For functional medicine doctors, curating a specific diet for patients is the equivalent of prescribing medicine; they believe that chronic conditions can be treated by supporting the natural healing mechanisms of the body. Healthy weight management is no different—they believe that "eating healthy should be about feeling great and nourishing your body, not trying to fit into a certain size jean," writes MindBodyGreen. The health publication recently tapped its team of experts to find out which foods they prescribe to their patients who are looking to reach a healthy weight. Read their responses below.
"Bitter melon is a vegetable commonly eaten in India and China that has tons of medicinal uses, including aiding in weight loss. It's a rich source of phytonutrients, antioxidants, and it's high in fiber, all while assisting with boosting digestive health. It's also low in calories, and it's filling. This vegetable stimulates the liver, which is a major detox organ. The better your liver functions, the better your body can process fats and keep them from storing on your hips, waist, and other areas. Make sure to consult with your doctor before including bitter melon in your diet." — Karla Solis, holistic dentist
Starchy Foods and Apple Cider Vinegar
"A plant-based diet strong in starchy foods like potatoes and beans without added oils. Borlotti beans may be especially helpful for weight loss. In addition, an ounce of apple cider vinegar split and taken twice a day, diluted if needed in water, can activate the same pathway as some prescription drugs to lower blood sugar and favor weight loss." — Joel Kahn, MD, author of Your Whole Heart Solution
"Ground flaxseed helps with weight loss by binding up excess hormones (as an imbalance is a common contributor to weight gain). It also reduces cravings and increases satiation through its high amount of fiber and bulking properties, optimizes healthy gut bacteria, and improves the integrity of bowel movements. It's also rich in B vitamins, magnesium (nature's relaxer, which is important for stress reduction, as weight gain tends to have a stress component), and zinc (good for immune health). It's a rich source of over 20 fatty acids and a great source of alpha-lipoic acid, which helps reduce inflammation. It's high in minerals like selenium (great for thyroid health, which plays a role in metabolism), manganese, and phosphorus. It's best ground, as whole seeds tend to pass right through us." — Serena Goldstein, naturopathic doctor
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