What’s in them: Calcium
The belly-fat connection: Researchers tracked the diets and abdominal fat of more than 100 premenopausal women for one year. The years before menopause are notorious for weight gain, but the researchers found that for every 100 mg of calcium women ate per day, they gained 1 inch less of the dangerous fat deep within their bellies than women who didn’t get as much calcium. It’s not exactly clear why calcium seems to make a difference, but the researchers propose two ideas. First, there’s some research showing that calcium helps your body use estrogen more effectively, and estrogen is linked to less fat in your abdomen. Second, high-calcium diets may lower production of cortisol, the stress hormone that’s linked to belly fat. The National Institutes of Health recommends getting at least 1,000 mg and no more than 2,500 mg of calcium per day.
More ideas of what to eat: Aside from the obvious sources like milk and yogurt, foods like tofu, kale and sardines are also high in calcium.