We should get adequate amounts of copper from our diet. Copper helps lose weight, as it plays a key role in energy metabolism and the burn of belly fat.
How much copper do we need?
Copper is an essential mineral. It’s necessary for good health. Copper is a cofactor for several enzymes. It’s involved in energy production, mineralization of bones, synthesis of connective tissue, and iron absorption.[1,2,3]
Also, copper is crucial for many functions of the immune system. For instance, it’s necessary for the synthesis of superoxide dismutases. These are enzymes with potent antioxidant action. They may protect from diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, and other chronic inflammatory diseases.
Low levels of copper may lead to Alzheimer’s disease, ischemic heart disease and osteoporosis.
Almost two-thirds of the body’s copper is located in the skeleton and muscle.
The recommended daily intake of copper is 0.9 mg, both for men and women. Pregnant and lactating women need higher doses of 1.3 mg a day, though. Teens and kids have lower needs.
How does copper help us lose weight?
When we follow a hypocaloric diet for weight loss, we want to lose body fat while preserving muscle mass.
Copper helps the body burn more fat! It breaks down stored triglycerides and helps them move out of fat cells into the blood stream, where they can be used for energy. In contrast, low levels of copper have negative effects on fat metabolism, making it difficult to lose belly fat.
Walking daily is a simple but powerful way to burn body fat. Eat foods with copper to lose more fat.
Moreover, obese people are more likely to be deficient in copper. Hence, they can’t burn body fat as effectively.
Eat common foods rich in copper to lose weigh
Beef liver is the richest food in copper. A serving provides about 1,300% of the recommended daily intake! This dose is even higher than the upper safe dose. Additionally, you should avoid consuming beef liver regularly because it may lead to vitamin A toxicity as well.
Seafood such as oysters, lobster. shrimps, and sardines, are also great dietary sources of copper.
But, you shouldn’t depend on these foods for copper. There is a wide variety of foods rich in copper.
Shiitake mushrooms, sesame seeds, cashews, sunflower seeds, Brazil nuts, walnuts, peanuts, almonds, potatoes, soybeans, chickpeas, lentils, and whole-grain bread are only a few foods containing high amounts of copper.
Among the richest foods in copper is dark chocolate. It has to contain at least 70% cacao solids, though. A serving provides about 55% of the daily recommended intake of copper. In fact, dark chocolate has a superior nutritional value. Eating a small piece a day can help lose weight.
Moreover, spirulina powder is particularly high in copper. A tbsp provides about 47% of the recommended daily intake. Spirulina consumption is safe. Contrary to the popular belief, spirulina doesn’t contain any iodine! You can buy organic spirulina powder on Amazon. It’s a true superfood.
Do I need copper supplements to lose weight faster?
Healthy people who follow a well-balanced diet get adequate amounts of copper from food. They don’t need dietary supplements.
But, people who follow poor diets can be deficient in copper. It’s estimated that one fourth of the adult population in the United States consumes less than the recommended intake.
Besides poor diet, pregnancy, high estrogen, infection, inflammation, certain cancers, zinc overconsumption, and severe obesity, may also lead to copper deficiency.
In these cases, you may benefit from taking copper supplements. After consulting your physician!
You shouldn’t get too much copper, though. Exceeding the upper safe dose for copper could lead to nutrient imbalances. For instance, high doses of copper could negatively affect zinc absorption.