Your Stomach Can Make You Stupid

In All Health Watch, Cognitive Health, Diet and Nutrition, Featured Article, Fitness and Exercise, Weight Loss

When it comes to body fat, location counts. 

Each year brings new evidence that fat in and around the abdomen is more dangerous than extra pounds on other parts of your body. 

Researchers have found that people with belly fat are more likely to suffer heart disease, asthma, diabetes, breast cancer, and colon cancer.[1]

Now, a new study finds that belly fat damages your health in another, surprising, way.

Researchers from Iowa State University analyzed data from a government health-tracking project. They looked at the relationship between abdominal fat, muscle mass, and changes in fluid intelligence.

“Fluid intelligence” means the ability to reason, think abstractly, and solve unfamiliar problems.

The scientists found that people with more belly fat lost fluid intelligence as they aged. Having more muscle mass protected against the loss.

Dr. Auriel A. Willette was one of the study authors. He said that chronological age isn’t a factor in intelligence decreasing over time. Rather, it is “the amount of fat and muscle” a person has that determines their mental agility, he said.

2 Supplements That Cut Belly Fat

Belly fat is a notoriously stubborn problem. Many people are plagued by it even though they get plenty of exercise and eat healthy.

Studies show that two supplements can shrink your “spare tire”:

  • Vitamin D. Vitamin D deficiency is strongly linked with abdominal fat. One study of over 6,000 people concluded that “individuals with larger waistlines…should consider having their vitamin D levels checked.”[2]

    Your doctor can do a simple blood test to check your vitamin D. Anything less than 20 ng/mL means you are deficient. You should aim for a reading of 50 or more. Spending 15 minutes in the sun each day with your arms and legs exposed can help increase your levels.

    If that’s not possible, take a 5,000 mg vitamin D supplement every day. Make sure you buy the D3 form, not D2. D3 will increase your levels of vitamin D more than twice as much as D2 will.
  • Black pepper. A study published in the journal Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry found that black pepper reduces visceral fat.[3]

    Black pepper contains the compound piperine. It gives pepper its pungent flavor. It also makes you thinner.

    Not only does pepper reduce belly fat, but it keeps new fat cells from forming. It also boosts your metabolism, helping you burn more calories.

    You can’t get a therapeutic dose of piperine from using black pepper as a spice. Instead, take a black pepper or piperine supplement. They are widely available at health stores and online.

One more thing…

Iowa State researchers found not only that belly fat causes intelligence loss, so does lack of muscle. That’s why strength training is so important as you get older.

When we think of strength exercises we usually think of weightlifting. But bodyweight exercises are safer, don’t require elaborate equipment, and are just as effective.

These four exercises provide a total-body strength workout:

  • Push-ups
  • Pull-ups
  • Squats
  • Lunges

Shoot for eight to 10 repetitions of each exercise, or as many as you can manage. Do the entire routine three times in a row.

Loading up on protein also helps build muscles. You should get at least a third of your calories from protein. If you eat 2,000 calories a day, for example, you should get about 150 grams of protein.

The best sources of protein include organic turkey and chicken, grass-fed beef and pork, wild-caught fish and shellfish, raw nuts and seeds, full-fat organic dairy, and pastured eggs.

Powdered whey protein drinks are also an excellent protein source. Look for grass-fed varieties that are soy-free.[4]

Keeping your belly small, and your muscles strong will help you look better and think better.

Editor’s Note: If you’re concerned about your weight, you should subscribe to our monthly journal Independent Healing to get the Weight-Loss-for-Life Protocol. It’s a step-by-step plan that tells you how to cut your insulin levels to lose weight without the rebound effect of traditional low-calorie diets.

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