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Boosting Your Metabolism With Food

From protein-rich options to spicy foods, learn which selections can help you burn more calories and enhance your metabolism. Read to know about metabolic rate, energy levels, and more.

Boosting metabolism with food

Metabolism is the process by which the body converts food into much needed energy to survive and function optimally. Certain factors such as aging and genetics slow down metabolism.

The good news, however, is that you can give your metabolism that much needed boost through the foods you eat.

Foods That Boost Your Metabolism

Here are 18 metabolism-boosting foods you should add to your daily diet:

1) Fish and Shellfish

Fish, such as tuna, salmon, mackerel, and sardines, are rich in protein and omega-3 fatty acids. Because of the protein content, your body tends to burn more calories to digest them, compared with carbohydrates and fats. This occurs due to what is known as the Thermic Effect of Food (TEF): the number of calories the body needs to digest, absorb, and process nutrients from food. It is highly advisable to eat fatty fish at least twice a week. Otherwise, you can take an omega-3 fatty acid or fish oil supplement.

2) Chili Peppers

Chili peppers and other hot peppers contain the chemical capsaicin, which produces heat. Capsaicin boosts your metabolism by temporarily raising your body’s internal temperature to help you burn more calories.

3) Coffee

The caffeine in coffee helps to increase your metabolism by assisting your body burn fat for energy. There are also other compounds in coffee which help regulate lipid or fat metabolism.

4) Tea

The catechins in tea help boost your metabolic rate. Oolong and matcha green tea increase fat oxidation and help shed extra calories as part of an exercise regimen. In addition, oolong and other green teas help in using stored fat for energy more effectively, thus increasing your ability to burn fats.

5) Cacao

The flavonoids in cacao and cacao byproducts (i.e., cocoa) support your metabolism and reduce hypertriglyceridemia. Research has shown that cacao may also help in reducing body weight.

6) Ginger

Ginger is known to have metabolism-boosting properties. It also aids in weight management and the prevention of obesity. Research has shown that drinking 2 grams of ginger in hot water helps in burning off 43 more calories compared to drinking hot water alone. This hot ginger drink can also reduce hunger and enhance feelings of fullness or satiety.

7) Broccoli

Broccoli is noted for its high water and dietary fiber content, but it is for these reasons that you burn off more calories in order to digest it. It also keeps you feeling full for a longer period of time.

8) Low-Fat Milk

Low-fat milk contains calcium and vitamin D, which are essential for building dense muscle. In turn, dense muscle is needed for physical activity and burning off excess calories.

9) Beans and Other Legumes

Beans, lentils and other legumes are known protein-rich foods, but they are also abundant in minerals such as iron, selenium, magnesium, and potassium. Iron and selenium, in particular, are needed for the thyroid gland – which regulates metabolism – to function properly. A deficiency in iron and selenium reduces thyroid hormone production and slows down metabolism.

10) Oatmeal

Oatmeal is rich in fiber which helps you to stay full for a whole morning when taken at breakfast. It also slows down the release of sugar or glucose into your bloodstream.

11) Berries

Berries, such as strawberries and blueberries, are rich in fiber but low in calories. The fiber promotes weight loss through the reduction of your appetite.

12) Almonds

Almonds are abundant in healthy fats, protein, and fiber. This combination of nutrients tends to curb hunger and keep you feeling full.

13) Low-Fat Cottage Cheese

Cottage cheese is high in protein, but low in fats and carbohydrates. Thus, like fish and lean meats, it burns off more calories during digestion.

14) Tempeh

Tempeh is a high-protein meat substitute that vegetarians are sure to enjoy. Like its pure meat counterpart, tempeh burns off calories during the process of digestion.

15) Medium-Chain Triglyceride (MCT) Oil

MCT oil is a special oil that has metabolic benefits. Most fats in food are long-chain triglycerides, but MCT oil contains medium-chain triglycerides. MCT oil gives you that boost in metabolism. Also, unlike long-chain fats, upon absorption of the MCT, they are processed by the liver into energy immediately and not stored as body fat.

16) Seaweed

Seaweed is rich in the mineral iodine, which is needed by the thyroid gland to produce thyroid hormones and for it to function more efficiently. The thyroid gland is essential in regulating your metabolism. The regular consumption of seaweed helps in maintaining metabolic health. Fucoxanthin, another compound in seaweed, also increases your metabolism of lipids.

17) Lean Meats

Lean meats also contain protein, which takes more calories to burn off. Just make sure to trim off any excess fats in the meats you eat.

18) Water

Water can give your metabolism a short term boost by 24 to 30 percent while also keeping you full. It is recommended that you drink water cold to burn off the calories needed to heat the water to body temperature.

It is not enough to solely rely on food to boost your metabolism. You should support it with regular exercise, drinking enough water, and getting good quality sleep.

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