5 Foods That Will Rev Your Metabolism
When you’re a kid you think you’re invincible, but as you get older, your metabolism starts to have a mind of its own and weight gain can become a serious issue. Your metabolism is the process by which enzymes in your body convert food into energy. It’s the sum of everything your body does.
Some people have the impression that eating in general will slow down your metabolic rate when basically the opposite is true. Clinical Oncology Dietician Kristen Trukova told Organic Authority, “Eating any food causes an uptick in metabolic rate. This is called the thermic effect of food.” So just by eating regular meals, you can burn a portion of your daily calorie intake.
Extreme dieting won’t do you any favors if you want to improve your metabolism. Gary Hunter, PhD, a professor of human studies at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, says that “if you cut out too many calories, your metabolism thinks times are lean and puts the breaks on fat-burning to conserve energy.”
Yes, your metabolism is in part ruled by genetics (yet another reason to blame your parents for the inevitable), but it’s possible to speed it up by eating the right foods.
1. Fish With Omega-3 Fatty Acids
You can have your sushi and feel good about it too. Salmon and tuna are rich in omega-3 fatty acids (the polyunsaturated fats found in fish oil), which help to balance blood sugar, reduce inflammation and regulate your metabolism. Nutritionist and co-author of The Great Cholesterol Myth, Jonny Bowden, told Woman’s Day, “Fish oil cranks up fat-burning by increasing thyroid hormones’ efficiency within your live cells.” Get out the grill and make yourself some salmon. If you don’t want to eat fish, you can always take a fish oil supplement.
2. Green Tea
The active ingredient in green tea, catechin, may help to rev up your metabolism. A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that green tea extract increased participants’ metabolisms by 4 percent over the course of a 24-hour period. It’s been shown to discourage fat absorption, prevent insulin spikes and reduce your appetite.
3. Hot Peppers
Chili peppers contain the chemical compound capsaicin, which stimulates the body’s pain receptors, increasing metabolic rate and blood circulation. While you would have to consume a solid amount of capsaicin to see an overall effect in your weight, hot peppers provide a temporary boost to your metabolism that might even help suppress your appetite.
4. Lean Meats
In addition to fish, lean meats like turkey and chicken are helpful for boosting your metabolism. Protein helps to build muscle and burn calories since your body is working extra hard to process it, plus turkey and chicken are both low in calories to begin with. If you go for beef as your protein of choice, find the leanest cuts you can like top sirloin and bottom round roast.
Here’s another reason to eat sushi. The iodine content in seaweed is an ideal metabolism booster. Seaweed contains a wealth of vitamins and minerals, and can help to burn fat. Alginate, which is found in sea kelp, can help to suppress the digestion of fat in the gut and researchers believe if alginates can block fat digesting enzymes, your body will absorb less fat. You can get your seaweed fix from sushi, make a seaweed salad, sauté it or use it in a smoothie.
The most simple and basic way to improve your metabolism is to drink water before eating. A study by the University of Birmhingham showed that a bottle of water before each meal could help with weight reduction. Opt for water instead of other empty-calorie beverages.