Before I answer this question, I should first mention that a big tummy was a sign of good living in yesteryears and it influenced children’s selection of their favourite uncles. Nowadays, however, if you have a big belly, your health becomes a concern to your loved ones. In this piece of writing, we shall look at the cause of a distended belly and the possible lifestyle changes to reduce it.
Causes and signs
Secondly, let me be controversial and say that a big belly is not the problem. It is merely a sign/symptom of weak liver or liver diseases in some cases. It may come with other symptoms of a weak liver, including bloating, and burping after eating, decreased tolerance for fatty foods and refined grains, craving for fried and sour food, pain and tightness on the right side of the shoulder and foggy brain in the morning, just to mention a few.
A big belly is caused by constipation, which leads to toxicity of these accumulated waste products that put pressure on the liver. Alcohol and refined sugar also put a strain on the liver. We overeat refined sugars food like cooldrinks and juices because they lack minerals and vitamins. Refined sugar may be broken-down too quickly, which causes shock to the liver (the primary organ in metabolism).
Belly fat is not the only problem, there is also water retention because of leakage of fluids from the liver. These fluids accumulate when the liver is blocked, this blockage may occur when the body lacks, vitamin B complex, and the fat-soluble vitamins; A, D, E and K. Craving fatty food, like grilled ribs, and warm chips indicate the vitamins’ deficiency.
Toxins from the environment, such as pesticides, may also put a burden on the liver. They enter the bloodstream, and it is the liver to remove these toxins. Fungi and viruses can also destroy the liver as we may learn this in cases of Hepatitis. Long-term treatment also weakens the liver.
Simple method to check for liver weakness
Nam-foodBIBLE, has a free quiz that you can fill in, to tell whether, fat accumulation is a result of dysfunctional liver, thyroid, adrenal or ovaries. This quiz does not replace the hospitals’ Blood-test, Biopsy and Ultrasound. It supplements, because indicators like liver enzymes may not show until the liver disease has gone to advanced stages.
To repair the liver to burn fat and reverse the accumulated fluids, one should eat, eggs, fish, chicken, and occasionally red meat. Eating uncooked beetroot every day will unclog the liver. Cruciferous vegetables should be eaten to provide enough potassium and vitamins while avoiding food that is rich in MSG. Most importantly, physical exercise should accompany the diet changes.
I speak for many of us (children of the 1990s) when I say we owe an apology to the slim uncles of yesteryears who worked equally hard but couldn’t get the favourite uncle status.
* Simaneka Mbeeli is the functional food nutritionist, behind Namibian-FoodBIBLE.
(BSc Food Science and Technology) pursuing an MBA Health Management. Opinions expressed here are his own, not his employer’s and you should consult your doctor before following the recommendations.