers our personality and ruins our confidence.
Reasons For Belly Fat
The extra fat accumulated in your abdominal area could be due to various reasons such as fluid retention, constipation, overeating, irritable bowel syndrome, age-related fat accumulation, declining metabolism, hormonal imbalances, post-pregnancy fat, high cholesterol or blood glucose, and menopause.
Risks Associated With Belly Fat
You should aim to achieve a flat belly, not just for cosmetic reasons, but due to various potential health risks associated with belly fat, such as cardiovascular diseases, high blood pressure, diabetes or even cancer.
Why Cucumber Juice?
Apart from all the weight-loss measures that you undertake, to specifically fight belly fat, you need a diet low in calories and fat. Cucumber is rich in fibre and minerals, with very few calories. Being high in fibre content, it can leave you feeling full for longer, while also boosting metabolism and burning calories.
Nutritionists and other Ayurvedic experts recommend a detox juice on a daily basis to kick-start your day and there could be no other ideal detox drinks other than cucumber juice, if you are on your weight-loss journey. Therefore, cucumber might be just the solution to trimming your waist.
Loaded with minimal calories (45 calories), and high water content (96 percent), cucumbers are great for a flat belly. It flushes out toxins, boosts metabolism, and fights most underlying causes that otherwise contribute to belly fat. Now, let us take a look at how it fights these underlying causes:
By Flushing Out Toxins
To prevent a bulging belly, your body should be able to constantly flush out the toxins. Ayurvedic practitioners have long acknowledged the diuretic properties of cucumber. The cucumber seeds act as a diuretic, and help by flushing out the toxins and excess water. This reduces bloating, thereby tightening your stomach muscles.
By Preventing Constipation
Constipation is another major cause for belly fat. Thanks to its high fibre content, cucumber does an excellent job in combating constipation, keeping your gut clean, and keeping you free from constipation in the process.
By Fighting Stomach Inflammation
Generally, ulcers can lead to bloating of the stomach. However, cucumber acts as an agent that forms a soothing film over the mucous membrane, thereby relieving pain and inflammation of the membrane.
By Controlling Cholesterol, Blood Sugar And Blood Pressure
Studies have revealed that cucumbers have a compound called 'sterols' that help in decreasing cholesterol levels, particularly reducing LDL (bad) cholesterol.
It has also been found that the ethanol extract of cucumbers helps in reducing blood glucose levels. According to researchers, this cholesterol-lowering and blood sugar-lowering properties of cucumber are largely due to the presence of saponins and flavonoids.
A 2010 dietary guidelines study by the US Department of Health reveals that a high-sodium diet can lead to high blood pressure. Cucumbers, however, are very low in sodium (only 6 mg), and hence can help in lowering blood pressure.
Why talk about cholesterol, blood sugar or hypertension? Because, belly fat is linked to all of these, and by keeping all of these under check, you may actually lower your risk of developing belly fat and other health issues.
Cucumber Juice Recipes
Having explained the manner in which cucumber juice can help melt belly fat, it makes sense to try these easy cucumber juice recipes that can work wonders as detox drinks.
• Add about 8 to 10 mint leaves to a cup of water. Allow it to boil, and then let it sit for five minutes.
• Peel and grate 1 medium cucumber and blend it. Add this to the juice of one lemon.
• Add the prepared mint infusion to this solution.
• Now add about one and a half litres of water to the cucumber-lemon-mint juice. Mix it all well. You can also add a teaspoon of grated ginger (ginger fights inflammation) if you like.
• Drink this at least thrice a day, or throughout the day.
An optional recipe would be to blend together 1 chopped cucumber, juice of 1 lemon, 1 tablespoon of grated ginger, a handful of cilantro, 2 tablespoons of aloe vera juice and a cup of water. Drink it up twice a day.
Note: Lemon is an excellent combination to go with cucumber if you are aiming at weight loss and a flat belly, as lemon boosts body metabolism, aids weight loss and is a great detox agent.