You can find mountains of information about the best anti-inflammatory foods you can eat to combat belly fat, which is often a telltale sign of chronic inflammation. But there are times in life when your diet may slip — when it becomes more difficult to stay on track and eat healthy foods that can reduce belly fat and keep your immune system functioning at a healthy level.
Vitamin supplements were designed with those times in mind.
These four anti-inflammatory vitamins you should have if you want to lose belly fat now are all great supplements to add to your diet and exercise regimen. They aren’t miracle pills that will shrink fat cells overnight, but they will go to work reducing inflammation and boosting your metabolism — and they could lead to faster, more effective belly fat reduction.
Probiotics are capsules filled with “good” bacteria like Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium that can balance the “bad” bacteria in your gut and fight inflammation in your body that leads to obesity, as well as heart disease, diabetes, and other illnesses.
Not only can a daily probiotic help you digest your food and keep you from getting an upset tummy, but studies have shown these supplements (specifically, probiotics that contain strains of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium) can improve insulin sensitivity, reduce chronic inflammation, and “have an influence on glucose and fat metabolism.”
You already know of vitamin D as the sunshine vitamin — one found in dairy products, as well, that strengthens your bones and teeth.
But another connection has recently been made and it has everything to do with the link between vitamin D and belly fat.
At a presentation at the European Society of Endocrinology meeting in Barcelona, people with low levels of vitamin D were found to have more belly fat, reports Reader’s Digest.
According to a press release issued by researcher Rachida Rafiq of VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam: “Although we did not measure vitamin D deficiency in our study, the strong relationship between increasing amounts of abdominal fat and lower levels of vitamin D suggests that individuals with larger waistlines are at a greater risk of developing deficiency, and should consider having their vitamin D levels checked.”
Even if you’re lactose intolerant or hate the taste of milk, the calcium found in dairy products can help your belly store less fat and retain more lean muscle, according to Health. In fact, one University of Tennessee study found that participants who ate 6 ounces of fat-free yogurt with each meal lost more abdominal fat than those who cut out calories alone.
"Increasing calcium suppresses calcitriol, a hormone that promotes fat storage," explained lead author Michael Zemel, PhD.
If dairy isn’t an option for you, make sure you are taking calcium supplements or a supplement that combines calcium and vitamin D.
Vitamin B12 boosts your metabolism for increased energy and is a major vitamin that helps with fat burning. Unfortunately, it’s also one that is present in foods like dairy and meat — if you’re a vegetarian or vegan, it can be all too easy to neglect this nutrient, which is why a vitamin B12 supplement is a great addition to your diet.
“Vitamin B12 helps to boost metabolism and promote fat burning in the body in several ways,” reports Livestrong. “It helps to transform fats and protein to energy through metabolism. Oxygen is required for the metabolic reactions that occur in each cell, and vitamin B12 works with folic acid to produce red blood cells (erythrocytes) that carry oxygen from the lungs to every cell in the body.”