While we’re firm believers in loving your beautiful body at all times, abdominal fat has been shown in a number of studies to be particularly bad for overall health, having been associated with several different cancers, metabolic disorder, type 2 diabetes, and more.  The good news?  This type of fat is particularly yielding to dietary intervention—meaning what you eat can make a real difference in your health. We reached out to some of the best functional medicine doctors in the country to find out the top foods they recommend to their patients.

1. Whole Olives & Nuts:

I like to stick to science to answer as many of my patient’s inquiries so I will go with two foods (sorry) proven to accelerate loss of belly fat: whole olives and nuts. I have been prescribing a fasting mimicking diet that is plant based and uses whole foods, teas, and soups for five days a month. The plan is rich in whole olives and nuts and the published results at three months include impressive loss of belly (visceral) fat without loss of lean muscle mass.

Joel Kahn, M.D., mbg class instructor, and author of Your Whole Heart Solution

2. Green Smoothies:

Green smoothies! Hands down my No. 1 recommendation for eliminating belly fat and cleaning up our digestive systems and liver. Here is a recipe I often recommend: Blend up 8 to 10 ounces of water, ¼ cup dandelion greens, ½ cup frozen strawberries, one stalk of celery, and one banana. Blend together and enjoy!

Taz Bhatia, M.D., and instructor of The Doctor’s Guide to Hormonal Imbalance

3. Unprocessed Food:

I personally like a little belly—just saying—seems pretty natural to me for many people. To reduce visceral fat, the No. 1 thing is cutting out simple added sugars and starches mainly found in processed foods.

—Drew Ramsey, M.D. and author of Eat Complete

4. Healthy Fats:

I think belly fat is inextricably tied to insulin resistance. Often the best thing you can do to offset insulin resistance is to ditch sugar, refined carbohydrates, and grains, and up your intake of healthy fats.

Ellen Vora, M.D. and instructor of How to Control Anxiety and The Doctor’s Guide to Falling Asleep Naturally

5. Chia seeds:

Chia seeds fight belly fat in multiple ways. They are one of the greatest dietary sources of fiber around. They can absorb up to 27 times their own size in water, helping to rid you of water weight, keep your bowels regular, and keep you feeling full but not bloated. Chia seeds not only fight bloating, but they also are a well-balanced source of protein, carbs, and fat. Keeping these macronutrients balanced is ideal for keeping your metabolism functioning at optimum levels and makes chia seeds a source of double trouble for stubborn extra pounds.

Dr. Meagan Purdy, founder of Holistic Health Center Dallas

6. Avocados:

Healthy fats are needed to burn fat. Avocados provide ample amount of energy-rich healthy fats, metabolism revving vitamins, and minerals and are filling, which curbs cravings.

Article written by Dr. Will Cole, instructor of The Elimination Diet and taken from Mind Body Green.

You can’t help but feel the tipping point. Steakhouses have vegan options, airport menus feature kale salad, grocers are dedicating more shelf space to plant-based items, and vegan food trucks are expanding. As a medical doctor, I have seen near miraculous improvements in health when patients adopt a vegan diet—whether they jump right in the pool or dip their toe for a while before entering.

The environmental impact of becoming a vegan.

It may be hard to measure the health and environmental effects of just a single day on a vegan diet, but my patients often experience big changes in how they look and feel after just one week. As for the environmental impact, I thank my friend Kathy Freston, who previously published data detailing what the impact would be if every U.S. citizen adopted a vegetarian diet for just one day. Keeping in mind that the impact of going full vegan would be even greater than vegetarian, as a country we would save:

  • 100 billion gallons of water, enough to supply all the homes in New England for almost four months
  • 1.5 billion pounds of crops that would otherwise be fed to livestock—enough to feed the state of New Mexico for more than a year
  • 70 million gallons of gas, enough to fuel all the cars of Canada and Mexico combined with plenty to spare
  • 3 million acres of land, an area more than twice the size of Delaware
  • 33 tons of antibiotics
  • 1.2 million tons of CO2, or the same amount produced by all of France
  • 3 million tons of soil erosion and $70 million in resulting economic damages
  • 4.5 million tons of animal excrement, which would eliminate almost 7 tons of ammonia emissions, a major air pollutant

Yes, every single person matters.

Another method of assessing the effects of a vegan diet is to use a vegan calculator. After one month an individual will help avoid the death of 33 animals, the use of 33,000 gallons of water for animal food production, the destruction of 900 square feet of forest, the creation of an extra 600 pounds of CO2 gas, and the feeding of 1,200 pounds of grain to animals that could have fed starving communities worldwide. From these numbers it’s easy to see that even one person adopting a vegan diet for just one day has a significant impact.

Movements like Meatless Monday, which promote avoiding animal products one day a week, have grown rapidly. Founded in 2003 in association with the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, the organization has grown to 44 countries and is spreading rapidly. Your decision to have a day free of eggs, dairy, and meat of all kinds is a positive step toward better health, more awareness of the suffering of farmed animals, and relief for a world burdened with feeding over 7 billion humans. The staggering impact of just one day on a vegan diet may spur you to transition to a full vegan diet, which I have followed for 40 years and have suggested to heart patients for over 30 years. You will not regret it!

Original article taken from Mind Body Green.