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7 Foods To Boost Metabolism

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Metabolism refers to the process by which the body converts whatever one eats or drinks into energy. The rate at which the energy is created and used is called as metabolic rate. It is different for everyone as it is mostly determined by the genetic makeup of an individual. There are two kinds of metabolic processes: anabolic and catabolic. Anabolic processes involve how usable energy is created, typically this includes fuel sources that provide micro and macronutrients. Catabolic processes involve how the fuel sources are taken, assimilated, and broken down for use as energy. The amount of calories that are burnt every day depends upon three factors: basic metabolic rate, food processing, and physical activity.

Some people like those having poor diet choices and thyroid issues experience a slow metabolic rate which means they can burn only a few calories while others are keeping themselves active and fit and enjoy a faster metabolism, meaning more usage of calories. The signs of upregulated metabolism can include an increase in the body temperature, energy, and hunger as well as weight loss. The signs of downregulated metabolism include feeling cold, apathy, fatigue, depression, weight gain, low sex drive, and hair loss.

Regardless of how well one’s metabolism naturally functions, there are ways to boost metabolism. There are certain whole foods derived from nature that has long been in use to provide nourishment, energy, and an optimally functioning metabolism. They are easy to be incorporated into the daily diet to effectively boost metabolism without causing any harm. [1, 2, 3]

So, if one is looking for metabolism-boosting foods that are backed by science, try to incorporate these 7 foods and drinks into the diet.

1. Protein-Rich Foods

As compared to the digestion of carbohydrates, more energy is needed to digest proteins. The requirement of the body to make use of more energy to digest proteins in the diet is called the thermic effect of the food. This means the body burns more calories to digest, absorb, and process the nutrients present in meals if carbohydrate servings from the diet are replaced with proteins. The whey protein has amino acids as its building blocks that have metabolism-boosting power. These proteins help in muscle building and these muscles, in turn, help in burning a considerable amount of calories. Protein-rich foods include fish, eggs, meat, nuts, seeds, and dairy. If you are a vegan, go for more lentils and legumes as they have slightly more proteins and even certain minerals like zinc and selenium which are potent for fueling metabolic functions. They also contain dietary fiber, including soluble fiber and starch-resistant fiber which can be used up by the good bacteria residing in the large intestine to produce short-chain fatty acids that may help the body effectively use more stored fat as energy and keep blood sugar levels in the normal range. [1, 2, 3, 4]

2. Coffee and Green Tea

Both of them have an appetite-suppressing effect, which aids in weight management and avoiding foods that cause metabolic damage like sugars. Reports have also suggested that caffeine could act as a stimulant for boosting metabolism and catechins and polyphenols present in coffee and green tea can help increase the metabolic rate. However, the effects of these compounds are based on individual characteristics such as age and body weight, thus varying from person to person. [3, 4]

3. Avocados and Almonds

Avocados contain monounsaturated fats that can reduce the risk of experiencing metabolic syndrome- a series of conditions that affect blood pressure, blood sugar, and abdominal fat. A handful of almonds have plenty of proteins, fibers, and healthy fats that can help one manage weight by burning calories. The healthy fats keep the person full and satiated for a long. Both of them help in boosting metabolism. [ 2]

4. Spicy Foods

Spicy foods like chili peppers usually contain capsaicin- a chemical compound that is known to be associated with a slight increase in metabolism. Scientists have found that capsaicin can create heat within the body to rapidly convert the calories we take through food into energy. Another benefit of having spicy foods is that they help in the actual process of thermogenesis which increases fat burn and metabolism.
Ginger along with other spices is also thought to have beneficial metabolism-boosting properties. [ 2, 3, 4]

5. Dark Green Vegetables

Dark green vegetables contain more iron. Iron plays an essential role in efficient oxygen transport, thereby providing a healthy metabolism. It is an important mineral needed for the proper functioning of the thyroid gland, which regulates metabolism by producing certain hormones. For those who are vegans, it is important to take dark green vegetables in their diet like spinach, kale, collards, bok choy, swiss chard, and many others to avoid feeling fatigued. [3, 4]

6. Drink Enough Water

Limit the intake of sugary drinks instead drink more water. This is a great way to cut down on calories. It is recommended to have cold water as it will make your body work harder to maintain its internal temperature and burn more calories. Additional calories are required by the body to heat the water inside the body to the normal body temperature. This is called water-induced thermogenesis. Thus, it is particularly beneficial to stay hydrated with cold water for weight loss and boosted metabolism. However, the effects of drinking water on metabolism only last for 40-90 minutes and the strength of the effect may vary among people.[1, 4]

7. Blueberries

Blueberries are rich in dietary fiber. Their intake can make the person feel fuller. They can boost the body’s ability to convert nutrients present in the blueberries to some serious energy.

Blueberries are believed to have one of the highest antioxidant levels of all common fruits and vegetables. Antioxidants protect the body from free radicals and unstable molecules that can damage the cells and contribute to aging and diseases like cancer. [2]

If one chooses to include these 7 foods in their diet, they can regulate their metabolic function. But that won’t be enough. To boost metabolism, one must ensure taking adequate sleep, managing stress, building muscles through weight lifting and other forms of resistance exercises, and even trying High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT).

References:

  1. https://www.insider.com/guides/ health/diet-nutrition/ how-to-boost-metabolism
  2. https://nuts.com/healthy-eating/how-to-boost-your-metabolism
  3. https://blog.davincilabs.com/blog/ 7-metabolism-boosting-foods
  4. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/ metabolism-boosting-foods#1.-Protein-rich-foods

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