Guest Post – 5 Things to Eat to Speed Up Your Metabolism
Despite being one of the top trending words in nutrition, whenever “metabolism” is mentioned, it can feel like a mystical beast — something that is talked often about but never truly understood.
While sometimes it may seem like all you have to do is rev-up that metabolism a little and you’ll be burning calories like it’s your job, it is slightly more complicated than that. If you have ever wondered what your metabolism actually does, and how you can properly harness all its health power, then keeping reading.
First things first, the term “metabolism” refers to the chemicals involved in maintaining the health of your cells. So, the nutrients you eat supply energy and necessary chemicals for this specific function, which in turn affects how many calories your body burns.
While it may sound like a fad health craze, it is imperative to focus on your metabolic health. Here are five foods and snacks that will help boost your metabolism, ensure it functions properly, and allow you to burn extra calories in the process.
1. Protein with Healthy Fats
Protein is pivotal for the activity of your metabolism, but merely ingesting protein isn’t enough, you need to consume the appropriate amount. If your body does not receive enough or suffers from an improper balance of protein and healthy fats, it will break down your lean body tissues leading to muscle loss which is a highly undesirable thing.
There are almost endless options for eating protein with healthy fats. Look for snacks that pack a huge protein punch and also contain micronutrients such as Vitamin E, magnesium, zinc, and iron.
While you are shopping for them, make sure to take note of the amount of saturated fats as you want to keep this to a minimum. Instead, look to include more of the beneficial kinds of fat. The good news is that leading food service companies continue to expand their product lines, providing a wider range of healthy choices to fit buyers’ nutritional needs and preferences.
2. Green Tea
Coffee is known for revving up metabolism, yet green tea does it more efficiently and offers more health benefits. Green teas such as gunpowder, jasmine and matcha contain epigallocatechin which is what stimulates the nervous system without elevating the heart rate. This, in turn, means no post-coffee jitters!
If you drink three cups of green tea a day, it is said to burn up to 80 extra calories — a nice little boost to your workout! To get into the habit of drinking green tea, start by swapping your usual daily cappuccino with a matcha latte, or add some to your next baking treat.
3. Whole Grains
In addition to being rich in fiber, which means they help your gut to digest better, whole grains such as rolled oats, buckwheat, and brown rice actually burn more of your body fat as they require more work from your body to break down than processed grains like white flour
Next time you are cooking dinner, opt for brown rice pasta, or even whole wheat, instead of your usual white. When you are ready to show off your baking skills, try making a dessert with oat flour instead of white flour.
4. Citrus Fruits
Some of us love them, some of us hate them, but citrus fruits that are exceptionally tangy such as grapefruit or lemon include antioxidants that assist your body in using insulin more efficiently. What this does is help you to stabilize your blood sugar and increase the number of calories burned.
Make citrus fruits part of your daily routine by slicing up a grapefruit as part of your morning breakfast, or adding it to your salad for a refreshing and zesty change.
5. Hot Peppers
For those of you who like a hot sensation to accompany your meals, you are in luck! Adding cayenne pepper to your beloved avocado toast, or jalapeños on your nachos is not only a flavorful and spicy addition, but also offers some serious benefits to your metabolism. A chemical called capsaicin which can speed up your metabolism for three hours is commonly found in peppers.
Experts from food distribution companies advise people to indulge and benefit from this food group. Try adding chipotles or jalapeños to soups and egg dishes for a spicy kick, and sprinkle cayenne pepper in everything you consume, from salad dressings to chocolate cake.
Of course, it isn’t solely about the food that you eat. Lack of sleep adversely affects your appetite-regulating hormones and makes your body ill-equipped to process sugar thereby leading to unwanted weight gain. It has also been linked to a significant increase in the risk of obesity, so make sure that in addition to eating healthy, you are also getting enough rest.
Add to all this regular physical activity like exercise to help you stay flexible, toned and invigorated to face each new day no matter what.
Hisham Aljamil is the Managing Director of Bidfood Middle East. At almost 10 years in, the business now covers 3 major markets with a turnover exceeding US$60 million. Hisham aims to continue regional expansion to the rest of the Middle East markets.