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There has been a lot of debate among people about whether copper can help in weight or fat loss or not. With the changing lifestyles among people, it has become challenging to lose weight naturally without incorporating other techniques or eating certain foods. Apart from physical activity, people can lose weight or fat through copper. This comes as a surprise to many people who want to shed some fat and attain their desired size and shape. According to experts, too much weight is dangerous and can lead to other serious health problems like developing lifestyle diseases like high blood pressure and obesity. Copper is required in the body for survival and largely helps boost the immune system, maintain nerve cells, and make red blood cells. Studies also show that copper improves cardiovascular health by reducing the chances of developing high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels, which mainly result from copper deficiency. It also plays other significant roles in the body, including neuron signaling, preventing osteoporosis, preventing arthritis, and producing collagen. Copper deficiency isn’t common among people. However, the risk of deficiency can increase in some cases due to some health conditions and factors, including absorption problems, polyneuropathy, optic nerve inflammation, and myelopathy. When there’s a copper deficiency, people can experience thyroid problems, anemia, osteoporosis, low body temperature, skin pigmentation loss, and bone fractures.
Estimated reading time: 11 minutes
Table of contents
- The Science Behind Copper
- How Much Copper Does the Body Need
- How Copper Helps in Weight or Fat Loss
- Best Copper Rich Foods for Weight Loss
- Should You use Copper Supplements for Quick Weight or Fat Loss?
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
The Science Behind Copper
Copper, a trace mineral, is essential for various bodily functions. Despite needing it in small quantities, copper plays a significant role in critical processes:
- Enzymatic Functions: Copper acts as a cofactor for enzymes, including ceruloplasmin, crucial for iron regulation.
- Iron Metabolism: Copper helps in iron absorption and transport.
- Antioxidant Defense: Copper is part of the antioxidant enzyme SOD, which protects cells from damage.
- Collagen Production: It aids in collagen synthesis, benefiting skin and body composition.
- Nervous System: Copper is vital for myelin formation, supporting healthy nerves.
Regarding weight management, copper indirectly affects it through metabolism regulation, appetite control, and oxidative stress reduction. A balanced copper intake from foods like nuts, seeds, and seafood is essential. While not a weight loss solution, copper plays a role in overall health.
How Much Copper Does the Body Need
Copper being an essential and healthy mineral, it’s usually required by the body in traces to assist in producing energy, absorbing iron, improving bone strength, and synthesizing connective tissues. Additionally, it’s also required to support the immune system by producing some essential enzymes that protect the body from conditions like chronic inflammatory disease, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, among others. Basically, the amount of copper required by the body in a day will depend on some factors, including sex, age, and stage of life. According to the dietary reference value, adults, both men, and women, require 0.9 mg per day. For lactating and pregnant women, they need 1.3 mg per day. Small children and teens require much lower copper levels per day.
How Copper Helps in Weight or Fat Loss
The main reason why most people consider getting weight loss hypocaloric diets is to lose extra fat and maintain their muscle mass. Studies show that copper can assist the body in burning fat by breaking down triglycerides that are stored in the cells and displacing them into the bloodstream. When these fats get into the bloodstream, they’re broken down further to produce energy that’s used for different purposes. On the other hand, having low copper levels affects fat metabolism, making it challenging to lose belly fat specifically. Research shows that most overweight or obese people tend to be copper deficit making it difficult to burn the extra fat in their bodies. Studies are still underway to determine the effectiveness of copper in the weight loss journey of individuals. A recent study at the University of California found that copper has the ability to get rid of fat from adipocytes (fat cells) without much effort. If you’ve got a copper deficiency, these extra fats will continue building up on your fat cells and won’t be utilized in any way. Copper creates some signals that turn on the fat cells. One scientist investigated its impact during research and concluded that copper is both effective and efficient in burning fat. This means that it’s a great contribution to healthcare, especially for people dealing with conditions like diabetes and obesity. Another similar study found groundbreaking findings on the effects of copper on metabolism. Copper for weight loss also has the ability to provide some signal molecules in the human brain, which helps calm down nerve cells. It assists in regulating body nerve cells and displacing burning extra fats. The human neurological system is also responsible for regulating metabolism, thus having a significant impact when it comes to inflammation and obesity. According to some people, obesity is viewed as a neurological disorder. Therefore, this shows that there’s a clear connection between body fat tissues and the neurological system, specifically the brain.
Best Copper Rich Foods for Weight Loss
If you’re looking for an easy and effective way to lose weight, you can consider eating copper rich foods. There are many foods that are rich in copper, as explained below:
This is among the best copper rich foods that’ll help you in your weight loss journey. Apart from helping in weight loss, liver is also extremely healthy since it contains essential nutrients such as vitamin A, iron, vitamin B12, folate, choline, and riboflavin. If you take a slice of liver weighing 67 grams, you’ll have taken copper equivalent to 10.3 mg, which is more than ten times the reference daily intake. To get this copper content from the liver, you need to cook it properly and add some flavors. Experts don’t recommend pregnant women to take liver due to its high content of vitamin A. This is because it can cause harm to their unborn babies.
There are different seeds that can help you burn fat and lose weight until you attain your desired goals. Such seeds include sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds. According to research, sesame seeds are among the best seeds with high levels of copper. The best part about consuming the different types of seeds is that they can easily be incorporated into various foods. For instance, one can incorporate them into salads, smoothies, or baked into bread. If you’re not interested in doing this, you can eat them as they are. If you eat 9 grams of the different seeds, you’ll get copper equivalent to 67% of the reference daily intake.
Oysters belong to the category of seafood. Most seafood enthusiasts like oysters due to their delicious nature. Depending on one’s taste and preference, you can take them raw or cooked. The seafood is rich in vitamin B12, selenium, and zinc and also has low-calorie levels. One of the greatest benefits of eating oysters is that they provide a lot of weight copper to the body required for weight loss. If you take 100 grams of oysters, you’ll get 7.6 mg of copper which is more than eight times the reference daily intake. Since your main aim is to lose weight, you might have some doubts about increasing cholesterol levels in your body by eating oysters. However, you shouldn’t be worried about this since seafood doesn’t have any effect on cholesterol levels. You should only be concerned about this if you’ve got rare genetic conditions. Experts recommend taking diets with low zinc levels if you want to incorporate seafood to prevent low absorption of copper. Although you can eat oysters without cooking, you should always be keen to avoid food poisoning. People with weak immune systems and pregnant women are discouraged from taking raw oysters.
4. Shiitake mushrooms
It’s essential to understand that not all types of mushrooms contain high levels of copper. Shiitake mushroom is the only edible mushroom variety that’s rich in copper. It’s also rich in other nutrients such as zinc, selenium, vitamins, folate, and manganese. The mushroom should be well cooked to get its benefits.
Most people don’t know that the different types of nuts can really help them in their weight loss journey. Unless you’re allergic to nuts, including almonds, peanuts, cashews, walnuts, etc., you should incorporate them into your daily diet to help you burn fat. Nuts also contain high levels of healthy fats, fiber, and protein. Taking 28 grams of the different types of nuts will give you approximately 70% of the reference daily intake.
6. Leafy greens
There are many types of leafy greens that can help you burn extra fat, including kale, spinach, swiss chard, etc. They’re all healthy and rich in nutrients such as magnesium, fiber, calcium, and vitamin K. They also contain sizable copper amounts that play a significant role in weight loss. Depending on your preference, you can eat these leafy greens while raw or cooked.
If you want to take a dietary supplement to get copper to help you in your weight loss journey, you can consider getting spirulina from online retailers like Amazon. This is a supplement derived from blue-green algae or even cyanobacteria. Spirulina has a rich history due to its success in ancient times. It’s a nutritious dietary supplement that contains high levels of protein, iron, vitamin B12, and vitamin B2. It’s also rich in copper, which helps in the fat burning process. You can take it by mixing it with water or adding some cereals or smoothies if you’re not interested in its unusual taste.
This is also classified as seafood. Lobsters usually have succulent flesh, which makes them ideal for bisques and soups. The seafood is rich in minerals like selenium, vitamins, and protein. Lobster also contains high levels of copper and low fat levels. If you take 85 grams of lobster meat, you’ll get copper equivalent to twice the RDI. You should also not be worried about increased blood cholesterol after consuming lobster meat since it has zero effect.
9. Dark chocolate
Dark chocolate is rich in sugar, milk, fiber, antioxidants, and other nutrients, including copper. This copper component helps in weight loss when taken regularly. Apart from weight loss, dark chocolate helps to reduce the risk of heart disease.
10. Summer fruits
Fruits play a significant role in the human body. According to research, most people take different fruits at different times to get vitamins as opposed to fat burning. Many types of fruits, such as pineapple, raspberries, grapes, etc., have high levels of copper that can assist in fat loss. Ensure you clean the fruits thoroughly before you eat them.
Should You use Copper Supplements for Quick Weight or Fat Loss?
The question of whether or not to use copper dietary supplements to lose weight or fat will depend on your preference and ability to get the necessary amount of copper from your regular diet. If you’ve been taking a balanced diet containing one or more of the foods listed above, you won’t need to use a copper dietary supplement to boost its content in the body. On the other hand, if you’ve been taking a poor diet, there’s a high chance of being copper deficient. In this case, you can consider taking a copper supplement to get enough copper and help you burn extra pounds. Apart from a poor diet, you might also face copper deficiency due to consuming too much zinc, infections, pregnancy, obesity, cancerous cells, and inflammation. Regardless of the cause of copper deficiency, it’s always advisable to consult your doctor before taking these supplements. However, if you’re advised to take it, you should do it in moderation and as required. Taking too much copper will cause nutrient imbalance. For example, it could have an impact on the absorption of zinc. Some studies also show that too much copper intake can lead to increased appetite, thus increasing the risk of obesity due to overeating.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
When there’s an increased intake of other nutrients such as zinc and iron, copper levels usually decline. This usually results due to reduced absorption.
There are no specific timelines for copper to help you lose weight or fat. However, the duration will largely depend on the level and frequency of copper intake.
It’s not something common to be copper deficient. However, you can sometimes experience this deficiency due to some genetic disorders. This can lead to various health issues like an impaired immune system, increased blood cholesterol, anemia, and nervous system damage.
Generally, there’s no superior copper rich food than the other. Each food will contribute its copper component to the body and help you in your weight loss journey.
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