10 Foods that Rev up Your Metabolism
MEM , Diploma In Geriatric, MBBS
General Physician, Mohali
24 years experience
Foods that you must eat to gear up your metabolism and they will help you lose weight:
- Protein rich foods: Protein rich foods, such as meat, fish, eggs, dairy, legumes, nuts and seeds, could help increase your metabolism for a few hours. They do so by requiring your body to use more energy to digest them. This is known as the thermic effect of food (TEF). The TEF refers to the number of calories needed by your body to digest, absorb and process the nutrients in your meals. Research shows that protein-rich foods increase TEF the most. Protein-rich diets also reduce the drop in metabolism often seen during weight loss by helping your body hold on to its muscle mass. What’s more, protein may also help keep you fuller for longer, which can prevent overeating.
- Iron, zinc and selenium rich foods: Iron, zinc and selenium each play different but equally important roles in the proper function of your body. However, they do have one thing in common: all three are required for the proper function of your thyroid gland, which regulates your metabolism. Research shows that a diet too low in iron, zinc or selenium may reduce the ability of your thyroid gland to produce sufficient amounts of hormones. This can slow down your metabolism. To help your thyroid function to the best of its ability, include zinc, selenium and iron rich foods like meat, legumes, nuts and seeds in your daily menu.
- Chilli peppers: Capsaicin, a chemical found in Chilli peppers, may boost your metabolism by increasing the number of calories and fat you burn. Capsaicin may have appetite-reducing properties.
- Coffee: Studies report that the caffeine found in coffee can help increase metabolic rate by up to 11%. Furthermore, caffeine may also help your body burn fat for energy and seems especially effective at boosting your workout performance. However, its effects seem to vary from person to person, based on individual characteristics such as body weight and age.
- Tea: According to research, the combination of caffeine and catechins that’s found in tea may work to boost your metabolism. In particular, both oolong and green tea may increase metabolism by 4–10%. This could add up to burning an extra 100 calories per day. In addition, oolong and green teas may help your body use stored fat for energy more effectively, increasing your fat-burning ability by up to 17%. Nevertheless, as is the case with coffee, effects may vary from person to person.
- Legumes and pulses: Legumes and pulses, such as lentils, peas, chickpeas, beans and peanuts, are particularly high in protein compared to other plant foods. Studies suggest that their high protein content requires your body to burn a greater number of calories to digest them, compared to lower-protein foods. Legumes also contain a good amount of dietary fiber, such as resistant starch and soluble fiber, which your body can use to feed the good bacteria living in your intestines. Legumes are also high in arginine, an amino acid that may increase the amount of carbs and fat your body can burn for energy. In addition, peas and lentils also contain substantial amounts of the amino acid glutamine, which may help increase the number of calories burned during digestion.
- Metabolism boosting spices: Certain spices are thought to have particularly beneficial metabolism-boosting properties. For instance, research shows that dissolving 2 grams of ginger powder in hot water and drinking it with a meal may help you burn up to 43 more calories than drinking hot water alone. This hot ginger drink also seems to decrease levels of hunger and enhance feelings of satiety. Similarly, adding cayenne pepper to your meal may increase the amount of fat your body burns for energy, especially following a high-fat meal. However, this fat-burning effect may only apply to people unaccustomed to consuming spicy foods.
- Apple cider vinegar: Apple cider vinegar may increase your metabolism. In one study, mice given vinegar experienced an increase in the AMPK enzyme, which prompts the body to decrease fat storage and increase fat burning. In another study, obese rats treated with vinegar experienced an increase in the expression of certain genes, leading to reduced liver fat and belly fat storage. Apple cider vinegar help you lose weight in other ways, such as slowing stomach emptying and enhancing feelings of fullness. If you’d like to give apple cider vinegar a try, be careful to limit your daily consumption to two tablespoons (30 ml).
- Coconut Oil: Coconut oil is experiencing a surge in popularity. That may be partly because coconut oil is high in medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs). This is contrary to most other types of fats, which usually contain higher amounts of long-chain fatty acids. Unlike long-chain fats, once MCTs are absorbed, they go directly to the liver to be turned into energy. This makes them less likely to be stored as fat. In addition, researchers report that a daily intake of 30 ml of coconut oil may successfully reduce waist size in obese individuals.
- Water: Drinking enough water is a great way to stay hydrated. Additionally, it seems that drinking water may also temporarily boost metabolism by 24–30%. About 40% of that increase may come from your body trying to match the water’s temperature to its own. Yet, the effects only seem to last for 60–90 minutes after drinking it and may vary from one person to another.
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