Certain plants such as soybeans, Hoodia gordonii and green tea can promote weight loss. Studies have indicated that these plants can also help cure or prevent chronic illnesses such as diabetes, cardiovascular and kidney diseases. In regards to weight loss, soybeans and green tea show a generally positive outcome and have documented research studies to back the claims; however, Hoodia has gotten mixed reviews.
Soybean, or soya bean, is a type of legume native to East Asia. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, soybeans are the dominant oilseed in the United States, accounting for about 90 percent of U.S. oilseed production.
A study conducted by the University of Illinois showed that soy protein hydrolysates could affect regulatory hormones and their receptors. According to Elvira de Mejia, assistant professor of food science and human nutrition at the University of Illinois, soy helped boost metabolism to degrade lipids and reduce body weight.
Soy milk, soynuts, miso, soy flour, soybean oil and soy cheese are some examples of byproducts of soybeans.
Hoodia gordonii, a member of the Asclepiadaceae (milkweed family), is an effective appetite suppressant, according to the report written by Roberta A. Lee, MD and Michael J. Balick, PhD. Hoodia suppresses the appetite by releasing chemicals that send a message from the central nervous system to the brain that it is not hungry. In essence, Hoodia can suppress hunger.
Consumed in its raw form by the San Bushmen from South Africa to reduce hunger during hunting trips, today you can find Hoodia pills sold in health and drug stores. If you are considering taking any Hoodia product, check with your doctor to make sure it will not interfere with other medications. Discuss if Hoodia side effects may pose a risk to you with your current medical conditions.
Avoid taking Hoodia if you have diabetes because Hoodia tricks the brain into thinking it has enough blood sugar, it's possible that your blood sugar could drop dangerously. People with eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa, with or without bulimia, may abuse Hoodia; thereby, complicating their conditions. Children, pregnant women and lactating mothers should not use Hoodia.
A report published by the Journal of Medicinal Food, Winter 2006, shows that green tea extract intake is associated with increased weight loss due to diet-induced thermogenesis, which is generally attributed to the catechin epigallocatechin gallate. The report suggests that green tea extract may boost metabolism and help burn fat. Substances in green tea known as polyphenols, specifically the catechins, are responsible for the herb's fat-burning effect.
Tea plants grow only in warm climates, but can also flourish in high altitudes. Growing at higher altitudes can make the leaves mature more slowly to yield a richer flavor. The three types of tea are black, green and oolong. Green tea is the least processed of the three, which is why it provides the most antioxidant polyphenols. A catechin called epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) found in green tea is responsible for most of its health benefits.