Rev Up Your Metabolism With These Foods

A healthy metabolism is key when it comes to maintaining or losing weight.  Give your metabolism the extra support it needs with ultra-healthy, invigorating ingredients.

Protein

High protein foods have a greater thermic effect than carbohdyrate-rich foods, according to a study in the “Journal of the American College of Nutrition.” The thermic effect refers to the energy required for digestion, absorption, and elimination of nutrients. Protein’s general thermic effect is 20 to 35 percent of the energy/food consumed whereas carbohydrates varies between 5 and 15 percent. A study in the journal showed that higher protein meals may also increase satiety levels, or the feeling of fullness, versus lower protein meals. Theoretically, this would reduce total caloric intake, which could result in weight loss. Common protein-rich foods include lean beef, chicken, turkey and pork, as well as dairy products such as yogurt and cheese. Vegetarian or vegan sources include tofu, tempeh, seeds and nuts.
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Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar is an all-encompassing metabolism booster. Not only does it help balance the digestive system and support healthy blood sugar, but it also naturally stimulates the metabolism—even long after you’ve consumed it. Apple cider vinegar is a popular health supplement used to treat a wide range of health conditions, from heart disease to arthritis.

Berries

Berries are famous for their delicious taste and antioxidant content. In fact, all berries—from raspberries to acai berries to blueberries—have an incredible ability to support energy levels and metabolic health with their makeup of fiber, flavonoids and nourishing phytochemicals. Blueberries and raspberries both contain the flavonoid anthocyanin, which helps your body produce adiponectin, a hormone that’s been linked to lower glucose levels, curbed cravings, and boosted metabolism.

Red Beans

Rich in fiber and nutrients, red beans help you feel full and satisfied longer as they improve your body’s sensitivity to insulin and boost energy. Beans and lentils help to boost iron, which in turn helps your body work efficiently to burn calories. One cup of lentils provides about 35% of your daily iron needs, and paired with a grain like quinoa, you’ll get plenty of protein in your meal. Red beans are full of both soluble and insoluble fiber, which lowers insulin levels after digestion so your body stores less fat.  Beans are often suggested for those wanting to lose weight because their nutrient makeup is such that they have a very positive effect on your metabolism.  They make a great side dish for most lunches and dinners, and they can easily be added to soups and chili to make them more robust and flavorful.

Cinnamon

While cinnamon is ultra beneficial for the metabolism, cinnamon also supports the health of the entire body. Cinnamon naturally supports healthy blood glucose levels and helps maintain healthy cholesterol levels, which may make it easier to manage weight.  The metabolic effects of cinnamon have an indirect effect on body fat. With the increase in insulin sensitivity and glucose uptake, there can be a reduction in body fat. The greatest effects are seen through a reduction in belly fat.  So the weight-loss effects are not a direct effect from cinnamon; instead it is merely an indirect effect from decreasing insulin insensitivity and possibly decreased body fat.

Green Tea

This potent antioxidant has been used for thousands of years for its free radical fighting properties. But green tea is especially supportive of the body’s thermogenic processes and metabolic functions.  Green tea contains polyphenols that have a potent antioxidant effect. Ninety percent of these polyphenols are catechins. There are three times more catechins in green tea than black tea, and it is these catechins that are responsible for green tea’s positive effects on the body.

Hot Peppers and Spices

Incorporating spicy foods into your diet can effectively rev up your metabolism. A study showed that those who used spice in their daily recipes burned up to 1,000 more calories each day than those who didn’t.  Capsaicin is the heat-causing chemical found in hot peppers, and it is known to be effective in helping people either suppress appetite or lose weight.

Almonds

You don’t want to go too big on the almonds, because their fat content can undo any boost they have to your metabolism, but research suggests that almonds and other tree nuts can help you out due to the essential fatty acids they contain. The good thing is they taste great, so you can use them as a snack to hold you over until your next meal, or you can chop them up and use them to top a main or side dish. Green beans are one vegetable that lends itself well to slivered almonds. And if you want to liven things up you can get similar benefits from other nuts like walnuts or cashews.

Asparagus

Some claim that asparagus is a negative calorie food, requiring more calories to chew and digest it than it contains. While this may or may not be the case, it’s clear that its caloric load is low, while it nutrient load is high. It makes a great food for dieting because of its unique and delicious taste. It’s a great side sitting next to a lean meat. Get the organic kind if available, as this will help keep it a very healthy vegetable to assist you in your efforts.

 

Cruciferous Vegetables

The B Vitamins that are contained in foods like Cabbage, Brussels Sprouts, Broccoli, Cauliflower, and others has a healthy effect on your metabolism and can really start to turn things around if you previously didn’t give much care or attention to the matter. These aren’t the easiest veggies to increase your intake of, but if you look for recipes that contain them they’ll usually include them with other ingredients that make them taste better than eating them straight.

 

Celery

Celery is one of those quintessential diet foods that you see people unhappily gnawing on in lieu of ice cream and hamburgers. But aside from the stereotype, there is something to be said for eating celery if you want to turn over a new leaf and get your metabolism going. It’s thought of as a thermogenic food, and also has high levels of calcium to boot. Try dipping them in organic peanut butter so that you can get some good fats along with this time-tested metabolism booster.

Coconut Oil

For a long time coconut oil was not suggested as a good oil to use because of its high fat content. Now we know more about good fats vs. bad fats and it’s become clear that there are plenty of benefits to consuming coconut oil, including the positive results on the metabolism. The only thing is that you can’t rely on just this for your efforts, as it only provides a minimal boost, and it doesn’t last indefinitely.

Coffee

Whether or not you want to start drinking coffee to speed up your metabolism is up to you. It’s often mentioned as a food that can help you burn calories, but at the same time it takes its toll on the liver, and you should drink 3 extra cups of water for every cup of coffee you have in order to help your liver flush out the caffeine and stay hydrated. You’ll also have to take care not to add a bunch of sugar and cream, or go with a specialty coffee that will have way too many calories and carbs.

Cucumbers

You might not look at cucumbers the same way the next time you see them in a your salad. There are plenty of reasons why they play nicely into your metabolism-boosting strategy. They’re packed with water, so they help to hydrate your body, plus they have plenty of vitamins, nutrients, and fiber, all with very low caloric levels. You can try adding them to more than just salads. Cucumber slices or sticks can make a nice side dish to a sandwich or wrap, and can be combined with other vegetables in a healthy mix.

 

If you really want to kick-start your metabolism, you may also try dividing your meals up into smaller portions that you eat more often throughout the day. Every time you eat, it helps your metabolism rise, so as strange as it may sound, eating frequently can help you lose weight or maintain a healthy weight.

Most Effective Metabolic Boosts

If you’re not a hot pepper fan, or prefer not to eat them often, you can boost your metabolism by exercising. Add muscle through strength training, for example. Muscle is a more metabolically-active tissue and requires a greater number of calories to support all day long. When you regularly strength train and change the ratio of lean mass to fat on your body, you naturally boost your metabolic rate.

Simply moving more during the day also revs the physical activity portion of your metabolism. Add 10 minutes to your exercise session, take the stairs instead of the elevator, or pace while talking on the phone. If you weigh 150 pounds, for example, just get up and dance to your favorite song for 15 minutes, and you’ll burn about 100 calories. These small additions of movement add up and can help you burn a few hundred extra calories throughout your day.

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Author: Mark Alvisi

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